Eating: The 5 Best Things I ate in Bali
So several weeks ago, I posted things I did in Bali and mentioned that I would be writing something up about what I ate in a separate post, coming soon. It did not come very soon at all, and I feel sorry about that. But it looks like Bali is still in existence, still travel-able and the worst seems to be over.
SO ON WITH THE FOODPOSTING:
I ate a lot.
I basically don't think I stopped eating.
I wish I had a second stomach, like a cow, for all the things I ate.
Because if there's one thing that people go to Bali for, besides the beach (and monkeys), it's food. In no particular order, besides the fact that they are what I enjoyed most, here are the five best things I ate in Bali:
1. The spicy chicken wings at Potato Head Beach Club
Address: Jalan Petitenget 51 B, Kerobokan 80361, Indonesia
We had a full dinner at Potato Head Beach Club, and most of the food was very, very good. But if I was to pick one thing I really, truly enjoyed and remember and think about and crave - it's these simple, hella spicy chicken wings. They offer them as an appetizer outside on the deck, so that you can enjoy them with a cocktail.
FYI: Potato Head Beach Club is one of the more famous beach destinations on Bali, and the security check is intense. Before we went in, they subjected our car to a bomb check, and made us empty all water bottles before walking inside like it was the TSA. That made me personally feel like a terrorist attack was imminent for all of about five minutes, because then I walked in and was wowed by how pretty it was (this was on a cloudy, rainy day too).
Aw heck, here’s a couple of pictures of the other things we ate there for good measure. Why not? This was by far the most expensive meal my group had in Bali so it seems like a shame to not share what it looked like.
3. Nasi Ayam at Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Address: Jl. Kayu Jati no.12, Ubud, Indonesia
We came here on the recommendation of our driver after two hours of not-really-that-strenuous but heck-we'll-enjoy-eating-like-we-actually-exercised white water rafting down the Ayung River.
It was a great recommendation.
You can get beers out of the fridge and also order all sorts of traditional Balinese snacks to chomp on while you’re waiting for your plates to be served (which didn’t take too long – about ten minutes or so).
The plate of Nasi Ayam (which translates directly into Chicken Rice) comes with chicken sate, fried chicken, an egg, some stir-fried vegetables (morning glory), the traditional chili, peanuts and, of course, rice.
Those chilis were serious business, spicy enough to make my nose run. But the sweetness of the sauce they were paired with made them too addictive to not add to the rice as I ate.
The whole meal was quite filling and very, very cheap. Even though the price of everything is pretty clearly demarcated on a poster board for everyone to see, I was still surprised by the final bill, which was probably 1/5th of what each person had paid at Potato Head Beach Club. And yet for that, we got a pretty nice atmosphere to eat in as well.
I mean, look at this garden the main dining hall looks out to. It's so lush and resort-like! No wonder this place was packed to the gills. We bought a plate of the Nasi Ayam for our driver too as a thank you.
3. Babi Guling at Warung Babi Guling
Address: Jl. Tegal Sari no. 2, Ubud, Indonesia
Right after our chicken on rice, we got into a van and drove over for some pork on rice.
That’s right, like Hobbits, we second-lunched it. And not only did we down plates of pork on rice – fatty and slow-roasted with just a dash of a soy-based sauce - like it was our job, we also ordered some of Ibu Manku’s crispy pork skin.
Like the last two locations, I was surprised by how beautiful this place was as well. The main dining area overlooked a mass of jungle trees, branches of which just touched the railing of the balcony.
Inside, past the regular seating options, were little bungalows for more loungey dining, and a collection of cockatiels and giant squirrels, hanging out (sometimes literally) and eating corn. I explored enough to know that not every restaurant in Bali is head-to-toe tropical paradise, but my aesthetic sense is very, very pleased that more than enough strive to be.
4. The Coffee Creme Brulee at Seniman coffee studio
Address: Jl. Sriwedari no. 5, Ubud 80581, Indonesia
I mentioned how Bali having a vibrant coffee culture was one of the cooler things I discovered for myself while there.
I won’t reiterate that part too much (partially because I didn't really have the time to truly immerse myself in it), but I did want to highlight Seniman again because their coffee crème brulee was also in fact one of the best things I ate.
It was definitely the best dessert I ate.
The crème had that lovely graininess to its mix of vanilla and white sugar, and Seniman had carved out a bit of space to put a dark coffee syrup in the middle, once you broke through the caramelised shell.
It was a great addition to some really amazing coffee and a wonderful pick-me-up before heading into Ubud to walk around the Water Temple and other famous spots.
5. Ribs at Naughty Nuri's
Address: Jl. Mertanadi no. 62 | Kerobokan, Seminyak 80361, Indonesia
At least two friends, upon finding out I was in Bali, insisted that I absolutely definitely super had to go to get a rack of ribs there. And so I did!
And from now on, I too will insist that anyone who goes absolutely definitely super need to get a rack of ribs there. I’m lazy and this blog post has already taken way too long to push out, so I’m not going to describe what they tasted like, but “Balinese spices” very much makes for some flavourful barbecue!
If you really want to see the waitresses all line up and dance to a Pitbull song (their infamous "shakey shakey" dance), I recommend going with the Margaritas rather than the Martinis, even if you normally prefer Martinis. Sadly, the one thing Bali seemed to have trouble getting right were non-fruit-based cocktails.
But, hey, you aren't missing out! Look at these Margaritas: