From spicy Indonesian Nasi Goreng to indulgent Italian wood-fired pizzas – you can taste the world in the land of the gods. Here’s a look at the a few must-visit restaurants in Bali.
Apricot-hued sunsets and crystal-clear waters aren’t the only allure of Indonesia’s most popular archipelago. In fact, the aromas of Bakso (meatball soup) as well as Sate Ayam (chicken satay) – amongst other local favourites – are bound to greet you on the streets of Ubud and Seminyak. Combine this with migrants-led fine-dining establishments, experimental-fusion menus that have featured in the World’s 50 Best lists, bustling party spots, and beachside watering holes and you’ve got yourself a foodie’s dream destination. If you’re headed to the tropical paradise of Bali, here’s our pick of popular restaurants to hit up.
Exciting restaurants to pop by if you’re in Bali, Indonesia
Babi Guling Pande Egi, Ubud
Perhaps one of the most recommended dining destinations – by locals, chefs, and frequent visitors alike – Babi Guling Pande Egi serves up the best roast suckling pig on the island. We’re talking crunchy crackling, flavourful sausages, warming soup, tongue-tickling spicy sambal – the works. There are several other things complementing the feast – verdant rice fields and an expansive, two storey space with a breezy and relaxed ambiance.
Address: Banjar Pande, Beng, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80513, Indonesia
Contact: +62 878 8332 8808
Kaum Bali, Seminyak
Located in Desa Potato Head, Kaum – which translates to ‘tribe’ in Indonesian – is a stunning spot for authentic food of the islands. The space, which pays homage to local craftsmanship, is marked by vibrant Trorajan wood carvings. Communal tables, meanwhile, encourage traditional, family-style dining. Must-try bites from the menu, featuring recipes passed down generations, include the Sate Babi Kecap, Nasi Goreng, Gohu Tuna, Gulai Gurita, and Tongseng Ayam. We recommend asking the staff for a selection of their in-house sambals to really spice things up.
Address: Desa Potato Head, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung
Contact: +62 361 6207979
Room 4 Dessert, Ubud
One of the most coveted dining destinations in Bali – this restaurant is dedicated to all things dessert. That said, it also experiments with savoury bites. These are presented through culinary creations spanning across several courses, paired with cocktails and wine. That said, there are à la carte options as well. The ingredients are local (and often seasonal) and the flavours unique. The ambiance is marked by an easygoing, zen soundtrack, verdant kitchen garden, and contemporary-minimalist decor. That said, reservation here is quite difficult to get, so be sure to call ahead of time.
Address: Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar
Contact: +62 813 3705 0539
Mama San Bali
Wildly popular Mama San is a lively, two-level space with lounge seats, red brick walls, old-school photographs, elegant upholstery, and a striking hand-painted mural of a fictional ‘madame Mama San’ – reminiscent of 1920s, British-ruled Shanghai. The menu features modern Asian bites – Duck Laap, Char Siu Pork, Beef Rendang, Crispy Chicken Dumplings, Lobster & Prawn Siew Mai. We’re eyeing the Burmese Lamb Curry which sings with notes of ginger, pickled garlic, and crunchy peanuts. Pair these with their selection of delicious, eclectic cocktails – Rainforest Mule, Caramel Espresso Martini, Chilli & Lime Margarita – as well as wines.
Address: Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.135, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung
Contact: +62 818 0612 6700
Indonesian flavours are celebrated at this popular 40-seater space. The space is marked by chic décor with black details and Balinese murals. Hidden in a nondescript lane, Sangsaka comes off as unassuming. It includes the likes of Opor Udang, Ikan Pesmol, Sate Ayam, Longton Jamur, and Pearl Scallop Dumplings. The Bebek Adun and Pangsit Laksa come highly recommended. Pair them with creative cocktails like Sumatran Negroni, Timor Punch, and Sulawesi Sour. For dessert, don’t miss out on the Pala – featuring nutmeg fruit cream caramel and a spiced date pudding.
Address: Jalan Pangkung Sari No. 100 Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten
Contact: +62 812 3695 9895
Burgers might not be the first food item to spring to mind when it comes to Bali. However, Bo$$man has firmly established itself in the dietary habits of the archipelago and for good reason. The menu features the most eclectic, indulgent options – made fresh everyday. Popular options include Chook Knight with fried chicken, Babi G with spiced pork belly, and El Chapo with seasoned beef patty. Plant-based individuals, dig into the edamame-quinoa-sunflower number The Gandhi. Make it a meal with soda and truffle fries.
Address: Jalan Kayu Cendana No. 8B, Seminyak, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung
Contact: +62 812 3916 7070
A fine-dining establishment that celebrates Indonesian farmers, fishers, and flavours – Locavore is helmed by classically-trained chefs Eelke Plasmeijer and Ray Adriansyah. Each and every part of the dining experience here – from the ingredients used to the glassware presented – is local. The tasting menu switches every four months. At the moment, this includes a stunning cocktail named Ashes that’s inspired by the mysteries of local folklore. A regular feature on the Asia’s 50 Best list, this spot calls for early reservations.
Address: Jl. Dewisita No.10, Ubud, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar
Contact: +62 821 4495 6226
Da Maria, Badung
Giving Bali a taste of the Amalfi Coast – Da Maria is the spot to hit up when you’ve a hankering for Italian fare. Helmed by chef Lorenzo De Petris – the menu features the likes of Potato Gnocchi Alla Partenopea, Calamari Sant’andrea, Lasagnette, and Risotto. The wood-fired pizzas are a must-try – pairing like a dream with their cocktails like Metto Sour and Sicilian Margarita. Not to mention, their selection of wines. We’re eyeing the Tiramisu Negroni with clarified milk, mascarpone, campari, vermouth rosso, espresso, and gin-infused lady finger.
Address: Jl. Petitenget No.170, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung
Contact: +62 361 9348523
If you’re in the market to let your hair down, this restaurant offers the most bustling space in Bali – complete with Latin-inspired bites and heady concoctions to boot. One of the island’s most popular spots – the decor here is vintage with graffiti-featuring walls – telling tales of Indonesian jungles and underground bars of London. The menu spotlights local ingredients – including the likes of Barramundi Fillet, Whole Baby Squid, Chorizo Rosario, Confit Lamb Shoulder, Prawn Tails, and Tres Leches. Need we say more?
Address: Jalan Laksamana Oberoi No.177X, Seminyak, Kec. Kuta, Kabupaten Badung
Contact: +62 361 730010
Which of these are you adding to your tropical itinerary?
All images: Courtesy Brands