PICA South American Kitchen Ubud

PICA South American Kitchen, Ubud

PICA South American Kitchen 

Words: Kirsten Durward
Photos: Monica Tindall

PICA South American Kitchen, a small outlet on one of Ubud’s most vibrant streets, captures a crowd with genuine Latin tastes. Lively music resounds throughout the space as smiling servers flit between tables delivering the PICA bites to happy guests. A gentle buzz of conversation floats around in the tawny ambient light. It’s casual dining, but the food deserves attention.

PICA South American Kitchen Ubud
PICA South American Kitchen, Ubud

PICA South American Kitchen 

Helmed by Chilean chef Cristian Encina (be sure to look out for him in the upcoming Kita Food Festival in Kuala Lumpur), PICA offers a compact menu of South American recipes and a well-chosen beverage list. It’s ideal for casual dining over sharing plates accompanied by a cocktail or two. 

Latin Food Bali
PICA South American Kitchen Team

PICA Ubud – Cocktails

A good cocktail as an aperitif is one of our favourite ways to start an evening, and as our tastes run on the sour side. PICA South American Kitchen does not disappoint. 

The Cucumber Margarita (IDR 140K++) brings a lovely fresh tone to the classic cocktail. The cucumber nicely combines with a balance of Jose Cuervo Tequila Blanco, Cointreau and fresh lime juice.

Pisco Sour (IDR 160K++) is the signature drink of Peru, named after the port of Pisco. The story goes that 16th-century Spanish settlers in Peru developed this unaged brandy by distilling fermented grape musts as an alternative to the pomace brandy imported from Spain at the time. Now, the liquor is a world-famed cocktail base, and we can sip it in Bali. The key to a good Pisco sour is plenty of ice and some serious shaking to whip up the egg white with the alcohol, lime juice and simple syrup. The fresh acidic finish in both of these cocktails scores a Yum from us. 

PICA South American Kitchen Ubud
Cocktails – Pisco Sour & Cucumber Margarita

To Begin

Chimichurri (header photo) is an Argentinian speciality with a base of olive oil, garlic and vinegar. The herbiness is built by adding lightly chopped parsley and oregano. Here at PICA, it is an excellent dip for the fresh crusty house-made bread as you wait for your order to arrive.

From the PICA Blackboard

Japanese Sakoshi Oysters (IDR 70K ++) are a memorable beginning. Clean and fresh, Monica has her oyster au natural. I load mine with the proffered ponzu sauce and pickled salad, which does not overload the salty seafood tang.

PICA South American Kitchen Ubud
Japanese Sakoshi Oysters

PICA South American Kitchen Menu

One of the tastiest and most satisfying orders from the PICA menu is the Empanadas Pino Frita (IDR 80K ++). Padded to the edges with Chilean beef stew with olives, every bite fills the mouth with the warmth of South America. The rich, succulent filling is encased in a generously-sized deep-fried pastry, which keeps the moisture within while also furnishing a light crunch and contrast in texture.

PICA South American Kitchen Ubud
Empanadas Pino Frita

Another must is the Ceviche Clasico (IDR 140K ++). This sharing portion comes in a simple stoneware bowl, which gets knocked repeatedly as our scooping spoons vie for the succulent chunks of red snapper and addictive marinade. The traditional Peruvian marinade, leche de tigre, with citrus chilli and red onions, cures the fish and goes wonderfully with the superbly thin slices of bread served alongside it.

Latin Food Bali
Ceviche Clasico – PICA South American Kitchen

Main Dishes

Our meal culminates with Arroz con Mariscos (IDR 500K ++), a frolicking festival of seafood and finely shaved veg on a pan of moist rice with a brilliantly caramelised edge. With firm snapper, clams, octopus, prawns and salad criolla, the Peruvian paella is more than enough for two people. The Peruvian touch of aji amarillo (yellow chilli pepper) gifts the recipe a spicy edge not present in the founding Spanish tradition.

PICA South American Kitchen Ubud
Arroz con Mariscos

PICA South American Kitchen Review

In Spanish, the verb picar can be translated as ‘to eat little bits of food.’ The slang ‘pica pica’ means “a little bit of this, a little bit of that.” 

We had more than a little of this and that. We had a filling tasting of authentic flavours that brought memorable South American travel moments back for both of us that we’d be delighted to pick over again and again.

Reasons to visit PICA South American Kitchen: A genuine taste of South American food in Ubud; simple, tasty, wholesome dishes; don’t miss the empanadas and do try a Pisco Sour.

PICA South American Kitchen
Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, BALI
+62 0361 971 660
[email protected]

PICA South American Kitchen Opening Hours
Tuesday – Sunday 18:00 – 22:00

Dress Code

Find more travel recommendations for Bali here and stay up-to-date with our latest gourmet travel finds here and here.


  1. The seafood sure looks alluring!

  2. Arroz con Mariscos looks really inviting, but I love those oysters the most.

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