16 Places to Eat in Bali
June 18, 2012
Whether you’re craving authentic street food or fine dining, here are T+L’s top picks for dining in Bali. By Holly McDonald and Jen Lin-liu
Published on Jun 18, 2012Page : 1 2 3
Australian chef Will Meyrick’s Sarong (Jln. Petitenget 19x, Kerobokan; +62 361 4737 809; sarongbali.com) pairs Asian street-food inspired dishes with lavish surrounds, showing that top dining in Bali isn’t always about sea views since there aren’t any here. Start with a cocktail in the open-air bar, which flows into the more formal dining area.
Keen on something more casual? Meyrick’s Mamasan (Jln. Raya Kerobokan 135, Br. Taman; +62 361 730 436; mamasanbali.com) is a bistro-style setting in a converted warehouse, again serving top-notch Asian dishes but at slightly lower prices.
If you’re looking for authentic Balinese food in an upscale setting, there’s nowhere else like The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu (Jln. Belimbing Sari, Banjar Tambiyak, Pecatu, +62 361 848 2166; alilahotels.com/uluwatu), which delivers simple classics such as ayam betutu (whole roast baby chicken in banana leaf) atop a cliff with soaring views across the Indian Ocean. Note the batik stamps worked into the polished surrounds.
It faces stiff competition from new Seminyak bar rivals these days but beachside KuDeTa (Jln. Kayu Aya No. 9, Seminyak; +62 361 736 969) remains a Bali institution and a must-stop spot for sunset drinks at least once during a visit to Bali. The cocktails are taken seriously here, with classics given a hipster twist—think Earl Grey martini or raspberry and cucumber and elderflower Collins—but don’t overlook the award-winning kitchen, either. The slow-roasted lamb shoulder, served with potato and rosemary galette, garlic greens and tomato relish, is a must-try.
Decades-old Mak Beng (just off the beach on Jln. Hang Tuah, Sanur) is a hugely popular lunch spot in Sanur, where you’ll elbow locals out of the way for a dish of steaming fish soup and fried fish served with a fiery sambal.
Equally popular among locals but also a huge hit with tourists is Ibu Oka (Jln. Suweta, Ubud), famed for its owner’s take on Bali’s most celebrated dish, babi guling, or spit-roasted suckling pig. The crowds go through five or six delectably spiced pigs for lunch per day; pair one with a Teh Botol, Indonesia's popular sweetened jasmine tea, for a typical Balinese fast food meal with class.
The beachfront seafood stalls at Jimbaran Bay
It’s a rite of passage for anyone who makes it to Bali: a visit to the beachfront seafood stalls at Jimbaran Bay. Diners select their fresh seafood, including crabs, lobsters, prawns and squid, all grilled to perfection and served at casual tables on the beach. Though most stalls are reliable, one local favorite is Menega Café (Jln. Four Seasons Hotel, Muaya Beach, Nusa Dua; +62 361 705 888).
You’re always guaranteed a raucous night of fun at the picnic tables of Naughty Nuri’s (Jln. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud; +62 361 977 547; naughtynurisbali.com). An eclectic range of Western and Asian dishes make up the menu, but most come for the barbecued pork ribs and the cocktails. Anthony Bourdain stopped by on his way through Bali and proclaimed the martinis to be excellent. Thursday evenings are sashimi night, which attracts a friendly local crowd.
The lolly-colored louvre windows at Sea Circus (22 Jln. Kayu Aya, Seminyak; +62 361 738 667; seacircus-bali.com) suggest whimsy, and indeed the design at this eatery stands up to Seminyak’s best hotels (many of which are just spitting distance away). Accents include cheerful flower sprigs in empty gin bottles and a Buddha on the aquamarine bar. The menu is short, sweet and designed to be shared—think snapper ceviche and Baja-style tacos.
Its view over a rice field might be endangered as development continues apace in the Petitenget area but even without the views Sardine (Jln. Petitenget 21, Kerobokan; +62 361 843 6111; sardinebali.com) is worth seeking out for its fresh, unadulterated cuisine served under a bamboo roof. Never pass up the grilled sardines, but salads are a highlight too, with their produce sourced from their very own patch at the Organic Farm Bali.
Clear Café (Jln. Hanoman 8, Ubud; +62 361 889 4437; clear-cafe-ubud.com) has become a hit with those who’ve embraced the healthy, granola vibe of Ubud. The beautiful eatery in the center of town features ornate wooden doors, a bamboo and stone garden, and marble tables. In a homey atmosphere fitting for a casual lunch or dinner, diners order from a largely vegetarian menu with salads, pastas, and Southeast Asian and Mexican entrees like tom yun goong and the chili lime prawn burrito.
In an elegant, white open-air dining room, Minami (Jln. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud; +62 361 970 013; minami-bali.com) serves the island’s top Japanese food—with affordable prices to boot. Set menus, presented in a series of beautiful bento boxes, come with an assortment of meticulously presented dishes like fresh salmon sushi, miso-grilled beef and shrimp tempura. A good selection of sake and cocktails compliments the delicious fare. A beachside location in Sanur has opened (Segara Village Hotel, Jalan Segara Ayu, Sanur; +62 812 8613 4471), enlivening the area’s drab dining scene.
WORTH THE SPLURGE
Karma BEACH BATU BELIG
Another stunning bamboo construction, just meters from the waves on Batu Belig beach, Karma BEACH BATU BELIG (Batu Belig, Kerobokan; +62 361 361 8888; karmabeach.com) opened in January 2012 and is effectively a second branch of popular Nammos Beach Club at Karma Kandara down on the Bukit. Snare one of the comfy cabanas to while away a beachside day in style.
Set in a secluded candlelit garden, Mozaic (Jln. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud; +62 361 975 768; mozaic-bali.com) is a formal affair by Bali standards but for a truly special occasion involving adventurous palates, it still can’t be beat. Choose from four extravagant six-course tasting menus that include vegetarian and surprise options designed by chef Chris Salans and expect the unexpected.
At Bridges (Jln. Campuhan, Ubud; +62 361 970 095; bridgesbali.com), fine dining without the steep price tag is served on an elegant white veranda overlooking a gorge. The setting—made more romantic by candlelight and jazz music—complements the straightforward continental fare, including excellent homemade pine nut and Roquefort cheese gnocchi, and a mushroom and feta tortellini. Upstairs, the restaurant runs Divine, a cozy wine bar with 180 labels, the perfect place to begin or end your visit.
Set in the lush surroundings of the luxury resort COMO Shambhala, Glow (Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Gianyar; +62 361 978 888; cse.como.bz/eat-and-drink/glow) offers a creative treasure trove of raw-food dishes and drinks that keep even the most hedonistic of diners healthy. Try the mango-and-alfalfa sprout pizza or the raw lasagna, both of which are just as good as the cooked versions.