The aesthetic and flavor of Bali is different wherever you go—from the shirtless and bearded Aussies slurping smoothie bowls vibe of Canggu to the designer sunglasses and petit dejeuners of Seminyak, and everything in between.
But when it comes to Ubud, one couple has all but defined the look, the taste—and even the scent—of this global hub for the bliss-bound.
American-born Chloe Carter and Canadian Mykah Sterling met here in Bali 5 years ago (they’re now blissfully engaged), and slowly but surely built a brand that’s a one-stop-shop for all things Ubud. Seriously—ask anyone around here. Together, they launched Kismet, taking its name from the Sanskrit word for fate or destiny. As in, there was a reason these two met in Bali, and it was about to change their lives.
First came the boutique. Then the restaurant. Then the perfume. We got the low-down on all three—consider this your Ubud initiation.
Located smack in the middle of Ubud, the two-floor corner boutique feels like you’ve stumbled into the closet of the coolest person you ever met. Then you realize—wait, I can wear these clothes, too! Chloe and Mykah stock jewelry, clothing and accessories from a hand-selected group of over 60 artisan designers that meet their very specific style. Most are Kismet exclusives, meaning you won’t find this stuff elsewhere in Ubud—or anywhere else in Asia. And the best part? Most of it is actually produced here on the island.
Indian-inspired earrings, tons of colorful feathers, snake rings (to channel Shiva, obv) and assorted women’s gear to go full-on goddess inhabit the first floor. Upstairs you’ll find an entire men’s wardrobe to tap into your divine masculine, plus a coffee and cocktail bar for when you need a breather from trying on every item in the store.
The look is easy to spot all over town—Kismet Boutique’s swag is heavy on dark, smoky colors, skulls, feathers, long, flowing clothing and sacred geometry. This is island-Bohemian, or the very encapsulation of your perfect look for this Friday’s Ecstatic Dance.
Find it: #17 Jl Dewi Sita, corner of Jl Goutama, Mon – Sun 9:30am – 10:30pm
As Chloe puts it, “Our friends hanging out at the boutique wanted something to drink, so we opened a little bar. Then they wanted something to eat… and soon we were opening a restaurant.”
Just down the street on Jl. Goutama, the restaurant transports the boutique’s vibes into one of Ubud’s most badass spots to meet for coffee, go for a date or down a drink, well, anytime of day. The menu is deceptively vegetarian—it’s so full of rich, colorful, delicious comfort food that carnivores won’t even see what’s missing.
“We think of ourselves as The Middle Path,” says Chloe. “Not raw vegan, but still vegetarian, and with a boozy, edgy vibe.”
She nailed it. Start with one of Kismet’s insanely good (dare we say Bali’s… best?) Bloody Mary’s—or bask in the glow of their solid selection of craft beers. Then order everything. Seriously. You won’t be able to help yourself. No regrets.
Crispy, hand-cut fries with vegetarian poutine (Canadians, are you dying yet?). Polenta lasagna with buffalo mozzarella, pesto and zucchini. Big, bright salads (don’t think twice, order the haloumi). Pumpkin-filled, mushroom-topped, truffle-oil drizzled black charcoal ravioli so tender and delicious you will probably order two. Go on, we’re not judging.
When you’ve finally slowed down, you’ll notice the details that make Kismet a few steps ahead of just about everyone—the custom-made tables with inlaid stones and flowers. The red light you can turn on to bring over a waiter or waitress. The biodegradable bamboo hand towels that expand when you dip them in essential oil-infused water. The geometric, interlocking shapes marking everything.
Take a breath. Then order dessert.
Find it: #27X Jl South Goutama, across from Earth Cafe/Paradiso, Mon – Sun 9:00am – 12:00am or later.
Kismet’s Bali in a Bottle
The third tier of the Kismet empire may yet be the most carefully crafted yet. After learning the craft of perfume making in Singapore, Chloe began mad scientist-ing with essential oils from a whole range of Bali flowers. She won’t share the final mixture, but trust us—the name doesn’t lie. It’s floral, sweet, summery and an easy pick as a gift for any (or every) woman in your life who doesn’t live on the island.
Initially the perfume was just a side project, but when a soon-to-be-mom snagged a bottle and said she wanted the scent to be the first thing her newborn smelled, Chloe knew she was on to something.
You can pick up Bali in a Bottle at the Kismet Boutique, but also online and at all these Bali hotspots: Oberoi Hotel, Padma Hotels, Fresh Spa, Ubudahh Interiors, Bali Spirit Shops, Yoga Barn, The Offering Canggu, Drifters, Laluna Canggu, Down to Earth, Starchild Spa and both Four Seasons hotels.
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