a pleasure-hunting monkey.
Indonesia is blessed with various kinds of traditional cuisine. Wherever you are, you can expect to find unique yet delicious local dishes to try, including in Bali.
The characteristic of Balinese cuisines is having the rich spicy flavors from the combination of the local spices called bumbu base genep, which consists of onion, garlic, bungkilan (galangal, ginger, turmeric and kencur), chillis, candlenut, pepper, salt, lemongrass, bay leaves and citrus leaves. They usually mixed to serve traditional Balinese food, such as lawar, sate lilit (lemongrass skewers of minced fish in various spices) or ayam betutu (Balinese roasted chicken)
Here are five of the most popular ones that we recommend for you to taste that will make your experience on Bali more memorable, especially if you are the first-timer holiday makers in the island.
Suckling pig can be listed as the first must-try food on Bali. One portion of the roast suckling pig, consisting of rice, pork slices, crispy pig skin, pork crackers and steamed vegetables mixed with shredded coconut, is usually served on a traditional woven-bamboo plate called an ingke.
Hotspots on Bali recommended as places to try this particular dish, because of its strong spices and herbs, include Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka in Ubud, Pak Malen in Seminyak, Pak Chandra in Denpasar and my favorite suckling pig so far, Pak Dobiel in Nusa Dua.
Nasi campur ayam
One portion of Balinese chicken mix rice, or nasi campur ayam, is rather similar to one portion of suckling pig. It basically consists of rice, betutu spice chicken, boiled egg, steamed vegetables mixed with shredded coconut and sometimes with spicy soup as a topping.
You can easily find this dish at popular restaurants on Bali such as Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku and Warung Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki. Those two have several branches around Bali’s tourist areas in Ubud, Seminyak and Uluwatu.
But if you are looking for a more classic street food style dish, you can also try Nasi Campur Menweti in Sanur. But be careful, the Balinese chicken mix rice may too spicy for you.
For vegetable lovers, vegan or vegetarian, Tipat Cantok is a fascinating local taste from the island. It looks like gado-gado, which is a traditional Indonesian food that is very popular in Jakarta.
While tipat is a rice cake, Tipat Cantok is a combination of rice cakes with fresh pan-fried tofu pieces, fresh bean sprouts and peanut sauce. You can find this on the menus of local restaurants serving Balinese foods or in modest food stalls.
Rujak Kuah Pindang
Like rujak from other regions in Indonesia, rujak kuah pindang, also known as Balinese rujak, is an Indonesian fruit salad consisting of a variety of fruits and a unique sauce made of fish gravy and spices, resulting in a rather strong fishy smells and a strong aftertaste of fishy flavor on your tongue and in your throat.
Like Tipat Cantok, you can find this menu item at local Balinese restaurants or food stalls.
Made of rice flour, palm sugar and other ingredients, Jaja Bali is a mix of traditional Balinese snacks that locals usually enjoy during breakfast or tea time.
Many hotels on the island serve Jaja Bali as one of their breakfast options, but if you want to try the authentic one, go visit one of the many food stalls in traditional markets such as Badung in southern Bali.
So, have you tried those local dishes? Which one is your favorite?