First of all, before starting my post, I must address the devastating news of the attacks last night in France. Once again, another traumatic terrorist attack has rocked the world and I send my love to anyone who has been affected by these atrocities.

In 2002, Bali itself was the victim of multiple bombings that resulted in the death of 202 people and on my recent visit I realised that the memories still resonate. I hope that amongst such terrible news prior to the weekend, I can bring a moment of joy and light reading for you all on this Friday.

My recent trip to Indonesia with my boyfriend George was abundant with culinary experiences. It’s no secret that Indonesian food is my favourite, but the exchange rate also means that for many people, you can get incredibly fancy food for a fraction of the price you would be used to.

Kuta

Kuta is renowned for its party lifestyle and cheap food. Even though Westernised restaurants and bars can be found all around Kuta (Hard Rock, Starbucks, Tony Roma’s), it’s also where you’ll find some great cheap nasi-gorengs and gado gados.

thumb_IMG_5353_1024

Nasi Goreng found at a restaurant on the first day – £3.50!

thumb_IMG_5332_1024

Delicious coffee and juices at Kopi & Kue

thumb_IMG_5298_1024

Another nasi goreng, we went slightly crazy with these on the first few days.

Gili Trawangan

thumb_IMG_5491_1024

The Gili Islands are technically in Lombok, but because they’re only a short boat ride away from Bali, many travellers visit Gili T too. Gili Trawangan has become a diver’s and backpacker’s mecca in recent years and every time I visit, there are more and more businesses popping up over the island.

The night market is one of the most popular spots on the island for authentic and cheap Indonesian food. Various stalls fill the square at 6pm, which is completely empty in the day time. Much like a “pick and mix”, you can fill up your bowl with the different foods you want and one bowl will cost on average 30,000-60,000 rupiah. In other words, it’s around £1.50-£3 to have a foodie experience that you won’t forget.

thumb_IMG_5465_1024

The seating in the night market comprises of long tables and benches, perfect for socialising and meeting other travellers. My favourite stall is the barbequed corn, beware, it’s spicy stuff!

thumb_IMG_5461_1024

My £2 bowl of yumminess

If you’re a sandwich fiend like myself and fancying something more simple, then go to Bale Sampan, which is just past the Turtle Conservation Hut.

thumb_IMG_5597_1024

thumb_IMG_5500_1024

thumb_IMG_5498_1024

Kayak over to the serene Gili Meno to burn off some of that Bale Sampan baguette

thumb_IMG_5515_1024

Catch a cocktail at Pearl Beach Lounge, which has recently been featured on the Bali Bible. You can chill on the beach or by the pool (they do awesome quesadillas).

thumb_IMG_5603_1024

Grab a light lunch at Villa Ombak Sunset, then spend a lazy afternoon by the pool bar

Ko Ko Mo is renowned for being one of the best restaurants on the island. The quiet area and the beachfront setting make it a popular destination for couples and honeymooners. The dishes are on the pricier side but you’re still only paying around £6-7 for a main meal involving quality ingredients.

thumb_IMG_5577_1024

Prawns, scallops and a seafood risotto 

thumb_IMG_5581_1024

thumb_IMG_5583_1024

Chocolate souffle

Ubud

Ubud was my favourite part of the trip. I’d recommend going to Gunung Kawi temple and the rice fields if you visit. The scenery is like no other.

thumb_IMG_5702_1024

Kopi Luwak coffee is a special type of coffee in Indonesia which is produced from a digested coffee bean that has passed through the body of a civet. The whole process itself is based on the belief that the civets choose the best coffee cherries to eat and upon being digested, the bean is fermented.

thumb_IMG_5732_1024

Only upon visiting the plantation (after little to no research), did I realise that the civets are not roaming free as I would have hoped, but instead they are kept in cages. Due to Luwak coffee being one of the most expensive in the world, farmers have latched onto this lucrative business and in turn, intensive farming methods have been introduced.

thumb_IMG_5736_1024

However, the plantation does produce a variety of coffee, spices and fruit. I would just implore that if the price tag doesn’t scare you off first, remind yourself of the ethical issues at hand and don’t buy the Luwak coffee.

thumb_IMG_5777_1024

After looking around the plantation, we were given samples of various different coffees – whoever knew that “ginger coffee” existed (it’s delicious, by the way).

thumb_IMG_5744_1024

The views from the plantation

Ibu Rai is one of the most popular in Ubud, we arrived before 7pm and just managed to get a seat. It was originally recommended to us by our Indonesian driver, the food is around £5 for a main and there’s a great atmosphere.

thumb_IMG_5841_1024

thumb_IMG_5842_1024

Uma Cucina is a modern Italian restaurant in Ubud and slightly pricier than Ibu Rai, but less expensive than Ku De Ta in Seminyak (for reference). There is also an indoor bar with a comfortable seating area, perfect for a pre or post-dinner drink.

thumb_IMG_5671_1024

Seminyak

Seminyak is a short taxi or 40-minute walk from Kuta, but evidence shows that Seminyak is taking over from Kuta to become the new hotspot of Bali – many would argue that it already has. If you haven’t read my last post on Ku De Ta and you’re interested in Seminyak, then check that out after this one.

thumb_IMG_5899_1024

Grain is a popular coffee shop by day and an organic modern restaurant by night. We forgot to pop back the next day to try the coffee but there’s a lot of positive words that indicate it’s worth heading to Grain for.

thumb_IMG_5914_1024

Sweet chilli corn fritters

We grabbed lunch at Chandi Restaurant on a very hot afternoon, arriving in quite casual wear and flip-flops with sand still stuck to our legs, I felt slightly underdressed compared to some others there, but we had great service nonetheless! This seemed more like the venue for a fancy long lunch, rather than a quick bite to eat whilst covered in sweat and sand.

thumb_IMG_5911_1024

So, that rounds up some of my best food experiences in Indonesia. One final recommendation is Moonlite Kitchen & Bar, which has perfect views for sunset. It also has one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life – Bali Chocolate & Chili Brownie, Cashew Brittle, Caramelized Banana, Almond Custard Ice Cream – all for approx. £4.50.

I hope everyone is having an amazing summer. What foodie experiences have you wanted to blog about? Comment below!

Bali has always been a hot vacation spot in South-East Asia, but in recent years, websites such as “The Bali Bible” have highlighted some of the most alluring and charismatic places to visit.

With over half a milli0n followers on their Instagram account, they’ve gained themselves quite a reputation, so it’s no wonder that the iconic Ku De Ta made it to “best rated” for bars & restaurants in Bali.

thumb_IMG_5388_1024

Kicking off our one-year anniversary celebrations, George and I headed to Ku De Ta for dinner just after sunset, George’s treat!

thumb_IMG_5370_1024

We were overly-excited to discover that Ku De Ta served one of our favourite brand of wine back in the UK (Kaiken).

One of the most popular reasons for visiting Ku De Ta for many is to unwind with a cocktail as you admire the unrivalled ‘Bali sunset’, so try and incorporate sunset to make the evening as magical as possible.

thumb_IMG_5372_1024

The mood lighting is set to low at Ku De Ta, so my flash will definitely take away some of the loveliness of the food, but it will have to do! This was just one Iberian cured meats pre-starter dish, we chose the chorizo and expected it to be on the modest side, but on the contrary, the portions were very generous (and delicious).

thumb_IMG_5377_1024

The prawn & snapper ‘chao shou’ dumplings were the highlight of the evening for me. Dim-sum with spicy chilli sauce has always been my favourite style of the dish, so this had me satisfied from the first mouthful. When we visited, the accompaniment to the dumplings was baked ricotta (which didn’t work so well in my opinion), but just a week later they seemed to have changed this to tofu instead!

thumb_IMG_5371_1024

George opted for the suckling pig ‘urutan’ (sounds slightly odd but urutan is a type of dry fermented Balinese sausage), once again the description for this item on the Ku De Ta menu has changed, but the most important thing to know is that the meat was incredibly delicious and I would thoroughly recommend if you’re a pulled pork lover.

thumb_IMG_5378_1024

My main was the parmesan & sumac crusted pork roasted apple with potato puree and red cabbage. The pork was less tender and more about the flavour, and when it’s parmesan crusted you aren’t really going to complain. However, this dish didn’t wow me, but by this point I was slightly full and still reminiscing about the dim-sum (oops).

thumb_IMG_5382_1024

George opted for a steak based main, my flash is not doing the dish any favours here but it was beautiful. I’m a big fan of establishments that actually serve steak “medium rare” or even “rare”, the way it should be (in my opinion), so Ku De Ta wins there! The service was friendly from start to finish and the restaurant is big enough that we weren’t cramped next to any other tables.

thumb_IMG_5385_1024

No meal is ever complete without one last indulgent pudding that you’ve somehow made extra stomach space for. After our meal, we went for a wonder by the front of the restaurant which overlooks the beach – stopping here for an after-dinner cocktail is a great idea for anyone who has the stomach room 🙂

 

Thank-you, Ku De Ta, you lived up to your many accolades.