Naughty Nuri’s – Ubud – Restaurant Review

Sometimes, when places get so wildly popular they get reviewed in the New York Times, things tend to go downhill. Either they try to expand beyond their reach, or they just decide to milk their cash cow for all its worth, lowering their quality to maximize their margins. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened to Naughty Nuri’s Warung just yet.

The opened-fronted shack across the street from the Neka Museum in Ubud’s Champuhan area has remained faithful to what made it famous: an eclectic menu that runs from nasi goreng to ribs to sushi, accompanied by the meanest martinis west of the international dateline.

Ribs and Martinis
Ribs and a martini – the TravelFish power dinner.

I had the good fortune to visit Naughty Nuri’s with a large group of people, many of whom, like me, were "refugees" from the problems in Bangkok. We decided to get an early start, as a couple people were commuting up from Sanur, but even at 6:00 pm the place was already packed and we had to wait for a table. Most of the group opted for the ribs, but I’ve never been a big rib fan, so I gave the Kecap Manis Pork a try. It was very similar to a dish I’ve provided a recipe for on Traveling Chili, but with a lot more sauce. It was very delicious, and judging by the plates full of bones, so were the ribs.

For "dessert", I decided to give the cosmopolitans a try. I had been warned they were big, and this was confirmed when they set a frosty pint glass in front of me. There’s a strange sort of ritual the have with the cocktails at Nuri’s. Whether it’s a martini or a cosmo, they put more liquid in the shaker than fits in the glass, so when they bring the beaker to the table, they fill up the glass to the brim. The customer (that’s you) is expected to quickly toss back enough of the drink to finish off the beaker. This is not a place for amateurs!

The cocktails, at around 100,000 Rupiah, are not cheap (alcohol now carries a huge tariff in Indonesia) but you can get a small local beer for 20,000. The food dishes run from 50,000 to 70,000 Rupiah.

Naughty Nuri’s is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm. See their web site for more information.

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