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Born in Hong Kong and raised in Australia, Jessie has always had a love for adventure and learning about different cultures. A software developer by trade, you'll never see her without her MacBook.

. Indonesia

Foods you must try in Bali, Indonesia

Food might not be the first thing you think of when someone mentions Bali, but oh boy the food is great there. We’re not talking about the huge abundance of amazing cocktails or Western food there is in Bali though, we’re talking about the oodles of amazing traditional Balinese-style Indonesian food there is to be eaten!

Babi Guling (Suckling Pig)

Babi Guling at Babi Guling Pak Malen
Babi Guling at Babi Guling Pak Malen comes with some pork crackling, long bean soup, pork meat and crispy skin.

First one on the list is Babi Guling, one of the most famed dishes in Bali. Now, Dan would be able to tell you how much of a pork-meat lover I am, and eating Babi Guling on a sweltering day was one of the finest things I experienced in Seminyak.

The pig is stuffed with a lot of spices, such as turmeric, coriander seeds, lemongrass and black pepper before it is roasted. We went to a warung (which means small restaurant in Indonesia) called Babi Guling Pak Malen, and that’s right - as per their restaurant name, they have one and only one item on their menu: babi guling. Their babi guling dish contains: a spicy long bean soup, some pork crackling, crispy pork skin, some pieces of roasted pork meat and also a pork skewer plus some rice. For its price (roughly 40k rupiah), it was so good! Portion sizes can be better though, it was quite small.

Where did we have Babi Guling?

  • Babi Guling Pak Malen ($) Jl. Sunset Road No.554, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Nasi Goreng (Indonesian Fried Rice)

Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng found at Warung Pondok Madu.

Nasi Goreng is fried rice, with an Indonesian twist in herbs and spices. Every warung, hotel and resort in Bali has nasi goreng, and it’s eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Interestingly, I didn’t eat a single nasi goreng which tasted the same as the next place. Every restaurant has its own twist on nasi goreng, whether it is more spicy or less spicy, with different kinds of herbs and cuts of meat (usually chicken or beef).

Found in most warungs and hotels

Mie Goreng (Indonesian Fried Noodles)

Mie Goreng
Mie Goreng is a famous fried noodle dish in Indonesia, and is also world famous as an instant noodle snack.

You might remember spending your college days eating instant mee goreng. Don’t get that mixed up with mi goreng that you find in Bali and indeed, across in Indonesia! This is basically the noodle version of nasi goreng. Usually the noodles are fried with some vegetables (such as carrots and choy sum) and served with a side of pickled vegetables, satay sticks and rice cracked.

Found in most warungs and hotels

Rijsttafel

Rijsttafel
Rijsttafel is a great way to sample different Indonesian foods.

Rijsttafel is actually a Dutch word meaning ‘rice table’. Rijsttafel was the colonial Dutch way of sampling the best food that Indonesia has to offer, and usually contains of many small dishes, each containing a different type of food. Some foods that Rijsttafel might have are: sate ayam (chicken sate sticks), beef rendang curry and ika pepes (grilled fish). The rijasttafel we tried from Poppies in Kuta had around 20 different types of dishes.

We recommend for Rijsttafel:

  • Poppies ($$-$$$, Rp. 278 for 2 persons (the minimum) - add Rp. 144 for each additional person) Jalan Legian, Gang Popies I, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Sate

Sate
Sate we bought from a street stall in Bali.

Sate is a bit different to its Malaysian or Thai counterparts like satay chicken. Sate in Indonesia doesn’t always have the peanut sauce (although it’s worth mentioning to the waitstaff to have it separately if you’re allergic). In Indonesia, sate comes in many forms, such as sate ayam (chicken), lamb and fish.

For some delicious sate:

  • The Luhron ($) Jl. Cendrawasih No.88, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Balinese Pork Ribs

Pork ribs from Wahaha
Pork ribs from Wahaha
Balinese BBQ pork ribs
Balinese style BBQ pork ribs from Pondok Madu in Ubud.

I had some of the best pork ribs in Bali. Pork is huge in Bali, with babi guling and pork ribs being the standout dishes. We had pork ribs at two places: Warung Wahaha which is a big restaurant in Seminyak selling pork ribs and also a smaller warung in Ubud called Warung Pondok Madu which offered a more affordable option. Both were delightfully tasty, the meat would just fall off the bone.

For some delicious sate:

  • Warung Pondok Madu ($) Jalan Jatayu, Ubud, Peliatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
  • Wahaha Pork Ribs ($$) Jl. Sunset Road Barat No. 1689, Seminyak, Kuta, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia

Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters
Banana Fritters.

And now onto the dessert section of this post! Banana fritters are a common dessert found in Bali, and its deliciously simple. It is literally fritters made with bananas, and served with a side of cream or ice cream. Yum!

We recommend for banana fritters:

  • The Luhron ($) Jl. Cendrawasih No.88, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

Coconut Icecream

Coconut Icecream from Tukies
Fresh coconut icecream from Tukies Cafe in Ubud.

While this isn’t “traditionally” Balinese and Indonesian, I felt the need to include coconut ice cream into this list. We had some of the best coconut ice cream we’ve ever had at Tukies Cafe, Ubud. Order a fresh coconut drink on the side, and it’s absolutely perfect.

Our recommendation:

  • Tukies Cafe ($) Jl. Gootama No.13, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia