What and where to eat in Bali? That was a very important question we didn’t research before our trip to Bali. Fortunately, with the help of friends who were also in town and the recommendations from the locals, we managed to find some great food in the short time we spent in the beautiful Indonesian island.
1. Warung Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki
When we checked into the hotel, it was already lunch time. The lady at the check-in counter recommended us to Ibu Oki when we asked about places to get local food. She merely said it was a place selling mixed rice. With the name and address in hand, our driver drove us to this small shop which was packed. The customers included locals and foreigners, which we saw as a good sign.
After we sat down, somebody came and started taking our orders. There was no menu and the lady just asked – how many, spicy or non-spicy. Before the food came, we didn’t even know what we had ordered.
The chicken was very flavourful and the other dishes that came with the rice tasted just like home-cooked food. I wasn’t sure whether it was because the food was spicy (to me) or the weather was really hot, I was perspiring non-stop throughout the meal! Luckily we ordered young coconut drink which was a life-saver!
4 sets of rice with young coconut come up to about 150,000 IDR (approximately S$16).
Address: Jalan Siligita No. 27, Nusa Dua 8am – 9pm
2. Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Babi Guling is Bali’s most famous local dish and it means Balinese Suckling Pig. Our friends recommended Ibu Oka for their crispy skin. Alas when we arrived, they had sold out all the skin!
Disappointed, we ordered the set lunch they have in the menu which came with a soup and an avocado smoothie to share. The pork was tasty and there were some sides as well. There was something deep fried until it was crispy like chips but up till today we still have no idea what they are. Who cares as long as they taste yummy!
In the set lunch, they also included something like black pudding. Unfortunately none of us eat black pudding so we can’t give any comments about that.
But, DO order some ice cream as dessert. These locally made ice cream were fantastic!
Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka have a few branches and we were being directed by another shop to Ibu Oka 3 where there’s parking spaces available. Oh, to ensure you can to savour the crispy suckling pig skin, come between 11.30am – 1pm.
Address: Jalan Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud Tengah, Ubud
3. Bumbu Bali
Our friendly driver introduced Bumbu Bali for a good dinner. This is an authentic Balinese restaurant with a beautiful ambiance. Although it was a proper restaurant as opposed to a warung we did not feel out of place in shorts and t-shirt after a day of sight-seeing
It was tempting to order the tasting-menu but we decided against the idea. With recommendations from the waitress our table was soon filled with food. Satay of different flavours / meat, BBQ pork ribs served with rice and 2 sides of Balinese salad. All for the 2 of us!
The satay was nice but not remarkable even though they have one with duck meat – never tried that before. The BBQ pork ribs however, was almost perfect. The meat was so tender that it fell off the bone with just a poke of the fork.
Address: Jl. Pratama, Tanjung Benoa 80363, Indonesia 11am – 11pm
4. Best Mountain-Top Fried Rice
Not exactly a place we would have gone on our own but Sari Restaurant’s nasi goreng and mie goreng exceeded our expectations.
As part of our Bali Countryside Cycling Tour, we were brought to Sari Restaurant in Kintamani for our breakfast. There were a few choices on the menu for our breakfast, both western and local. I can’t comment on the western breakfast which included waffles and toast but the nasi and mie goreng were absolutely delightful. My friend MJ calls it the Best Mountain Top Fried she’s ever had!
Address: Jalan Raya Penelokan | Br. Masem, Kintamani 80652, Indonesia
5. Klepon – snack / dessert
Suma our tour driver swore by this Klepon sold near Tanah Lot Temple and told us it is the best in Bali.
For those familiar with the Malay kueh called ondeh-ondeh, klepon is similar except that the skin is thicker and stickier. The klepon are wrapped in banana leaves when sold. Once you put it inside your mouth and bite, the melted gula melaka (palm sugar) will flow out and mix with the grated coconut on the outside. Together with the glutinous rice skin, it was a perfect snack for a late afternoon.
This snack was sold by an old lady who set up a stall along the roadside somewhere between the carpark to Tanah Lot. Locals can get the same thing at half the price (10,000 IDR vs 20,000 IDR). So if you are travelling with a local, get them to buy on your behalf.
6. Ulam Restaurant
We went to Ulam more because of convenience rather than recommendations. It was near to the place we had our body massage. Ulam mainly serves seafood so we ordered a nasi goreng and a seafood mixed basket. The food looked good but that was all. The fish I had wasn’t fresh and was fishy, the chicken was dry and tasteless and the prawn meat was stuck to the shell.
It was the worse food we had in Bali. Even Sofitel Nusa Dua’s room service was much better than this!
Address: Jl. Pantai Mengiat No.14, Nusa Dua 80363, Indonesia
Hopefully this short list of where to eat in Bali will be useful especially for those staying around the Nusa Dusa area.