Verdict: Liap-Liap, the new kid on Ubud’s restaurant scene, is not for the indecisive.
This modern Indonesian grill restaurant on the lively Monkey forest street has an extensive menu. It will either confuse you, as all the options are so tempting, or make you want to try them all. Luckily there is an easy solution: sharing while devouring!
It was a cool and breezy evening in Ubud. Walk inside Liap-Liap and you will feel like you are entering the cozy dining room of a close relative. The restaurant is modestly sized with the bar sits next to the crackling fire grill, so it is easy for the staff to tend to you. Its warm, ambient lighting makes you just want to cozy up in a corner with a glass (or two) of red.
We were told we would fall in love with Indonesia’s gastronomic treasures again in this place – our mission? To prove that it is true.
Liap Liap showcases the rich and exotic flavours of Indonesian ingredients and traditional recipes. It focuses on a more indigenous cooking style, grilling and smoking that results in exquisitely tasting delicacies.
The Crancam Soup with Blue Swimmer Crab is delicious, immediately warming our belly with its flavorful taste. The Liap Liap Buras – sticky rice cooked in bamboo – was a delicious filler for our carb cravings, as we enjoyed them with their signature Cakalang fufu, smoked skipjack tuna. The spicy undertones blended well with the sweetness of the fish, and the portion size is generous enough for sharing.
Chef Mandif Warokka, the man behind Liap-Liap and an Indonesian culinary whiz joined us for a chat, just as we are deciding whether or not we should share the Rice-field duck cooked in a bamboo dish.
“Almost everything tastes better on the grill – but it tastes even better when shared.” he advised.
We obey, albeit not wholeheartedly.
The concept of sharing grilled food works well for Liap Liap. Chef Warokka inspiration stems from his colourful upbringing in the eastern part of Indonesia; Papua and Sulawesi.
In exploring the freshest ingredients available in markets and local surroundings, his intentions highlight a refined passion and craftsmanship, creating bold, alluring presentation styles, sparing no effort in bringing the finest the different seasons have to offer.
We went along with Warokka’s suggestion to try Pisang Rai and Sagu Bakar for dessert. Since we shared our appetizers and mains, we selfishly hog our desserts.They were tasty, unpretentious, and reminds us of treats grandmothers used to make at home.
Needless to say, Liap-Liap is for those with serious appetite.