ABOUT THIS GUIDE
We try to cover all places serving traditional Balinese food and the best of international cuisine in Bali. If you don't find the name of a restaurant which has been recommended to you by someone, this doesn't mean we don't know about it. We try to visit ALL new restaurants and entertainment spots but only include those which we feel are good and reliable enough to be listed here.
Our PERSONAL FAVOURITES are underlined and listed in RED. They range from cheap eateries to outstanding restaurants which would succeed anywhere in the world.
THE BALI RESTAURANT GUIDE TO SANUR
How times change! 30 years ago ALL major restaurants and hotels in Bali were located in Sanur. For good international food you had to go to the BALI BEACH HOTEL (opened in the late 60ies as the BALI INTER-CONTINENTAL), the BALI HYATT and then also the SANUR BEACH HOTEL. For an excellent Risjttafel and the unforgettable "Arack Bumbu Bali" cocktail you went to TANJUNG SARI, and for good Italian food you visited the TRATTORIA DA MARCO, operated by the Italian consul.
Today, Sanur is home to many small, reasonably priced and friendly retaurants serving tasty local and a mix of various international cuisines, but the old tourist hot-spot offers no culinary highlights compared with Seminyak, Ubud or Nusa Dua.
A very popular eatery in Sanur is MASSIMO IL RISTORANTE, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 206, run by the Italian Chef Massimo Sacco who lives for many years in Bali. In addition to traditional Italian dishes he features a good selection of specialties from Lecce, his home town near the Southern tip of Italy. Pasta comes in unusual shapes and sizes with sauces which combine tomato, garlic and chilli, and there are Fettuccine, Linguini, Bucatini, Rechitelle, Farfalle, Penne, Tortellini, Ravioli, Rigatoni as well as perfectly prepared Gnocchi and Risottos. Many tasty fish and meat dishes (we loved the Saltimbocca alla Romana) and a wide variety of different pizzas (classic, thick Sicilian pan pizza, PIADINA with topping after baked, PUCCIA from Lecce, baked or fried CALZONE PAZZO, double-deck VULCANO, ROSSA, BIANCO or DOLCI with cream and nougat or Amaretto; other desserts and home-made ice creams make the choice really difficult. Wines from Italy, Spain, France, Australia and Chile start around 300,000 Rupiah per bottle. Service is friendly but can be slow. Tables in the open-air dining room are well spaced, and there is an air-conditioned section, too. A nice dinner for two will be around 300,000 to 350,000 Rupiah++ plus drinks.
CharMING, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 97, and the much longer established RESTO MING, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 105, are both operated by the French-trained Mr. Ming and feature similar menus with French and Asian Fusion cuisine. Start your dinner with hot Foie Gras, Escargots or smoked salmon or a tasty lobster bisque. Continue with roasted duck breast, Boeuf a la Bourgignonne, Steak au Poivre or Entrecote de Boeuf with Sauce Bearnaise, rack of lamb, pork ribs or pork chops in a Dijon mustard sauce. Most meats are imported from Australia. There are also Jumbo sea scallops St. Jacques, large river prawns, sole a la Lyonnaise and other seafood dishes (the Lobster Mornay, however, was not what we expected). Service is friendly and attentive, the setting in the garden or open-air restaurant very pleasant, and a nice dinner for two is around 500,000 Rupiah++ plus drinks.
CAFE BATU JIMBAR, Jalan Danau Tamblingan, is a casual sidewalk cafe and popular with regular visitors to Sanur and expatriates who meet here for breakfast, lunch or dinner under large trees. You can choose from a number of fresh fruit juices, healthy salads and light dishes; the vegetables and herbs are grown at the owner's farm near Bedugul. Next door to the restaurant is a bottle shop which carries a choice of imported wines.
MEZZANINE is the name of the open-air restaurant right at the entrance of the PURI SANTRIAN resort in the South of Sanur. You sit comfortably either in the front garden or the indoor area and enjoy a wide choice of Western, Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine i.e. you can choose pasta dishes, burgers, steaks, sushi and sashimi, prawns, scallops, fish and Australian beef from the Teppanyaki grill, shark fin soup, stir-fried abalone or scallops with kalian and XO sauce and Singapore crab. Normally we avoid eateries which offer such a mixture of very different cuisines but the MEZZANINE handles this surprisingly well. Our favourites are the Thai specialties starting with a very tasty Tom Yam Goong (the famous prawn soup with lemon grass, chilli and coriander), spicy fish cakes with a sweet chilli/coriander sauce, the Thai beef salad, a red duck curry with grapefruit and basil leaves and a green beef curry with sweet basil, eggplant and chilli. On the Thai menu you find also stir-fried lamb, deep-fried river prawns with garlic, salmon, seabass, fried noodles and fried rice. All dishes are prepared with a delicious mixture of lemon grass, chilli, garlic, kaffir lime leaves, basil, coriander and the wonderful Thai fish sauce Nam Pla. Talk to Thai Chef Supachai to make sure you get the real thing and not tourist food! Service is attentive and prices very resonable; only Australian steaks and lobster are over 100,000 Rupiah, and you will have an enjoyable meal for two for about 250,000 to 300,000 Rupiah without drinks.
The Sanur branch of the Japanese restaurant RYOSHI, Jalan Danau Tamblingan 150, offers the same menu as the their restaurants in Seminyak and Ubud including Sashimi and Sushi, a nice Tuna Carpaccio, Tempura, fried pork, beef and chicken liver etc. at reasonable prices. You can have a good meal here for about 100,000 to 150,000 Rupiah per person; the service is friendly but not very professional.
THE BALI RESTAURANT GUIDE TO KUTA
(incl. Tuban, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, etc)
The largest number and variety of restaurants is located in this area stretching over about 6 to 10 kilometers from the airport to Basangkasa and further North, and the following list covers just a few of my personal favorites:-
Let's start with Balinese and Indonesian food: Both KETUPAT restaurants, Jalan Legian Raya 109 (hidden behind Jonathan Gallery) and Jalan Dewi Sri in Kuta, serve a large variety of Indonesian specialties in pleasant surroundings. You can sit either in the open-air restaurants or in several cozy alcoves scattered around the swimming pools. The menu includes some traditional Balinese food and many dishes from all parts of the archipelago. In addition to the usual pork, beef, and chicken 'Sate' you find here barbecued skewers with goat meat, prawns, tuna, squid, and even 'Sate Lilit' with minced mutton, crab or duck meat. Seafood lovers can choose from different preparations of lobster, crabs, prawns, calamari and all kinds of fresh fish. Vegetarians will enjoy salads and main courses with beans, potatoes, spinach, bean sprouts, young fern leaves, etc. The menu features photographs and explanations of each dish. Expect to pay about 60,000 to 250,000 Rupiah per person which is not cheap for Bali. But don't forget, this is Indonesian 'haute cuisine' (although here rather boring as spiced for tourists), quite well presented and served in surroundings which will please most visitors.
Much more tasty food is served in the small SATE BALI, Jalan Laksmana 22A (the extension of the Oberoi Road) nearly opposite the SAMAYA Resort. The menu in this up-market Warung lists not only all kinds of Sate (small charcoal-grilled skewers with chicken, beef, pork and minced seafood) but many Balinese specialties such as Ayan Pelalah (shredded chicken with chilli and lime juice), Tum Bebek (minced duck steamed in banana leafs), Sambal Udang (prawns with chilli), and Ayam Betutu (seasoned chicken cooked in leaves underground). Or order the Balinese Rijsttafel consisting of nine meat, seafood and vegetable dishes served together with three different kinds of rice. A dinner for two will be about 200,000 to 250,000 Rupiah without drinks.
Other eating places, mostly popular with budget travelers, are WARUNG BATAVIA, Jalan Kerobokan, and WARUNG MURAH, Jalan Double Six near the beach which both offer great local food at rock-bottom prices. If you feel like having a delicious and spicy Soup Buntut (oxtail soup, the modern spelling) around midnight or later, there is no better place than WARUNG BAKU DAPA in the middle of Bali's most popular night clubs and next door to SANTA FE in Jalan Double Six.
MADE'S WARUNG on Jalan Pantai in central Kuta near the Bemo Corner has been an institution in Kuta since the early 70's. This has been THE place to see and be seen for nearly 30 years. In the early days, MADE'S was the only 'after-hours' place in Kuta: they kept selling toilet paper, mosquito curls, snack food and drinks until 8:00 p.m. when everybody else closed around 7:00 p.m. Today you con choose from many local dishes including Sate and Nasi Campur as well as many international specialties such as Sashimi, steaks, noodle dishes etc. The owners Peter and Made opened in August 1996 a new, quite similar but larger and more comfortable MADE'S WARUNG in Seminyak/Basangkasa on the way to the Oberoi Hotel (see below).
POPPIES restaurant on Poppies Gang (lane) nearby has also been well-established for over 25 years. In a beautiful garden setting you can choose from a number of Asian and Western dishes including, soups, curries, lobster and steaks. It's very pleasant for a leisurely lunch in the shade of large trees, but in the evenings the place tends to become crowded with tourist groups. The food was never outstanding, and recently the prices have been increased considerably.
TJ'S Mexican Restaurant, also on Poppies Gang, has become an institution over the years and is well-known for tasty Mexican food, good music, excellent margaritas and strawberry daiquiris, and to meet regulars around the far corner of the long bar. Pleasant garden setting, good service, great salads and affordable prices.
KORI Restaurant, hidden away in nearby Poppies II Lane, offers comfortable open-air seating in pleasant surroundings. Service is attentive and the menu lists specialties from many countries such as Indonesian Satays, Thai beef salad, Thom Yam, and Green Chicken Curry, Singapore Chilli Crab, Australian beef steaks, tuna steaks, beef burgers, pork chops, Caesar salad, and Italian pasta. Good food, nice presentation, large portions and a good, reasonably priced wine list.
The well-known air-conditioned sushi bar RYOSHI, Jalan Raya Seminyak 17 (with branches in Jalan Melasti in Kuta as well as in Sanur and Ubud) serves Sashimi, Sushi, Tempura, Miso soup and other Japanese dishes at reasonable prices. It's interior is simple but comfortable, and the restaurant is often crowded during meal times. After having moved to the premises next door, it features also some garden seating in front and an open-air area upstairs. TAKE, Jalan Patih Jelantik (the small road between Kuta and Jalan Imam Bonjol) with a second branch in Jalan Padma, offers a wider choice of well-prepared specialties from various areas of Japan. For good Sashimi or Teppanyaki, Shabu-Shabu and Sukiyaki prepared at your table visit either the KURUMAYA at the Bali Padma Hotel in Legian (Tuesday nights "All You Can Eat"), or the smaller but more elegant TEPPANYAKI restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel in Seminyak.
KUNI's Japanese restaurant is located at Jalan Laksmana No. 80. When you enter this modern open-air restaurant through the lounge you pass the bar and a small sushi counter. Dining tables are well-spaced with most of them on the open terrace and some tables in the narrow garden with Frangipani trees and Hibiscus. Choose from small but beautifully presented servings of Sashimi, delicious Spicy Tuna Rolls (a new experience even for Japanese), Beef Shabu Shabu Salad, Tempura, fried Kushiyaki skewers with chicken, chicken liver, sliced ox tongue etc, grilled sardines or swordfish, or Sukiyaki from Australian beef. There is also a choice of noodle and rice dishes including Unadon (with grilled eel). The set dinner for 120,000 Rupiah ++ per person (minimum three guests) with 10 courses is especially good value. All dishes are well-prepared and presented, and the service from the Japanese manager and the local staff is attentive, friendly and professional. Green tea, Japanese beer and sake are offered as expected, but there is also a small choice of wines from Australia and Chile. Monday closed.
Only opened in late 2007 is the modern, fully air-conditioned SUSHI TEI located at Sunset Road No. 99 in Kuta. When you sit at the bar you can watch the skills of the chefs in the open kitchen and help yourself to creative Japanese delicacies from the conveyor belt in front of you. This is Bali's first and currently only "Sushi Train". There are many different Sushi Rolls filled with combinations of eel, crab meat, tuna, salmon, prawns, mango etc., various kinds of Sashimi and Sushi including sword fish, scallops, smoked bonito, octopus, life lobster and sea urchin. The beautifully designed menu shows photographs of many specialties including grilled meats, various Tempura preparations, Japanese soups, noodles and rice dishes, many salads and a choice of desserts such as Green Tea ice cream, Black Sesame ice cream, peach sherbet, chocolate wafers, etc. The photographs are very tempting, the actual dishes, however, are often rather disappointing and not as fresh as expected. A meal for two should be between 400,000 and 650,000 Rupiah.
The Japanese BLUEFIN restaurantin Jalan Kartika Plaza opposite the KUTA PARADISO hotel serves excellent fusion cuisine in modern surroundings. The large menu lists many creative and delicious sushi rolls, foie gras and all traditional Japanese dishes. Specialties include Chilli Ayo, a combination of baked scallops, shrimps and squid topped with a chilli mayonaise and fish roe, Dobin Mushi, a clear mushroom-seafood soup, and there are Sushi Rolls filled with crab salad, eel, shrimps, squid, salmon, tuna, lobster, avocado, cucumber and even liver pate and cream cheese! Main courses include steak, seafood combination plates, lobster etc. In addition to Western deserts there are Red Bean and Green Tea Ice Creams. BLUEFIN has immediately become one of our regular places.
Another excellent new restaurant in this Tuban-part of Kuta is QUEEN'S of INDIA in Jalan Kartika Plaza next to the entrance of the BALI DYNASTY hotel. This eatery belongs to the QUEEN's Group of Indian restaurants and offers very pleasant surroundings in a modern 2-storey building. The menu features all the favorites which made the QUEEN's TANDOOR in Seminyak so popular such as delicacies from the Tandoor oven, chicken, lamb, seafod and vegetable curries, masallas, pasandas and kormas plus a number of quite unique specialties such as the chicken, mutton, prawn or fish "sizzlers": after being marinated in yoghurt and fresh spices the meat is partly cooked in the Indian Tandoor oven before being finished together with vegetables in a Chinese Wok and served on a sizzling platter. Creative Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine, but these delicacies are both HOT and SPICY; tell the waiter if you don't like spicy food or, even better, don't order a Sizzler! Vegetarians will enjoy the wonderful sauces with a wide range of veggies and the tasty black or yellow Dhal (lentils) cooked in spices, cream and butter and the famous Indian breads; we love the papadums and the Kashmiri Nan. A very enjoyable meal for two is around 250,000 Rupiah++ without drinks. Right now the QUEEN'S of INDIA offers the most pleasant surroundings and most delicious and creative food from the sub-continent in Bali. Enjoy, but bring your own wine.
The "new" (opened in 1996) MADE'S WARUNG in Basangkasa on the way to the Oberoi Hotel offers a wide choice of dishes (on the menu and on notes on the walls) from many parts of the world: local "Nasi Campur" (a mini rijsttafel) and Gado Gado, Japanese Sashimi, their own version of a Thai "Tom Yam" soup, good prawn and squid dishes, pasta, acceptable steaks, etc), plus a variety of cakes, delicious home-made coconut ice-cream, fresh fruit juices and good Capuchino (served either hot or iced). Try the "Arak Madu" or "Arak Lemon di Blender" (the local rice liquor with either just honey, or with honey and lemon, prepared in a blender). They offer also a choice of imported wines at reasonable prices. From morning to late night you'll see many regulars who've been coming to Bali since Peter (the Dutch owner) and his Balinese wife Made started their first "Warung" in the center of Kuta in the early 70's. Have a look at the various shops adjacent to the restaurant, too.
Bali's best Chinese restaurant is nowadays without doubt FEYLOON, opened in early 2009 at Jalan Raya Kuta opposite the Gelael Supermarket in Kuta. It offers excellent Cantonese cuisine and lots of fresh seafood. The daily 'Dim Sum' (also called 'Yum Cha') at lunch time consists of a variety of small dumplings, steamed buns and other mini delights served in rattan baskets. You will enjoy the steamed dumplings filled with prawns, pork ('Siu Mai' and 'Har Gau') or shark fin ('Yu Chi Gau'), crisp-fried rolls with prawns, and 'Char Siu Bau', rather filling barbecued pork buns. The regular menu includes BBQ pork, many duck preparations and an excellent Szechuan Hot & Sour soup. The large modern dining room is often busy during meal times although the service staff still needs more training, and we find the live music in the evenings kind of disturbing.
The GOLDEN LOTUS inside the Bali Dynasty Resort in Tuban is well-known for a wide range of Chinese dishes and 'Dim Sum' (during lunch on Sundays) which are served in comfortable hotel surroundings. Other recommended Chinese restaurants in the Kuta/Tuban area are FURAMA, Jalan Raya Tuban 52B, PLAZA BALI located between the By-Pass and Jalan Raya Kuta and EMA Restaurant, upper floor at the DFS (Duty Free Shoppers) complex at the circle on Jalan By-Pass. Both serve tasty food including 'Dim Sum' — EMA used to be a favourite of many expat residents and hotel people for Sunday brunch but many of these have discovered and are moving to FEYLOON now.
The very popular LA LUCCIOLA (with a truly outstanding beach front setting next to the Petitenget temple and great views of Kuta's famous sunsets) serves a range of modern Italian specialties. We think it's always been over-rated because food and service have never been reliable. Recommended only for a "sundowner".
The long-time famous GADO GADO (at the end of Jalan Dhyana Pura) features a similar beach front location and has changed from a Disco to a restaurant again (that's how this legendary place started over 30 years ago). The setting is pleasant and the service attentive. The menu features freshly shucked Sydney rock oysters and fusion cuisine as well as some vegetarian dishes which are all well prepared and presented. The wine list is impressive for Bali standards and starts at around 450,000 Rupiah.
Another popular eatery with an outstanding beach front location is ZANZIBAR, Jalan Pantai Arjuna – turn left at the end of Jalan Double Six. The menu lists a good choice of Western and local dishes, seafood specialties and many kinds of tasty pizza. All dishes are well prepared, prices are very reasonable (many dishes are around 30,000 or 40,000 Rupiah, wines start around 350,000 Rupiah) and it's often difficult to find a table on the open terrace – especially on Sundays when there are performances of firedancers and djimbe drum players from 6 p.m. on the beach right in front of the restaurant.
In the center of Seminyak not far from Jalan Double Six is PANTEREI, a beautiful modern restaurant serving Greek specialties in comfortable surroundings. Panos Bournias, the original Greek founder, has subsequently moved on to the NERO Bali Restaurant & Bar at Jalan Legian 384 right opposite AROMAS in Kuta. NERO's design is very stylish and simplistic with modern furniture, huge mirrors, hanging plants and water features, candles and well-placed spot lights. You find on the menu appetizers such as tuna carpaccio, Thai beef salad, and a Mezze platter, and for main courses Lemon Chicken, lamb chops, cooked (not char-grilled) steaks, Middle Eastern Kebabs, and a number of seafood preparations. Imported wines start at 380,000 Rupiah, and you'll pay for a dinner for two about 250,000 to 350,000 Rupiah without drinks. They serve food until 1:30 in the morning, and the street-side bar attracts walk-in guests during the whole evening.
SIP Wine Bar, Jalan Raya Seminyak No. 16A nearly opposite the BINTANG Supermarket, was opened in May 2008. Owner Christian Vannequé (his brother owns the LIVING ROOM) became in the early 70's France's youngest Head Sommelier at LA TOUR D'ARGENT in Paris and was responsible for the largest wine cellar in the world. This experience shows: SIP's wine list is divided into three categories to help wine novices and wine aficionados alike. The 'Easy-Going-Wines' category introduces straightforward, interesting, sometimes recognizable-brand, excellent value wines starting around US$11 per glass and US$45 per bottle. 'The Sommelier's Corner' presents mostly proprietary wines, more obscure appellations, hard-to-find Chateaux 'second wines' and intriguing New World wines. The 'Wine Climax' features a few major outstanding and rare bottles from the Old and the New World including magnums. Although a constant 'work in process', SIP's wine list is currently comprised of 115 different wines costing from about US$45++ to over US$3,800++ (and Christian claimes he sold two of these bottles recently to visitors from Macau) for a bottle of Chateau Pétrus 1993 and is offering up to 20 wines by the glass. The kitchen is run by French Chef Patrick Chauchereau who worked in several restaurants with two Michelin stars in Paris before coming to Bali. He offers very enjoyable French home cooking at reasonable prices: there are escagots in garlic butter, home-made patés, Puy Lentil Salad, and beef or tuna Carpaccio. Main courses include sautéed frog legs, a traditional Cassoulet (our favourite), Tete de Veau Ravigotte (boiled calf's head and calf's tongue in Ravigotte sauce), sautéed calf's kidney and calf's liver, Hachis Parmentier (minced oxtail Bourguignon with red wine and mashed potatoes au gratin), hand-cut Steak Tartar, a delicious duck breast, grilled Australian rib eye steak and a traditional Black Pepper Steak. You can finish your meal with a variety of French cheeses or a number of tempting sweets including a delicious, freshly baked apple tart with ice cream. A very enjoyably meal for two will be around 500,000 to 800,000 Rupiah without drinks. SIP is open from noon till late. Come early, from 9 p.m. the place is usually packed and you find many of Bali's serious food & wine lovers, leading hoteliers and top Chefs here! Main courses include Duck Leg Confit, a popula Marocan Lamb Rack Mechoui with Pumpkin Couscous and a Grilled Black Angus Ribeye Steak with Sauce Bearnaise and Truffle Oil French Fries.
KAFE WARISAN, Jalan Raya Kerobokan, has been closed in October 2009 and will operate under new management from 2010. The two enthusiastic French chefs Said Alem and Nicolas Tourneville ("Doudou") who made KAFE WARISAN an institution, have moved on and have opened their newly built METIS Restaurant & Gallery at No. 6 Jalan Petitenget just around the corner. On the ground floor, behind the gallery, is the spacious open-air restaurant, one air-conditioned private dining room for 10 guests and the open lounge and bar overlooking the ricefield in the back of the building; up-stairs is a private room for large parties of up to 100 guests. On the menu you find a number of Doudou's signature dishes such as Roasted Mushrooms stuffed with Snails, Pan-seared Hot Foie Gras with a Raspberry Vinaigrette and a delicious Duck Liver Paté (actually, there is a special Foie Gras Menu). Other popular entrees include Tuna Tartar with Salmon Roe and Spicy Mayonnaise and a Trio Carpaccio of Salmon, Scallops and Yellow Fin Tuna. Continue with a Traditional French Onion Soup or a pasta dish such as Tagliatelle topped with Foie Gras, sliced Smoked Duck Breast, Shitake Mushrooms and White Truffle Velouté. Main courses include a Duck Leg Confit, the very popular Morocan Lamb Rack Mechoui with Pumpkin Couscous and a Grilled Black Angus Ribeye Steak with Sauce Béarnaise and Truffle Oil French Fries. For seafood lovers there are a Boneless Sole Meuniere, a Trio of Fish including Swordfish with Eggplant and Lemon Beurre Blanc, Yellow Fin Tuna with Mediterranean Vegetable and Tomato Beurre Blanc and Coral Trout with Eggplant and Saffron Velouté, or you can choose the Fresh Scallops and Prawns Provencal before ordering one of the tempting desserts.
On the drink list you find a number of wines from France, Australia, New Zealand etc from US$55 to over US$500, a good choice of cocktails, five different kinds of tea, Espresso, Capuchino and Bali Coffee. Service is attentive and prices are reasonable as this is definitely "Fine Dining", and a three-course dinner for two will cost you about US$90 to US$120++ without drinks.
THE LIVING ROOM is located at Jalan Petitenget between the Petitenget temple and the Intan Beach Village hotel. This elegant open-air restaurant features also a bar and lounge, many tables in the candle-lit garden and has a distinctive colonial atmosphere with terracotta floors, high ceilings, paintings, antique marble tables and carved chairs. The menu lists well prepared and presented "fusion cuisine" creations influenced by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam etc. Appetizers and main courses are priced between US$7 and US$22 plus 15%, and there is a 5-course Tasting Menu for US$50 ++ which can include a Chilled Tomato Soup with a Crispy Bok Choy-Ginger Pallet and Red Mullet Fillet, Pan-Fried Foie Gras with Spiced Glazed Ahi Tuna Carpaccio, Gingered Sushi Rice and Cucumber Seaweed Grissini followed by Squid Linguini with Low Temperature Egg Yolk, Pancetta Cubes, Steamed Green Asparagus and Mirin Bisque Sauce. For your main course you can choose either Duck Breast with Caramelized Nuts, Crispy Pastillas, Braised Turnips and Baby Spinach in a Orange-Ginger Sauce or Grilled Tasmanian Salmon Fillet with Asian Greens, Kecap Manis and Wasabi Flavoured Mashed Potatoes, and then finish your meal with a Fluffy Vanilla Créme Bruleé with Strawberry Salad with Coriander. There is a good selection of wines from Australia, France and Italy starting around US$55 per bottle. Owner Daniel Vannequé runs also the "SuKHa Gallery" offering folk art, antiques, and furniture.
Very popular right from its soft opening in May 2008 is SARONG, Jalan Petitenget 19X near THE LIVING ROOM. Scottish Chef Will Meyrick (ex SENTOSA and SOFITEL in Bali and LONGRAIN in Sydney) added some Indian, Malay, Vietnamese and Chinese dishes to his modern-Thai creations: there are "Asian Tapas" such as Betel leafs with raw tuna, lemon grass, shallots and lemon basil, Betel leafs with salmon, shrimps and coriander and grilled scallops topped with crispy duck, Thai basil and peanut Nam Jihm served on a tasting spoon, Chicken Martabak with pickled cucumber and sweet sambal etc. which all can be served in the "Tapas Bar & Lounge" in front of the elegant open-air Dining Room with luxurious curtains and furnished with comfortable sofas and dining chairs. We love the salad from grilled prawns, pomelo, garlic, lemon grass, mint and Nam Jihm dressing and the Sichuan cured tuna with grated carrot, sweet basil, peanuts and Chinese plum sauce. From India there are the Tandoori butter chicken, a lamb Boti Kebab and a fish Tikka cooked in saffron, cardamon, turmeric and dill, a Northern Indian prawn curry, a lamb Rogan Josh, a Vindaloo curry of pork belly as well as a Dahl Tadka. Indonesian grilled snapper, grilled baby pork ribs, twice cooked chicken and crispy duck with two sambals are as tempting as Thai-style crispy pork hog with tamarind tamarillo sauce and nam pla prik or stir fried Asian vegetables with Thai basil. Finish your meal with a duck egg & ginger custard with palm sugar caramel, taro cake with crispy shallot, mandarin and fig compote or durian pancakes with coconut lime caramel and durian ice cream. If the choice is too difficult, just order a sample plate of Indian and South East Asian desserts. The drink list offers a wide choice of imported wines from all parts of the world starting around US$55++. The service is attentive, and a memorable dinner for two will be around US$35 to US$50++ without drinks. For reservations call 737-809.
KU DE TA is currently Bali's most trendy restaurant in a top beach front location next to the Oberoi Hotel. The modern architecture and interior design of the bar and dining areas go well with the "fusion cuisine" of the Australian chef. On the menu you find a selection of freshly shucked oysters imported two times per week from Australia and France and served with a champagne vinaigrette. There are many salads, grilled Australian yabbies (small freshwater crayfish), seared scallops, a seafood stew, lamb rib eye, venison rib and beef tenderloin. The interesting wine list features many wines from Australia, California, Chile, France, Italy, New Zealand and South Africa and starts around US$65 per bottle. Sparkling wines by the glass are US$15 to US$20, and bottles range from US$60 for VALDIVIESCO Brut from Chile to US$300 for a bottle of KRUG Brut Grande Cuvee. The service staff is well-trained and attentive, and prices are not cheap but still reasonable. There are comfortable deck chairs right on the beach to watch Bali's famous sunsets, and you can choose from nearly 30 Cuban cigars such as BOLIVAR Coronas Junior, COHIBA Coronas Especiales, H. UPMANN Connoisseur No. 1, HOYO DE MONTERREY Sort Hoyo Coronas, MONTECRISTO Especial No. 2, PUNCH Punch Punch, or ROMEO YULIETA Exhibition No. 4 from about US$10 to US$50. This is a place to see and be seen, and from late afternoon on Fridays and Saturdays there is a rather noisy DJ entertaining Bali's beautiful people.
More quiet is THE BREEZE, the restaurant of the THE SAMAYA resort near KU DE TA and next to LA LUCCIOLA. The spectacular but relaxed beach front setting, great sunset views, the sound of the waves and imaculate service make this probably Bali's most romantic place for fine dining. The menu includes a delicious pan-seared Périgord Foie Gras with ginger compote, Crispy Soft Shell Crab with green mango-papaya salad, a Lobster & River Prawn Bisque and a very tasty Cream of Forest Mushrooms with essence of truffle. The "Pork Duo" consists of Asian braised pork belly with tamarind glaze, seared tenderloin, sweet & sour cabbage and a soy-star anise reduction; the "Duck Two Ways" of leg confit and seared French duck breast, roasted cauliflower and a port wine reduction, or choose the Roasted Lamb Loin or Black Angus Tenerloin with roasted mushrooms, blue cheese and potato hash. For seafood lovers there are Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Wild Baramundi on preserved lemon, Miso Glazed Alaskan Black Cod, Nori Wrapped Tasmanian Salmon or Local Wild Snapper with truffle scented mushroom risotto. There is a Unique Dish of Four Pastas: Oxtail Tortellini, Blue Swimmer Crab Bocaleoni, Calves Sweetbread Cannelloni and Goat Cheese Ravioli, and a range of Vegetarian Main Courses can be prepared by Californian Chef Michael Shaheen on request. There is also a choice of typical Balinese specialties, and from the Dessert Menu it's impossible to resit the Macerated Strawberry Tartar with White Pepper Ice Cream! The extensive, well chosen wine list is very reasonably priced and starts at less than US$18 for a bottle of local wine and from below US$20 for imported wines from Australia, New Zealand, California, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, France, Italy, Spain, Germany etc. An excellent dinner for two will costs about US$80 to US$100++ (without wine).
The Oberoi Hotel's open-air KURA KURA restaurant offers the best Fine Dining experience in Indonesia since early 2007. German-born Executive Chef Enrico Wahl started his career in Dresden and worked subsequently in a number of Michelin-star restaurants including Munich's TANTRIS and leading restaurants in London and New York. He continues to surprise his guests by introducing new and always creative Tasting Menus. Enrico does not compromise and insists on using only the absolutely best ingredients and then overwhelms you with textures and tastes together with very creative and often extremely beautiful presentations. This is much more than outstanding hotel food, every single hand-crafted delicacy presented as part of Enrico's personalized Tasting Menus would qualify as a "Signature Dish" in other 5-star restaurtants.
You can choose either 7 courses for about US$90 per person, 5 out of 7 courses for US$70 or 3 out of 7 courses for US$50. And then there is the "Chef's 12 Course Surprise Tasting Menu" — the price of this is around US$120. Dishes offered are depending on the freshest ingredients available and can include a delicious Mushroom Nage with Espresso or a Pea Soup with Unagi, Alaskan Scallop Sashimi, Tandoori Baked Yabbies with Smoked Yoghurt & Black Salt, Warm Unagi (Japanese eel) or Flash Seared Abalone with Gome Wakame Seaweed Salad, Giant Atlantic Scallop with Apple 2 Ways and Foie Gras Foam, Pan Fried Sablefish with Black Pudding, Kangaroo Tartar with Quail Egg and Caper Vinaigrette, Duck Confit Pastilla with Pickled Mushrooms or Sweetbread Tempura with Savory Apricot. Highlights are Enrico's home-smoked salmon, the Seared Goose Foie Gras, the Foie Gras Créme Bruleé and the truly outstanding Marble of Foie Gras either with thin films of Valrhona chocolate between layers of the foie gras terrine or with apricot amber inclusions served together with a spherical (a la Ferran Adria) apricot or mango in a ring of white emulsion looking like a miniature fried egg — absolutely delicious and another reason to visit Bali! The "48 Hours Sous Vide Slow Poached Wagyu Beef Cheek" on Purple Potato Risotto and the Australian Prime Wagyu Beef Tenderloin are extra-ordinary tender but in our opinion over-rated. On the other hand, tasting the only occasionally offered Matsusaka beef steak (1.4 million Rupiah for this course alone) is really an experience you should not miss if available. The Tasting Menu ends with a Cave Aged Cheese Selection before Mixed Berry Gratin with Rum Sabayon and its own Sorbet or a Baked Whole Plum with a Plum & Green Asparagus Sorbet. OBEROI being an Indian hotel group, the restaurant offers also a small and much lower priced choice of delicacies from the sub-continent such as a Duck Biryani, Goa Pork Vindaloo, a tasty Lamb Rogan Josh, Tandoori Jingha Prawns, a Lobster Curry with Naan and a number of Indonesian dishes as well as some vegetarian choices. Imported wines range from US$60 up to US$250 per bottle and more. If you bring your own, corkage charge is US$10 per bottle. Quite unusual for Bali, prices on all menus already include the 21% tax & service charge, and the bill has a bold reminder "NO TIPPING PLEASE".
This does not make KURA KURA cheap, and a very enjoyable meal for two will turn out to be between US$80 and US$300 without drinks. However, the food here is REALLY outstanding (it has been put by experts in the same class as TETSUYA'S in Sydney supposed to be the 5th. best restaurant in the world); the surroundings are very relaxed and the service staff is attentive but discrete. During the humid rainy season, air-conditioning would be welcome although there is usually a good breeze, and during some evenings mosquitos can be a problem.
For a special evening, do call Chef Enrico one or two days in advance; if they are not too busy (they often are), he will be happy to create a unique menu just for you which you'll probably never forget! Enrico never repeats himself and will continue to surprise you even as a regular guest. Reservations are essential (tel. 730-361).
ULTIMO is an Italian eatery with modern interior next door to TRATTORIA. The front part is air-condioned and features a large square bar and a number of tables as well as the open kitchen, in the back is a pleasant garden section. On the standard menu you find Salmon Carpaccio, Tuna Tartar, Parma Ham with melon, Mozzarella, a seafood salad and a seafood soup as well as many Pasta courses including Spaghetti with hot chilli and garlic, Penne with mushrooms and smoked cheese, Cannelloni with ricota and spinach, Linguini with crab meat, Tagliatelle with lobster, Fettuccini with tuna and anchovis, Ravioli with fish or chicken and a traditional Lasagne al Forno. For your main course choose either a steak al Funghi, al Rosmarino, al Marsala, al Pepe Verde, al Gorgonzola etc. or Ossobuco, Saltimbocca alla Romana, tuna steaks, panfried red snapper, fried sole or grilled salmon, Frito Misto with prawns and squid. There are also many kinds of Pizza and over a dozen daily specials. The big surprise are the low prices: most dishes are between 25,000 and 65,000 Rupiah +10%. The small wine list starts at 280,000 Rupiah per bottle and 35,000 Rupiah for a glass of House White. Don't come too late in the evening, after 8 p.m. the place is packed!
KHAIMA is a Moroccan restaurant in Jalan Oberoi with very friendly and efficient staff, delicious food and belly dancing performances on Fridays and Saturdays in a tent-like setting. Appetizers include tasty parcels of filo pastry filled with vegetables, minced lamb, tuna, chicken or goat cheese. There are salads of tomatoes and bell peppers, cinamon and carrots or eggplants, all with spices added to give them more flavour. As mains there a various stews such as lamb and eggplant slowly cooked in an earthenware pot – just delicious! Choose from different kinds of Couscous: with lamb, onions and raisins, chicken with many different vegetables, vegetables and sausage or a combination of all the above. And then there are the grilled kebabs with chicken, lamb, beef and minced meat. Finish your meal with an Arabic almond and walnut cake, Baclava or an orange salad, Moroccan coffee or green mint tea. There is a very limited wine list, and a large and very satisfying meal for two will cost you about 400,000 Rupiah without drinks.
The Spanish restaurant LA SAL is located in Jalan Drupadi II, a small back lane which connects Jalan Oberoi and Jalan Gado Gado. You can sit either in the nice garden or in the open white building, and on the menu you find a good choice of Tapas such as delicious – and very expensive – Iberico Belotta ham from acorn-fed black free-range pigs (private import), calamari with Aliolis, squid cooked in its own ink, grilled Chorizo sausages, crunchy mushrooms and a delicious veal Carpaccio with foie gras and Manchego cheese. There are also a clam casserole, garlic prawns in truffle oil, grilled king prawns with rock salt, crispy pork belly with lentils and mango, twice cooked lamb shoulder and a mixed Paella with chicken, vegetables and seafood. There is a small choice of wines (prices are high), but why not try the Sangria instead? The service is friendly and attentive, and a very nice meal for two will be between US$40 and US$90 without drinks.
Good news for lovers of Indian food: finally there are some restaurants in Bali where you can enjoy the real thing. GATEWAY OF INDIA in Seminyak, Jalan Dyana Pura (Gado Gado) No. 10, is located nearly opposite of SANTA FEE. They offer a good choice of Indian specialties which will NOT disappoint you. Regrettably there is no air-conditioning, and sometimes you have to listen to very loud music from nearby bars and pubs. A feast for four or six is about 350,000 to 600,000 Rupiah (most dishes are 40,000 to 60,000 Rupiah). Bring your own wine, as the wines offered are not exciting at all and never properly chilled. Newer branches are near the Bemo corner in Kuta and on Jalan Danau Tamblingan in Sanur.
The QUEEN'S TANDOOR, Jalan Seminyak 73 opposite MADE'S WARUNG, serves now the same delicious Indian specialties in Bali for which it has been famous in Jakarta since 1986. Enjoy the mouth-watering delicacies from the tandoor oven or the slowly cooked chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetable Curries, Masallas and Kormas with rich sauces full of fresh herbs, spices, fruits and nuts. Our favourites are Masala Papadum, Seekh Kebab, Gosht Shahi Korma, Mutton Pasanda, Murgh Makhani (Butter Chicken) and Butter Chicken Tikka, yellow and black Dhal, Aloo Gobi, Navratan Korma, Raita, Garlic Naan, Cheese Naan and the delicious Peshawari Naan. There are freshly baked other breads such as various Papadums and Chappati to accompany your meal, and Kulfi, the Indian ice cream, is the best way to finish it. An excellent meal for two is around 200,000 Rupiah++ without drinks. You sit on the small terrace next to the busy road or at tables inside; there are two levels but no air-conditioning. As in all Indian restaurants in Bali, the choice of wines is extremly limited; therefore, bring your own and pay 50,000 Rupiah corkage per bottle.
If you don't mind to go further out in the direction to Tanah Lot, THE BEACH HOUSE at Echo Beach about 30 minutes from Seminyak has become very popular. Set right on a well-known surfing beach near Canggu, this extremely informal venue ("No shoes, no shirt, no problem") is open from breakfast to dinner and you'll meet here on weekends many expats with their kids. There is a beachfront BBQ where you can choose from a variety of fresh fish (tuna, mahi-mahi, snapper, swordfish baramundi), clams, prawns, lobster, imported steaks, kebabs, ribs etc at very reasonable prices (25,000 to 80,000 Rupiah), accompanying salads, rice and bread are free. On the regular menu you find Paninis, many organic salads (try the Warm Goat Cheese Salad), Tapas such as Italian meatballs, Tempura sardines or Manchego cheese, seafood dishes, pork spare ribs, steaks, as well as sandwiches and Indonesian fare. There is a Kids Menu and a good choice of desserts, too. All prices are very reasonable, even cocktails are just 40,000 Rupiah! A great location to watch Bali's sunsets, and there is life music on Saturday and Sunday evenings.
For German specialties and sausages you can try the open-air MAMA'S restaurant in Kuta which is open around the clock and serves substantial German homecooking at low prices. The wide choice includes hot dogs and many other sausages, Frikadellen (German meat balls) and burgers, spit-roasted chicken, pork roast, Rouladen (German beef rolls), and huge pork knuckles. In addition to local draft beer, imported beers and German schnaps there is also a limited but well-priced wine list. There are tables and a bar downstairs as well as on the upper floor where you also find a large billiards table and life music in the evening. Owner is the German Honorary Consul Reinhold Jantzen. (You like dining with Consuls? Then you should also visit the Swiss Consular Representative Jon Zurcher who entertains guests in his SWISS RESTAURANT at the new Istana Galleria in Kuta.)
Quite good Swiss-German meals at low prices are also served in plain surroundings in the PEPITO KAFE, Jalan Kediri 36A, next to the Pepito Supermarket in Tuban. Roger Jahn, a retired Swiss Guard of the Pope, offers a "Bavarian Breakfast" with Weisswurst, Brezn and a beer at any time of the day for 42,500 Rupiah, a choice of smoked and dried hams with melon, asparagus and toast (38,000 Rupiah), sliced pork leg "Castellan Style" (52,000 Rupiah), various steaks (49,000 to 84,000 Rupiah), and a number of Swiss and German sausages with onion sauce or gravy, French fries and salad for about 42,000 to 48,000 Rupiah. His nice Vol-au-vent (which he calls "Bouchees Royale"), two pastry shells filled with tender beef cubes in a creamy white sauce, is just 44,500 Rupiah. There is only a limited selection of incredibly low priced wines; just give it a try — you might become a regular!
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THE BALI RESTAURANT GUIDE TO JIMBARAN BEACH
The best place for fresh seafood is still Jimbaran Beach with its rows of open restaurants right on the sandy beach near the Bali Inter-Continental Resort and between the Keraton Hotel and the airport. The number of eateries is fast increasing, but the original six restaurants on the airport side of the Keraton Hotel (LIA is our favorite) are still the most reasonably priced, and they serve the same delicious food. All kinds of fresh fish, squid, crabs, prawns, and lobsters are prepared on the open grill (burning coconut husks instead of charcoal) with exotic herbs and spices.
A large grilled snapper with a seafood soup, vegetables, salad, rice, potatoes, several sauces, and different sambals costs for instance at LIA's around 50,000 Rupiah per kilo; one kilo of grilled prawns is about 90,000 Rupiah and Jumbo size prawns 160,000 Rupiah, lobster (actually crayfish) 250,000 Rupiah per kilo, and a large bottle of beer is 12,500 Rupiah. Not extremely cheap any more but still good value for money, and a great place to watch Bali's famous sunsets!
However, be warned: the 25 or so restaurants between Inter-Continental and the Four Seasons resort charge much higher prices (they pay 30% and even 40% commission to drivers and guides), and their prices for wine are rediculous! Visitors to the restaurants closer to the fishing harbor (near the airport) AND the restaurants between the Inter-Continental and the Four Seasons often complain on the "BALI travel FORUM" about being overcharged and/or cheated on the weight of the fish or lobster they ordered.
Forum contributor Dell wrote on July 19th, 1999, after a visit to the often recommended Cafe Intan: "I suspect they all have rigged scales. To walk to the surf after dusk, then turn around and let your gaze scan the hundreds of flickering table candles which stretch far into the distance and contemplate the scale of the fraud that is being perpetuated every night is a humbling experience." (Just an idea: if you take a full bottle of water it's easy to test the scales.)
For fine dining in Jimbaran the Bali Inter-Continental Resort is hard to beat – the KO Japanese Restaurant with its elegant Teppanyaki Room, Sushi Bar and Music Lounge is one of the best in Bali. The set Teppanyaki menus with 6 courses are a very reasonable 300,000 to 650,000 Rupiah ++ per person. The BELLA SINGARAJA restaurant is well-known for excellent Italian food and attentive service. We enjoyed the marinated Foie Gras, cream of forest mushrooms, Risotto with scallops, sausage and caramelized garlic, sauteed Wagyu beef tenderloin with black truffle sauce, the whole Jimbaran bay lobster and the incredibly tender 48-hours slow-cooked US beef short ribs from the grill. Desserts include a delicious Espresso Parfait, Vanilla Panna Cotta, Amaretto Creme Bruleé, Tiramiso and a Marsala Sabayon. The delicious 6-course Tasting Menu is 650,000 Rupiah ++ per person which represents excellent value considering the quality of the food and service.
For a pleasant lunch you should try the delicious pizzas, salads and outstanding desserts at the Four Seasons Resort's PJ's (Pantai Jimbaran) set right on the beach. You can also reserve a table here for a very private and romantic dinner lighted by dozens of candles and just a few feet away from the water. Food, service and prices are what you'd expect at a Four Seasons.
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THE BALI RESTAURANT GUIDE TO THE BUKIT, NUSA DUA & TANJUNG BENOA
The "Bukit", the hill south of Jimbaran Bay, is becoming more popular every day. An increasing number of residential buildings take advantage of the spectacular views of Kuta, Sanur and the mountains from the slope facing north, and there are also quite a number projects being developed on the steep cliffs facing the South.
Located not far from the Uluwatu Temple, the modern di Mare at the KARMA KANDARA resort offers a spectacular view from the cliff over the blue sea, white surf breaks and the small beach below. The small menu offers a choice of Mediterranean seafood dishes including fresh oysters and prawns, local and imported fishes, Alascan scallops etc. as well as braised pork belly with lentils, Muscovy duck breast and high-grade Wagyu steaks. The "Cuisine in Miniatura" is a tasting menu consisting of 9 tapas-size delicacies! The wine list is extensive and well-chosen. An excellent meal for two should be about US$75 to US$120 ++ without drinks. You can reach the resort's private beach club below using a small cable car from the restaurant.
The restaurants of Bali's most luxurious resort, the ST. REGIS BALI RESORT opened in mid-September 2008 in Nusa Dua, offer top choices for demanding gourmets: the stylish KAYUPUTI is the resort's beachfront fine dining venue open for light lunches and elaborate dinners. Start your meal with freshly shucked oysters (Pacific rock oysters, Washington, New Zealand and Kumamoto oyster are available, either "Natural" or in various preparations e.g. wrapped in tuna with Wasabi mayonnaise) or enjoy some farmed caviar. Continue with a delicious home-smoked Tasmanian salmon or a variety of Sashimi, duck foie gras with white wine and tamarind jelly, frog legs tempura or a light lobster bisque with armagnac and red chilli sprinkled with lime dust. Main courses include a carefully prepared Lobster Thermidor (the best we had for ages!), Black Angus beef sirloin or venison loin with red chilli dust with truffled sweet pea sprouts, Wagyu beef tenderloin with a Nori seaweed potato cake and Wasabi meat reduction with sweet pickled raspberry or a Black Cod gratinated with foie gras sabayon and fried scampi tail with a curry lime emulsion. There is a good choice of cheeses and tempting desserts; if it's too difficult to make up your mind, just order the 6-course "Menu Degustation" for about US$110 per person which may include absolutely sensational dishes created by the resort's Executive Chef Oscar Perez and KAYUPUTI's Balinese Chef de Cuisine Agung such as a Lobster Consommé with Yabbie and Seaweed Tempura. An outstanding dinner for two will be between US$200 to US$400 plus drinks. (FYI, all prices at the ST. REGIS are "net" i.e. Bali's 21% tax & service charge are already included.)
The resort's BONEKA restaurant off the main lobby is famous for sensational breakfasts and Sunday Brunches (in addition to a great buffet with a good choice of fruits, cold cuts, smoked fish and delicious bakery items) you can order freshly prepared Eggs Benedict with salmon roe, fried eggs with seared foie gras, Serrano ham and asparagus, "Egg Nouvelle" filled with a delicious lobster ragout, river lobster with lobster bisque, fresh Sashimi, various oysters, a hot veal liver spread with sauted mushrooms, Wagyu beef tenderloin with fried eggs and ... and ... and ... The price for the breakfast is 420,000 Rupiah net including soft drinks, fruit juices, coffee and tea. From 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sundays the same breakfast buffet and extras are completed with a number of other hot dishes and can be booked -- accompanied by life Jazz music and an initial signature Bloody Mary from the King Cole Bar across the lobby -- as Sunday Brunch for the same price. An additional 420,000 Rupiah net per person buys you the "Beverage Package" including free-flow of several wines and beer until 2:00 p.m. In the evening BONEKA serves a variety of Asian specialties. The best way to start a dinner is to have a delicious Bloody Mary or a "Bali Mary" (or two) in the resort's "King Cole Bar". Actually, the King Cole Room of the New York ST. REGIS HOTEL (opened in 1904) claims to be the birthplace of today's world-famous drink when Fernand Petiot (who worked around 1920 at HARRY'S BAR in Paris) added Tabasco, lemon and spices to the plain vodka & tomato juice drink in 1934. At that time, the ST. REGIS served already one hundred to hundred and fifty Bloody Marys every day!
In walking distance from the ST. REGIS just a few hundred meters to the South you find on Geger Beach the NUSA DUA BEACH GRILL, a simple open-air beachfront restaurant serving a range of well prepared seafood dishes, pasta, wood-fired pizzas and delicioous smoothies at very reasonable prices. Very popular with foreign residents many of which spend weekend afternoons with their families here.
The BUMBU BALI Restaurant (& Cooking School) in Tanjung Benoa adjacent to Nusa Dua, is operated by Heinz von Holzen, the author of the book "The Food of Bali" and former food guru of the Grand Hyatt and Ritz Carlton hotels in Bali. A visit here IS A MUST if you are interested in authentic local cuisine. In beautiful surroundings you can enjoy appetizers such as "Ayam Pelalah" (chicken with chillies and lime), beef, chicken and prawn Satay, or "Jokut Kakul", a tasty snail soup with lemon grass and black pepper. Main dishes include "Ayam Betutu" (roasted chicken in banana leaf), delicious "Siap Mapanggang" (ox tongue in sweet nutmeg sauce), "Satay Lilit" made from minced seafood, and "Ikan Pepes", and grilled fish in banana leaf. You can choose from a range of exotic desserts such as Black Rice Pudding, Coconut Pancakes, etc. Or indulge yourself by ordering the "Balinese Rijsttafel" which consists of 14 different dishes served together with white, yellow, and red rice (even a vegetarian version of this feast is available). You can end your meal with various gourmet coffee preparations or special flavoured Indonesian teas (apple, apricot, black currant, cinnamon, orange, peach, raspberry, strawberry, vanilla, etc). Service is very attentive, and prices (about US$20 to US$30 per person for a huge meal) are very reasonable for the unique experience. On Fridays there are Balinese dance performances from about 8 p.m. (If you book certain villas through Balivillas.com, you enjoy FREE participation in the popular Balinese cooking classes conducted by Heinz.)
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THE BALI RESTAURANT GUIDE TO UBUD
CAFE LOTUS has been an institution for many years. Located in the center of Ubud between the main street and a large, beautiful lotus pond in front of a temple (designed by the famous artist I Gusti Nyoman Lempad) this pleasant open-air restaurant serves a variety of Italian pasta dishes, some Asian and local specialties such as the Balinese duck 'Bebek Betutu', and a good choice of cakes and fruit juices. Although the prices here are quite steep for Ubud standards, CAFE LOTUS is busy the whole day.
Nearly across the road is CASA LUNA offering a number of Balinese and Mediterranean dishes which look very interesting on the menu but can be a bit disappointing, and a branch of the well-known RYOSHI serving good Sushi, Sashimi and Tempura until midnight at rather low prices.
MURNI'S WARUNG, located next to the Campuan bridge, is another of Ubud's institutions. Built on several levels between the road and the river, this is an excellent place to try the 'Bebek Betutu' (order one day in advance to be sure) and other local specialties. The more elegant BRIDGE CAFE cascades also down over several levels – right opposite on the other side of the river – and offers creative 'Pacific Rim' cuisine i.e. tasty culinary creations with influences from Thailand, India, China and Japan as well as local specialties, salads and vegetarian dishes. Try the Szechuan Pancakes filled with deep fried duck, the Thai Chicken Pizza, or the Chilly Prawns. Very pleasant atmosphere and good service.
For many years rather popular is DIRTY DUCK or BEBEK BENGIL in Padang Tegal about one kilometer south of Ubud's main street. Forget their special "Crispy Duck" which is very dry and sometimes rather tough. Their range of other Indonesian and Western dishes, however, is quite tasty, the garden setting very pleasant, and the live background music in the evenings creates a nearly magic atmosphere.
Another of Ubud favorites is ARY'S WARUNG, a stylish side-walk bistro in the center of town with creative oriental/international cuisine and a choice of interesting vegetarian dishes. The Tasting Menu for lunch includes four dishes for 150,000 or 190,000 Rupiah with one glass of wine, the Dinner Tasting Menu six dishes for 240,000 or 280,000 Rupiah with two glasses of wine, always plus tax & service. Expect delicacies such as Lobster Wonton, Tuna Parfait with caviar and Wasabi cream, Seared Sea Scallops, Sauted Green Pepercorn Pate with green papaya salad, Carpaccio of Venison, Steamed Snapper with red chilli butter, Jumbo River Prawns sauted with chilli, garlic and ginger, deboned Roasted Quail, Rack of Lamb with chilli mint sauce, and Roasted Veal Cutlets with Wasabi butter. The desserts are equally creative; try the Durian Créme Brulleé! The wine list offers a good choice of Australian and French wines starting around 300,000 Rupiah, and the service is friendly AND professional.
On the way to Sayan between the Campuan Hotel and the Pita Maha Resort is the INDUS Restaurant operated by the same owner as Casa Luna. Well-spaced tables on two levels offer a beautiful view over the Campuan river valley, the service is very friendly, and they serve a wide range of health food. You can choose Italian pizza, ravioli and fettucini, Middle Eastern Mezze, Chinese spring rolls, Thai Thom Kha Kai soup, and Indonesian Nasi Campur, Gado Gado, and even a Balinese "Smoked Duck Feast" for only 120,000 Rupiah for two. There are many seafood and vegetarian dishes, various interesting fresh fruit juices such as apple with mint juice or carrot, spinach, parsley & celery juice (to clean your blood and for detoxification), lassi, herbal teas and special coffees. If all this sounds too healthy, there are also delicious sweets, a (disappointingly) small selection of wines, but an acceptable choice of cocktails.
Evenings you used to meet many foreign residents in NAUGHTY NURI'S Warung on the same road to Sayan. Boston-born Brian, Nuri's husband, buys every Thursday fresh tuna in Benoa, and they serve on Thursday nights delicious tuna Sashimi, tuna steaks, and tuna satay. Daily fare includes various Indonesian dishes, steaks, lamb chops, and large slabs of ribs which are barbecued on a long charcoal grill in front of the place. But better go easy on their excellent Martinis – after a few of these you won't mind the price of 95,000 Rupiah per drink or the somewhat uncomfortable, often very smokey and extremely "local" surroundings, and the next day you might even not remember how you got home or where you've been the night before! However, recently they have started to accept reservations for busloads of Asian tourist, and many local expats are looking for other places to spend their time.
MOZAIC opened in 2001 on Jalan Raya Sanggingan, the road from Campuhan to Sayan, and is run by Franco-American Chef Chris Salans (ex Thomas Keller's French Laundry in Napa valley). It offers very pleasant out-door and in-door seating, excellent service and attractive presentation of Chris' creative cuisine. You can choose one of the set menus (Discovery Menu, Vegetarian Tasting Menu, Chef's Tasting Menu and Chef's Surprize Menu), starting from Rp.550.000++ to Rp.1.500.000++ per person per set menu. If you prefer to bring your own wine, they charge Rp.250.000++ corkage fee per bottle. On the well-chosen wine list you find many selection of open wines, and bottles start from around Rp.500.000++ per bottle. The restaurant is open 7 days a week, from Monday to Sunday, reservations are required. Please call 975-768.
For a total culinary indulgence together with your family and prepared by chef Chris Salans, a group of gourmets or special friends, book the Private Dinner Experience @ MOZAIC: Chris Salans prepares and serves a specially created Tasting Menu of his Signature Dishes in the privacy of "The Workshop", a separate venue at the back of the restaurant garden with an open state-of-the-art demo kitchen, a comfortable lounge and the elegant dining area accommodating up to 35 guests. Prices range from 1.000.000++ per person per set menu (depending on dishes selected and the accompanying wines) include selection of canapés. An individually created Special Chef's Table Tasting Menu prepared by Chris Salans, matching wines with each course and coffee or tea. The possiblility of direct interaction between Chef Salans and the guests during the meal as well as during the preparation of each course can make this not only an unforgettable experience but also a very personalized cooking class for some or all of the participants! Eight guests (or a minimum spending of Rp.15.000.000++) are required for the exclusive booking of "The Workshop". During the day there are also various recreational and professional cooking classes offered teaching traditional as well as modern cutting-edge technologies for individuals and groups. Call 975-768 for inquiries and bookings.
LAMAK Restaurant & Bar is another of Ubud's top eateries. It was opened in February 2002 and is located on Monkey Forest Road a bit South of the soccer field next to SAI SAI bar. The quite unique design is by Made Wijaya (Australian Michael White), and the restaurant is operated by the German Chef Roland Lickert. The tempting menus (different for lunch and dinner) include Asian, international and vegetarian dishes such as Seaweed Salad with Balinese Satay Lilit, various fried noodles with Spiced Szechuan Chicken, with Asian Greens and Glazed Tofu or with Black Bean Fish, Stir-fried Scallops on Green Tea Noodles and Bruschetta with Salmon Tartar. There is an great Shitake Mushroom Cappuccino soup and a unique Balinese Bouillabaisse, Escargots with delicious Cafe de Paris Butter or seared Foie Gras, and for your main course you can choose Crispy Salmon, Balsamic Glazed Beef Steak, Quail Saltimbocca, Pancetta-wrapped Pork Fillet, Lamb Cutlets, Duck Breast with Red Pepper Pesto and Seafood Pasta. Delicious sweets include Orange & Ginger Créme Bruleé, Fried Forest Berry Ice Cream on Baileys Cream and a Chilled Pina Colada Soufflé. Too difficult to decide what to chose from their Asian Fusion cuisine? Just order the 5-course Tasting Menu for only US$35++! Gourmets may be impressed, wine lovers will certainly be delighted: you can choose from 8 wines by the glass from US$6 to US$10 and from nearly 50 bottled wines from France, Italy, Australia and California starting at US$45. There is also a choice of Cuban cigars. The reasonable prices for food and wine help to relax in the open-air lounge and cocktail bar downstairs, in the upstairs dining area or in the air-conditioned section on the upper floor. LAMAK is open every day from 11:00 in the morning to 11:00 p.m. Roland runs also WARUNG ENAK in Pengosekan (south of Ubud) where he serves tasty specialties from Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Kalimantan, Lombok, Bali and other islands of Indonesia in pleasant surroundings and at reasonable prices.
TROPICAL BALI, Jalan Raya Sanggingan not far from MOZAIC, is an open-air restaurant offering nice rice field views and friendly service. The owner from Timor operates also a similar restaurant in Dili, East Timor. Although the surroundings don't meet the claim of "Fine Dining", he offers creative French-Asian fusion cuisine at low prices. You can choose from various combinations of scallops, prawns, quail, lamb, duck and beef tenderloin such as Miso Quail Confit with Pan-seared Scallops and Prawn on Curry Sauce, Fresh Seafood with Udon on Laksa Sauce with Crispy Seared Duck Breast or Prawn Gyoza with Prawn Ricepaper Roll and Cherry Tomato Mozarella Salad as appetizer, continue with Confit Quail with Grilled Beef Tenderloin, Deep Fried Duck Breast with Wild Berry Sauce and Seared Snapper or Beef Medaillion with Steamed Sea Bass. For dessert there are Chocolate Tart with Mango Ice Cream, Orange Parfait with Caramelized Mango with Jackfruit Compote and Mint Syrup or a Hot Cointreau Chocolate Pudding with Coconut Sauce and White Wine Sabayon. There is a huge choice of traditional and more exotic cocktails but a limited choice of wines. An interesting dinner for two should be around 450,000 Rupiah plus drinks.
Other restaurants recommended by foreign residents and recent visitors are IBU OKA for the delicious Babi Guling (suckling pig), PESTO CAFE, Jalan Raya Campuhan, for tasty Indonesian dishes and international snacks at low prices, TERAZO, Jalan Suweta just North of the Royal Palace, and the CINTA GRILL on Monkey Forest Road for trendy fusion cuisine, BATAN WARU (Western and Indonesian Brasserie type food), CAFE DES ARTISTES, Jalan Bisma 9X, for Belgium cuisine and some Indonesian and Thai dishes at low prices, GAJAH BIRU for authentic Indian cuisine, GAYA for simple Italian dishes, located above the gallery with the same name in Sayan, the KOKOKAN CLUB in Pengosekan for tasty Thai dishes, COFFEE & SILVER on Jalan Monkeu Forest for breakfast, brunch and all-day dining with tasty snacks, tapas and international mains and an interesting children's menu, INDIAN DELITES, THREE MONKEYS, KAMPUNG KAFE, and TEPI SAWAH.
Selamat Makan !
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