Beautiful Bali – foodie heaven
Now until September is the ideal time to visit beautiful Bali – it’s dry season after all. So having had a few requests to share FooDiva’s fave foodie spots, here’s my top ten in no particular order. Mind you, the list is endless – whether you’re after rustic Indonesian grub or Asian-inspired fine dining delights, Bali is true foodie heaven. Firstly I would highly recommend visiting for at least ten days and to split your time between the sexy southern coastal resorts (Seminyak, Jimbaran or Nusa Dua) before heading to the hills of Ubud (think Eat, Pray, Love) to chill…hippie chic-style.
THE SEMINYAK STRETCH
1. Sardine – if there’s one restaurant to pick in this area, it’s gotta be this one. Superb seafood from down-the-road Jimbaran bay and organic greens from a garden up in the hills. A striking bamboo cabana with a terrace overlooking rice paddy fields. I recommend the barramundi in a lime and chilli Nouc-cham marinade steamed in banana leaf. Best to book in advance. Open for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday.
2. La Barca – no-frills beach shack just down the stretch from the snazzy W hotel in Batu Belig (north of Seminyak). Don’t underestimate this joint – the food’s wonderfully wholesome and the freshly concocted Bloody Marys make La Barca the perfect post-party hangover cure. T; +62 81916661399 E; email@example.com
3. Mamasan – ideal retro pitstop whilst on the proverbial Seminyak shopping trek. A converted warehouse oozing vintage Chinese chic. Asian treats – try the stir-fried rice with Peking duck. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
4. Ku De Ta – this world-famous ultra cool and trendy beachside lounge-cum-restaurant-cum-club that’s been around for a decade is so popular you’d be hard pushed to not come across it. Perfect for sundowners and a bite to eat whilst reclining on sun loungers. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Round the corner from the Oberoi.
5. Cocoon – not to be confused with the snazzy London eatery, Cocoon Bali is a restaurant, bar and beach club all in one – in fact a similar concept to rival Ku De Ta. All white and minimalist – Greek-style. I spent new year’s eve here with 300 others (because Ku De Ta were being difficult), and if a restaurant can rustle up a Black Angus tenderloin from a small a la carte menu and still serve it as per our order, in my case rare, then you sure have FooDiva’s seal of approval. It also goes down as one of the cheapest NY’s ever. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Leaving the glitz and glamour of trendy Seminyak, grab a cab and head further south to JIMBARAN BAY for…
6. Jimbaran Bay – this is not the name of a restaurant but a row of 50+ beachside shacks serving super fresh grilled lobster and any seafood that tickles your palate. Simply choose from the fish tank and pay by weight. Stunning sunsets too. Open daily for lunch and dinner. A hop away from the Four Seasons.
Further south-east lies NUSA DUA…
7. Bumbu Bali – ex-Hyatt Swiss hotel chef Heinz von Holzen runs this authentic Balinese eatery set amongst pretty thatched roof huts. Great cooking school too. The only spot in Bali for more-ish Nasi Goreng. So good that the Burj Al Arab flew Heinz in for a series of themed dinners a few years ago – bring him back pretty please. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Down the road from the Conrad.
8. The Rock Bar – now can FooDiva admit to not visiting this one? No excuse…I just ran out of spare nights on my most recent visit. But trust me, everyone I know that has, says it’s out of this world. Just take a peek at the website and you’ll see what I mean. Perched on the edge of a cliff with spectacular ocean and sunset views. Super glam. Take me with you now or else am hoping heaven will be similar. Small bites menu with your sundowners. Open daily from 4pm – 1am.
UBUD for some R&R in the hilly heart of Bali…
9. Mozaic – this is Bali’s finest restaurant if not the whole of Asia’s. Worthy of a Michelin star or two. Contemporary French cuisine with a hugely Asian influence. Here’s FooDiva’s review. Gotta book well in advance. Open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday. Oh and a Mozaic ‘beach club’ opens in Seminyak/ Batu Belig next to La Barca in July!
10. Ibu Oka – last but not least, I end on a non-diva note. Back-to-basics, local Indonesian eatery, where all you can eat is different concoctions of ‘babi guling’, aka roasted suckling pig, pork crackling included. Service sucks (excuse the pun), but food is worth testing your patience. Even Anthony Bourdain says so. Grab the only terrace table overlooking the former royal palace.T; +62 361976345. Open for lunch only (11am – 3pm).
Well that’s about it FooDiva Friends. Do grab yourselves a copy of the Luxe Guide to Bali – also available as an app. I rarely travel anywhere without this teeny bible.
Any other favourite Balinese eateries to add to this selection? And if you do visit, love to hear your feedback.