Eating in Bali
Following on with our “In Bali” series here is our experience eating in Bali. Record crowds of tourists are drawn to Bali, making it one of Asia’s most dynamic dining destinations. This tropical island has a wonderful diversity that is reflective in the delicious delights Bali has to offer, though sadly Bali is not promoted as a culinary destination. Here you can feast at so many places, a roadside warung, family owned street stall or an impressive 5 star hotel’s restaurant. We enjoyed great comfort food, made with simple ingredients, yet so delicious. Here’s a snapshot of some of our best eating experiences on the island and some of our favourite places.
We enjoyed a seafood feast at Ganesha on the Jimbaran beach watching the sunset. Here they had large tanks where you can make your choice which is taken to the open kitchens to watch your fish, prawns, lobster, squid and crabs being cooked to perfection. For lunch one day we stopped for a buffet meal at Mentari Restaurant in Candikuning which included an array of traditional dishes. We particularly enjoyed the fish satay, corn fritters and dessert of Black Rice pudding, a natural glutinous rice served with sweet palm sugar and thick coconut cream and Pisang Goreng, banana fritters with vanilla cream sauce. We grazed at an all you can eat breakfast at Railway Restaurant at Kuta Station Hotel & Spa which consisted of strawberry juice, banana pancakes, mushroom omelette, crunchy bacon, toast and pineapple jam, fresh fruit salad and more for only Rp130,000 (~AUD$13.00). On our way from Goa Lawah to Pura Lempuyang we stopped at Rumah Makan Pondok Mina in Karangasem for some great satay in an outdoor setting floating over koi ponds. We started our day with great coffee, Singapore Curry Laksa and Banana Crepes at My Kopi-O! in Town Square on Nakula, Seminyak. The most unique place we stumbled upon was D’Lande & Harley Davidson Rental where we had great coffee with Danish pastries and could even hire a Harley in a one stop shop.
Here are some of our much-loved places we will be sure to return to again, in no particular order or preference.
Mozzarella Restaurant & Bar, Jl Padma No 9, Legian. We ate at this restaurant, managed by Eka several times. The atmosphere and service was as good as the food and cocktails. The Balinese embrace their love of pork and the highlight here was the Pork Belly in Orange Sauce which was so delicious I ate it before I got a chance to take a photo. We also enjoyed BBQ Spareribs, Aussie Lamb Chops and desserts of Tiramisu, Chocolate Souffle and Panna Cotta. They have special buy two cocktails, get one free so enjoyed Tiramisu cocktail, Lychee Martini, Pina Colada and is where we first tried the new Radler, Lemon Bintang which we enjoyed so much.
Another firm favourite was Gabah Restaurant & Bar at Ramayana Resort & Spa, Jl Bakung Sari, Kuta. Our first time here was lunch for my birthday and we also ate here for the birthday of our friend we were travelling with. Set poolside amongst the sounds of flowing water this is the perfect location for relaxing on a hot day as there is always a soft, cooling breeze. We enjoyed beautifully presented Cauliflower & Chicken Soup, Calamari Rings, Chicken Satay, Thai Prawn Salad, Prawn Cheese Sticks, and Nasi Tumpeng with awesome cocktails like Bali Sling, Mai Tai and Singapore Sling. With immaculate service and attention to detail from Eka, the very friendly staff provided us complimentary birthday desserts which made for an unforgettable birthday. For our next visit we will be sure to try their Signature Menu, Balinese Royal Kingdom Dish, a feast served on a a giant bamboo tray whilst music from a bamboo “Kul Kul” is played, a dish originally served to celebrate the first day of harvesting.
Bali Beach Shack Bar & Restaurant, Jl Sahadewa 7, Legian served an amazing seafood platter for two as well as a Mai Tai that packed a punch. Robby was very hospitable and we watched as she greeted each and every patron, following up through the evening to ensure everything was enjoyable, which of course, it was. The cocktails on this menu come from Aussie lollies like Marshmallows, Sherbies, Musk Sticks, Redskins, Bananas, Skittles and Licorce infused with 2 shots of Vodka or Rum topped with Lemonade and a bargain at Rp75,000 a glass or 1.5 litres for Rp 225,000
Gourmet Café at Dewi Sri, Seminyak was frequented often for breakfast being close by to the Seminyak Townhouse where we were staying. They offered great coffee, superb French pastries like chocolate croissants, raisin Danish rolls, cronuts and big hearty breakfasts like Salmon or Ham Benedict. The best deal for breakfast was the Complete Package, Bacon, Eggs, Hash Brown, Baked Beans, Toast, freshly squeezed juice and coffee for Rp126,000 (~AUD $12.60). The breakfast drinks offered lots of variety with Green Tea Frappe, Hangover Cure or simply English Breakfast tea.
Warung Cahaya, Jl Dewi Ratih, Seminyak is a few doors away from our townhouse where we enjoyed the comfort of Ham, Cheese, Tomato Jaffles after our very busy first day and the best banana pancakes a few days later for breakfast.
Another place we enjoyed and went to twice was Rosemary Bar & Restaurant, Jl Sahadewa 2, Legian. Here they have nice décor and great icy cold beer served with a stubby holder claiming “bloody ice cold piss”. It was very handy to have their flyer translate a few words and phrases into both Bahasa Indonesian and Bahasa Bali.
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Finally, another place we would recommend and come back to was Envy at Holiday Inn Resort Baruna, Jl Wana Segara, Tuban. We stopped by on our walk along Kuta Beach to cool off with a refreshing cocktail (complete with icy cold napkins) and returned for dinner and enjoyed the best garlic bread in Bali, Fried Salmon Patties, Linguini Carbonara, Prawn Thai Green Curry and Pineapple Crumble washed down with Bintang and Mai Tai’s. It was so relaxing to sit here and watch the sunset as we ate our scrumptious meal.
Everywhere we went we found the staff to be extremely friendly with hospitality and presentation of a very high standard. The restaurant business is very competitive. This makes for good quality, western fusion cuisine, extremely good prices and hopefully will put Balinese food on the international culinary map.
What is the best meal you’ve eaten in Bali or where would you recommend we try on our next visit?
*All opinions and photos are our own and we were not financially compensated for this post.