The Crap Vegan Burger and Pester Power

Sanur was not what I expected or was looking for…It has a really nice promenade along the beachfront meaning you could walk for hours, if only you had super human powers to be able to not be annoyed by people constantly asking you if you want to look in their shop, go on a boat trip, rent a bicycle, take a taxi, buy a sarong/fan/knife or have a massage/manicure/pedicure. If you are lucky you may catch a rare moment of peace giving you an insight as to how lovely it could be.

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Things would be different if they were asking me about something I wanted (like vegan cakes for example), they’d find I was was a much more willing customer, but as I don’t want to be gathering stuff or spending money like it’s going out of fashion, I found it quite draining after a while.

Luckily we bumped into a group of school kids on a trip from Java who were very keen to practice their English with us, and they were definitely the friendliest people we met in Sanur.

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But our school-kid friends soon got back on their bus, which left us to be hassled by the beach sellers and taxi drivers once more.

I thought the saviour to this slow but painful torture would come from a little organic veggie cafe where I hoped to get some hippy vegan wholefood and soak up the beachy vibes. Instead I clocked up the experience of being presented with the most over priced, stingy and un-imaginative vegan burger of my life. To add insult to injury the small, crumbly broccoli and rice burger that was hidden by a dry giant bread roll, was accompanied by a stack of undercooked chips. I say stack, but don’t be fooled into thinking there was tower, or pile, or heap even. No, there were actually 5 chips. Yes 5. And they were small and undercooked. Nothing makes a vegan greedyguts sadder than this display of meanness. This wasn’t hippy wholefood, this was more like hippy half-food and even the hippy had upped and left in protest.

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Luckily, this Vegan Food Quest disaster was counterbalanced by finding a beautiful little warung (means restaurant) serving mainly vegan food by a very lovely Javense lady called Mila.

Mila’s Warung is rarely visited by the masses because it’s on the wrong side of the road that cuts through Sanur, but her food is well worth the visit.

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We really enjoyed Milas warung in Sanur

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Mila cooks Javense dishes that are rich and flavoursome. She is generous with her portions and with her hospitality and so it’s not a surprise that friendly, food loving people flock there. We ate our fill of tofu, tempe and vegetable dishes cooked with chillies, garlic, coconut milk and galangal; the upset of the ‘disappointing burger incident’ disappearing with every mouthful. Bliss.

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Plenty of Javanese vegan food at Milas

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We loved evfreything at Milas

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In Sanur the only thing that is stopping me going crazy from feeling like I’ve been signed up to someone else’s package holiday is the fact that just when I’ve had enough, I find a little vegan snack on the street to lift my spirits. I’m developing a true understanding of comfort eating whilst plotting our escape from the beach (trust me, if you were here you’d understand it).

We find this oh so fresh corn-on-the-cob, toasted on the BBQ and brushed with spicy chilli sauce.

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And we find a man selling vegan spring rolls and tofu with peanut sauce and fresh green chillies from a small picnic box on the beach.

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We’ve been staying in a nice home stay (our first ever Air BnB experience) and although our host only really speaks Japanese she is communicating friendliness to us by baking fresh bread each morning, making homemade peanut butter and offering me accidentally vegan chocolate spread (which I’ve looked for in the shops and can’t find anywhere). It’s making up for the fact that I’m melting in the heat, not really getting a good nights sleep and feeling worn down with the pester power of all the beach sellers, restaurant owners and taxi drivers in town.

Before I know it though, time rolls on and we are off to Ubud, home of all things vegan in Bali where I’m expecting peace, yoga, a calmness created by meditating spiritual people and an abundance of vegan, raw, organic treats at every turn.

2019-03-05T07:57:32+00:00

12 Comments

  1. Bali food adventure (@epicurina) June 25, 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply

    I don’t recall any good vegan restaurants in Sanur either. There are some in Seminyak though like Zula or Down to Earth, so the best bet in Sanur would be a Javanese warung like Mila’s Warung you mentioned above. I do hope you have a better experience in Ubud. Have a look for Sari Organik/Bodag Maliah if you haven’t put it in your itineraries.

    • VeganMush June 25, 2014 at 4:07 pm - Reply

      Milas was just amazing and it will be top of our list when we return for sure. We also enjoyed Zula in Seminyak….check out our recent blog posts about our time in Bali. No longer in Bali (we are in Malaysia) but going back to Indonesia in a couple of weeks to Java for the next leg of our adventure…

      Do you have any decent vegan food tips for Java?

      • Putri July 2, 2014 at 9:55 pm - Reply

        In Jogja (Yogyakarta), you can try ‘gudeg’, which is the specialty food of this region; stewed jack fruits served with tahu or tempe bacem (or both). In some places, they’ll add ‘krecek’ (cured cow’s skins), so it’s better to tell them that you don’t want any krecek on it.

        I’ve been a long time fan for nasi pecel. Yes, you can also find it in Bali but I somewhat recall that I’ve had more delicious ones in Java. Best nasi pecel I’ve eaten is that one in Simpang Lima, Semarang. It was across Ramayana Supermarket; started to open from 5 pm onwards. But I forgot the name of the warung.

        Jogja’s food tend to be sweet (so is Solo ‘Surakarta’), while in Semarang (which is on the northern part of Central Java), you can expect to have a more spicy, saltier taste. I’d say it’s easier to find vegan/vegetarian food in Jogja than in Semarang. But I digress.

        What about bakpia? A specialty snack of Jogja. Complete name: bakpia pathuk (or pathok, or patok, whatevs.). Gethuk Trio is from Magelang, Central Java, but usually they’re also available in Jogja.

        Putu bumbung is a must, but I guess you must ‘hunt’ for it since it’s not that easy to find one. You can also try nagasari, or bakwan jagung and tempe mendoan (both are deep-fried).

        I once visited Loving Hut in Ambarukmo Plaza (Amplaz), it’s pretty crowded back then. But food was great. Minus the long waiting time. I don’t know other restaurants of the same type that is specifically labelled ‘vegan’ but I heard there are many ‘angkringan’ that sells vegan food nowadays. You can find angkringan around campus, usually they’re open at nights.

        Hope it helps.

        • VeganMush July 3, 2014 at 1:43 pm - Reply

          Hi Putri,
          Many thanks for taking the time to send this detailed reply with so many suggestions for new food to find, eat & write about when we get to Java!
          We will keep you listed on what we manage to track down….

          Our trip to Java is for just 1 month flying in to Jakarta and out of Jogja – not sure where to head in between but will be travelling by train so that will have some bearing on our various destinations.

          Where are you based in Bali? We had a wonderful 2 months there and will certainly go back at some stage.

          Thanks again for the info,

          VFQ

          • Putri July 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm

            You’re welcome. I’m a Javanese so I know a lot about Javanese food.

            I’m in Kuta. Yes, I’ve read some of your posts about your tour in Bali. I’m actually a lacto-ovo vegetarian but I rarely eat enjoy vegan food as well.

            Good luck on your quest! 🙂

  2. Putri July 3, 2014 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Sorry, what I mean is I rarely eat eggs and I enjoy vegan food as well.

  3. Richard October 7, 2014 at 10:56 am - Reply

    You should name and shame the cafe where you got that veggie burger 🙂

    • VeganMush October 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm - Reply

      Hi Richard,

      More than happy to do so, to be honest, I thought we did!

      After 10 months of life on the road, and a number of vegan burgers, we can say that (in our opinion and based on what we were served) the worst vegan burger award goes to ‘Manik Organik’.

      Any good vegan burgers you can recommend in this part of the world???

  4. Richard October 7, 2014 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Thanks! In Indo, no, not so far. Was going to say Veganburg but you’ve already been!

    • VeganMush October 9, 2014 at 12:26 pm - Reply

      Veganburg was amazing – we head back to Singapore in a few weeks and will be visiting as many times as possible!

  5. Wilhelmina June 30, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Oh no! Have just read your review of Mila’s place, googled it to get the address/map – only to find that it’s been “permanently closed.” Darn!

    • Vegan Food Quest July 1, 2015 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Oh no what a shame – her food was seriously good – definitely the best we had there! Thanks for the info… I know there is now a Down to Earth Cafe in Sanur now, we visited one in Seminyak which was great and one in Ubud which was average but hopefully the Sanur one at least offers some good food and a nice place to be. Did you enjoy it in Sanur?

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