Top 5 dining experiences in Bali
Everything in Bali is about the experience, it’s not just one tourist stop after another. In Bali, the food was not the main feature, which may come as a shock to people who know me as I generally like to plan my trips around the food. Nevertheless, I had multiple dining experiences in Bali and each was so special. Rather than just provide a list of Bali Eats, find out what my top 5 dining experiences in Bali are!
#5 Get your breakfast on at your resort
Generally, when you’re traveling you want to just crash at your hotel for a good night’s rest. Not in Bali, where even the hotels are an experience. Wake up a little early and take advantage of your resort’s breakfast and enjoy the view. I was fortunate enough to have stayed at the beautiful Conrad Hotel in Nusa Dua where they offered a wide assortment of both American and traditional Indonesian breakfast foods. I am not a morning person but the view at breakfast was a relaxing way to start the day off!
#4 Try a hole in the wall restaurant
Melting Wok Wurang
Nothing is more satisfying than authentic comfort food served at cheap prices. You have many options if you are looking for an inexpensive meal in Bali with plenty of local specialties featured throughout the island. Take, for example Melting Wok which was the perfect little restaurant with rave reviews. People get the impression hole-in-the-walls are dirty or unsanitary, but Melting Wok was far from that. It is the cute little place run by a Parisian who moved from Paris to, believe it or not, be with her husband in Bali! At Melting Wok, you’ll enjoy a simple menu with fresh ingredients that showcase the local taste and flavors.
Special of the day with beef, basil, ginger, mushrooms, and noodles. It got demolished real fast.
From front to back: crispy potato cake with cucumber salad, beef special noodle, and chicken coconut curry noodle. Main dishes cost only $4-$5.
There is always room for dessert! Front to back: a cream caramel with coconut milk, moca cream with ice cream, and chocolate crepe. My favorite was definitely the cream caramel, it was smooth and delicious! Each dessert only cost $2-$3, what a steal!
Overall, the food is solid, great customer service, and it is all very cheap! Keep in mind the food is very simple, but tasty. Make sure you make email firstname.lastname@example.org to make reservations. There are only 8 tables available and I saw multiple people get turned down without reservations. Stop by this little hole in the wall if you are in Ubud for their amazing service, food, and cheap prices.
Location: 13 Jl. Gootama, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Website: Tripadvisor | Melting Wok Warung
Price: $3-$5, no joke.
#3 Experience a traditional Balinese meal
When in Bali, have a traditional Balinese meal with a beautiful garden setting. It’s almost unreal, with its lush coconut trees and lily ponds, Cafe Wayan is truly a relaxing experience to have a meal.
Don’t let the small store front trick you, once you enter there is plenty of garden space to sit outside.
From front going clockwise: papaya salad, traditional crispy duck, Balinese special grilled prawn with chicken, and appetizer bruschetta and chicken satay. I didn’t get a chance to try their bebek guling (smoked duck) but it is definitely one of Bali’s specialties. It pays to be daring and try some of the local specialties.
Overall, a beautiful restaurant with extensive menu offering both Traditional and Western food accompanied by an even nicer garden ambience with great service.
Location: Monkey Forest Rd., Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Website: Tripadvisor | Cafe Wayan
Price: $5-$15 (varies)
#2: BBQ Seafood by Jimbaran Beach
No trip to Bali is complete without eating barbecued seafood on Jimbaran beach. It’s the perfect no frills place to get your seafood fix with a romantic view. Yes, it’s touristy and there are slightly higher prices, but it comes with a view of the beach. The seafood beach restaurants in Bali range in quality from fancy to hole-in-the-walls. For newbies, you select your seafood before sitting down ranging from fish, crabs, lobster (frozen or live), prawns, etc. They are generally smothered with a certainly noticeable amount of spice. We came across Lia Cafe which definitely looks like a small hole-in-the-wall spot, but once you step through to the back of the restaurant, you are greeted with a serene view of the ocean.
We came for lunch so it was pretty quiet, it was like we had our own private beach to ourselves just for lunch! Be warned, there are a lot of stray dogs so they will all direct their attention to you! If you can, come to Jimbaran during sunset.
Gotta have my fresh coconuts! Taking advantage of drinking freshly cracked coconuts any chance I could get!
Left: Delicious BBQ lobster with chili paste, garlic, and peppers. Right: Fried prawns, fresh fish, and veggie sand rice.
The prawns were probably my favorite as they were fried and extra crispy. I probably could have eaten 10 more of those! We had the frozen lobster and the seasoning was delicious, just the meat wasn’t as tender. Overall, is the seafood the best I’ve ever had? Probably not, but this great low-key experience on the beach was memorable.
Location: Jl Pemalisan Agung, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia
Website: Tripadvisor | Lia Cafe
Price: Reasonably priced based on weight, it can add up fast! Get the meal packages for a slight discount.
#1:Romantic Sunset Dinner
Breeze at The Samaya
One thing Bali is perfect for is romantic settings. This was a beautiful, romantic night…with my parents celebrating their anniversary! The Breeze is a restaurant in the Samaya Villas and Spa Resort in Seminyak. Yes, it’s touristy and slightly commercialized. But, who cares? Look at that view! This was our one fancy schmancy dinner on our entire trip and the ambience did not disappoint. Breeze is breathtaking and you’ll be mesmerized gazing out to the beach overlooking the sunset.
I was blown away by the beachside setting of the restaurant. Not a single bad seat in the house, each complete with a gorgeous view of the ocean.
Delicious fruity cocktails with a great backdrop view.
Started off with a fresh oyster with wakame tomato sesame relish. It was so smooth and creamy!
Scallops w confit pork belly. Scallops were cooked perfectly.
The menu offers a nice selection of international and traditional Balinese dishes and every dish was expertly prepared and artfully presented. This is the one place where I would recommend the more westernized foods over the traditional. I got the spinach fettuccine with prawns and it was tasty with light flavors.
The stunning blue sky after sunset!
Overall Breeze had impeccable service that was professional and friendly. I made a note in my reservation it was my parents’ anniversary so without any reminders, they surprised them with a chocolate cake and a red rose for my mama! Outstanding service all around. I will say that the food did not match up to the luxurious exterior of the restaurant, but it was such a gorgeous place to dine in that makes up for the good but not great cuisine. It is reasonably priced for a restaurant with such high standards and you don’t come across this type of restaurant every day. So it’s worth a visit to immerse yourself in the romantic ambience during sunset.
Location: Jl. Laksmana, Seminyak Beach, Seminyak, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Website: Tripadvisor | Breeze
Tip: Make reservations and come at sunset time (generally around 5:30-6pm).
Go get your sunset magic on in Bali with these dining experiences.
Wherever you decide to eat, I think anywhere you go will generally be an enjoyable experience because everywhere I went, the service was so friendly and accommodating. Plus, the food certainly satisfied my tummy and I’m a tough food critic!
Check out all the sights to see in Bali here!