Traveling to a such beautiful and exotic place like Bali is very memorable journey. To get in touch with local culture, you will have to mark starting points of what to see in Bali. Of course, the cuisine is one of the “must try” things. Here are many typical dishes to taste during a trip to Indonesia
Indonesian cuisine is among the most unique, varied and particular in the whole East. It is basically made from rice, fresh vegetables, fish and meat, and the ingredients of the dishes are grilled or stir-fried along with an incredible selection of exotic spices.
And it is precisely in Bali that the contamination with the traditions of China and India reaches the highest peak of creativity and flavor. So here’s what to eat in Bali during your holidays in Indonesia.
Indonesian dishes: 5 specialties to taste in Bali
Whether they are based on rice, meat or fish, these specialties can be tasted in the hotels, resorts or restaurants of the island, but also in the warung, the family-run food stalls.
Nasi Goreng: the rice in the pan
It is a hymn to simplicity and taste, and is somewhat the backbone of the culinary tradition in Indonesia and Bali. Voted the “second tastiest dish in the world” (by a CNN survey), nasi goreng is nothing more than rice boiled and stir-fried, and served with spices, vegetables, eggs and meat or fish. There are many variations, but in its simplest form it is seasoned only with soy sauce, garlic, and tamarind. It is excellent as a first course or as a side dish for portions of meat or fish.
Satay: the skewers
Its most famous “cousins” are Turkish shish kebab and South African sosatie, but few know that spit- roasted, grilled meat originates in Indonesian local culture. The satay (sometimes spelled sate) is a dish very popular in this state, and it is found in many varieties: with chicken, pork or lamb (the beef is less common on the island for its traditions induiste), and, on the East coast, also with grilled fish. It is usually accompanied by a delicious peanut sauce.
In Bali, in particular, you can taste satay lilit with minced pork and satay ikan with fish fillets. Due to its versatility and practicality, you will often find it in kiosks on the street: a great snack for when you move from one part of the island to another by taxi or on a scooter.
Pepes e Tum: the banana leaf rolls
This dish originated in Indonesia and is quickly finding a place in Western culture, particularly in tropical areas of Australia, such as the cities of Darwin and Broome. The pepes and tum are the rolls of rice and meat or fish wrapped in banana leaves and, respectively, made to go grilled or steamed. The banana leaf – which is not edible – transmits aroma and softness to the ingredients found inside the roll. It is a popular specialty throughout the island of Bali, and is usually considered a side dish or main course.
Bubur Sumsum (or bubuh injin): brown rice pudding
It is one of the typical sweets of Bali, and is also commonly eaten for breakfast or as a snack during the day. It is a brown rice pudding with light and black grains, seasoned with coconut milk or cream and palm sugar, and flavored with pandanus leaves. These ingredients, which are not readily available in Europe, make bubur sumsum one of the most unique and exclusive delicacies of Indonesian cuisine.
Kopi Luwak: the rarest coffee in the world
When it comes to Bali’s specialties and peculiarities, one cannot fail to mention kopi luwak, the finest (and expensive!) Coffee in the world. With a naturally sweet taste, in the plantation cafes of the central area of the island it is traditionally prepared with siphon coffee machines – beautiful and complex contraptions, which were used in European royal courts.
Why is it so rare and precious? The berries of this coffee are part of the diet of the palm civet, a local wild animal. The beans are organically “processed” by civet, whose natural enzymes “cleanse” the coffee from the most acidic and bitter components, and enrich it with a chocolate flavor. The beans are then collected one by one, washed thoroughly, dried, and roasted, and then ground by hand to obtain the coffee powder.
Bali is a relatively small island, but the particularity and variety of its cuisine will transform your holidays in Indonesia into a unique and unforgettable culinary adventure.
Although it depends on the location, food prices in Bali are quite cheap. Typical medium quality restaurants offer natural fruit juices for just over € 1, while a dinner for two can cost around € 10.
If you want to try more luxurious restaurants, the price may vary depending on the restaurant chosen.
The Balinese have very flexible hours and basically eat when they are hungry. In fact, most restaurants are open from morning until 10 pm, so it’s easy to find a place to eat at any time.