Bali & Lombok recs?
- Windy Dec 4, 2008 07:07 PM
I'm headed to Indonesia and have a long list from guidebooks but no personal recommendations.
I'll be staying in Ubud, Pemuteran, and Sanur and then in Senggigi (and vicinity) in Lombok.
Will definitely hit Ibu Oka's, and I'm taking a cooking class including market tour at Casa Luna. Otherwise it's all up for grabs.
Generally I'm looking for local food and local chefs rather than upscale Continental or Fusion-y food. I am tempted by Mozaic though, or Bumbu for a splurge.
Anything not to miss?
Bonus points if you can recommend a good place to eat while changing planes in Taipei :)
I assumed Casa Luna in Ubud would be disappointing after all the raves, but au contraire, I had what - at the time anyway - was the best meal of my life. (I liked it better than its sister restaurant Indus although that one has a great view).
A couple pics from Casa Luna attached plus one of these amazing fish curry in banana leaf I had near a beach. :)
Naughty Nuri's - across from the Neka Mueseum just outside of Ubud proper. Just a little roadside 'dive', but insanely good food, esp the barbeque - try to get there on a Thurs for tuna (steak, satay, sashimi) just out of the water. We have a hard time eating anywhere else when we're there. For a change, Cafe Wayan on the main drag in Ubud has a huge, very good quality menu, including an excellent bakery, all in a lovely garden setting.
There have been threads in the past about this, but I'll put in my recs again:
Mozaic - never miss it any time I am in Bali. Last time we transited in Bali simply for a meal there, and my next trip will include a 1-nite stay in Ubud just so I can walk to dinner.
Bumbu - not bad if you are staying in the southern end
Babi guling next to Ubud Palace - there is a reason why the line is always long
There are very few authentic local restaurants at Ubud or Sanur; they are mostly touristy areas, and even the Balinese food is catered more for visitors. Real authentic Balinese food is found at Den pasar, which is 1 hour drive from Ubud or Sanur.
A few that I can recommend at Ubud is : Bebek Bengil, Babi Guling, Tepi Sawah. I assume you will pass by Kuta, another touristy area; you can try Warung Made there.
Yes, you are right about Babi Guling.
If you want to go to Den Pasar, you can try Warung Wardani, a small simple Balinese restaurant that specialize on NASI CAMPUR, a mixture of fish and beef satay, some vegetables, egg, spicy chicken on a plate of rice. Another option is Ayam Betutu, which specialize in ....ayam betutu itself, which is chicken with spices wrapped in banana leaf, again with some vegetables on a plate of rice. I don't have the address with me so you may have to check with the hotel concierge. Just remember this is very simple food eaten daily by Balinese, it is not fancy or upscale stuff, so I am not sure if you want to drive 30 or 60minutes for these food. The taxi fare or gasoline itself maybe more expensive than the food.
Just another note on betutu, there is another dish known as bebek betutu (bebek means duck) so instead of chicken, it is duck that is wrapped in the leaves. My friend has recommended this dish at Cafe Lotus or Murni's Warung, both in Ubud, though I have not been there. But then if you were going to Bebek Bengil that I recommended above, which serves crispy fried duck, perhaps you will consume too much duck if you go for bebek betutu in the same location.
I've been going to Ubud for the last 25 years and always go directly to Murni's Warung - great setting, wonderful food and nice service. It was the first real restaurant in Ubud and is still going strong. Go down to the lowest floor just above the river.
It is owned by the legendary Murni who is also hitting the San Francisco scene with her Asian collection of antiques - many are for sale in the restaurant shop - and they decorate the place too.
Bebek Bengil fries the duck whereas it should be slow-cooked for hours like Murni's.
Some of us have toured the restaurants on a duck tasting and Murni's came out top.
There's also a great local dish called Tuti's Tutu Ayam - spiced Balinese chicken cooked for over 8 hours. Wonderful and wonderfully presented.
Nice web site too - www.murnis.com
I'm back, and had a wonderful time eating mangosteens and comparing banana pancakes and nasi campur all over town.
Ubud: Ibu Oka (but go early for the best babi guling; after 1 or 2 p.m. you're getting the worst bits), cooking class at Casa Luna with Oday and a stop for tiramisu and whole-grain bread
Pemuteran: Greek food at Taman Selini
Sanur: the best nasi campur at Warung Blanjong, fresh snapper and garlic prawns by the sea at Kesuma, excellent stir fry and coffee at Kami Sama. I also liked the mixed seafood platter at Zanzibar in Legian (Seminyak).
Gili Trawangan: several great meals at Recchi's Living Room including goat sate and lunch at the spot on the square by the pier (15000 rupiah)
We had a charming meal at Mozaic, but I couldn't help feeling it was completely out of place and the prices (550,000 rupiah plus service for the basic menu, 750,000 for the chef's menu) out of line in a country where US$3-5 buys a delectable meal and most people don't earn that much in a month. The service while friendly was lacking in expertise; I sent back a glass of wine that was chalky and past its prime and tried to explain this to several people--that they should taste it and perhaps stop serving it and was met with blank stares.
We also ate at Quoi at Quinci Villas in Mangsit, which felt like a W hotel. Superb service, more like 200,000 than 1,000,000 for dinner. But not sure it was better than the 10,000 a bag fish sate I had in north Lombok, despite the pool, breadsticks, and view over the crashing waves.
I did have kopi luwak for 45,000 rupiah at the orchid garden (prices apparently set to appeal to rich Russians including honey for $25 a jar). It was luscious, but so was the kopi Bali and kopi Lombok I had elsewhere for 10,000.
I found the slow-cooked duck at Murni's disappointing. I was there late afternoon, which may have contributed. Warung Enak was dreadful--not enak. Pizza Bagus was fun.
Best bar was definitely Tir Na Nog in Gili T: hopping late on a Monday night in the pouring rain with DJ spinning, everyone dancing and drinking Bintang and arak attacks.
I never made it to Denpassar, and the day I was up by Naughty Nuri's, I was out of cash.
BTW I had no problem bringing back coffee and spices (gorgeous vanilla beans, nutmeg, pepper, sea salt) through US customs.
Just got back from another trip to Bali. Actually I only went back to a few spots which I have been before:
Mozaic was good as usual. Yes, the prices seem sky high for Indonesia, but it is no more ridiculous than paying IDR 160,000 for a plate of nasi/mie goreng at a hotel. Blogpost: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...
Ibu Oka has moved into an alley nearby. Place is now completely touristy with no locals, since prices went from IDR 10 to 25k which prices out the locals looking for good value.
Still delicious but I am ready to try some other joint. Blogpost: http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...
Ketupat: an old favorite in Kuta. We should have ordered the bebek betutu but couldn't fit it in... http://chi-he-wan-le.blogspot.com/200...
Otherwise I like Bumbu Bali and Made's Warung - both usual suspects. Indus Cafe on Jl Raya near Mozaic is also good. Go to Bebek Bengil for the setting, not the food...same with Cafe Lotus. Avoid the tourist traps on Jimbaran Beach - food all taste the same. Go to Ku De Ta for drinks and the view; forget the food.
The Bumbu Bali in Tanjung Benoa was unforgettable. Soooo much food. Wonderful walk back to the hotel along the beach.
In Ubud I ate at Ibu Oka (babi guling/suckling pig) as often as I could. See if they let you order extra pork candy (the coconut crunchy skin).
The best Balinese coffee and babi guling I had was at the Ubud Sunday market about 7am. The coffee was rich, dark, and hot. The pork usually too cool when it is served was still hot.