Beautiful Bali – foodie heaven

Bali - Ubud's rice paddy fields

Bali - Ubud's rice paddy fields

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.


 Sardine's rice paddy fields

Sardine - overlooking their very own private rice paddy field

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;

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.

View from Ibu Oka's terraceTropical fruit stall

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.

A thundery sunset

A thundery sunset

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…

Villa Awang Awang in Ubud

Villa Awang Awang in Ubud

Mozaic - the raw ingredients placed on our table

Mozaic - the raw ingredients placed on our table

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!

Ibu Oka's roast suckling pig and pork crackling

Ibu Oka's roast suckling pig and pork crackling

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).

View from Ibu Oka's terrace

View from Ibu Oka's terrace

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.

A bientôt.

FooDiva. x


  • Posted under
    Bali, Bar and pub grub, Cafes, Culinary Travel, Restaurants
  • Pin It

9 Responses to “Beautiful Bali – foodie heaven”

  1. Radhina April 19, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Looks awesome 🙂 Bumbu Bali is on my Dish List for this year and hoping to try a lot more yum places when I head there (fingers crossed) later this summer 🙂

    • FooDiva April 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Thanks for sharing your hot dish list Radhina. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed with Bali – both as destination and its food. x

  2. kelly April 19, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Beautiful pictures…well written!

    • FooDiva April 19, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      Thank you! It’s easy when the destination is paradise :). x

  3. Sally - My Custard Pie April 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I just turned green. Who knew that Bali was such a foodie paradise.

    • FooDiva April 19, 2012 at 7:41 pm

      I love Bali so much I’d move there tomorrow Sally.

  4. DNCW April 20, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    This is really MYdestination. Next time you want to go, give me a shout. Beautiful pictures. Btw, did u swim in that pool?

    • FooDiva April 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Yes I did – breathtaking tree top views, but freezing water! I up for visiting any time in the dry season so just say :).

  5. David July 28, 2012 at 6:53 am

    I find the Bali food scene completely overhyped and underwhelming, I can’t see what the all the fuss is about, the best restaurants are only good, the best of the rest are just mediocre. Fine dining in Bali just does not exist, it’s an over exploited little island that lost it’s charm many many years ago.

    Honestly, there is barely a restaurant on the island that can compete with a good Parisian Cafe.

    There will never be a true quality fish restaurant on the island while the island is in the tropics, warm water tropical fish are greasy and lack flavour in comparison to cold water fish, try some freshly caught Alaskan crab or Norwegian Salmon and you’ll immediately taste the difference.

    Foodie heaven? Foodie mediocrity more like.

I’d love to receive your feedback, so feel free to comment any time.