Let’s Have Lunch: 5 Great Places to Dine in Bali

Eat with the locals and the local expats to taste the true flavour of Bali. Tucked away are some real treasures. Whatever kind of food you are looking for, it is here!

Nusa Dua Beach Grill

*just back report, the beach has been taken over by a new development and chaos reigns. There is a “toll” on the road. None the less NDBG is worth a visit so don’t give up.

phone 0361 743 4779 or 081 338 203729

From Jalan Nikki left 1/2 K before Nikko resort and left again in front of the temple.

It’s a beachfront bistro Carribean style at the tip of the Nusa Dua peninsula. You’ll get sand in your shoes when you dine on a simple but enticing menu of east-meets-west treats. From tempting seafood and steaks to local noodles, there is something for everyone’s taste. The Grill uses fresh ingredients and makes good use of the local seafood. I had a delicious smoothy, the Mahi Mahi with Dates, Black Olives on a bed of Steamed Spinach with Potatos and Parmasan Spatzili and shared the Greek Salad with a friend. We ended with some carrot cake and a choclate chip cookie. Yum. But even without tasty food ( yes it is!) it is worth it to go for the view. As you sit muching your eyes will be on the panoramic view around you: big blue sky, white sand, lapping seas   This is one you would NEVER stumble upon on your own. They have a free pickup service (they don’t specify, but I am guessing it is for the Nusa Dua area.) Otherwise, you can telephone and hand the phone to your driver to get  directions .Don’t forget to have a look at the seaweed farm on the way out. This is the view from the Grill!

View from the Nusa Dua Beach Grill

La Pau, Warung Nasi Kapau,

Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai No 178 AB, phone: 0361 286178

Signs for warung or “small local eating houses” proliferate along the roads everywhere in Bali. As you may have guessed all Warungs are not created equal when it comes to food quality and standards of hygiene. Put you worries aside and head for La Pau where Metrus Munir, the charming owner, serves the best Sumatran cuisine you can get. Walk up to the cafeteria style selection of today’s dishes and the generous serving of rice on your plate will be surrounded with your selections.  Now I don’t normally eat beef, but the Beef Rendang that Metrus makes cannot be missed. Cooked until almost black with coconut milk, It melts in your mouth the way good beef Rendang should- I simply can’t resist it. I am assured that the Beef Rendang is on the menu every day – and so it has been every time I’ve eaten there. Sit at the long wooden benches, you will feel like you’re in heaven sampling the best food Sumatra has to offer.

Warung Batavia,

Jalan Kunti, Br. Tag-tag, Kuta

Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Br. Tamen, Kuta, phone:0361 731641

Warung Batavia is not hard to find. You may just encounter a few invitational billboards on the way. Don’t let that put you off. Warung Batavia is just the place to take a break from shopping activities in Seminyak or Kerobokan. Locals mix with a scattering of tourists in this well known restaurant. You need to come here and try the best Gado Gado in Bali. Order the Gado Gado and you will see the action start. Spices will be added to a huge grinding stone and worked with a pestle bit by bit. The peanut sauce is made fresh for each order. Watch the action (most clearly visible at the Kerobokan Branch) as your delicious salad of blanched vegetables with a spicy peanut sauce is assembled before your eyes.

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Yes, there are other selections here, but I just can’t get past the amazing Gado Gado. Until dessert. Then I order an Es Chendol. If you don’t already know what Es Chendol is, then allow yourself to enjoy a sweet surprise.

Warisan Gallery and Cafe- UPDATE- WARISAN CAFE IS NO LONGER OPERATING AT THIS LOCATION

Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Br Tamen Kuta, phone 0361 701081

Where can you eat and shop simultaneously?  Warisan of course! Enter through the shop and you will find tables set in an oasis of a couryard with a charming view of a rice field. The food is Western with a French twist. No east-meets-west, no concessionary rice or noodle dish – just delicate, good and artistic Western food served by pleasant and professional staff. But the Balinese influence is in your surroundings. You will have time to take a peek at the Indonesian arts and crafts while your lunch is being prepared. Jewellery, clothing and housewares are a treat for the eyes as your stomach rumbles. Upstairs you can find furniture and large art pieces – but you may want to save the upstairs for after lunch. You may not want to leave!

Cafe Batu Jimbar

Jalan Danau Tamblingan No 152, Sanur, phone: 0361 287374

This charming sidewalk cafe furnished in recycled wood is the place to meet for Bali’s expat population. The menu features a combination of Western and Balinese dishes delectably prepared. My tried and true favorite is the vegetarian Nasi Campur, but a good friend of mine prefers the Cheese Fajitas. The fruit drinks have quirky names and combinations such as you would find in a big city health bar. Being a tea lover, I revel in the Chai, made to an authentic recipe. Cakes and desserts and wonderful ice cream make this a destination for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up as well. There is a small food market attached that specializes in hard to find (in Bali) food products. On the other side is a Jengalla outlet store – well worth a stop to pick up the well known Balinese ceramics at the discount. Cafe Batu Jimbar is a relaxing and pleasant lunch destination perhaps expensive by local standards, but quite reasonable for a tourist purse.

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