7 Bali Delicacies You Should Try

By: Brian Sjarief |

With so many new restaurants popping up on this island, we are going take you back to the basics, to what makes Bali a foodie heaven destination.

Bali’s culinary scene is developing so fast that in just one week, you must’ve tried at least one new eating place. Some of you - tourists and residents alike - may even have tried the must-try dishes based on TripAdvisor ratings. But the soul and heart of Balinese cuisine do not lie with restaurants that have a week-long waiting list. It’s actually in the warung in the faraway regions.
If you’re up for a more cultural and thorough gastronomic adventure, this list is for you.

 

Ayam Betutu

(Source: TripAdvisor - Traveler photo submitted by hendycorleone)

This one is probably the only Balinese dish that’s most recognizable outside of the island, not only thanks to a certain franchise but also it’s kosher, making it more widely acceptable. What most people don’t know is that the dish is actually an adaptation of a similar dish from Banyuwangi, the most Eastern port city of Java. The short one-hour crossing trip to Bali’s Gilimanuk port allowed the recipe to make its way into the island, and thus the dish has become the destination area’s signature dish - which became more popular than in its hometown. The most reason for that? It’s intensely spicier here - and tastier.

Where to get?

Ayam Betutu Men Tempeh, Gilimanuk

Address: Gilimanuk, Melaya, Jembrana Regency, Bali 82252

Hours:Monday - Sunday (7:00am - 10:00pm)

Phone: 0852-3844-4335

 

Siobak

(Source: TripAdvisor - Traveler photo submitted by ArifK79)

Another adaptation of an outsider dish, siobak is a simple Chinese food of basically roasted pork belly with crispy skin. Brought into the island by Chinese settlers at the Northern coast area of Singaraja, the dish evolved depending on the ingredients availability, and the local taste and influences. Singaraja’s siobak adds more components such as pork innards and pork skin and varying the cooking process to not only roasting but also frying and broiling. Then came the most important aspect: changing five spices into tauco (fermented soybean paste) for the sauce’s main element.

Where to get?

Warung Siobak Khe Lok, Singaraja

Address: Jl. Surapati no. 66, Singaraja 81114, Indonesia

Hours: Monday - Sunday (7:00am - 8:00pm)

Phone: +62 362 22760

 

Ikan Bakar

(Source: TripAdvisor - Traveler photo submitted by Storyteller288829)

It’s so obvious that an island so famous for its alluring beaches and ocean would also have the best seafood. And there isn’t any other area that speaks seafood more fluently than Jimbaran bay. Dozens of rows of countless barbecue huts along this coastline have been synonymous with excellent seafood dinner - and enjoyed by hundreds of visitors on a daily basis. It also helps that this neighborhood is the location for the island’s most prominent fish market and fishermen, with customers ranging from fine dining restaurants to five-star hotels - making them a one-stop epicenter for quality seafood.

Where to get?

Menega Cafe, Jimbaran

Address: Jl. Four Seasons Muaya Beach, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361

Hours: Monday - Sunday (11:00am - 11:00pm)

Phone: +62 361 705888

 

Bebek Goreng

(Source: TripAdvisor - Bebek Bengil Ubud Management)

Ridiculously more popular than any other dishes on the list, Bali’s signature fried duck is well known for a few reasons. One: the crispy skin and succulent meat. Duck is tricky to cook, so getting it done perfectly is crucial. Two: flavorsome side dishes that include fresh a urab salad with three kinds of sambal make most fried duck dishes. And lastly, a splendid setting and view of rice paddy fields whilst you eat. That’s why the whole Balinese fried duck scene started and reached the peak of fame in Ubud - and never really expanded to other regions of the island.

Where to get?

Bebek Bengil, Ubud

Address: Padang Tegal, Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571

Hours: Monday - Sunday (10:00am - 10:30pm)

Phone: +62 361 975489

 

Sate Lilit

(Source: TripAdvisor - Traveler photo submitted by felicia_oei)

Basically a staple Balinese food, sate lilit is probably the one associated most with street food. This is largely because they’re quite easy to find and probably the only item on this list that you could still enjoy as a takeaway. But its humility comes from the fact that sate lilit isn’t actually a traditional dish that belongs to any region - it belongs to the whole culture. Yes, serving and eating sate lilit is part of the Balinese Hindu ceremonial celebrations, making them a rather
universal dish enjoyed all over the island.

Where to get?

Warung Lesehan Merta Sari, Klungkung

Address: Jl. Kresna, Pesinggahan, Dawan, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali

Hours: Monday - Sunday (8:00am - 6:00pm)

Phone: +62 361 3675538

 

Babi Guling

(Source: Qrave - Uploaded by Matthew Sultan)

Suckling pig is the cream of the crop, the face of Balinese cuisine. If there’s one thing that visitors come to enjoy more than anything in Bali, it’s a plate of this heavenly combination of textures and flavors. From pork being slowly roasted to cooked in sweet honey, to urutan (sausage) to betutu-style meat, from lawar (minced vegetables, coconut, and meat) to crackling pig skin; you could find them almost anywhere on the island. It is, however, said that the mostauthentic babi guling started in Gianyar.

Where to get?

Babi Guling Negari, Gianyar

Address: Jl. Negari No. 20

Hours: Monday - Sunday (10:00am - 10:00pm)

 

Nasi Campur

(Source: TripAdvisor - Traveler photo submitted by Ang Andri P)

Indonesians can eat rice with anything, so it’s undeniable that with all the vibrant variations in its cuisines, every province still has its own mixed rice dish. Bali is even more interesting, because of the assorted selection of the meals. A babi guling dish and all its components are always set around one serving of rice on the plate, same goes with ayam betutu and bebek goreng - making all of the falls into the nasi campur category. But the most common variety comes with ayam sisit (shredded chicken), other meats that ranged from beef, chicken, to pork, a slice of boiled egg, sate lilit, urab salad, and sambal matah.

Where to get?

Warung Wardani, Denpasar

Address: Jl. Yudistira no. 2, Denpasar 80231, Indonesia

Hours: Monday - Sunday (8:00am - 4:00pm)

Phone: +62 361 224398

12 October 2018
Brian Sjarief's picture
Brian Sjarief

Recently migrated from the city of Jakarta to the island of Bali, Brian is ready to dip his toes in the sand, dive into the ocean, and explore through the deep ends of this beautiful island.

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