Bali … ehm who doesn’t know this beautiful island?! Some people believe that Bali is a country on it’s own. Bali is a great place to escape to from every day stress and to have a relaxing vacation. You will never be bored to come back again and again! Beautiful white sandy beaches … rice field … great view … also good food! When you visit here, don’t forget to do a culinary trip … to taste the unique traditional dishes from the Paradise Island. No need to worry about the cash because they have a good food from simple restaurant/warung to very high class restaurant. And of course with different kind of tastes … depend which one you want to try. You want to taste local food or western? Name it! They have all!! So when you are traveling in God’s island, don’t miss Bali culinary trip.
There are many direct flight from Jakarta to Bali everyday. It takes about 1h15 – 1h30. Don’t know where to stay in Jakarta while waiting for your flight? Here some interesting places where to stay in Jakarta.
Here are some recommended Bali culinary places with local food you can try:
* Jimbaran’s Grilled Fish (Ikan Bakar Jimbaran)
When you visit Bali, don’t miss to go to Jimbaran. It is a fishing village and tourist resort in Bali, Indonesia. Located just at the south of Ngurah Rai International Airport, the beach is cluttered with seafood restaurants and some of the finest luxury hotels in the world.
Jimbaran is well-known as tourist’s (both domestic and international) favourite place to enjoy the real taste of delicious Balinese grilled fish (ikan bakar). From Kuta/Nusa Dua/Legian are about 15 minutes, and 30 minutes from Denpasar. There are 3 areas where you can find seafood restaurants:
1. Jimbaran Bay/Muaya Beach Area 1
There are many seafood restaurants and cafes along Muaya’s Beach to Four Seasons Hotel. Access to this area is from Jl. Raya Uluwatu, near Bali Intercontinental Hotel.
There are 2 favourite restaurants here Manega and Nyoman, therefore actually most of the restaurants here have same menu. Average price is above Rp. 50.000, – per portion per person. Usually contains if fish (you can choose type of the fish), prawn, squid, rice, vegetables and 3 different of sambal, including ‘sambal mentah’ Bali (Bali typical of raw sambal). If you want to eat lobster or crab, you need to pay extra … which means more expensive. Thing that made Jimbaran Grilled fish is different is because all the fish is marinated with special spices and grilled over a fire of coconut husks (batok kelapa) rather than charcoal grilled. Make it very delicious! And you can enjoy it with the view of the beautiful beach and sunset!
2. Jimbaran Bay/Jimbaran Area 2
Located more toward north from Jimbaran area 1, this place was actually a former area for grilled fish restaurants before its expanded. To get here you can go to Jl. Pamelisan Agung, near Jimbaran Traditional market, then straight forward to the beach where you can park your vehicles. From here you can see restaurants and cafes in the left side. Menu and price is the same as Jimbaran area 1.
3. Jimbaran Bay/Kedonganan Area 3
It’s located near Ngurah Rai Airport, north side of the Jimbaran Beach. Also many seafood restaurants here with same menu, but some have price lower than Rp. 50.000,- per portion. This area is also close with fish market Kedonganan where you can buy fresh fish from the fisherman. If you want to take home ‘Ikan Bakar’, they also offers you to grill it with special marinate just like in restaurants, also get some sambal. You only need to pay thousand rupiah per kilo of fish.
The best time to eat here is ‘late afternoon’, when you still can enjoy the beautiful blue sky, listen the sound of the waves, while waiting for the sunset. It’s an unforgettable moment to see when the sun slowly disappears … the sky turn into red … and suddenly it’s dark … no more brightness … only the reflection of the moon light on the water.
To create more romantic air, all restaurants in Jimbaran are using candles or small light … great place for romantic dinner with your loved one!
Yet, don’t forget to bring your camera to capture your unforgettable moments!!
* Bali Traditional Meals – Nasi Campur and Nasi Ayam Bali
Besides grilled fish or ‘Ikan Bakar’, other traditional meal, but ‘Halal’ yang can try when you are in Bali is ‘Nasi Campur’ and ‘Nasi Ayam Bali’. Here are some recommended places:
1. Warung Wardhani, Jl. Yudistira Denpasar
This warung has been known for a long time, and become a favourite place for important people. The menu contains of plain rice (nasi putih), beef, satay, sambals and tasty vegetables.
2. Nasi Ayam Pantai Sanur
Sanur is approximately 10 km east from Denpasar. This beach is less crowded than Kuta. There are also many international hotels here like Hyatt Sanur, Sanur Beach hotel, Inna Grand Bali Beach, Mercure, etc.
Not just hotels, here they also have some places for delicious Nasi Ayam such as Nasi Ayam Pantai, Jalan Segara Ayu, toward Segara Village Sanur. But if you come after 9 am, you probably won’t be lucky to get the meal because the Nasi Campur is already sold out. So you must come early (before 9 am)!
There is other place, but not as crowded as Nasi Ayam Pantai is Warung Khrisna, at Jalan Kutat Lestari No. 4. It opens all day, but if you want to eat here better don’t go after 15:00 because it might be sold out as well. It has one 1 menu; plain rice (nasi putih) with fried stranded chicken, vegetables and Bali sambal. Price is around Rp. 15.000, – per portion.
Do you like a fried fish? Then you should come to warung Ikan Goreng Mak Beng, Sanur, near Museum Le Majeur, in the end of Jalan Hang Tuah/Jalan Pantai (same road to Hotel Inna Grand Bali Beach. This place has been opened since 40 years ago and still full of guests until now. Not just a domestic guests, but also international tourist. 1 set menu contains of plain rice (nasi putih) with fried fish, fish soup, and sambal. Price is affordable.
3. Nasi Ayam Ubud area
When you go to Ubud area, don’t forget to stop at Nasi Ayam Kedewatan, located at Kadewatan village, west of Ubud, across Kedewatan temple. From Denpasar it’s about 45 minutes driving. Menu is just plain rice (nasi putih) with different kind of chicken either fried, grilled or dibetutu (its special way of Balinese to cook chicken)
4. Ayam Betutu – Gilimanuk
If you come to Bali with personal vehicle from Ketapang to Gilimanuk, before you go to Denpasar or Kuta, better you stop at the legendary warung selling Ayam Betutu Men Tempeh, Gilimanuk. It’s located behind bus terminal.
But this place is not recommended for you who don’t like spicy food because they serve it with very spicy sambal. I can sure you, it would make you sweating and watering mouth because is too hot!!
5. Bebek Bengil – Ubud
Better you don’t miss this place when you come to Bali! Bebek Bengil Restaurant at Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud. They have a very delicious crispy duck, and of course it won’t be complete without the famous Bali spicy sambal! For 1 portion main course Crispy Duck, the price is around Rp. 100.000,-. Just for Crispy Duck is around Rp. 60.000,-. Besides Crispy Duck, they have also other menus like Nasi Campur Bali, king prawn, mashed potato and Chicken breast.
Even the price is probably more expensive, you should try it sometimes. This restaurant is very famous among tourist, it serves great meals as well nice place for the guests to enjoy their food, even Mick Jegger and his ex-wife Bianca ever ate here.
Want to taste traditional meals from Singaraja? Just come to Nang Lecir restaurant at Jalan Ki Hajar Dewantara, Denpasar. They serve nasi campur with ‘sudang lepet’ (thin crispy fried fish) – originally from Singaraja.
Besides Balinese Traditional Meals, you can also enjoy other delicious meals from other regions. Here are some recommended lists:
1. Ayam Taliwang, speciality from Lombok at Jalan Teuku Umar, Denpasar and Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta area.
2. Masakan Jawa, with many immigrants from Java, it also influenced the growing of food business. Now there are some restaurants with Javanese Menu in Bali, such as:
* Makanan Sunda – Their speciality all kind of dishes from West Java. You can try Pawon Pasundan, Jalan Kediri, Tuban. Best menu are Nasi Timbel, gurame goreng, karedok, leunca. Other is Warung Sunda Kang Zanger at Jalan Raya Kuta, near Plaza Bali. Best menu is SATE Maranggi, beef satay with special marinate.
* Nasi Pecel Ibu Tinuk, at Jalan Raya Kuta and Jalan Kediri, both are at Kuta area. Another one is at Jalan Teuku Umar, Denpasar (near Citibank). To accompany your Nasi Pecel, you can choose different side dishes like gudeg (speciality from Yogjakarta), sambel goreng terong, goreng limpa, perkedel (potato croquettes),chicken opor, tumis kangkung, fried beef, etc.
* Nasi Pecel Madiun at Jalan Teuku Umar, Denpasar. Menu is similar with Nasi Pecel Ibu Tinuk.
* Rumah Makan Wong Solo, at Jalan Raya Kuta, Tuban and close to Jalan Muh. Yamin, Renon-Denpasar. Their menu is different kind of Javanese speciality such as Javanese Grilled Chicken, Fried Rice, Fried Noodle, gudeg, etc.
* Bebek Goreng ala Surabaya at Jalan Moch Yamin, Tanjung Bungkak-Denpasar. Their menu is just fried crispy duck with rice and spicy sambal.
* Nasi Uduk Kebon Kacang, speciality from Jakarta. You can find it at Kuta Galeria and Jalan Teuku Umar, Denpasar.
3. Masakan Indonesia, serve only Indonesian Food. You can try Warung Batavia, located at the top of Jalan Seminyak and Jalan Raya Kerobokan. Warung Batavia serves pre-cooked dishes in a nasi campur style set up. Batavia is the old name of Jakarta and this warung definitely leans away from the pedas (spicy) flavours to the manis (sweet) flavours. Open from 10am – 9pm. They have different kind of Indonesian menus.