Top 5 Cuisines You Must Try in Bali
With its time-tested spices and tantalising flavours, Balinese food is a treat to the senses. From the signature dishes of hotels and restaurants to the traditional food carts dotting the busy streets, Balinese cuisine is as diverse and interesting as the culture of Indonesia. Here is a list of five key dishes you must try when visiting the Island of Gods – Bali.
1. Nasi Goreng
Nasi Goreng is an Indonesian version of fried rice; however, it quite differs from the Asian fried rice due to its aromatic, earthly and smoky flavor. It is pre-cooked rice stir-fried with a combination of vegetables and meats, caramelized sweet soy sauce, shrimp paste, palm sugar, hot chili sauce and a variety of Balinese spices. It is then garnished with sliced tomatoes, cucumber, fried shallots, pickle, traditional crackers and a sunny side up egg. Nasi Goreng is so many flavours in one plate. Traditionally served at home as a breakfast dish in Bali, it was originated as a way of avoiding food wastage. It has emerged gradually as the most popular dish of Indonesia and can be enjoyed anywhere, from the roadside stalls to the classy hotels. So, when in Bali, don’t forget to taste the lip smacking flavours of Nasi Goreng!
2. Balinese Satay
Satay is an important part of Balinese Cuisine and a most popular delicacy in Indonesia. Satay finds its origin dating back to the early 19th century. It is believed to be invented by Javanese street vendors as a tailored version of Indian Kebabs. Preparation involves marinating little chunks of meat with lots of Indonesian flavours including Indonesian soy sauce called kecap manis, crushed garlic and finely shredded kaffir lime leaves. Marinated chunks are then threaded into bamboo skewers and grilled over charcoal ember heat until seared. Satay is served with spicy peanut sauce dip. So, relish this heavenly flavour while enjoying your holidays in Bali.
3. Pisang Goreng
Pisang Goreng is a delectable Balinese snack. It is banana fritters usually served as mid-afternoon snacks. Preparation involves deep frying bananas covered in batter, or without batter. It is a very popular snack and sold by most street vendors on banana leaf. Restaurants have more sophisticated way of presenting Pisang Goreng and they serve it with cheese, jam, chocolate or condensed milk. I recommend exploring some local vendors for a more authentic taste of this delicacy.
Gado-Gado is a traditional Balinese dish and a must have food in Bali. It is pretty much like salad. Fresh assorted vegetables are lightly steamed and garnished with sliced tomatoes, fried shallots and boiled eggs. The vegetarian version excludes the egg. It is served with spicy and fragrant peanut sauce. An amazing blend of taste and nutrition!
5. SeaFood Platter At Jimbaran Beach
The line-up of beach side cafés on Jimbaran beach is a paradise for seafood lovers. The seafood platter includes shrimp, crab, lobsters, oysters, squid and grilled fish – everything fresh and made with authentic Balinese spices and sauces. From the sweet and sour blends to the hot and spicy flavours, Jimbaran Seafood platter will leave you craving for more. The taste is tantalising and simply unforgettable!! So, go for a sunset dinner on the Jimbaran beach and treat your senses with the traditional taste of Bali. If you have never tried seafood before, please check for any seafood allergies before trying the platter.