The mountain, the beaches, the beauty, the culture but there is another thing that you simply can’t miss when you are travelling. It’s the food. You cannot ignore this part of travelling which says a lot about the place. A traveller’s trip is incomplete without indulging in the food culture of that place. Being an island country Bali is so rich in tropical and seafood cuisine that you’d miss out a lot if you ignore the delicious delicacies of the island. The Indonesian cuisine consists of a lot of meat and seafood and it has something for the Indian taste buds, the food in Bali is generally very spicy which is loved by Indians. Here are few dishes that we strongly suggest you try in Bali.
Spicy sauce and grilled meat can never go wrong together. That’s what Sate is all about. Sate is basically marinated, skewered and grilled meat served with spicy Balinese sauce. The best thing about this dish is that they use all the varieties of meat from chicken, pork, goat, beef, fish, tofu and even tortoise (seafood dah) to get a different variety of taste. You can choose your meat as per your preference and indulge in the spicy and heavenly taste. The meat is cooked in bamboo to give it a unique flavour and taste and sauce is prepared from the variety of spices and coconut milk to get an unbeatable taste.
Where to find? Gourmet Sate House, Legian Kuta.
2. Nasi Goreng
You’d find a lot of rice dishes in Bali, but this one remains the island’s most popular rice dish. Nasi Goreng is Bali’s version of fried rice. The steamed rice is cooked with a combination of vegetable and meat. The ingredients of the dish include shrimps, scrambled eggs, crabs, onions, soy sauce and is garnished with sliced tomatoes and varieties of seafood ingredients. If you are looking forward to trying the island food, Nasi Goreng should be on your list.
Where to find? Poppies restaurant and Lucky Warung, Kuta.
3. Gado Gado
If you are looking for vegetarian food, then Gado-Gado is a must try in Bali. Gado-Gado is an extensive combination of vegetables accompanied by rice. It is eaten lukewarm but most people on the island like to eat it cold as well. It is prepared with potatoes, beans, capsicum, tomatoes and rice and tastes best with peanut sauce. Eggs are often added to this dish but you can ask them not to if you want it 100% vegetarian.
Where to find? Warung Rumpi, Seminyak
4. Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur
Chicken and rice is the all-time favourite dish of the meat lovers. Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur is how Balinese people like to eat their chicken and rice. It is white steamed rice and meat called Babi Belung or Betutu. To add the spicy flavour to the dish it is complemented with Sambhal. The dish contains a lot of vegetables so you can be sure you are getting a heavy dose of nutrients. This combination is very popular in Bali and you can find in every corner of the island.
Where to find? The best Nasi Ayam and Nasi Campur are served at local eateries.
5. Tahu and Tempe
Tahu is translated to ‘tofu’ in Indonesia and Tempe is ‘fermented soy cake’. Tahu and Tempe is a famous starter snack which is usually served before the main course. They are prepared from soybean curds and can be fried, stuffed and battered. It is served with a tangy sauce with adds the element of spice to this delicious snack.
Where to find?Tofu Cafe
6. Bebek and Ayam Betutu
Bebek and Ayam Betutu is one of the most delicious Indonesian food. It takes hours to cook and the effort shows in every bite you eat. The dish is prepared with either chicken or duck. The meat is stuffed with a variety of sauce and traditional spices. It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and is left to cook in a coal fire for 4-5 hours. What you get after it is baked is mouthwatering and irresistible. It tastes juicy and every spice can be felt separately. It is mostly eaten with white rice.
Where to find? Ayam Betutu Khas Gilimanuk
7. Bali Guling
If you are a pork fan, you’d instantly fall in love with Bali Guling. Guling literally means to ‘to roll’. The pig is first roasted or barbequed which gives it the crispy taste. The pork which is then rolled with the variety of traditional spices and vegetable mixes. The whole process makes the meat crisp from the outside and juicy and spicy from the inside. Since it is a famous Bali dish you will find in almost all the famous Indonesian restaurants.
Where to find? In Ubud
8. Tuna Sambal Matah
How can you not except delicious seafood on an island country? Tuna Sambal is the traditional prawn dish. It is prepared with the prawns which are marinated in the tangy sauce of tamarind. The onions, green pepper and red chillis are added to the dish while cooking to add to its taste. Since Indonesians like their food spicy, it is served with the traditional Sambal sauce which is extremely spicy but complements the dish too well.
Where to find? Warung Bintang Bali, Ubud.
9. Bubur Sumsum
After a delicious meal, a dessert is a must. When in Bali there is no dearth of the desserts. Bubur Sumsum is the black rice pudding which is eaten very fondly in Bali. It is prepared with white and black glutinous rice, coconut milk and cream and pandan leaves. Although it is counted amongst the desserts, thanks to the sweet tooth of Balinese people, you will find it in breakfast and snacks as well.
Where to find? Ubud
10. Kopi Luwak
Bali is home to world’s most expensive coffee and there is no way we are excluding that from this list. Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee which is found only in Bali. You’d be surprised to know how it is made. It is prepared from the faeces of the Asian palm civet who are made to eat the coffee beans and the coffee is extracted from their faeces. Might sound disgusting, but you gotta try it for what makes this the world’s most expensive coffee. A cup of coffee can cost you $35-$80.
Where to find? Ubud
If you miss Indian food in Bali, no problem. We have got you covered with our pick of the best Indian restaurants that you'd find in Bali.
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