Potager is a delightful surprise hidden beyond the country suburb of Bilambil south of the Gold Coast.
Established in 2006 by Pete and Gareth with a grand vision to grow and source local food – served with exuberant intent. They nailed it!
Fast track to now and the vision lives on and is evident in every dish made and served. It’s a special part of the dream and the intent is certainly evident in the attention to detail, amazing menu and a relaxing venue.
Unfortunately one of the partners passed away in 2019 but everyone is happy and committed in his spirit.
On our visit we are met by a beautiful rustic home set amongst an enlivened field with a seductive edible garden.
The staff are all very competent and eager to say hello. The ethos of the restaurant/community is to support local including the staff.
The views over the valley are delightful and the wine list substantial.
We are with a few friends and cocktails are ordered.
For entree we share the fair game, wild venison carpaccio, pickled plum, mushroom, tarragon pesto, lemon myrtle cracker.
My main course didn’t sound that much on the menu but was delicious with lots of subtle and Peruvian sudado de pescado(fish stew). Whilst the menu changes depending on what is in season and available the stew is always available. I will be going back for the fish stew for sure. Warming, nourishing and flavours full of the depth of the sea.
It is one of the dishes designed and kept as a tribute. I really rate the fish stew but would go so far as to recommend everything on the menu. My friends have the duck which melts in your mouth whilst my partner has local caught fish which was so well cooked.
What I love most about Potager is the local grown vegetables used with every dish. It is like a blessing from the planet to your plate.
Thank you so much guys, we will be back again soon,
Finally I have had to resign myself to the fact that today I can only squeeze in a massage and snorkel at most.
As Western though patterns and chasing leaving my body, so does stress.
I feel myself decompressing like a tension chamber that has become unaccustomed to it’s own internal pressure – in actual fact using it for fuel to chase down more business. I need to step back and I have.
Yesterday I jumped on a plane to Bali with a small back pack, some face masks to deliver to Solemen ( A charity I support here) and little else. I had a sense that escaping to Nusa Lembogan would provide me with my next life lessons, poignant and gentle as Mother Bali delivers, so headed for Sanur to catch a ferry.
There are plenty of ferry companies that cross the 45 minute stretch all day. No need to book ahead and it shouldn’t cost more than 400 rupiah return.
I had to wait a while for mine, but I have learned that the waiting is part of Bali unravelling you from what you know, to where you need to be.
I relish in the wait.
With no accommodation booked, I figure that I could do something about it while the ferry is coming. Incredibly I secure a room in a hut that is truly magic and I feel so incredibly grateful to have been directed here.
A generous local drove me to the villas and would not accept any money for the trip. It sounds naive but I know the favour will be returned one day.
My digs for the night are out of this world – incredible views, and I feel I have arrived at the cusp of heaven and earth.
I settle in, have some mandatory spring rolls, a gin and tonic then go exploring.
It is a full moon and the night light makes for easy walking to Dream Bay.
Today i will explore more and post more tomorrow.
My creative flow is back and I feel alive again. Thank you Mother Bali.
WOW! Another incredible organic and local produce restaurant in Canggu and definitely worth a visit.
Really impressed with the menu and food.
I had some badass salad called “The Healthy Bowl”
This is what was included: 5 grain mix: millet, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, sauteed seasonal greens, cheery tomatoes, house made beans, marinated tempeh, red cabbage, roasted pumpkin, broccoli, sweet corn, kale, zucchini, carrot, lettuce greens, served with house made curtido sauerkraut, baba ganoush, beetroot hummus, and garlic tahini and dressing!
It was delicious, filling and nutritious.
I did have guests with me though, a few frogs, and a ” big mouse”! (rat)
Canguu is a region in Bali, west of the more popular beaches of Kuta, Legion and Seminyak. Canguu is a very laid back area of rice fields, farms, coast line and beaches. It is famous for its surf breaks of Canguu, Batu Balong and Echo Beach (far away in time… sorry couldn’t resist).
The coast consistently caters for all sorts of surfers: long board riders, short board riders, kite surfers, beginners and big wave junkies and draws people from around the world. It’s not a “shopping mall” crowd, it is a down to earth “I-dig-surf-and-life” kinda crowd.
Aside from chasing the perfect wave along Canguu, you can also find eclectic organic, hipster restaurants, funky music venues, a healthy art scene and a plethora of yoga and health venues. Hence why I love the region so much: i t has everything I need.
These are my top three restaurants and cafes in Canguu
Breakfast at the Shady Shack
For breakfast (either before or after your morning surf), is the Shady Shack.
It’s sister cafe, Betelnut is really well known and on the other side of the paddy field, but Shady isn’t far behind it in popularity and the times that I go there it is packed.
Both cafes offer local and organic produce, turned into inspired creations. The vegetarian options are amazing and really well priced.
I meet Gypsy the owner briefly and we discuss the diverse menu, her use of medicinal plants and even bee pollen in her shakes. Being an avid subscriber to Hippocrate’s advice of “let food be your medicine” I am an instant fan of the Shady Shack.
The menu is extensive and caters for vegans to meat eaters but it is predominantly a plant based food fest.
The creations are beyond my imagination and I love the way each meal is it’s own art display and visual orgasmic delight. Nourishing one’s soul and body is so important with food and Gypsy and Shady Shack have nailed it, 10/10.
Today I have the Haloumi Bowl at Shady Shack and it is sensational: rocket, zucchini spaghetti, roasted capsicum, pickled beetroot, quinoa, chick peas, and a couple of devine sauces. A tasteorgasm!
At Betelnut my favorite would be their big salad bowl with 4 different salads. But the last two days I have had the fish burger, with chippies and salad. Also yummy.
Lunch at Old Man’s
If you haven’t already, go for a late morning surf at Batu Bolong then head to Old Man’s for lunch.
Old Man’s is the communal meeting place for locals and travellers and I don’t think a day goes past when I am not there .
You can literally come out from a surf, rinse off the Indian Ocean in a shower at the back of the pub and order a chilled bintang while still dripping wet.
Sean the owner is a great guy, known by many and very hospitable. It’s laid back atmosphere is accepting and there’s usually a band playing most nights of the week.
Batu Balong Beach is at the end of the street and is an awesome place to watch life slip by or roll by, with the many hypnotic waves. Grab a coconut and make yourself at home. No one is in a rush around here.
I usually have the snapper and chips but the menu, for a pub, is very accommodating even offering vegetarian options.
Every day has a happy hour, but my advice would be to head there for lunch and or an early dinner. Which brings me to my favourite dinner dine in place Lacalitas.
Dinner at Lacalita
Chef and Aussie ex-pat owner, Will, opened up Lacalitas after his Seminyak sensation, Lacalaca was rated a winner by trip advisor. Both restaurants boast mexican flavours but both have their own individual flare and style.
Lacalita is an infusion of contemporary and mexican foods. I love Lacalita’s menu and have eaten here nearly every night for the past week!
La Taqueria Tostaditas and the Ahi Poke are delicious for starters and the soft crab is my favourite for mains. The menu is worth drooling over and whatever you do don’t rush .
The BEST thing on the menu (in my humble opinion) is the chilli margarita. I am not sure if I am going back any more for the food, the chilli margaritas or the fantastic atmosphere and decor.
The walls have lots of interesting items to check out, wonderful photos and memorabilia. It all comes together to be one of my favourite restaurants, quite possibly in the world.
The smiling friendly staff really do make you feel at home and Putu, who I have got to know reasonably well, will remember your name so by your second visit you will feel like Lacalita is home.
Will and Lacalita it’s a big 10/10.
Congratulations for producing a world class restaurant with the best trimmings in the humble, laid back region of Canguu.
Last year I stumbled across the Puri Sunia twenty minutes outside of Ubud.
It is a new resort that is very beautifully designed and connected to greenery in a very Bali way.
I stay in a deluxe room and it is deluxe. Much better than some of the other similar rated resorts in this region.
The spa area is good and everyone is welcomed with a complimentary foot spa massage. It really does work – massage is relaxing.
You could simply whittle time away at the resort starting with early morning yoga and stretching. If you want to slide in and out of the pool like I did, you can order excellent pool side dining.
I think you should venture into town for a few “must experience” in Ubud.
Great restaurants, music and bars and funky art shops, Ubud is a well known in-land town higher than the better known beachside town of Kuta near Denpasar.
I love Ubud for it’s organic cafes, it’s colour, it’s history, and clothing shops. A friend of mine has her own female clothing range called Goddess on the Go and she has the material made out of wood! Great fabric, nice and cool and easy to wash. Say I said hi if you make it to her shop.
Until last year I had no interest in Bali what-so-ever.
My mates had told me stories of great surf, cheap clothes and Bali Belly but aside from the surfing I really had no urge to go and always felt it would be sweaty, smelly and noisy.
I used to think ” Bali is for Bogans with tank tops and tattoos”.
I am so glad my good friends talked me into going for a 4 day filming adventure last June.
WE were there to make a pilot for television station SBS with the goal of getting a thumbs up for a new travel/eating show.
We didn’t get the go-ahead by SBS for the show but it was great fun making it anyway.
Since then I have been to Bali an additional 5 times. And planning my next trip for a few weeks time.
In this crazy fun 4 day trip I stay in a beautiful resort in the Ubudian Hills along side a river in a puri called Puri Wulandar. The views and serenity from the villa are breath-taking.
There is a stillness in the air.
A gentle cool breeze over a warm crisp day.
I adore this resort. Private, integrated into nature, indulgent and green, I rate this resort highly. Stay if you want to reward yourself DO IT!
I have had some of the best food experiences world wide in Bali.
It is definitely a hub of organic and intricate foods. The island’s volcanic soil grow some of the best fruits, nutrition packed veggies and devine seafood. And the farming scene is still very close to organic and traditional although that is changing.
While I was there filming I was priveldged to meet many funky, visionaries and foodies. Real world class foodies.
Johhny Freesh is one such funky, rawatarians. He has a quirky nature and a great little rap song about Dorian Fruit. I enjoy our interview, I enjoy seeing his Dorian Rap. I’m not a hard core rawatarian but if you were, I am sure it would be like meeting one of the industry greats.
Rawatarians only eat raw and dehydrated foods only. Fruit and coconut oil are blended to make a mousse like mix that can be used for tarts and cakes, or ice cream and puddings. There are also rainbow coloured salads, vegetables, sauces, beans and nuts. There are loads of recipes and this new popular movement is suiting many.
Another Foodie God is Ben Richards who has his own cooking and yoga school on the other side of town. Ben has a really nice energy and has people coming all around not just for cooking classes, but also healing. There is a great vibe in his school and I learn a lot about a soulful person in our interview. From Byron Bay, always around food and using it for healing, Ben had moved to Bali 7 years before hand and was in no hurry to leave Bali. Definitely worth looking into if you are after a retreat.
Some of the favourite eat places I sampled this visit round are to become favorites for all future trips.
Alchemy is well known wide and far for it’s organic, raw foods, amazing salads and huge juices. It is well priced and your tastes buds zing. The philosophies of Alchemy are all principles of raw and organic and supporting the local farmer. BIG ticks. It’s become a favorite spot and now whenever I am in town, I will head there to get a raw chocolate dessert, massive bowl of salad or kambucha drink.
The Bridges Restaurant has some of the best views in town, nestled beside the main bridge in to town. If you get a table close to the edge you can hear the running river below and get covered in a light mist. It’s really beautiful and uplifting. And the food is pretty special too.
The main thumbs down for Bali applies for all warmer countries… gastro. Or in this case, Bali-Belly.
I get it most visits to Bali, but usually only an inconvenient bout. I was given a cure-all-gastro recipe once. IT WORKS a treat so if you ever get it , see if you can have this broth made up for you..
Fish HEAD soup
One fish head, one onion chopped, 3 cloves of garlic, a knob of chopped ginger, a handful of coriander and a smidge of parsley. Cover all of it with water and boil until it tastes great – about an hour. Strain and add sea salt and pepper to taste.
Wash your hands well and make sure you pay Ubud a 3-4 day visit.