The Elephant, Ubud
The Elephant is one of the three vegetarian, ethical and slow food restaurants opened by Jonathan Alexander Russell in 2013. Their aim of being at least 110% awesome in everything they do is very obvious, and many of our dishes can be adjusted to become vegan and gluten free. I love that The Elephant, along with Dumbo and Green Ginger, focus on serving healthy, organic food in a conscious and sustainable manner.
On my first visit, I got iced decaf with coconut milk (yes, they had decaf), a green juice, salad and gnocchi (so good!), and I tried both their raw chocolate pie and the lemon tart with vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Not only is the food amazing, but the views are as well. The Elephant feels like a green sanctuary in Ubud.
A positive side note, which I really liked, is that the menu explains why they charge more for non-dairy milk, along with an apology. A nice little touch.
Jono, the owner (originally from Byron Bay - the positive Australian influence comes through in their food!), has been vegetarian himself for 25 years. He shares my views on vegetarianism and sustainability:
Instead of labelling people as “meat eaters” vs “vegetarians”, which creates division, let’s focus on being openminded. He also agrees that it’s not about being extreme, but about finding balance. Balance in enjoying ourselves while doing good for the planet and environment. If we try so hard to be sustainable that we decrease the quality of our own lives in the process, we likely become resentful and probably turn towards the opposite way of acting in the long-term. It’s more important to find a middle ground, to be be green and sustainable where possible, and promote the idea of vegetarianism and educate on sustainability through food. People come and catch on if they enjoy themselves. If no one was to come through the door, those values wouldn’t have a way of being shared.
So go share those values while having fun, indulging, enjoying yourself and eating your way into heaven at The Elephant.