If you’ve ever been to Bali, you’ve probably had your fair share of nasi and mie goreng – that’s fried rice and noodles for the uninitiated. But have you tried all the other yummy foods the island has to offer? We hope you brought your appetite: here are the Indonesian dishes you simply must try when you’re in Bali!
Aka the famous Balinese suckling pig! Babi guling is usually advertised by displaying a picture of a whole roasted pig, but even if you’re not quite that hungry, don’t worry. Restaurants and local warungs typically serve babi guling by the plate, while whole roasted pigs are usually reserved for special ceremonies and celebrations.
Ayam betutu is a rich and flavourful dish that’s popular in Bali and the neighbouring island of Lombok. Here, steamed or roasted chicken is served in a rich betutu sauce – or, if you prefer, you can also try bebek betutu (roasted duck). Typically, the chicken will be served with steamed rice, a boiled egg, vegetables, perhaps some roasted peanuts and of course, a dollop of spicy sambal!
It would be a real shame to visit Indonesia without enjoying a plate of authentic beef rendang. After all, this scrumptious dish was once voted the best food in the world! The beef is stewed in coconut milk and assorted spices for several hours, giving it an irresistibly tender texture and rich flavour.
Sate ayam, or chicken satay, is one of the most addictive Indonesian dishes out there! The skewered meat is marinated and then char-grilled and served with plenty of spicy peanut sauce. Sate ayam is popular throughout Indonesia, whereas sate babi (pork satay) is a rarity outside of Bali.
As you might have noticed, many Indonesian dishes lean heavily on meat and poultry, but there are also some great options for vegetarians and vegans. Gado gado is one of the most delicious dishes to try. This is essentially an Indonesian salad, featuring raw, boiled and steamed vegetables (usually green beans, cucumbers, sprouts, potatoes and cabbage), hard boiled eggs and perhaps some tofu or tempeh, served with a generous dose of peanut sauce.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, so it’s little wonder then that the nation has perfected the art of preparing seafood. Ikan bakar literally translates as grilled fish. In practice, a plate of ikan bakar will usually include marinated, char-grilled fish (often gourami, mahi mahi or red snapper), steamed rice and vegetables. The most iconic place to enjoy fresh seafood in Bali are the beautiful toes-in-the-sand restaurants lining Jimbaran Beach – ask our concierge to arrange a daytrip if you’d like!
An order of dadar gulung is the perfect way to wrap up a meal in Bali! This is a traditional local dessert that’s best described as a coconut pancake. Dyed bright green with pandan leaves, these thin, crepe-like pancakes are stuffed with a delicious mix of grated coconut and palm sugar. Yum!
Best Indonesian restaurants close to Chandra Villas
Here are the best restaurants for sampling authentic Indonesian cuisine in Seminyak, all located just a short stroll from Chandra Villas.
This is a very popularly eatery which serves amazing beef rendang along with other Indonesian classics. Their coffee is great, too!
Merah Putih means “red white” in Indonesian, a nod to the country’s national colours. It’s only fitting then that this fine-dining venue serves some of the most exquisite Indonesian dishes you’ll find anywhere on the island.
Kaum is a refined venue dedicated to celebrating Indonesian cuisine, located at the ever-popular Potato Head beach club. Their set menus are ideal for sampling the local flavours – try the “Journey through Indonesia” menu to get the full effect.
This beautiful restaurant is perfect for a date night, with candle-lit tables set around a gorgeous central pool. The menu focuses on elevated yet authentic Indonesian flavours.
For a more casual setting, try Warung Nia. Located right on Eat Street, this lively venue is a Seminyak staple. The warung is famous for its pork ribs, but we prefer the Balinese rijsttafel which allows you to sample a broader spectrum of local flavours.
We hope we’ve inspired you to explore all the wonderful flavours Bali has to offer. And with that, we bid you… bon appétit! Or as we say in Bali: selamat makan!