Food is the key to explore the culture
While there are always new restaurants in Bali opening its door, providing more and more options for a satisfying culinary experience, Bali has also some food destinations that still survive among the competition and maintain the same standard of taste from time to time, a good way to explore the culture of Balinese people. Some of these restaurants have grown to accommodate the need of modern travellers while others still maintain their humble atmosphere as its beginning. Here are five legendary restaurants in Bali that will enrich your culinary journey while having a good time on the island.
Located next to the old Campuhan Bridge, a five-minute drive from Ubud Central, Murni’s Warung sits peacefully on a river’s hillside, boasting the view of River Wos flowing water. Built from the ground up, the restaurant first opened in 1974 has been serving food and hospitality for 44 years now.
Owned and run by a Balinese woman, Ni Wayan Murni, the warung has expanded to four open-air levels, completed with shop and lounge bar. However, the atmosphere remains the same. Each guest will be immersed in its traditional interior design carefully decorated with exquisite antiques and artworks.
Similarly, the menu has also been expanded to cater to both local and international tastes where guest can find Pasta, steak, and a hot dog for example. But, you cannot miss its time-tested signature dishes, such as Bebek Betutu (Balinese Duck), Murni’s Tutu Ayam, and Nasi Campur.
First established the late sixties, precisely 1969, Made’s Warung has grown from a traditional roadside warung into a nice restaurant as well as a social hub in Bali serving a variety of local and international food in Bali. Inheritance of the family, the first warung was in Kuta, catering to the surrounding villagers and Kuta’s surfers.
Following the flock of tourists demanding more varieties, in the next phase, the oldest daughter in the family, Ni Made Masih, now the CEO of Made’s Warung adapted the demands by expanding the menu and space while still maintaining the original concept of warung and the signature Balinese menus.
Now available at some popular tourist spots, even opening a branch at Ngurah Rai International Airport, their popular dishes with decades of recipes are still one favourite to savour for many visitors upon visiting. Not to be missed: the famous Nasi Goreng, Balinese Mixed Rice, or Gado-Gado
Warung Mak Beng
Only a few steps from Sanur Beach where you can still feel the sea breeze, Warung Mak Beng reputation has been passing word of mouth from one to another since years. Built by Ni Ketut Tjuki, also known as Mak Beng, in 1941, the humble warung is consistent with its main signature fresh fish menu: fishhead soup, fried fish with sambals and rice.
Located in Jalan Hang Tuah, Sanur, Warung Mak Beng is always busy during lunchtime, filled with both local and tourist visitors. It is recommended to come earlier before 12pm to get the table. A recommended place for seafood lovers to taste the special taste of fish dishes amidst the calm and humble atmosphere of Sanur.
Nasi Campur Bali Men Weti
Warung Men Weti at Jalan Segara Ayu is one of the local favourites for Balinese mixed rice. Open since the 1970s by Men Weti, this humble warung serves a portion of a variety of side dishes to accompany the rice such as vegetables, boiled eggs, and chicken.
Please note that this food is known and loved because of its spiciness, so you need to inform the seller if you prefer without spicy bumbus. Warung Men Weti is usually busy in the morning and running out quickly. It is better to come a bit earlier to order take away or eat straightly for breakfast.
Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Alert: Contain pork, non-halal food. Roasted suckling pig is one of the most popular foods in Bali. No wonder it is easy to find food stalls serving Babi Guling, just like Padang Restaurant in another part of Indonesia (i.e. Java).
Babi Guling Ibu Oka, located across Ubud Palace, is one of them. It is in Bali that a visitor can do a Babi Guling journey, savouring the portion served by the sellers, and Ibu Oka must be included in it.
Although Warung Ibu Oka was just opened for business in 2000, the family’s stories rooted back years ago. It is said that the family first was assigned to prepare Babi Guling for Royal Ubud family, until at a moment given a leave to sell the food for the public. Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka has now two branches located in the outskirt area of Ubud.