Street food style nibbles are the way to a traveller’s heart, which is why a satay skewer in Bali never gets a bad review. Just like back home on the barbecue, the locals eateries in places such as Eat Street in Seminyak and Kuta’s main road serve up meat skewers that are cooked to perfection in front of your very eyes. The main offerings include chicken and beef, marinated in special sauces, but for those with a greater sense of adventure there are surprise recipes such as goat, mutton, rabbit and seafood. The finishing touch is a side serving of rice cakes with diced cucumber and onion, delivered with a smile.
If you’re a fan of Asian style fried rice then you can’t miss out on Nasi goreng, a dish many consider to be the ultimate local delicacy of Indonesia’s islands. This dish is prepared with sweet, thick soy sauce called kecap (pronounced ketchup) and sprinkled with acar, pickled cucumber and sometimes vegetables such as carrots for a tocu hof extra goodness.The mountain of rice grain that awaits you will also contain many different types of locally sourced meats, buried deep within which adds an element of surprise with every bite you take!
Having been transformed as a popular tourist destination in recent years, Bali now caters to the needs of the global palette, hence why pork is often served as a main meal despite it being a forbidden food for the Muslim population. So if you’re going to break the rules, go big! Babi guling is a specially roasted suckling pig that is seen on the vast number of menus in western hotels and villa resorts in Bali. Before the pig is spit-roasted it is bathed in coconut water and caressed with chili, turmeric, garlic and ginger for want of a succulent finish.
In rural Bali, whether it be a remote villa stay outside of Seminyak or as far off the beaten track as Uluwatu, you’re never more than two metres away from the wildlife that roams amongst the placid setting. Sadly, it’s those same creatures that keep the kitchens buzzing and restaurant tables full at Bali’s tourist hotspots. Fried chicken is a particular favourite amongst locals, which is marinated in peanut sauce and served on a bed of healthy green leaves. Perfect to order with rice or salads.
Bali takes inspiration for recipes from all over Asia with many nations north of the islands adding their own stamp on the traditional Indonesian menu. China has had a big influence on the current dishes served in Seminyak, Kuta, Uluwatu and other areas frequently visited by tourists. One dish to speak of, which is said to originate in China, is Cah kangkung, a water spinach. Kangkung is stir fried with sweet soybean sauce, large pieces of garlic, bird’s-eye chili and shrimp paste to transform it from a standard village meal to a gourmet delicacy. The spinach weed grows mainly is South East Asia making it a popular asset for many chefs throughout this part of the world.
If you’re travelling to Indonesia this spring, Ministry of Villas can assist in finding luxury accommodation in Bali, and recommend a full itinerary of where to visit and the most delicious foods around.