BALI’S BEST HOLIDAY INFORMATION FOR FIRST-TIMERS.

Eating out is a favourite pastime for many of us and in particular while on holiday in Bali, where the choices of wonderful tasting food, where to go and what to eat at these world class restaurants, is extremly tempting to say the least. While you are there, visit eat street (Jl Laksmana) and also (Jl Petitenget) in Seminyak. Listed below, you will find a number of my personal recommedations for your consideration.

So just in case you have forgotten, we are in paradise where there must be hundreds of restaurants to choose from and also warungs, which is the Indonesian version, catering for great spicy indonesian food, which is available every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Prices start at around $5 to $8 at a warung while the average prices for cafes and middle range Bali restaurants mentioned below, can vary from as low as $10 and up to $35 per person for a two course meal at some restaurants. Fine dining at top end Bali restaurants is an amazing experience for diners, where they are offered excellent value for their money when compared to restaurants in Australia.  The food quality is outstanding, much of which is sourced from around the world on a daily basis, the venues are often magnificent and at stunning locations, they also offer top quality glassware, linen table cloths and napkins, cutlery and crockery of a high quality, which all goes along way in making your evening a very special evening indeed.

These world class restaurants provide extensive menus of food prepared by world class chefs and they also provide comprehensive  world class wine lists. To ensure your evening is everything you wished for, you will find the table service is excellent from highly trained staff, which adds even more value to the total dining experience. Over the years many international chefs have made Bali their home and as a consequence we are the lucky recipients enjoying a delicious variety of cuisines from around the globe such as Indonesian, Thai, Greek, Italian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Indian to name a few of todays choices.

Take away food is also big business in Bali. The quality, service and delivery time is usually very good. If this interests you, look for a Hallo! magazine which covers take away food very well. Usually, you can pick up the mag at restaurants, hotels and villas free of charge. Order from about 45 different restaurants by ringing this number (735100).Some of my favourites are Sasa, Ryoshi, Pantarai, Bali Bakery, Pizza Club, Cafe Moka and Queens Tandor.

Important: Getting to and from restaurants can be a problem if you are not familiar with your surrounds and also concerned for your safety. In this event you may like to give consideration to the following: You have  three choices in the main which are walking, taxis or private transport with someone like my friend Charlie. M: 0815 5792272 or E: vicky_yudiari@yahoo.com

At this point, I am going to categorise a few eating establishments, all of which come with my personal recommendation and are divided into three categories using the following symbols, $, $$, $$$ for ratings on price and quality.

Warungs:

Some personal recommendations for your consideration.

Some of the best and cheapest food available is served at a number of Indonesian Warungs (restaurants). The food is excellent and If you find they are very busy it’s fair to assume the food is good and hygiene is acceptable. Here are just a few warungs you may like to try out for the odd lunch or evening meal. Allow from $5 to $8 per person depending on the amount of food you put on your plate and how many times you line up.

  • $ Warung Made’s (Jl Seminyak, Seminyak)
  • $ Warung Batavia (Jl. Kerobokan)
  • $ Warung Murah (Jl. Double Six)
  • $ Warung Sate Bali (Jl. Laksmana 22a)
  • $ Warung Italia  (Jl. Kunti)
  • $ Warung Ocha’s (crn Jl. Raya & Jl. Dyana Pura, Seminyak)
  • $ Warung Taste (Jl. Laksmana, Seminyak)

Most taxi drivers will know where these warungs are located. The word Jalan or Jl., means road or street to us.

Cafe’s:

Some personal recommendations for your consideration:

*Prices suggested here can range from $10 per person for one course and up to $35 per person for three courses.

$$ Chandi Restaurant Jl. Laksmana, Seminyak Tel 731060. This wonderful restaurant has a great feel to it and a reputation for fantastic meals and service. The excellent choices you have from a comprehensive menu, will no doubt make your final decision, a difficult one. I could happily eat here every night.

$$ Cafe Italia Ristorante: +62 (0) 81353687898   www.ristorantecafeitalia.com   This exciting new reataurant recently opened its doors to the delight of many locals and tourists in the Tanah Lot area. The restaurant is situated in the car park area of “Tanah Lot Temple,” one of Bali’s most famous temples. Owner Claudia and Chef Taufan have cleverly put together a most delightful menu of  authentic Italian, International and Indonesian dishes to win your praises. It is also a special place with a peaceful environment to enjoy a cold beer, wine or Italian coffee and watch the world go by. Put this restaurant on your must list of places to visit.
$$ Biku Jl. Petitenget No 888 Tel +62 361 8570888 www.bikubali.com/ For something very good and very different do yourself a favour by visting Biku. Open for breakfast, Lunch, High Tea and Dinner. Highly recommended for excellent food at affordable prices. Biku’s menu caters very well for families and groups also.

$$ Pavillion Grill Bar

Situated at Jl.Batubelig 106. Tel. +623614737634. e-mail info@pavillionbali.com Pavillion grill bar is a family friendly restaurant situated on the up and coming Batubelig strip, which brings you an elegant atmosphere with an open air terrace that feels like you are on a yacht. This great new restaurant specialises in a mix of International favourites along with a selection of International wines, cocktails, highballs or martinis. The quality of food, service and value for money is spot on. Open from 9am until midnight Monday to Sunday for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Casual attire is the way to go.

$$ Queens Tandor

Jl. Seminyak 73, Seminyak Tel 732770 If you like curry, you will love this place, especially the price. You can also enjoy great food from the Tandor oven, like slowly cooked lamb, chicken and of course curries.

$$ The Pantarei

Jl. Raya # 17, Seminyak Tel 732567 This restaurant provides a very interesting Greek menu. I love the food here and I have never been disappointed on any occasion. The restaurant is one of only a few providing excellent live music from a talented trio but please check which nights they perform.

$$ Sasa’ Ristorante Italiano

Jl. Laksmana no 78, Seminyak Tel 736638 You will be impressed with delicious fresh Italian food. The service is good and the premises attractive and clean. The restaurant is about five years old and I have always enjoyed a meal here.

$$ Mannekepis

Jl. Raya No 2, Seminyak Tel 8475784 You will get some great home cooked Belgian food here. It’s entertaining and the price is right.

$$ Yutz

This icon is well known for great steak. Tel 23951454 Jl. Werkudara Legian the Road is better known as rum jungle and is close to the Jayakarta hotel front entry.

$$ Rumours (Italian)

Jl. Laksmana, Seminyak Tel 738720

$$ Trattoria and Ultimo (Italian)

Jl. Laksmana Seminyak Tel 737082 / 738720

$$ Lemon Grass (Thai)

Jl. Raya, Seminyak Tel 736149

$$ Tekor:

Traditional Balinese food and cold beers on offer. Excellent value for money. Just off to the left at the beach end of Double Six Rd. This restaurant was completely gutted by fire in recent times and is now rebuilt and open for business 7 days a week.

$$ Joli

Jalan Bumback, Umalas 2, Kerobokan. Ph: +62 361 9100668. This delightful restaurant serving french cuisines is well worth the effort to get there for a very enjoyable meal. Travelling time from the Seminyak area would be approximately 15 minutes.

 $$ Lani Beachbar & Grille (Indonesian)

Ocean Beach Road, Legian. Phone 731305 I find this restaurant is a great place for breakfast, however lunch and dinner are very good also and you wont be disappointed with their food, service and value for money.

$$ Zanzibar (Italian/Indonesian)

Jl. Pantai Arjuna, Blue Ocean Beach Road, Legian, just off Double Six Road. Tel 733529

The above establishments are all good value restaurants and you wont be disappointed. You can eat well at any of the restaurants mentioned above. There are other very good restaurants in Rum Jungle Road, Jl. Padma and Jl Malesti that you could also check out in this category.

Fine Dining

Some personal recommendations for your consideration:

GOOGLE any of the following for a peek at these world class restaurants and also their menue. 

Prices range between $50 and $70 per person for three courses. Quality wine is available by the glass or a bottle from around $55 to $75 per bottle and upwards.

If you are unsure of the currency exchange rate, the above price suggestions convert to approximately Rp.450000 and Rp.630000 for meals and approximately Rp.495000 to Rp.675000 for wine.These prices will vary according to the exchange rate at the time.

$$$ Cocoon Restaurant, Bar and Beach Club

Situated at the beach on Jl. Double Six No 66, Blue Ocean Boulevard, Seminyak. Tel 731266. This fabulous restaurant opened in the middle of 2010. The restaurant offers a wide appeal to many tourists catering for breakfast, lunch, tapas, and dinner. A large pool is a dominant feature overlooking the Indian ocean. You will also love this very popular venue for sunset drinks. In my opinion, this restaurant is a must do on your list of things to do, where you will be spoilt with attentive staff and enjoy an unforgettable meal in fabulous surroundings. Recommended

$$$ Ku De Ta

Situated on the beach front next door to the Oberoi hotel. Jl. Oberoi Tel 736969 This is Bali’s most trendy restaurant with a very good reputation for great food and a fabulous beach front location. The other option is to relax with a few tapas on the deck, a glass of wine or whatever and listen to great music for a lot less at sunset.

$$$ Chez Gado-Gado

Jl. Dhyana Pura no 99 Seminyak Tel 736966 One of my most favourite Bali restaurants overlooking the surf beach in Seminyak is the recently renovated Chez Gado Gado. The dining area has benifited greatly from this major renovation featuring a huge wantilan roof covering a very inviting dining area, which now offers more table settings under cover. The famous deck area has been raised marginally to give diners a more delightful view of the floodlit Indian Ocean. Chef Quib is proud of his icon fine dining venue and is ready to take on the competition with a new and and exciting menu of delicious meals prepared in a new world class kitchen. The restaurant boasts a comprehensive wine list at reasonable prices and also a fine range of tasty cocktails. An old favoutite for me and is Recommended

$$$ Breeze at Samaya

Jl. Oberoi, Seminyak Tel 731149 A fabulous location with beautiful views to enjoy while looking out over the Indian Ocean. This is probably one of the most romantic places to dine at on the island located next door to La Lucciola. The food and wine are as good as the views.

$$$ Sip Wine Bar

No16 Jl. Raya, Seminyak Tel 730810 Sip is a pleasant surprise if you are interested in a excellent fine dining experience at very affordable prices. If you love wine like I do, you will be like a kid in a lolly shop here. Choose from around a hundred different labels from the wine list. The food is sensational, no kidding, just get there and you will be treated to one of the best meals you have ever been fortunate to experience. Highly recommended.

$$$ Metis’

Metis’ is a newly opened restaurant on Jl. Petitenget No 6, Kerobokan.

Tel 8475481 www.metisbali.com In my opinion, Metis is by far the most impressive restaurant in Bali that you are likely to experience and should be at the top of your list to celebrate any important occasion. I am confident you will be suitably impressed with the ambience of this most impressive new restaurant, which provides excellent International and French cuisine with service second to none by attentive and discrete staff. What you can expect at Metis is overall excellence, a very comprehensive menu, a great choice of wine, excellent service and absolutely wonderful food prepared in the presence of world renowned chefs, Said Alem and Nicholas Tourneville of Warisan fame. “Enjoy the experience”. Highly recommended.

$$$ Teatro Gastroteque

Oberoi Road Seminyak. Ph: +62 361 8700078 M: +62 81338551075 E: info@teatrobali.com This small but stylish restaurant is well worth putting on your restaurant list if you are interested in a unique dining setting offering a delightful cuisine. Because this restaurant only seats 26 people, it is very advisable to book a few days in advance to avoid disappointment. Highly recommended

$$$ Sardine

Tel 4738202 This excellent restaurant situated at 21 Jl Petitenget, Kerobokan opened for business during 2010 and is now flourishing. Owners Pascal and Pika have chosen a seafood theme with a dash of Australian and Indonesian cuisine. The setting of this extraordinary and beautifully presented restaurant has views overlooking a immaculately maintained rice field. The ambience of this restaurant is difficult to describe in just a few lines so make sure you experience the WOW factor for yourself, sometime soon. The food and service is exceptional along with a most interesting menu, which makes this fabulous restaurant a standout and is also a personal favourite of mine. Highly Recommended

$$$ The Living Room

Is situated on Jl. Petitenget.Tel 735735 What you can expect is a lovely an elegant open-air restaurant venue, featuring a bar, lounge and lots of table settings in a candlelit garden. The menu includes well prepared and presented “fusion cuisine creations” influenced by Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

$$$  Sarong (Asian Fusion)

Jl. Petitenget 19x, Petitenget Tel 4737809 What you can expect is wow. Since opening in 2008, Sarong has established itself as one of the most popular restaurants in Seminyak if not Bali. There is a tapas bar and lounge before you step into the plush appointed dining area. My favourite dish is lamb Rogan Josh, yum. Highly recommended

$$$ Pearl Restaurant-Lounge

Tel 732743 Pearl is a surprise package tucked away down a lane off Double Six Road. The outdoor setting is beautiful at night and the lounge area is comfortable for pre dinner drinks. The owner, Cyril and his son Jeremy the chef have excelled in the presentation of their business and I recommend the french cusine and attention to detail along with their very attentive staff. Recommended

Book Early

The best advise that I can give you regarding these excellent restaurants in category two and three is, to make sure you book early to avoid disappointment. I suggest you book up to a week in advance for fine dining. Ask your taxi driver if he is familiar with any of these restaurants mentioned. Remember, the fare won’t send you broke but be vigilant.

Another great meal for consideration, which fits into a category of its own is seafood on the beach at Jimbaran Bay. This is probably one of the most romantic settings you will ever see. Arrive early for sunset at 5.30pm and you will soon delight at the wonderful array of table settings on the beach, flickering candles and on most nights a trio of talented musicians serenading old favourites as they weave their way through the maze of tables. Meanwhile, relax with your feet in the sand, a cold beer in hand and make your selection from fresh fish of the day, squid, crabs, prawns and lobster/crayfish.

My friend Charlie who operates his own transport business is very good value on this occasion being an expert on seafood selections and most importantly selecting one of the best restaurants to eat at. Ph. Charlie 08155792272. or E: vickyyudiari@rocketmail.com Seafood is also expensive in Bali like anywhere else in the world but it’s nice to lash out on holidays for an experience you will remember. Enjoy. Before I finish on the subject of food, I want to mention a few more top spots, which maybe of interest to you providing the money holds out.

Best Breakfasts

Breakfast is usually included in your hotel or villa accommodation account but if you get bored with that perhaps you might like to try these suggestions. Firstly, I will deal with “special breakfasts.” Does that sound ok? I reckon a hearty breakfast is the most important meal of the day and especially at a great location and if someone else is cooking. Treat yourself to one or both of the following suggestions. I find this nice to do once a week in paradise.

$$$  La Lucciola

Situated on the beach front in Petitenget. Tel 730838 You will be pleasantly surprised with the location, the setting and view. However, service can be slow at times, particularly on a Sunday if it’s busy. This very special location is also an ideal place to enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also La Lucciola offers a nice area for pre dinner drinks where you can enjoy another spectacular sunset from around 5.30 pm. The breakfast menu is excellent and therefore you should relax and take your time in choosing from the menu and come away well satisfied. It’s not cheap by comparison to other venues but it’s worth it just to soak up the atmosphere. Highly recommended for all meals served.

$$$  The Oberoi Hotel Restaurant

The Oberoi hotel is one place you should visit, if only just to see how the other people live. It is very classy with an outdoor breakfast area over looking the surf beach in Seminyak. Tel 6519501. This perfect setting is guaranteed to get your appetite going bananas. Once again, take a taxi ride. On arrival, ask reception for directions to the outside breakfast area. So far I have never booked and i have only ever waited for a short time. Hopefully, your budget will stretch this far for an experience to remember. Fine dining at Oberoi’s Kura-Kura restaurant is also highly recommended.

$$ Grocer and Grind

Jl. Kayu 3x, Seminyak Tel 737321 This popular restaurant, opened its doors in August 2007. I would imagine the owners are very happy with their decision to open but just as important, customers are delighted and are turning up in droves for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They also have a wonderful deli, which is worth checking out. Enjoy the excellent breakfast choice and coffee. No doubt, lunch and dinner also rate highly but as yet I have not experienced these meals. The price is very affordable by comparison to the top end of the market above. The location, although convenient does not have a relaxing outlook to enjoy like ocean views, but the price is right and kid friendly. Recommended

$$ The Corner Store (Currently closed because of renovations)

Situated corner Jl. Laksmana and Jl. Drupadi, Seminyak. Tel 736187 I believe if you want to be seen as cool in Bali, this is the place to come to for what they say is the best coffee and breakfast on the island. A big statement but it is very good, worth a visit and you can be the judge of that claim. Bagus makan which means good food.

$$  The Bali Bakery

Located in Seminyak square on the corner of Jl. Laksmana and Jl. Kayu.Tel 738033 If you are ever in this area, you will do well to call in and enjoy the food, coffee and people watching. Take away food is also available. Seminyak square has a number of shops, which could get your attention and also interesting markets are held in the square on weekends.

Sweet Tooth?

Just one more thing before moving on from food; have you got a sweet tooth? If you have, you might just love my next suggestions.

$$  Café Moka

Jl. Raya, Seminyak.Tel 731424 As soon as you walk in you will start drooling from just the aroma of coffee. This is a french pâtisserie catering for breakfast, coffee breaks, lunch and dinner up until 10pm. Take away food also available. You will see gratins, burgers, new mixed salads, pastries, savouries, omelettes, kids meals, sandwiches, tapas, soup, fettuccine, spaghetti and great main courses. I think you will like it here.

$$  Bali Deli

Jl. Kunti 117x Seminyak Tel 731424 This place is a worthwhile visit to just have a look because it is quite amazing seeing so many fresh temptations waiting to be devoured. A very well appointed and shady alfresco area is at the rear of the shop. It’s a nice and relaxing place to indulge in yum food. Take away food also available. I am not going to tell you what’s on offer here, because I do want you to experience this for yourself.

Shopping for food

Last but not least on the food trail is Carrefour Supermarket on Sunset Road or Bintang Supermarket Jl. Seminyak, just across the Road from where I have advised you to exchange your money. At the supermarkets, you will find everything you are likely to need during your holiday for yourself, babies and kids generally. You will find prices very competitive when compared to Australian prices. Bye the way, Bintang beer is sold here also and at a cheap price. A chilled Bintang is the popular thirst quencher in the tropics.

Summary

Warungs and restaurants mentioned in this section are personal recommendations and I am sure you will enjoy every one of them. As I have said earlier, there are hundreds of eating places in Bali and some equally as good as those I have mentioned here. However, on your first trip it is advisable to go on some recommendations for good fresh food, thereby minimising your chance of Bali belly. A point well worth remembering.