What a pleasant change! Finding a small, clean, professionally run little café in Ubud, that serves interesting food [and not that standard menu that is everywhere else] at reasonable prices! Warung Nyiur or the Three Monkeys as it is better known, is a little gem!
It is impossible to typecast the cuisine, as it appears to come from just about everywhere, as well as having a small local section. But everything that I have tried, so far, varies from acceptable to very good, so I am not going to complain! All delivered with a pleasant smile, and at a fair price.
Open early every morning for breakfast with everything from traditional Rice ?Pudding? [black sticky rice, sliced banana in coconut milk] to Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon, spinach and roesti.
Interesting snacks are on the menu, for those in-between munchies. A Roasted Vegetable Quiche, or some of the best Spring Rolls I have had, and especially at this price. Long rolls stuffed with vegetables, encased in very thin, crispy shells with a Thai chilli sauce that has a bit of strength to it!
A Creme of Tomato & Roasted Red Peppers Soup, with basil and yoghurt, is just that little bit different, whilst the Thai Pumpkin Soup with tofu and spinach is very different. A Trio of Toast [Tre Costini] is slabs of country bread topped with roast garlic, eggplant, mushrooms and pesto!
Spanakopita and Tiropita are tasty Greek pastries. Triangles of filo pastry that have been stuffed; one with creamed spinach and the other with cheese! The accompaniment is a pile of chutney that is very peppery. It all goes together rather well!
In the salad department, Garden and Nicoise are not that unusual, but a Ginger Chicken & Asparagus Salad, in a ginger lemon mayonnaise, is quite different. The Seafood Salad is a mix of prawns, squid, and fish that has been marinated in a spicy soy dressing with pomelo, red shallots and coriander.
The Pumpkin Ravioli is served in a sage & butter sauce with Parmesan. To go with this for those vegetarians, or just for something out of the ordinary, is a Vegetarian Moussaka or a Pepes Tahu [tofu pieces with tomato and chilli, roasted in a banana leaf]. For the non-vegetarians a Shepherd's Pie is a base of minced meat, but with peas, topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes and baked till crunchy on top! Even more English are the Bangers and Mash except they are with Australian lamb sausages in an onion & mushroom gravy, served with a large mound of creamy mashed potato!
Pan Fried Snapper Fillets are crumbed and topped with a mango salsa [or a chunky pineapple one when the mango is out of season]. Alternatively you can have simple Fish ?n? Chips, snapper fillets in a crispy beer batter.
Chicken and Cashew Nut Marsala is a yoghurt curry, served with a minted raita. The Ayam Betutu is always available, but prepared in the kitchen not ordered in. To go with it the famous Balinese Sate Lilit is almost mandatory [minced seafood on lemongrass skewers]. Sate Sapi Gurhi is most unusual. The beef for the sate has been marinated with cinnamon and nutmeg.
The Moroccan Spiced Lamb a la Tagine was supposed to come with braised zuchini and harrisa But, unfortunately, on the many occasions that I have visited Three Monkeys over the past few years, and wanted to try this dish, it has always been unavailable. Now a Chicken version has been added to the menu, and a great dish it turns out to be. The chicken is quite firm, but the spicy taste is much to my liking. On special that night the same chicken could have been had in a Cous-Cous [sorry, I did not notice until too late].
Whilst the selection of wine is limited, it is served by the glass! As is the owner's concoction of Sangria! In previous years there was a welcome sign on the bottom of the menu for Aussies who always do it at home: BYO! You used to be able to bring your own wine to Three Monkeys and drink it there, with the payment of a very minimal corkage charge of Rp.25,000 per bottle, a fair trade-off! A habit I have been trying to promote in Bali to help compensate for the limited wine selection and/or ridiculous alcohol mark-ups in so many establishments! Unfortunately in their wisdom at Three Monkeys, or maybe the lack of it, that practice is no longer encouraged or even allowed. Funny you would think that restaurateurs would be more interested in filling empty restaurants?
In a big change from a few years ago, I am now beginning to have quite a choice of good value dining in Ubud. Pleasant places, friendly service, a variety of cuisines and all prepared in clean professional kitchens. As a bonus, even reasonable prices!