Instead of staying in central Ubud, where all the tourists are trying to eat, pray, and love, we found a homestay via AirBnb in a village by Ubud called Payogan. We got to spend time in an actual Balinese family complex and get to know our host, Ketut's lovely family.
Ketut is a licensed tour guide and he gave us some handy advice, such as how much a taxi should cost from central Ubud (no more than 40,000 IDR or slightly over $3) and where to eat in the area. Naughty Nuri's is quite famous in Ubud for its barbecue ribs, but according to Ketut, we could find the same ribs at Warung Kayana for a much cheaper price and with none of the crowd. (Apparently a former cook from Naughty Nuri's left and started his own warung.)
He totally had us at "cheaper price." What? We're Asian like that.
Anyway, after exploring central Ubud for a bit and trying our hand at bargaining, we got a taxi to drive us to Warung Kayana (for 40,000 IDR of course):
Definitely no wait for a table:
And definitely not a tourist trap. We were the only non-locals there and though there was a semi-English menu, our young server spoke basically none. She sat at the table with us and we slowly pointed out what we wanted to order.
The four of us each got a drink. It wasn't until they arrived that we realized we ordered half the rainbow:
From left to right: watermelon juice, papaya juice, herbal drink, and "mint lemon fresh". The first two are pretty self-explanatory and were 5000 IDR each (around 50 cents). The herbal drink tasted like salted plums while the "mint lemon fresh" was exactly that, an icee made of fresh mint and lemon. Both cost 7000 IDR each (closer to 60 cents).
I love Asia. Where else can you get fresh drinks that cheap?
Anyway, of course we had to get the ribs (25000 IDR or about $2):
And the ayam bakar or grilled chicken (14000 IDR or slightly over $1):
And the sausage bakar (16000 IDR, also slightly over $1):
Besides these obviously Western dishes, Warung Kayana also offered a couple Indonesia options. While we usually always go with the local cuisine, we had to make an exception here for obvious reasons.
Everything was freakin' delicious. The ribs were fall off the bone tender, as was the chicken. The sausage was meaty and yummy. And best of all, the barbecue sauce. The sauce on the meats themselves was slightly sweet while the side dish of sauce had a bit of a kick to it.
I've never been to Naughty Nuri's, so I can't say whether or not Warung Kayana is better. But I can say for certain that it's damn good. Damn good.
And it's also damn cheap. It doesn't get much better than that.
Thanks, Ketut, but the great tip!
Jl. Kedewatan Raya
Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia 80571