In her bestselling 2006 book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert found love in Bali. I wasn’t that lucky but I did discover great food! Everyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a real foodie – a vacation for me isn’t complete if I haven’t sampled local delicacies and the best of what the destination has to offer. My recent trip to Bali was no exception.
With so many great restaurants and bars to choose from, it’s difficult to only pick five favourites. But after much deliberation, below are my top five restaurants in Bali which I hope will whet your appetite and inspire you to go to the island soon and experience them for yourself. May to September is the best time to visit this tropical paradise.
My Top 5 Restaurants in Bali
Bali has many excellent international restaurants (some of which are listed below) but a trip to Indonesia would not be complete without sampling the local cuisine. Thankfully the beautiful surroundings of Ketupat means that one does not have to slum it in a local warung to eat authentic Indonesian food. The restaurant gets its name from the little woven parcels made from palm leaves used to cook rice. The famous dishes of Sate Lilit and Nasi Goreng are here on the menu but I recommended trying the Nasi Campur – a small selection of tasty little dishes which are beautifully presented and gives one the chance to try a variety of authentic Indonesian delicacies without getting lost in the extensive menu of Ketupat. Address: Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta, Bali.
This popular Indian restaurant in Seminyak is part of the largest and longest established Indian restaurant chains in Indonesia. You know that the food must be special because of the large number of coach parties of Indian tourists that visit the restaurant every week. The large air-conditioned restaurant is very comfortable and the staff are friendly and will always ask you how spicy you want your food if you don’t appear to be a curry aficionado. My favourite dishes here are Chicken Tandoori, Dhal Sag Chicken and Rogan Josh. As well as the traditional dessert Kulfi, Queen’s Tandoor also offer a decadent chocolate dessert if you can save some room for it. The Sizzling Brownie is presented on a hot plate, drenched in bubbling chocolate sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. Definitely worth the calories! Address: Jalan Raya Seminyak , Kuta, Bali.
Located on the busy Jalan Padma, Mozzarella is an Italian restaurant that has a reputation for serving the best steaks in town and is famous for its two-for-one cocktail deals which makes an evening here nicely lubricated. The staff are forever smiling and friendly and will treat you like a regular even on your first visit. I was referred to as “Mr Alan” by the waitress during the course of the meal – which was very sweet. This hospitality, on top of the great food, will keep you coming back for more. For starters, try the Smoked Mahi Mahi – an interesting twist on a classic starter of traditional Smoked Salmon. My favourite main course here is the Beef Fillet Rossini – succulent, tender and very reasonably priced. Address: Jalan Padma, Legian, Bali.
A trip to Bali is not complete without at least one dinner reservation at Sarong. The dÃ©cor is sumptuous and luxurious with chandeliers, candles, billowing gold curtains and Chippendale furniture all under a high roofed pavilion. The menu is anÂ eclectic mix of South Asian inspired cuisine withÂ dishes originating from Thailand, India, Vietnam, China and of course Indonesia.Â With such a diverse choice, it’s difficult to recommend one dish in particular but the Rogan Josh is a favourite of mine. The bar servesÂ interesting and inspired cocktails such as the Jeruk Martini -Â citron vodka mixed with lemongrass syrup, dry vermouth & lemon juice.Â When it comes to dessert, the lushious Vietnamese coconut crÃ¨me caramel is to die for! Address: Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan, Bali.
MÃ©tis is without question one of the smartest dining destinations in Bali and a purely sensory experience. A fabulous dinner is guaranteed as you sit on the terrace of a beautiful pavilion overlooking verdantÂ rice paddies. The romantic setting is made more so by candlelight andÂ sophisticated colonial inspired furniture from Scandinavia. The food is mostly French and Mediterranean in influence and the restaurant boasts a special foie gras menu – unusual for Bali. MÃ©tisÂ excels in the delivery of the highest quality food which is gorgeously presented and tastes divine. The service from the waiting staff is exceptional and faultless. If the Chateaubriand is on the menu then I’m a happy man. Otherwise, I am more than satisfied with the meltingly tender Beef Tenderloin. Dessert has to be one of their deliciously light and fluffy soufflÃ©s – for which MÃ©tis is famous for. They’re always worth the 25 minute wait! Address: Jalan Petitenget, Kerobokan, Bali.
From top to bottom: images reproduced from sricaitanyadas.multiply.com, ricewisdom.org, queenstandoor.com, thejarkatapost.com, thewanderingpalate.com and travel-logic.se