For most of us eating local delights is a ‘Must Do’ when we visit a new place. If you are one among them and you are planning a trip to Bali now or in the future, you must make a note of the local delights from this post!
I have so much to talk about Bali that I need a separate write-up every time I think about jotting a few lines about the place. During my Bali trip, I had tried and ‘tasted’ some of the best dishes I have had outside of India in a really long time.
Balinese food preparations use a lot of fresh ingredients and local spices making the food delectable, especially good on my Indian palate. I seriously bet that the food I am going to list down is ‘finger licking’ good! You might be craving for them by the time you end reading this post! My apologies for making you hungry (in advance) and not able to serve them right now, right here!
Nevertheless here you go:
- Bebek Bengil or Crispy Duck at Dirty Duck Diner:
One of the most celebrated dishes in Bali is Bebek Bengil, which is nothing but deep fried duck! The duck is stuffed with local spices, steamed and then deep fried. It is served with vegetables, sauces, salad and a bowl of rice/ mashes potatoes. The duck becomes so soft that you can even chew the bones. While we ordered the famous Bebek Bengil (Crispy Duck) we also loved the Grilled Duck in Sweet and Chili Sauce, which was equally good.
You can also try the legendary Bebek Betutu a Balinese smoked duck preparation too. While there are many restaurants serving the famous crispy duck, Dirty Duck Diner in Ubud is where you will find the ‘original dish’! Located on Padang Tegal in Ubud, the restaurant is not very from the Monkey Forest Road. The restaurant is more on the expensive side. Our dinner for 2 cost us IDR 400,000 (including drinks), which is still considered affordable.
- Babi Guling (Suckling Pig in Balinese spices) at Warung Ibu Oka: Warung Ibu Oka had once served the Royal Family in Ubud in the yesteryears and later it opened a small shop in front of the palace. The Babi Guling or suckling pig dish became so popular with time that now tourists flock to the eatery in hordes and the day’s stock lasts only a few hours. The tradition of preparing the sucking pig dish hasn’t changed though. The suckling pigs are prepared at the break of dawn and served at the warung. We ordered the ‘Speshial Babi Guling’ that includes rice, crackling skin of the suckling pig, blood sausages, vegetables cooked in Balinese spices and grilled pork pieces. It’s located near Ubud’s main marketplace. As the place’s stock of babi guling finishes quickly, be there by 11:30 to 12:00 pm to enjoy the meal. Cost of lunch for 2 was IDR 90,000.
Duck in Balinese spices: After eating at the ‘must visit restaurants’ in Bali, we asked our driver to take us to a local restaurant for a more authentic food experience. Enroute Bedugul Temple, we stopped by for lunch at a restaurant, and sigh I cannot remember the name of the eatery now. I saw a lot of locals having lunch there. We ordered a dish – ‘Duck in Balinese spices’ along with fried rice. It was the best duck dish I ever had; of course I am not counting my mother’s Assamese duck dish here. The taste of that dish still lingers on and my mouth waters even as I write this sentence. The cost of lunch for two was: IDR 100,000. Maybe there are other local restaurants where you will find tasty food. Just ask your driver / guide / or your hotel reception – they can guide you.
- Mee Goreng: Unlike the ones that I had in Singapore, Mee Goreng in Bali is totally
different and tastier. For the uninitiated, Mee Goreng is a stir fried noodle dish made with herbs, chicken, fried eggs, and of course noodles. I still crave for the Mee Goreng I had at the Ting Gading Bungalows – the place where we stayed. The Mee Goreng was not only filling but it was the best I have had till date. You can eat Mee Goreng at other restaurants as well. Cost of Mee Goreng typically would be about IDR 35,000 per plate.
- Pork Ribs: If you like pork ribs, Bali has quite a few restaurants that serve yummy pork ribs. Although I had it a few times, every time I forgot to take a picture of the same. Nevertheless, if you happen to be in Ubud area, you can try Naughty Nuri’s famous pork ribs.
Some of the other unique dishes/ desserts/ drinks that you can try in Bali are nasi campur (mixed vegetable with chicken/ shallots rice), black rice pudding and coffee luwak (civet coffee).