The Food In Bali

The food in Bali is awesome.

Throughout our one week stay in the Island of Gods, the four of us pretty much stuffed our faces crazy with some of the best authentic Indonesian food we have ever eaten.

The great about thing eating in Bali is that it doesn’t matter whether it’s the lavish RM50 seafood feast by the beach, or the 20 sen pork satays by the roadside in the middle of the mountains, delicious food is everywhere to be found in Bali.
In fact, I might even say there’s no such thing as bad food in Bali.

The hunt for good food didn’t start off quite as smoothly though.
Our first night in Bali, we went to this gorgeous restaurant named Nasi Bali in the middle of Kuta.
Because we’re all in a foreign country, we all wanna try something special and not commonly found back home. Luckily, the restaurant menu was easy enough to read. After all, Bahasa Indonesia shares many similarities to our own Bahasa Malaysia.

My dish

So I ordered this delicious Seafood Nasi Goreng while Chris Tock and Cheesie opted for the sumptuous Balinese Feast.

Chris and Cheesie’s feast

Icy on the other hand, decided to experiment with something a bit more exotic and picked a curiously sounding item from the menu called Cap Cay, eventhough she had no clue what Cap Cay is and what Cap Cay looks like.
Good for her. I always applaud people willing to try new things.
It wasn’t when her meal finally arrived that she came to the sudden realisation that “Cap Cay” was actually not pronounced “CHAP CHAY”.

Cap Cay!

Cap Cay is really just a boring old vegetable dish, more commonly known to us as “ZHAP CHAI”.
So much for trying something new.
Now that we know not to order something from the menu we don’t understand, we wisened up and our lunches and dinners since then were nothing but a real treat.

One of my most memorably meal was in Jimbaran, a small coastal town 30 minutes south of Kuta.
At close to 140K Rupiah (RM50) per head, our dinner at Jimbaran was easily the most expensive throughout our entire Bali trip. That said, I gotta say it was worth every cent of it because it was the best grilled seafood feast I’ve ever had in the longest time.

There’s nothing quite like savouring the freshest catch from the ocean, dining underneath the stars on candle lit tables set up by the beach, hair swept by the sea breeze, toes digging into the sand, listening to the crashing of waves, chit-chatting with friends while enjoying the vocals from the group of roving musicians serenading you with a love songs.
It was incredibly romantic.

So romantic that at one point Icy wept uncontrollably during a song.
I don’t know why she got so emotional cried. But I assumed she was hoping to share that magical moment with some hot half-naked hunk.
Instead what she got was Chris Tock.

The food at Jimbaran Bay are one of a kind. Outside the typical tourist traps, food in Bali are all very reasonably priced.

Warung Indonesia, located in the backlanes of Kuta, for example, serves generous portions of Padang food for around 13K Rupiah (RM5) each.

The dirty bakso pushcart at the Ubud Market also sells fabulous meatball soup for an equally dirt cheap price of 5K Rupiah (RM1.50) per serving. Notice that the meehoon they use here are blue in colour.
Bakso to Indonesians are like Kolo Mee to Kuchingnites.

You can never say you’ve been to Indonesia until you’ve had the experience of squating over some strangers’ doorsteps, eating by the roadside with one hand holding the bowl of bakso and the other hand holding utensils washed so carelessly that you could still taste the previous customer’s saliva in it.
As unhygenic as it may sound, the bakso served is always mouthwatering and pack a punch full of flavour.

Just across the road from the Ubud Market is the most famous Babi Guling Ibu Oka.
Babi means pig, Guling means rolling, and Ibu Oka is presumably the Auntie Oka who runs the shop. Babi Guling is Bali’s famous traditional dish and a must-try for any visitor to the island.

Ibu Oka’s warung is like an institution over here. Locals and tourists have been raving about it since the day we touched down in Bali.
Despite being such a huge crowd favourite, Ibu Oka has maintained a modest price of 25K Rupiah (RM9) for a large bowl of spit roasted pig on a bed of rice, pickled veggies and fried pork skin.

We dined at many beautiful restaurants in Bali, and all of them were fantastic.
But if you ask me which dining experience I remembered most fondly of, I’d say it’s at the crappy roadside stall where we had our very authentic local version of pork satays.

We stopped by this insignificant roadside stall after 2 hours of butt-thumping journey driving through pothole-filled mountain roads of central Bali.
I can’t tell you where this stall is located because I don’t even know. We were so far away from the tourist radar that the place we were in was not even depicted on my GPS map.

All our backache were forgotten as soon as we sat down on the wooden benches, eating freshly barbequed pork satays on a mountain village some 1,000m above sea level. An order of 10 sticks cost us just 5K Rupiah (RM1.60), and we liked it so much that as soon as we finished, we ordered another 10 more.
There’s something about pork that conjures a whole new level of taste when they’re done as satays.

One drink I can never get enough of everytime I travel to Indonesia is this concoction they called Soda Gembira which I discovered during my last trip to Jakarta. Essentially, it’s just syrup and condensed milk mixed with iced soda.
Somehow the mixture worked really well together, and I love it so much that I ordered it on almost every meal.
Soda Gembira, translated to English, means Happy Soda. And everytime I drink Soda Gembira, I become very happy. Soda.

A word of warning though when you dine in Bali.
Indonesian food can be very, very spicy.

We were at a restaurant called Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner), a lovely restaurant located in the middle of the rice paddy fields in Ubud.

Give their signature crispy duck a pass. Go straight for BBQ pork ribs which are absolutely to-die-for.
On our night at Bebek Bengil, it was their traditional Indonesian Gado-gado that stole the show.

Specifically, it’s the tiny little chilli on the dish that made quite an “explosive” impact on one of our posse.
Something I’m sure Christopher Tock will agree.

Don’t be fooled by his serious face. He actually really liked the chilli.

Just watch his “review” above.


Weird News Of The Day: “A Singaporean man with a penchant for sniffing women’s armpits was sentenced to 14 years in jail and 18 strokes of the cane for molesting his victims. He molested 23 women over the course of 15 months, smelling their armpits in lifts, staircase landings and their homes.”
Poor guy. Why sentence him to caning?
If he likes armpit smell so much, the only punishment he deserves is to permanently stickytape his face to my hairy stinking armpits.

92 Replies to “The Food In Bali”

  1. yeaaa bali~~~ i went there..din reli try out all the local food tho.. but i will go back there when im older someday… pretty place ^^

  2. Kenny! I’m sold. I must go to Bali now. Even if it’s just to check out that tacky gorilla statue with the bra and eat at a diner called Dirty Duck =P …haha jks
    Awesome looking food!

  3. i noticed that none of the food in yur picture got fly. how come?? when i was there, fly is EVERYWHERE!!!

  4. WOW.
    Kenny, you’re making me salivating over the food pics that you just posted up.
    The food looks EXPLICITLY GOOD…. man…. i wanna go Bali too. I heard it’s a good place for honeymoon.
    What about the SPA services in Bali? Did you try it? Are they good? Is it worth the money being paid for?

  5. you guys shouldn’t have gave him cold water. Further stimulates his tongue to feel the spicy sensation only. Take sugar! it helps =)
    It’s a must to go to Bali during December!! THey GOT MEGA SALES!! Cheap Cheap Cheap!

  6. Oh I miss the Babi Guling very much, it’s heavenly!I also tried seafood at Jimbaran (in fact the restaurant looks similiar to the one i been to wor… O_O), the fish is yummy but consider expensive if compare to Penang seafood lor.
    Saddest thing is I didn’t try the Bebek Bengil 🙁 Sure will go there again next time, but you didn’t went for Balinese massage? It was really awesome and freaking cheaper than here.

  7. “The great about thing eating in Bali is that it doesn’t matter whether it’s the lavish RM50 seafood feast by the beach, or the 20 sen pork satays by the roadside in the middle of the mountains, delicious food is everywhere to be found in Bali.”
    That applies to Malaysia as well, which is what I find difficult to convey to my French friends! Now I know what sentence to use, thanks! 😛

  8. Baksooooo…. heheheh. You’re right. Bakso to Indonesian is like kolo mee to Sarawakians. Although not really the case. Jakarta people still prefer bakmi ayam, though. And Somay and mie kocok for Bandung.
    Wah I missed bali so much. I think I should go there again.
    You’ve been to Bandung before? You should try it then. Pretty girls, cheap food. (not the opposite) And they are a very hospitable lot. Not mentioning the jam, (thanks to Jakarta’s weekend flow) it’s worth visiting, I guess. And the food I think, is creatively made.
    Btw, try ayam betutu or even daring, ayam taliwang from Lombok. It’s basically chicken marinated in tons of chili. Guarantee an eye opener. But if you wish to try those, do drop by Singapore. I’ll write you some travel insurance… hahahaha

  9. There is a warong located at Jl Marlboro, Denpasar that serves really really good babi guling. Must try their Sup Lukut (banana trunk soup) and keropok paru paru babi. Only the local knows this hidden treasure.

  10. hey kennysia,
    I just been to Bali during the chinese new year holiday and reading this post makes me feel like I had just been there.
    Was the babi guling nice? I tried it but the skin was too tough although they said that it would be crispy.
    And you forgot to mention that one would be able to see airplanes landing when he/she dine at Jimbaran as it is kinda near the airport.

  11. Just further info. For those whose not familiar with Indonesian food let me quote some stuffs from wikipedia.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambal
    Sambal Taliwang
    This variant is native from Taliwang, a village near Mataram, Lombok Island. Made from naga jolokia pepper grown specially in Lombok, garlic and Lombok shrimp paste. A kilogram of naga jolokia pepper is extracted, ground and pressed . This is mixed with ground garlic and shrimp paste, then cooked with vegetable oil.
    And about naga jolokia, you can read it here…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naga_jolokia
    Maaan. A kilogram of the hottest chili in the world and used to marinate a chicken. It’s lucky I didn’t take the dare to eat it few years back.
    So, do consider the travel insurance if you still wish to try ayam taliwang. :D:D:D

  12. Kenny, how much holidays do you get?
    Do you have paid holiday leave?
    I suppose you should enjoy your life since you are an YUPPie/YAPPie.
    sitll, I think you earn too much money

  13. Kenny,
    Mind telling me the restaurant’s name that you went to for seafood in jimbaran? Thank you very much : )

  14. Ayam Penyet Ria in Lucky Plaza Singapore if you want to get a taste of indonesian food in good ole SG…

  15. kenny! i’ll be visiting bali in october…do you think u can blog abt your itinerary? hehee…so that I can know where to go about. i’ll be there for 4 days and i hope to cover as many places as possible 😉
    btw..did you hire a driver or u guys get a car and drive yourself instead?

  16. i read about the dirty duck and orka ppork rice thingi in falvours magazine and been drooling abtt it since then. ur so lucky! XD . omg.

  17. we drove, and it’s totally worth a LOT more than it would if we took tours instead. Of course it’s a big thanks to Kenny’s GPS la otherwise we’d be stuck in the mountains! lol

  18. WHY is EVERYONE in BALI or going to BALI?
    is it the time of the year, where its the best season??? or its cheap??? The more i see peoples pictures the more jealous i am and I’m definitely heading there!!!…Food looks AMAZING by the way..hmmmm I need someone to cook me dinner!!!

  19. Hey Dude, did n’t have my old flower specs on this morning while glancing at the pictures. I was like ” WTF since when did Kenny start hanging out with that Steven Lim character ?”

  20. u shouldve gone to warung nuri in ubud. they serve the best pork rib with very very low price. around 50k rupiah (approx 20RM) for a whole slab of pork rib. the taste is close to tony roma’s. it’s pretty famous and owned by a european if im not mistaken.

  21. oi kenny!!! when are you gonna post the results of the “eat A Chip Like Kenny Sia’ contest??? i wanna know if i won!!!!!

  22. LoL i’m Indonesian and I’m actually laughing at the post. What seems to be normal to us Indonesians seem to be a gold finding for you guys lol~
    Anyway Bali is a godlike place. But you guys shouldn’t eat at famous good looking restaurants. Should go more to eating houses or warungs. They are the real nice authentic ones.
    Some even contain crack in it… LOL

  23. Wow, I just came back from Bali and I saw your post. I too went to Jimbaran for dinner. The experience was good. A seafood meal for 2 costs about RM200 with lobster, clams, prawns and fish.
    Bebek Bengil was great. The ambiance was nice with balinese style and there’s a paddy field at the back. The pork ribs was so worth it! It’s so cheap there!!!

  24. i’m indonesian and i go to bali at least once a year. best thing if u wanna go there is, dont spend too much on hotels and food. cheap guest houses are good enough and eat at warungs or from push-carts. yeah, some of the warungs do have crack in the food. makes u wanna go back for more.
    i only splurge for the surfing sessions and water bomm when i go to bali. when ru going there again? i wanna go too 🙂

  25. How much for a filet o’fish in Bali? Right now in Tokyo, they’re going for 100 yen a sandwich. That’s about 302 ringgit. Hungry?

  26. OMG are you sure there are no drugs in your satay? Maybe that’s where the “whole new level of taste” came from 0_0′

  27. Bali….a romantic place. Remind me abt the Jimbaran, cause cost me alot for dinner, haha:) i stil display the nite scence picture as my wallpaper, so so beautiful…every1 should go.
    Bali, also hv a bad memory… im so stupid to buy a rm4+ lousy-and-ugly sarung just to enter the mother temple…so everyone who wish to visit Bali, pls bring ur own sarung, or wear long pants when visit temples ya

  28. haha’ those place you go,I’m there too~~~Jimbaran is abosolutely nicee, I felt I’ve being discriminate by those musician in jimbaran, they actually choose table to sing…they didn’t drop by to our table, probably, our table dunhave lobsters….haih

  29. Hello Kenny
    Just wondering where did you stay in bali? Would like to get a fair bit of idea about that. Thanks
    Yvonne

  30. I jz went to Bali 2 weeks ago and i tried the 2 restaurants you mentioned – Babi Guling Ibu Oka & Bebek Denggil, both at Ubud. Nice food. Generally Bali food is good and cheap too.

  31. I miss Bali! It’s been at least 13 years since the last time I stepped both of my feet there! 🙁
    I miss is so much!!!!!
    Your blog is friggin’ awesome.
    Cheers, C

  32. Yeah, Balinese food is great! I’m just starting out and already craving for babi guling. Still got 1 week to stuff myself!
    I found another great food – ayam goreng Suharti in Jakarta. Succulent! The meat so soft, it literally falls apart from the bones

  33. It’s not complit if you not come to ENVY rest at Tuban nearly of Kuta just clouse with the air port ..it’s amazing food and place for having a dinner and chil-out

  34. May i know the restaurant’s name that you went to for seafood in jimbaran? Thank you very much : )

  35. Interesting posts. Getting to know the cuisine and traditional food at tourist sites targeted is one interesting activities. we call it a culinary tour. for me it is one of the fun of a sightseeing trip. and Bali with a noble tradition, culturally diverse and exotic environment, offering culinary tour really interesting. I love it. really like it. Great post. thanks for the share.

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