Bali is a great place to come relax, enjoy and to detox and reset. Bali offers an amazing variety of health-conscious restaurants where you can stuff your face, guilt-free! Organic produce, no artificial colourings, preservatives or MSG – a not-so-healthy Asian favourite, and all freshly made. Fussy Bird, Ubud offers all these things and offers not only healthy dishes and desserts but also a great selection of Detox drinks; Kombucha, a fermented, lightly effervescent black or green tea drink that is used for its health benefits, Turmeric juice, Beet juice, Kale Juice, Ginger and Lemon and many, many more.
When visiting Bali, you will find yourself wanting to always be hungry, and even when having just stuffed your face with the one to many delicious dishes, you will ALWAYS want to eat again. When we passed a little roadside restaurant we did not think all that much of it. However, we would soon discover that this lovely family run restaurant has some amazing food to offer. This is definitely one of my ALL-TIME favourites and I can’t wait for the next time I will eat this meal. In fact, I am writing a Hungrier Guide cookbook and this dish will most definitely be in it, and will present itself on my dinner table for sure!
Head over to Warang Makan Bu Rus (Again Ubud) for a heavenly Tofu en Tempe Kare! This Kare (curry) is made with medium firm tofu, shallots, lemongrass, lime leaf, lots of garlic, fresh coconut milk and an aromatic spice blend topped with crunchy chilli Tempeh. Oh my, how I long for this dish!
Buffet Lunch Baskets
All over Bali, you will see little street stalls and restaurants offering a buffet of bamboo baskets filled with delicious dishes. Indonesian favourites like fragrant Rendang, a dish consisting of lots and lots of spices such as coriander seed, turmeric, fresh ginger, garlic, chilli, lime leaf, galangal and lemongrass, infused with thick coconut cream marinated for hours and another Indonesian staple, Gado Gado, a cold vegetable salad made with pressed sticky rice, cucumber, green beans, cabbage and lots and lots of thick, slightly spicy peanut sauce, crispy marinated Tempe, lots of veggies, rice and of course, crackling prawn crackers. A feast suited for a king, or in this instance, two hungry travellers.
For the ultimate Bali experience, head over to Jimbaran beach. Here you will find the Jimbaran Bay Beach Club, a selection of restaurants right on the beach where you can enjoy seafood freshly prepared for you in a romantic setting.
A great alternative to the Jimbaran Bay Beach Club is the Jimbaran Fishmarket just down the beach. Here the catch of the day is sold for a fraction of the price to Jimbaran Bay Beach Club and they offer an amazing variety of fish. From fresh Tuna, Prawns, Lobster, Clams, Grouper, Snapper and much more. Have your pick, negotiate on a price (try to aim for about a third of the price asked, we paid £3 for 3k of fresh Tuna!) and take your fish next door where you can get it grilled right on the beach. Everything is skinned and cleaned so don’t worry about things getting messy. Enjoy the greatest value fresh fish meal you have ever come across, whilst watching the sky colour shades of red as the sun goes down over the sea.
Also, make sure to dine at Putu’s Wild Ginger (Ubud) and enjoy traditional Balinese home cooking. Dishes cooked from recipes that have been passed down the generations and a restaurant run by Mother, Father, and Daughter. Fresh, healthy and inexpensive. Try the smoked duck set meal, it’s a Putu favourite!
A pick me up – Kopi Luwak
Everywhere on the island, you will come across little coffee shops advertising this particular type of coffee. This coffee, also known as civet coffee or cat drop coffee, is made with part-digested cherries eaten and defecated by the civet cats (or Luwak). The cat eats the cherries for the fleshy pulp which is fermented in the digestive tract, the civet’s enzymes soak into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino enzymes. After passing through a civet’s system, the cherries are then defected with other faecal matter, collected, cleaned and roasted. It is said that this process makes for a smoother, more tasteful coffee, although some disagree and say it is the story that sells, not the quality of the coffee. And with retail prices reaching €550 / US$700 per kilogramme, it is the most expensive coffee in the world!
I absolutely LOVE Bali, the natural beauty, amazingly friendly people and the enticing and vibrant cuisine. I can’t wait to be back and eat my way around this delicious island (again)!