One of the very best things about travel is that you’ll get to experience a completely different culture and tradition. This applies to food as well and so we’ve compiled of Bali’s very best and most authentic Indonesian dishes, and where you can find them. In part 1, you’ll discover the most irresistible and delicious Indonesian and Balinese dishes in Canggu, Kuta and Seminyak. Enjoy!

CANGGU

Dendeng Batokok
Plataran @ Canggu
Price: IDR 129,000++

A Sumatran specialty, Dendeng Batokok is thinly sliced beef that’s been stewed for hours over low heat with herbs and spices and then fried and cured, creating a tangy Indonesian equivalent of the beef jerky. Spicy Balado Sauce is added to give extra flavour and a touch of warmth to the meat; the sauce is made with a mixture of fragrant red chilies, sautéed shallots and seasoning. The result is a hearty and flavourful meat treat, which can be found in many of the Padang restaurants dotted all over the archipelago. Originating from West Sumatra, the ubiquity of this dish is a tribute to its unique and distinctive taste. www.plataran.com

Nasi Conglak
Iwa Restaurant, Hotel Tugu Bali
Price: Starts from IDR 200,000++

A definite must-try here at Iwa Restaurant, the ‘Congklak Nasi Campur’ is a playful way of eating your way through the nation. Served on a Congklak board, a mancala game of ancient Javanese origin where the objective is to capture more seeds in the storehouse than one’s opponent, the pawn seeds of the original game are replaced with delectable dishes that you can pick and mix yourself in creating your own culinary journey and sample the best of Indonesian cuisine from various islands from across the archipelago. It is a new and fun take on the nation’s favourite dish – the ‘nasi campur’, where diners can a relish a mix of several small dishes served together in a mélange of flavours. www.tuguhotels.com

KUTA

Rijstaffel
Poppies Restaurant, Kuta
Price: IDR 305,000++

A popular favourite with regulars at one of Kuta’s most legendary and longest-standing restaurants, Poppies Restaurant of Poppies Cottages fame invites you to an iconic meal featuring the Rijstaffel, a Dutch word that when translated means “Rice Table”. The Rijstaffel is the Dutch adaptation of the Sumatran’s people way of eating; the hidang presentation where multiple plates of dishes, each containing different types of meat or vegetables cooked differently, are placed on the table for all to share. At Poppies Restaurant, the Rijstaffel is an impressive platter featuring the Beef Rendang, Lamb Tongseng, Sweet and Sour Prawns, Sayur Urab, Squid in Balinese Spices, Fish in Balinese Spices, Chicken in Sambal Matah, Corn Bergedel, Nasi Goreng, White Rice and Sate. It’s the perfect meal for two! www.poppiesbali.com

Ayam Panggang Madu
Kopi Pot Restaurant, Kuta
Price: IDR
82,000++

This delightful dish puts a pleasant twist on the traditional grilled chicken, giving it a touch of natural sweetness with the use of spicy honey sauce. A satisfying dish served with turmeric rice, braised long beans with spicy coconut cream sauce, and three kinds of sambal – sweet chili sauce, sambal matah and chili soy sauce. Warm, cozy and welcoming, with friendly and familiar staff who are always ready to welcome you with open arms, Kopi Pot is nestled amidst lush flora and fauna. This long-standing family establishment on bustling Jl. Raya Legian has been building its legacy since 1990, when it first opened its doors to hungry travellers worldwide and offers consistently delicious and fresh Balinese, Indonesian and International favourites in a family-friendly setting for an unbeatable dining experience. www.kopipot.com

Chef’s Sate
KORI Restaurant & Bar
Price: IDR 105,000++

Dining at KORI Restaurant, Bar & Catering is a uniquely charming experience. This beautiful garden restaurant retains its old-world charm, bringing guests back to the captivating Bali of yesteryear as they indulge on exquisite Asian and International cuisine. Here, you’ll be sure to find a haven of tastes within a tranquil environment in this home-turned-restaurant, with settings that call for the senses to relax and unwind. The menu at KORI emphasizes unmatched flavours and quality ingredients. An irresistible favourite is the Mixed Chicken & Beef Sate served over coconut husk and hot charcoal accompanied with steamed rice, sayur urap, sate sauce and sambal ulek. You’ll definitely be back for more! www.korirestaurant.co.id

Wok Tossed Seafood Nasi Goreng
Starz Diner, Hard Rock Hotel Bali
Price: IDR 179,000 nett

Indonesia’s most popular and renowned dish, the Nasi Goreng is given a unique and flavoursome twist here at the favourite family dining venue, Starz Diner at Hard Rock Hotel in Kuta. Juicy and succulent seafood adds fresh tastes of the ocean into a wok tossed dish that comes served with chicken sate, crispy fried king prawns, homemade pickles, giant crackers and a runny fried egg to top it all off! https://bali.hardrockhotels.net

Balinese Rijstaffel
Bali Dynasty Resort
Price: IDR 360,000 nett for two persons

During your stay at the Bali Dynasty Resort, why not partake in a Theme Night Dinner that takes place every Monday at SEN5ES Restaurant? A wonderful choice would be the Rijstaffel, a shared dining concept that dates back to colonial times when esteemed guests were welcomed with a lavish Indonesian feast presenting many different dishes. Your meal would include a starter, soup, rice accompanied by various main dishes, vegetables and sambal condiments. Offering a selection of tasting-sized portions served family style, this dinner is the perfect introduction to the exotic flavours of Indonesian cuisine. A buffet of traditional sweet treats will also be available to round off this unique culinary adventure. www.bdr.pphotels.com

Megibung Bali Aga
Kunyit Restaurant, The ANVAYA Beach Resort Bali
Price: IDR 390,000++ per couple

While you’re here in Bali, why not try dining like the Balinese do, in the traditional Megibung style. Megibung is an ancient Balinese style of dining where entire families or villages come together to eat from the same plate. If you would like to try an elevated version of the Megibung, do head to Kunyit Restaurant at The ANVAYA Beach Resort Bali for the perfect introduction to the traditional delicacies of Bali and Indonesia, for a sensory dining experience that specializes in local cuisine. “Kunyit” means turmeric, which is one of the key ingredients incorporated into many of the dishes served. The Megibung platter at Kunyit Restaurant comes with fish, beef or chicken skewers, fish soup or chicken soup, roasted chicken with sambal matah, steam or grilled fish and prawns, Balinese pork sausage, Balinese salad, steamed white rice and assorted Balinese sambal. www.theanvayabali.com

Balinese BBQ Pork Ribs
The DECK Restaurant & Bar, The ONE Legian
Price: IDR 105,000 nett

Bali is renowned the world over for its succulent and tender pork dishes and now at The ONE Legian you can tuck into a luscious dish of juicy BBQ Pork Ribs at The DECK Restaurant. The secret to this aromatic and flavourful dish lies with the Chef, who prefers to marinate overnight and then proceed with a slow cooking method to produce soft and tender meat that will melt off the bone. This dish is a beautiful blend of sweet, savory with a mix of Balinese spice. Choose your side dish, whether mashed potatoes, fried potatoes or rice. www.theonelegian.com

SEMINYAK

Banana Leaf Wrapped Red Snapper
Starfish Bloo, W Hotel Seminyak
Price: IDR 275,000++

In the heart of trendy Seminyak, you’ll find some of the most coveted flavours of Indonesia at Starfish Bloo with its signature dish, the Banana Leaf Wrapped Grilled Red Snapper with Sulawesi Pineapple Dabu-Dabu Salsa and Kemangi Oil. Dabu-Dabu is a type of sauce that is made from red chili, hot chili, tomato, kafir lime, shallot, lime juice, salt, coconut oil, pineapple, lemon grass and coriander root. The fresh-from-the-sea grilled snapper is wrapped with a banana leaf and then placed in a pot over charcoal and oil. This entire get-up will be brought to your table by the Chef so that you can enjoy the sizzle and the aroma before placing the fish on your dish. Enjoy! www.whotels.com

Jimbaran Red Snapper
Seminyak Kitchen, Courtyard Seminyak
Price: IDR 140,000++

Courtyard Seminyak’s Executive Chef Donald Hutauruk’s love of the ocean has created this delectable dish called the Jimbaran Red Snapper which has guests smacking their lips and coming back for more. Inspired from his frequent visits to the Jimbaran seafood market – a favourite place of the Chef on his days off – here is where he finds new ideas or ingredients to create new dishes. The Red Snapper is one of the Chef’s preferred fishes which are readily found and bursting with freshness at the Jimbaran seafood market. It is a unique dish that will surprise any ardent gourmand, as the Chef has combined the fish’s unique and juicy flavours with a French twist, a skill that he obtained from his years in kitchens overseas. www.courtyardseminyak.com

Ayam Panggang Bali
Mase Kitchen & Wine Bar, MACA Villas & Spa
Price: IDR 85,000++

Indulge in the flavours of Bali with this delightfully spiced Balinese version of the roasted chicken, only at Mase Kitchen & Wine Bar. Tender and juicy chicken breasts are first marinated with Balinese herbs and spices before roasted over coals infused with herbs and coconut husks for a uniquely tropical flavour. The dish is served with rice, mixed vegetables and the Balinese sambal matah. www.macavillas.com

Grilled Fish Dabu Dabu
Dauh Restaurant, The Kayana Seminyak
Price: IDR 155,000++

In the heart of Petitenget you’ll find one of Indonesia’s most beloved dishes at The Kayana Seminyak – the Grilled Fish Dabu Dabu is freshly grilled fillet of fish covered with a hot and spicy sauce; dabu-dabu is part of the traditional Manado signature cuisine which originates from North Sulawesi and is usually used on seafood and grilled fish. Seasoned with chillies, tomatoes, lime and local herbs, it is similar to the Mexican salsa with varying levels of spiciness. The Manadoans sometimes describe it as their version of the raw sambal. You can now enjoy this dish at Dauh Restaurant, at The Kayana Seminyak for lunch, comprising fresh pan fried fillet of fish with dabu-dabu relish and steamed white rice. www.thekayana.com

Ayam Menyatnyat
Jackson Lily’s
Price: IDR 110,000++

Set along Seminyak’s most prime location, Jackson Lily’s is a mecca for the gourmand and those who just crave fresh and delicious food that is unlike any other. With delectable selections featuring innovative Asian cuisine, Jackson Lily’s is the brainchild of Master Chef and culinary icon, Dean Keddell, the founder of both Jackson Lily’s and Ginger Moon. Guests to Jackson Lily’s will dine in an expansive space created to bring people and flavours together. A Chef’s recommendation if you’re craving for a traditional Balinese dish is the famous Bali Ayam Menyatnyat, braised chicken slowly marinated in Balinese spices and then slowly cooked for hours over a small fire. This delicious dish comes served with snake beans and young papaya. www.jacksonlilys.com

Ayam Bakar Kecap with Sambal Matah
Cocoon Beach Club
Price: IDR 72,000++

A world-famous beachfront venue, Cocoon Beach Club is a beach club, sports bar, and restaurant with an impressively wide menu that emphasizes on taste, quality and value. The restaurant serves some of the very best local and international delicacies in South Bali with flavours and aroma that just can’t be beat. Head Chef I Komang Ari’s personal recommendation, the Ayam Bakar Kecap, which is also known as the Grilled Chicken with Soy Sauce is a dish inspired by his mother, who made her own, very delicious version of the Balinese Ayam Bakar Kecap for the whole family to enjoy. At Cocoon Beach Club, the chicken is marinated for hours with Balinese spices before being grilled over hot coals and then served with fresh chilli sauce & rice. www.cocoon-beach.com

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