Gastronomy in Bali

food in Bali
Updated 2022-09-20 23:05

Babi guling, saté, Ayam betutu... The list of dishes that Balinese people enjoy is a long one!
Similarly to the island's culture, Balinese cuisine is rich and will be a memorable experience during your expatriation.

The must-try dishes of Bali

Babi guling (suckling pig for the insiders) is undoubtedly the most popular Balinese dish. It used to be a traditional dish served during certain religious ceremonies, but it has since been democratized and is now an integral part of Balinese cuisine. However, it has since been democratized and is now an integral part of everyday life in Bali. You can find it in fine restaurants as well as on the street. It consists of a roasted pig on a spit over a charcoal fire,

stuffed with an abundance of traditional herbs and spices, as well as cassava. This slow cooking method results in tender, juicy meat, while the skin remains crispy.

If you don't want to eat pork, you may want to try Ayam (whole chicken) or Bebek (duck), stuffed with traditional spices, wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in embers with coconut husks for 6 to 7 hours. The result? A rich and juicy meat that separates easily from the bones. Both of these dishes are usually presented as Nasi Campur, which is a portion of white rice combined with condiments such as lawar (mixed vegetables), and a touch of spicy sambal.

Good to know:

Most Balinese dishes are very spicy. Do not hesitate to ask for a milder version. The common Indonesian lunch consists of Nasi Campur, which can be served Balinese style, with chicken or duck or Javanese style, which consists of an even wider selection of meats and vegetables.

Restaurants, cafes and fast-food franchises in Bali

Expatriates in Bali often queue up to get their Nasi Campur to-go at one of the many bungkus (small traditional restaurants) on the island or at Warung Nasi Campur, a local fast-food outlet. If you choose the small restaurants, you will be able to enjoy freshly prepared rice dishes (white or red) with meat and vegetables. As for the price, it will depend on the size of the portion and the selection made! Some warungs located in residential areas have adapted their menu to the tastes of expatriates to offer less spicy, healthier dishes with vegetarian and vegan variations.

Bali is a seafood lover's paradise since the island is surrounded by the ocean. To enjoy a seafood dish, head to Muaya Beach in Jimbaran Bay. The cafes there usually serve grilled seafood: shrimp, crabs, squid, lobster, and a wide assortment of fish. All are served with kangkung plecing (spinach cooked in 

water and mixed with sambal) and sometimes satin, made from spicy chopped fish meat pressed on a lemongrass stick.

And for the authentic Balinese experience, try those delicious local dishes like Nasi Goreng (fried rice) with Bakso (meatball soup), Lalapan (fried chicken with rice), etc. You can easily find them at the Bali night market, which opens at sunset. You will find a huge number of food stalls

International cuisine in Bali

For those who are feeling a tad homesick, Bali is also home to many restaurants that serve hamburgers, Gregorian, Cuban, Italian, and other cuisines. Most of these restaurants are located in the south of the island, in Seminyak or in Canggu, where the majority of expatriates live.

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