Written by Kim Wilson
Co-written by Beverley Lennon
You seriously have not lived until you have tucked into a freshly made plate of delicious Nasi Goreng or tried some mouth-watering Babi Guling!
We thought it would be a great (and delicious) adventure to hunt down all the restaurants and warungs serving the best local food.
What’s the best part? You might find yourself sharing a communal bench with the locals at the warungs, or indulging in a delectably local dinner accompanied with a performance at a restaurant.
Regardless, you’re bound to have an enjoyable experience at any of these places!
Psst! For those not fluent in Bahasa Indonesian, here are a few keywords when looking at menus:
1. Discover an authentic Balinese hideaway: Laka Leke
Laka Leke is a must “dintertainment” spot while in Ubud. You get to dine and be entertained alongside local performances, surely redefining the way you usually savour in local delicacies.
Everything at this restaurant depicts authentic Balinese lifestyle – from the welcoming entrance, walk through rice paddy fields and reach the temple-shaped gate, you will then be directed to your lesehan seating (dine picnic-style while sitting on a mat) in your private pavillion with a few monkeys eyeing you (or rather, your food).
Don’t worry as they will head back to the forest when you are all settled (they are just here to double-check that you are enjoying!).
Local dishes at Laka Leke are exquisite – the restaurant is known to be dishing out not only hawker favourites, but also modern Indonesian fare, authentic Balinese cuisine and more!
We personally loved their popular crispy duck, which goes amazingly well with some sambal matah. Then again everything at Laka Leke taste fantastic, but nothing does justice to their mouth-watering Nasi Campur – colourful and flavourful are the best two words we can find to describe. For Rp.50,000 (approximately USD 3.60), it’s super affordable for the quality you get and the comfortable restaurant setting.
(Psst – We always return for their Nasi Campur, not to mention asking for extra sambal!) See, even the classics are taken to the next level!
On specific nights, the restaurant gets busy with their traditional performances, with locals dressed in colourful and shiny outfits replicating theatrical dances such as the Barong and Kris Dance, Frog Dance, Jogeg and Children Dance as well as Bali’s popular Kecak Dance. Join in, get to learn a few steps and go back with plenty of good memories!
2. Do you smell something fishy? : RM Pak Bagong
What’s a trip to an island if you don’t savour authentic seafood dishes? With the sea so close by, all you can expect is fresh and juicy seafood – the real sea-to-table experience!
Drop by this local eatery and make sure your stomach is empty, ready for a fishy feast! At RM Pak Bagong, fish is served the traditional way with a rich sauce mastered by Indonesians only. Tangy, spicy, saucy, crunchy, steamy and flaming hot – their Mujair fish topped with thick NyatNyat sauce is what you are here for!
First you’ve got the crisp of the fried fish, then comes the NyatNyat seasoning, spread all over your fish and dripping goodness! You’ll smell and taste the rich flavours of ginger, coriander and chili – all mashed and mixed with coconut milk, boiled to perfect thickness!
RM Pak Bagong has to be our ultimate local find on this precious parchment of must-try local food in Bali – it is yet a hidden spot, unknown by most visitors but oh-so loved by the locals!
Of course, you can choose to go simply for the fried fish without the sauce if you are feeling less adventurous but why eat less when you can eat more?!
You are here to share seats with locals and simply indulge!
3. Where you feel and feast like a local: Kampoeng Bali at RIMBA Jimbaran BALI by AYANA