Five renowned chefs in Bali recommend their favorite restaurants, from breakfast to late-night dining.
Bali’s dining is as geographically widespread as it is gastronomically varied. To help diners navigate the scene we asked five Bali-based chefs to give their picks. Our panel of chefs were selected based on their lengthy track records on the island and renowned reputations in the culinary world. Their 54 recommendations are rightly diverse, ranging from family-run street stalls to glitzy fine-dining venues that demand a dress code. Presented in order from morning meals to after-hours bites, here are their picks from around the island.
1. Degan Septoadji Suprijadi
Degan’s culinary prowess has led him around the world, including positions in Germany, the Bahamas, and his home country of Bali. In 2010, he founded the Café Degan on the island, a restaurant serving Indonesian and Thai cuisine, and two years later, he was named the Best Asian Chef 2012 at the Singapore World Gourmet Summit. “Indonesia is not promoted as a culinary destination. Our spices are not well known, though nutmeg and cinnamon were once more valuable than gold,” he says. “The amount of knowledge about Indonesian cuisine is saddening.”
2. Henry Alexie Bloem
Henry began his career in 1989 at the Bali Mandira Resort. After more than 15 years in the kitchen, including time at the Bali Dynasty Resort and Melia Panorama Batam, he’s bagged a slew of awards, most notably the Indonesian Chef of the Year in 2003, and has served his dishes to a number of famous leaders, from George Bush to Xanana Gusmão. Now, Henry works as the director of food and beverage and executive chef at Patra Jasa Bali Resort & Spa. He also serves as president of the Indonesian Chef Association and regularly appears as a judge on MasterChef Indonesia and Top Chef Indonesia.
3. Nicolas Tourneville
This Frenchman loves spicy foods, though his preference was born out of habit. When he first moved to Indonesia he had difficulty eating the archipelago’s infamously fiery cuisine, but 20 years immersed in the local cuisine has changed that. Known to his friends as Doudou, Nicolas started his professional career in Bali by establishing Kafe Warisan, and following its success, he opened Métis, a French fine-dining restaurant and one of Seminyak’s most famed spots. He says the restaurant business is very competitive in Bali, but there is a camaraderie among chefs, hence his regular meetings with Chris Salans and Will Meyrick to discuss the industry and future collaborations.
4. Chris Salans
With both French and American lineage, Chris has catapulted Bali onto the international culinary map. He learned to cook at Le Cordon Bleu and has worked at a number of notable restaurants, including Lucas Carton and Bouchon. Capitalizing on his impressive resume, Chris moved to Bali and now runs two outlets: Mozaic Restaurant and Mozaic Beach Club. The former, located in Ubud, made it onto the list of Les Grandes Tables du Monde along with outlets by Ferran Adrià and Thomas Keller. His fusion and molecular approaches were learned not only in the kitchens of innovative chefs, but also from his background in scientific studies.
5. Will Meyrick
Will began his career at Gordon Ramsay and Marcus Wareing’s famed French restaurant L’Oranger, but in 1998 he found his true calling: Asian cuisine. His many travels and culinary explorations have led him through a plethora of authentic cooking experiences throughout Indonesia, finding inspiration in Indonesian food hawkers serving dishes crafted from family recipes and the archipelago’s pervasive love of local tradition. He’s been known to stop by Sop Empal Bu Haryoko in Yogyakarta, enjoys the cake pancong in Bukittinggi, and savors the traditional Makassar cake at Mama Bakery. His favorite menu in Bali? Duck betutu and lawar.
Our panel’s recommendations range from fresh fruit juices to suckling pig, but Degan’s selection for the category is the most unusual: a Carrefour bakery outlet.
Address: Jl. Lake Tamblingan 75A, Sanur; cafebatujimbar.com; Reservations: 62-361/287-374; [email protected]; Operational: 07:30-23:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Indonesian and Western; Recommended by Chris Salans.
“The atmosphere is what makes this place very special. Batujimbar Café has a collection of homemade, fresh cookies and a variety of cake options, from healthy to seasonal. One of their most unique menu items is the Date Slice, a slice of delicious date cake. Every Sunday, the restaurant holds a market selling a variety of food, ranging from traditional Indonesian dishes to quesadillas.”
Address: The Legian Bali, Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak; ghmhotels.com; Reservations: 62-361/730-622; [email protected]; Operational: 07:00-23:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: International; Recommended by Nicolas Tourneville.
“It’s a quiet place with really high-quality food. Starting your day with breakfast on the beach will give you the energy to take on the day.”
Address: Jl. Raya Petitenget 888, Seminyak; bikubali.com; Reservations: 62-361/857-0888; [email protected]; Operational: 08:00-23:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Indonesian and Western; Recommended by Will Meyrick.
“This is classic Bali at its best. The room is very spacious with traditional ornate fans. Its selection of teas is very diverse.”
Warung Nasi Ayam Bu Weti
Address: Jl. Segara Ayu, Sanur; Reservations: 62-813/3828-1866; Operational: 08:00-11:00; Credit cards: Not accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Balinese rice mixed; Recommended by Henry Bloem.
“In the morning I always want to enjoy the traditional herbs and spices of Indonesia. And in this place, I can find such pleasures.”
Lawar Sapi Odah
Address Jl. Danau Buyan/Sindu, Sanur; Reservations: Not available; Operational: 09:00-13:00; Credit cards: Not accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Lawar; Recommended by Henry Bloem.
“Like the chicken rice shop owned by Bu Weti, this place serves dishes with a strong spice character.”
KU DE TA
Address: Jl. Kayu Aya 9, Seminyak; kudeta.net; Reservations: 62-361/736-969; [email protected]; Operational 08:00 until late at night; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: International Modern; Recommended by Will Meyrick.
“Nothing beats the thrill of breakfast on the beach accompanied by waves.”
Address: Grand Hyatt Bali, Nusa Dua tourism area BTDC, Nusa Dua; bali.grand.hyatt.com; Reservations: 62-361/771-234; [email protected]; Operational: 07:00-01:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: Italian; Recommended by Degan Septoadji.
“The location is the selling point of this place. It’s near the beach with beautiful panoramic views, lush trees, and a comfortable atmosphere. There’s alfresco-style dining, though the interior design is also interesting.”
Babi Guling Pak Dobiel
Address: Jl. Srikandi 9, Nusa Dua; Reservations: 62-361/771-633; Operational: 10:00-22:00; Credit cards: Not accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Suckling pig; Recommended by Henry Bloem.
“Here, pork is offered in the form of satay, lawar, or soup. Guests have a variety of menu options.”
Address: Jl. Petitenget 77A, Kerobokan; balicateringcompany.com; Reservations: 62-361/847-5115; [email protected]; Operational: 07:00-22:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: French; Recommended by Nicolas Tourneville.
“Its breakfast menu offers a lot of choices. The bread served is made fresh every day, and the porridge is very tasty.”
Bakery in Carrefour Sunset Road
Address: Carrefour, Jl. Sunset Road, Banjar Gelogor Carik, Denpasar; Reservations: 62-812/3811-100, 62-361/847-7222; Operational: 09:00-22:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Affordable; Menu: Bread, cakes; Recommended by Degan Septoadji.
“The baker here is French, and it is one of the best bakeries in Bali. There are many types of bread available: quiche, croissants, baguettes, pies, danishes. The variety is remarkable; there are four or five quiches available, some in miniature form. Everything is fresh and very tasty, and many owners of restaurants and villas shop for bread here. My wife and I often buy from here and then enjoy breakfast in the car.”
Address: Como Shambhala Estate, Banjar Begawan, Melinggih Kelod Village, Ubud; comohotels.com; Reservations: 62-361/978-888; [email protected]; Operational: 06:30-23:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: Healthy food; Recommended by Chris Salans.
“One of the best restaurants with a view. The breakfast menu here focuses on healthy food, such as whole-wheat pancakes with dried fruits and nuts.”
Address: Jl. Petitenget, Badung; Reservations: 62-361/730-838; Operational: 08:00-00:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: Mediterranean; Recommended by Chris Salans, Nicolas Tourneville.
Chris Salans: “La Luciolla has a breakfast menu that varies from traditional Indonesian to continental, with pastries and fresh bread. The eggs benedict here is a must-try. And in addition to food, the view overlooking the coast of Petitenget is beautiful.”
Nicolas Tourneville: “After nearly 17 years of operation, La Lucciola manages to maintain authenticity in terms of taste and atmosphere—just like the first time I ate here. The scenery is also easy on the eyes.”
Address: Jl. Petitenget 40X, Seminyak; petitenget.net; Reservations: 62-361/473-3054; [email protected]; Operational: 07:00-24:00; Credit cards: Accepted; Price range: Premium; Menu: Italian, Western, Indonesia; Recommended by Degan Septoadji, Will Meyrick.
Degan Septoadji: “Great place, offering American breakfast, juices, and cereals. This restaurant used to be not very successful, but under the new owner it is improving.”
Will Meyrick: “The restaurant has a very pleasant atmosphere, especially in very hot weather. It also makes a tangerine juice that I really like.”