Bali’s boom­ing foodie cul­ture

Jann Burmester trav­els to the Is­land of the Gods for a first-class foodie get­away

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS -

THE Bali food scene has come a long way since nasi goreng and gado gado. The pop­u­lar is­land is fast be­com­ing a food­ies’ par­adise, buzzing with bustling venues, reser­va­tion wait lists and award-win­ning chefs.

From five-star es­tab­lish­ments to fam­ily-friendly venues, sun­set bars, beach clubs and hip In­sta­grammable cafes serv­ing the lat­est and great­est ve­gan fare, Bali is high on the bucket list for food lovers look­ing for unique lo­ca­tions, jaw-drop­ping views and five-star food at three-star prices.

With fresh in­gre­di­ents sourced daily from lo­cal mar­kets, suc­cu­lent seafood, an abun­dance of fra­grant and ex­otic spices and a va­ri­ety of un­usual and tasty fruits and veg­eta­bles, the Is­land of the Gods serves up a tan­ta­lis­ing menu that is sure to set your taste buds on fire.

And yes, the nasi goreng is still there and it’s still good but trav­ellers want­ing to ex­pe­ri­ence more of this ex­otic cui­sine will be spoilt for choice, with a huge ar­ray of spicy dishes ex­plod­ing with flavours, from sim­ple warungs (road­side stalls) to classy fine-din­ing venues cater­ing not only to West­ern­ers but dis­cern­ing In­done­sians as well.

Think nasi cam­pur, braised tem­peh, am­ber-tinged kare ayam (chicken curry), beef ren­dang, ikan mekuah (fish in tomato and lemon­grass sauce), bubur ayam (chicken por­ridge), tamarind-chilli fruit salad, Kin­ta­mani fish soup, sates, pepes ikan (steamed fish in ba­nana leaves) and the list goes on.

Eat­ing with the lo­cals at the lo­cal warung will, of course, give you an authen­tic foodie ex­pe­ri­ence but for those wor­ried about

the in­fa­mous “Bali belly”, there are lit­er­ally thou­sands of cafes and restau­rants across the is­land where a plate of In­done­sian food will sat­isfy the most dis­cern­ing diner.

Some of my favourite venues for re­ally good In­done­sian food in­clude Merah Pu­tih in Seminyak; Ulekan, Betel­nut and Milk and Madu in Canggu; Hu­jan Lo­cale, Hon­ey­moon Kitchen, In­dus, Nu­san­tara and Spice by Chris Salams in Ubud; and The Cashew Tree in Bin­gin.

When it comes to healthy food and con­scious cuisines, Bali is streets ahead of the rest of the world.

Canggu on Bali’s south coast is a mecca for trav­ellers and ex-pats want­ing to jump on the ve­gan and even raw ve­gan band­wagon.

Here you can treat your­self to an amaz­ing va­ri­ety of rain­bow-coloured food, served up in amaz­ing venues by tal­ented chefs keen to show off their skills.

Make sure you check out The Shady Shack for its fa­mous ve­gan cheese­burger, Pelo­ton Su­per­shop for its break­away break­fast burrito (a co­rian­der-in­fused tor­tilla filled with scram­bled tofu, Mex­i­can beans, let­tuce, cab­bage, corn, co­rian­der, tomato salsa and cashew sour cream all for just $6) or the Asian per­sua­sion salad bowl at Kynd Com­mu­nity in Petitenget (green tea soba noo­dles, Asian greens, sprouts, car­rots, cu­cum­ber, cab­bage, gar­den herbs, spring onions, seeds, toasted cashews and topped with mar­i­nated tofu and tem­peh).

At Sprout Bali in Canggu, it’s not only the food that is mind-blow­ing.

The gar­den set­ting is divine and with menu in­gre­di­ents like ac­ti­vated al­monds, char­coal, buck­wheat, kim­chi and jamu (a tra­di­tional In­done­sian herbal tonic), you’ll feel ready to take on the world.

Ven­ture fur­ther afield to Ubud, home of the yogi, and this boom­ing artis­tic and cul­tural cen­tre is also brim­ming with a huge range of health food cafes and restau­rants.

My favourites here are Alchemy, Clear Cafe, The Seeds of Life, Lo­ca­vore and Five El­e­ments Sakti Din­ing Room – an award-win­ning ve­gan din­ing and eco-lux­ury re­sort nes­tled along­side the sa­cred Ayung River.

If five-star din­ing is more your style, then Bali de­liv­ers a smor­gas­bord of high-end venues where the breath­tak­ing views and lo­ca­tions are matched by im­pec­ca­ble ser­vice and food fit for a king (or queen).

In Seminyak, check out Aya Street, La Luc­ci­ola, Mama San, Sar­dine, Sarong, Urchin, Da Maria, Kilo and Merah Pu­tih.

The Slow in Canggu is the one of the is­land’s hottest new bou­tique ho­tels and its restau­rant boasts an ever-chang­ing menu based on sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents, sus­tain­abil­ity and “sane” eat­ing.

For top-of-the-range din­ing in Ubud you can’t go past Din­ing Cor­ner at Kayu­ma­nis, Lo­ca­vore, the award-win­ning Mozaic, Nu­san­tara and Spice by Chris Salams.

With a bur­geon­ing food scene that other coun­tries can only dream of, Bali is your ul­ti­mate culi­nary des­ti­na­tion and it’s all just a six-hour flight from Aus­tralia’s east coast.

Bali is high on the bucket list for food lovers look­ing for unique lo­ca­tions, jaw-drop­ping views and five-star food at three-star prices.

CLOCK­WISE FROM LEFT: Lunch at Canggu Beach; authen­tic cui­sine at the Hon­ey­moon Kitchen in Ubud,; veg­e­tar­ian de­lights at The Shady Shack..PHO­TOS: IS­TOCK/JANN BURMESTER/THE SHADY SHACK .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.