Being a truly hidden gem in Southeast Asia and Oceania, Indonesia literally means "Indian islands" in Greek and it is the worldwide biggest archipelago, a tropical paradise stretching far and wide across the equator on over 17,000 islands. It's the fourth populous country in the world which boasts a rich diversity of spectacular scenery and divine food. Only 8,000 Indonesian islands are inhabited, you've probably heard of such fascinating travel destinations as Sumatra, Java, Lombok, and, of course, Bali.
Bali is the fifth-largest volcanic island of Indonesia divided into eight regencies. Being a honeymoon paradise, this Island of Gods is a must-have place to visit at least once in your life: enjoy gorgeous beaches, catch a wave while surfing, learn Balinese legends and traditions, visit ancient templates, achieve spiritual enlightenment, go volcano trekking, hang out in clubs and try local food.
Authentic Indonesian cuisine is flavor-rich and based on fresh herbs and a multitude of spices. Rice is the staple of Indonesian dishes, it's the most common ingredient for main and side dishes and even desserts. Rice represents a symbol of thanksgiving to gods of nature so it's not only the basic food of everyday life but also a vital part of special occasions. Balinese cuisine offers a myriad of options featuring meat of fish, fresh vegetables, and a variety of spices. Don't get confused and check out the hit-list of the top 10 things you must try in Bali.
Lawar is a dish that is made with a mixture of vegetables, coconut and minced meat mixed with herbs and spices. It is often found in restaurants and eateries in Bali. Despite the mixture of vegetables, Lavar is not a vegetarian dish, as it is most often mixed with minced meat or even blood.
Islam is the largest religion in Indonesia so pork dishes are quite uncommon in the whole country, except Bali whose predominant religion is Hinduism. Whenever in Bali, it's a must for you to try its classic dish called babi guling. Babi Guling is a gorgeous suckling pig stuffed with such a fragrant spice paste containing turmeric, coriander seeds, lemongrass, black pepper, and garlic. It's roasted over an open fire for three hours and served with lawar - a mixture of fresh vegetables, chopped meat, coconuts, and rich herbs and spices. Visit the luxurious Bambu restaurant to enjoy this mouthwatering dish.
For sophisticated gourmets, we recommend bebek goreng - stewed duck in sauce. This dish is prepared for a very long time so that the duck is soaked in a mixture of turmeric, ginger, shrimp paste and other spices, and acquired a delicate and spicy taste.
Don't miss the opportunity to degust the Indonesian speciality bebek goreng- crispy fried duck famous for its crispiness and tender succulent meat. Ducks are cut into pieces and coated in a secret mixture of Balinese spices, then the meat is boiled or steamed and deep-fried. Bebek goreng is usually eaten with rice and a fresh vegetable salad. Bebek Tepi Sawah offers such incredible duck dishes you'll never forget in your life.
The leaves and pods of the moringa tree contain many nutrients and antioxidants. This superfood is often made into a powder that can be added to almost any food. Dried moringa leaves can be brewed like tea, and fresh leaves are a great base for a salad.
This island boasts ideal conditions for growing different kinds of aromatic coffee. Nowadays, Bali is one of the biggest regions with coffee plantations thanks to the mountainous climate and rich volcanic soil. Balinese coffee processing is very different from methods in the whole Indonesia: fruits around coffee beans are removed when they are still wet. That's why traditional Balinese coffee is so extraordinary and has fruity and fresh hues. Go to the stylish Revolver Espresso cafe to get a good cup of coffee and enjoy this life.
Moringa tea is definitely worth a try, as well. This tea is made of miraculous naturally-dried moringa leaves rich in vitamins and antioxidants. Moringa is regarded as the most nutritious plant whose spinachy green flavor will give you a nice energy boost and freshen up your look. Visit the Sayuri Healing Food restaurant famous for its vegetarian options, enjoy this power drink and degust its exceptional desserts.
Gado gado is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia. This salad is made of various vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, fried tofu, tempeh, lontong and a peanut dressing.
Gado-gado means "mix-mix" in Indonesian, it is an awesome Indonesian salad, a mixture of fresh seasonal vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, fried tofu and lontong (rice wrapped in banana leaves). Vegetables are slightly boiled, steamed or blanched, peanut sauce is added and the dish is served with crunchy deep-fried crackers. You can try outstanding gado-gado at the Kaum restaurant proud of its exotic ingredients and authentic flavors of ethnic tribes' spices and herbs.
Mie goreng - Indonesian fried noodles are also known as bakmi Goreng. The dish is typical for countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Suriname. Mi Goreng is made from thin yellow noodles fried in vegetable oil with garlic, onions or shallots, fried shrimp, chicken, beef, eggs, chili, Chinese cabbage, tomatoes, and other vegetables.
Mie Goreng, or bakmi goreng, is common Indonesian street food. It's spicy stir-fried noodles, a wholesome meal, and a very simple recipe. This dish is made of ramen noodles, chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli and carrots that are seasoned, stirred with sweet soy sauce, and then fried in a wok. It's recommended to taste traditional mie goreng at a nice social restaurant Fair Warung Bale with a unique concept. This place gives all its profits to Free Health and Medical Care programs.
Satay is a very common dish in all parts of the Indonesian archipelago. Depending on the location of the restaurant, you may come across different variations of the recipes, differing in some details. To make Satay really tasty, the freshest cow or pork meat, pieces of fish or chicken are selected for it. Then the meat, cut into small pieces, is carefully strung on skewers and grilled until a breathtaking aroma appears. At the very end, Satay is poured with a spicy peanut or soy sauce with chili and shallots, rice cakes or rice are served separately.
Indonesian satay with peanut sauce is absolutely exceptional. The chunks of meat (chicken, pork or goat) are skewered on bamboo sticks, grilled to perfection over a fire and served with Balinese dipping sauce. Buy a couple of skewers from street vendors while walking across sunny Balinese streets or try gorgeous satay at warungs (local budget-friendly cafes) and high-end restaurants. One of the best skewers is served at Raja Bali offering authentic dishes of Bali.
One more typical street food is pisang goreng - banana fritters, a favorite Indonesian teatime snack. Sweet ripe bananas are coated with batter, deep-fried in hot oil and then sprinkled with vanilla powder, condensed milk or chocolate.
Having a swim in the magnificent ocean, it's always nice to have a bite and eat perfectly grilled corn on the cob. Also known as jagung bakar, corn is coated with butter, salt, sugar and spicy-sweet chilli sauce and is sold just at every corner of Bali.
Fish dishes of Indonesia can be written in one category. Pepes Ikan - fish baked with spices in a banana leaf. It is considered the most delicious fish dish. Ikan bakar is a grilled fish Ikan Goreng, as you already understood, fried fish.
Pepes ikan is a must-try side dish - a red snapper coated in a paste of fresh spices, wrapped in banana leaves, steamed and grilled over hot charcoal. Pepes ikan is traditionally served warm with white rice. Plan your visit to the Warong Legong restaurant to have this simple and delicious dish and enjoy the romantic atmosphere by candlelight.
Acai Bowl is a smoothie made from oatmeal, berries, fruits, and seeds. Acai can also be pureed with berries or powder and are also convenient for making drinks. Acai berries are a source of amino acids and fatty acids, their number in several berries exceeds the number of several fruits.
Degust acai bowls to survive the Balinese sun. This dessert looks like ice cream but actually, it's a thick smoothie topped with fresh fruits, seeds, nuts and granola. It contains all the nutrients vital for a successful holiday in Bali. Come to the lovely cafe Sisterfields, taste acai bowls, drink refreshing smoothies and degust other dishes from exotic local ingredients.
Es campur means "mixed ice", it's a blanket term for a sweet and cold dessert containing shaved ice, syrup, and condensed milk. In fact, it is a sweet liquid mixed with jellies, coconuts, fruits, basil seeds, and fermented cassava. Choose any topping to your taste and beat the Balise heat.
Nasi goreng fried rice is usually cooked with vegetables, chicken, beef or seafood, and is often accompanied by local shrimp chips, crumbs and scrambled eggs. This is the simplest, most delicious, hearty, and cheapest food in Bali. The name of this food is also simple. "Nasi" means "rice", and "goreng" means "fried".
Nasi campur is steamed rice seasoned with sambal and basa genep. Rice is mixed with small portions of other traditional dishes - meat or fish, eggs, vegetables, and Indonesian crackers krupuk. This meal is a staple of Indonesia and extremely popular among tourists as it allows you to eat all typical Balinese dishes in one. The hype restaurant Pork Star is a nice choice to try nasi campur and barbecued ribs.
Also, you may like another rice dish - nasi goreng that is stir-fried rice with meats and vegetables.
This dish comes from the Indonesian word Dadar, which means "pancake", and Gulung, which means "to fold". And it is not at all strange that this dish became fundamental on an island like Java. It is created from pandanus - fragrant leaves, and grated sweet coconut serves as a filling.
Try local pancakes for an ordinary breakfast and feel extraordinary. Pay attention to laklak or dadar gulung - authentic Balinese pancakes. They are white or light green and they are made of rice flour, coconut milk, grated coconut, and melted palm sugar and may be wrapped in banana or pandan leaves. Warung Lu Putu is notable for the best laklak in Bali.
Live this life fully and degust authentic Balinese dishes. Have a nice trip to Bali!