Vegan Bali & Gili Islands

On my first day in Bali, I checked Happy Cow for vegetarian restaurants. After a long walk from my hostel in Kuta I found Happy Buddha (Jalan Raya Kuta 143). They have a lot of mock meat options and, although that’s not exactly my thing, I was happy to try something different every time I went there. It was also very cheap, I don’t remember well right now but I would say what you see in the picture was less than 3 euro.

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Plus, it was a family restaurant. I have seen this in many other restaurants in Southeast Asia: the kids of the owners are playing behind the counter or outside the place, they might come close to you and smile and then their dad or their mom will grab them by the hand and kindly take them away. Then the little kids will say with their eyes: “but, I wanted to play with the lady :(“. Work-family balance, Asian style. I really like this, because the atmosphere seems to be very relaxed, everyone looks happy and the children get to spend more time with their family when growing up. Of course, this is all about small kids who are still not supposed to be at school!

In Ubud, I tried some raw food at The Seeds of Life (2 Jalan Gootama). It’s funny, my doctor recommended me to never eat raw food or have drinks with ice in Asia and I’m doing both things more than ever. I’m such a rebel. I should rename the blog to “Travel & Tofu & Risk”.

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The food was ok, although a little bit pricey and the portions were not specially big, so after a few hours I was feeling hungry again.

In Jimbaran, all the restaurants had fish as a main course. But luckily, all dishes included rice and vegetables as a side dish, so I ate the side dish of my roommates while they had their fish. To be honest, I’ve always hated eating fish, even as a child. I never saw the point of putting something full of spines into your mouth. Why not biting a cactus instead?

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Plus, there’s not need to say that rice with vegetables is one of the cheapest foods you can get anywhere in the world.

In Gili Trawangan I couldn’t find any vegetarian restaurants, so in the places I went to, I just asked for items of the menu that could be veganized. A vegetable pizza without cheese:

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Or a salad without egg:

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I recall having also some tofu burgers that had to be specially made for me because, funny thing, it seems like at least in the Gilis, they enjoy mixing tofu with egg.

All in all, I ate very few protein in Indonesia, so when I spent some days in Singapore afterwards and was able to cook again, I filled my stomach with lots of tofu and beans. I wouldn’t say Bali is a vegan paradise, but at least in the tourist areas everyone speaks some English and the waiters are always happy to find a veganizable dish for you in the menu.

I would put some pictures of the food in Lovina but, as I mentioned on my Bali post, I was sick, and I think everyone knows what steam rice looks like.

Let’s see if in the following days I can write about all the ways you can get ripped off in Bali. It’s going to be a looong post.

By the way, I have twitter now. I’m still learning how to use it, but here it is: http://twitter.com/travelandtofu

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