Responsible Dining at Herb Library

UK-born and Cordon-Bleu-trained, Diana von Cranach was one of the pioneers of the ‘rawfully good’ living food movement in Bali. Now, Diana is branching out with her vision in Ubud through Herb Library.

Diana has been living in Bali for more than two decades. She moved to Bali to create a small but very personal resort, Puri Ganesha Villas, in 1996.

In 2006 Diana began to develop her unique, ‘rawfully good’ interpretation of the raw or ‘living’ food movement that began in the late 1990s in the U.S. Now, Diana is busy tending the recently launched Herb Library at Alaya Resort Jembawan in Ubud.

“It’s very difficult to find something different in Ubud because basically everything is there.” said Diana about the starting point for the idea behind the contemporary, healthy restaurant.

With this in mind, Herb Library aims to offer a different, plant-based all-day dining menu for herbivores with sustainably and responsibly sourced fish and chicken options for omnivores.

This means that the restaurant is focused on vegetarian food, yet still has options for those who are up for some meat like chicken and seafood. Diana makes sure that nothing in Herb Library is fried.

The dishes served at Herb Library are flavorful, carefully crafted and nutritionally balanced, multiculturally influenced cuisine that use local, seasonal ingredients. As the name suggests, Herb Library uses a lot of fresh herbs. “We don’t use enough herbs in our food,” Diana stressed.

“I’m more like a vegan chef, so I do a purely vegan food menu only with more options. We do serve eggs for breakfast because Herb Library is part of a resort and breakfast without a choice of eggs would be unthinkable!” said Diana.

The dishes at Herb Library have bold flavors that make everyone forget that they are, in fact, animal protein free! Diana’s culinary creations look like works of art, with the flavor to match, as it is far from being boring. The dishes appeal to Western and Eastern palates as well as vegan and non vegan.

The most recommendable dish at Herb Library is The Cheese Sambal which is three grilled tempe sandwiches oozing with parmesan and cheddar cheese, shredded cauliflower, lemon basil, fresh herbs, spring onions and tomato sambal. Another favorite from Herb Library is “Laksa Lemak”, a vegetable curry with coconut and oriental herbs with a rich flavor. It is also served with noodles, poached lemongrass chicken and curry prawns.

According to Diana, the restaurant concept was a gamble. “ But it paid off. It is going very well now,” she said.

In the future, Diana plans to introduce more Indonesian dishes and add a full bar to the restaurant. Can’t wait for that!

Alaya Resort Jembawan
Jalan Jembawan 1
Ubud, Bali
T: +62 361 9083289
Instagram: @herblibrarybali @alayahotels
Facebook: herblibrarybali alayahotels

Written by Tatu Hutami Photographs by Dennie Ramon July 2, 2017.