Your (eating) Guide to Bali

bali

Sari Organik

alila

Call it a love, call it an obsession, call it fate – there has just always been a connection between bali and I. From my very first trip with Morgan in 2008 I knew that this would be a second home. That first trip we were actually here for 2 whole weeks and 3 days before we were to leave I was crying as I didn’t want to go.

I love the people, I love the energy, I love the calm amongst the hustle and bustle and more recently I have fallen deeply in love with…. the food.

It’s why we come back here a couple of times every year and our love affair with Bali is why we chose to get married here.

I truly do adore Bali and all the beauty in every tiny detail it has to offer.

Being a hugely regular Bali visitor, Morgan and I get asked a lot in PM’s and emails for restaurant recommendations, so I wanted to put this post together as your one stop shop for all things sunset drinks and good food in the Island of the Gods.

But firstly, to explain why this post even needs to happen, you have to understand WHY the food and restaurants is so spectacular.

Bali has been calling the best chef’s from all over the globe to it’s humble city as I believe they get to live in to their passion of cooking, but get the lifestyle that comes with it. So amongst all of the phenomenal and always not to be missed organic or healthy café’s spotted here there and everywhere, there are also some incredible more high end restaurants where you can have a dining experience deemed priceless that I encourage you experience on at least one of your nights out. I

I also think that just like anywhere in the world, you can have an extraordinary experience or an ok experience and I do believe it can come down to planning and knowing where to go. Don’t ever get me wrong either, I LOVE spontaneity when I travel, but I love that when I am adventure travelling, if I am going to bali to zen out and enjoy delish culinary delights every day and divine sunset drinks at night, I want to know exactly where to go and the places to hit. And I want to make sure I’m booked in so we get the best tables and they know we’re coming.

So with all of that in mind, below, broken in to areas – are my top tips for where to eat in Bali.

And I promise you, pick any of them and you are SURE to have the worlds best time not just eating, but drinking or enjoying the sunset or hanging out in some of the best spots in Bali.

 Ubud:

Yoga barn – Incredible place for yoga that serves some of the best organic delicious food.

Moziac gorgeous cocktails & amazing amazing fine dining food

Three Monkeys – Bustling groovy café offering food from contemporary to Italian (great pasta dishes)

Sari Organik 

Sari Organ

Set in the middle of rice fields about 15 walk in through said rice fields – open restaurant where you sit on cushions and have 360 views of the rice fields. It’s all organic (as the name suggests) and all delicious. The walk there itself is beautiful so it’s a 100% must dine at if in Ubud.

Seminyak:

Ku De Ta HAVE to go for sunset cocktail. Think on the ocean, smooth tunes, beautiful setting, great atmosphere.

Moziac – (same brand as in Ubud) – brilliant fine dining food & groovy bar/restaurant on beach (note: some of the best passion fruit mojitios in Bali)

Deuss – really funky for chill out, great for a bit of a crazier night ‘out’. Best place in Bali for a Sunday Session (in Seminyak, I would do Single Fin for a Sunday Session if i was in Jimbaran / Uluwatu).

Potato head infamous in bali. BIG infinity pool bar / grass area. Yummy cocktails. You want to try to get a day bed by the pool but it can get really really busy in the busy season. So if you can get there earlier in the day, perfect. Always nice to have a meal in the restaurant too, for a big bar, the food is actually exceptional.

Mamma San – best indian in bali, fine dining and beautiful setting.

Metis fine dining restaurant, delicious food. Our good friends from Melbourne who we consider the biggest foodies we know rate this as their favourite and the best restaurant in Bali (I still would choose Sarong over this but we always ALWAYS visit here when we’re in Bali).

Merih Putih – If you’re looking for a beautiful dining experience then you need to book in a table here (and I would suggest booking as it does get very busy – here, Metis and Sarong are all finer dining places you will more than likely have to actually email and book). Walking in it’s like an inside out magical feast for the eyes and the traditional Indonesian cuisine they serve (yep, it’s Indo inspired food) is done with a modern twist so you get to enjoy the cultural tastes of the beautiful country you’re in without feeling like you need to eat at a Warung.

Saigon Street – THE best Vietnemese food we have ever tried (from anywhere in the globe). Again, go with a full stomach and if you can, with another couple of two. You want to try to get as many small bites off the menu as possible and share a main or two as it’s just THAT good you want to try to taste it all. Puk Puk Chicken and the Pork Belly are our two fav menu items, with the BEST dessert we have ever tried being from here (I would go here if only for these). It’s off the ‘tiny bites’ dessert menu, and it’s deep fried coconut balls, with a soft hot caramel centre. Order 2 for 1 person (just trust me on that).

La Plancha

la plancha

super bali. Beanbags on the beach attached to a bar – go for sunsets and a cold beer. You can go in bathers if you so wished and bare feet, it’s just a really relaxed, really casual awesome bar and setting.

Sea Circus really really really yummy breakfasts (I prefer this place as a breakfast place above all else, but also great for lunch). It’s very groovy Perth cafe meets Bali.

La Luciola – on the beach, some of the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten.

Betlenut Cafe VERY awesome experience dining and a place I tell ALL international guests to go for the experience of it. It’s a “cubby house” overlooking rice fields and it’s all open. ALL organic food and delicious organic food to boot.

Sarong 

Sarong

Thai/Indonesian/indian – fine dining and FREAKING DELICIOUS – beautiful decor, happening vibe. It’s a must go, this is one of Morgan and I’s favourite restaurants in Bali. TIP: Go a little earlier as there is a big gothic esque bar that you can sit at for pre dinner drinks. I love to go earlier and sit and have a cocktail or two then move to the table. You will need to BOOK IN ADVANCE as well. We will always book a day or so before we get to Bali as the popular times are always taken if you don’t book (and you don’t want a table at 9:30pm!)

Woo Bar 

Woo Bar

Mustttttt go here. On the beach, happy hour from 4-6pm, amazing (!!!) cocktails, funkiest tunes in bali, just super relaxed atmosphere whilst being really upmarket. I always like to dress up a little for here, and then go out for a nice dinner (you can walk to sarong or Merih Putih from here). The happy hour cocktails are delicious and you get free margarehetia pizza for your table as you sip on the cocktails watching the sun go down.

Motel Mexicola 

motel

Mexican food as the name suggests. REALLYYYYY funky decor, cool tunes, great for dinner (& yummy sangria!!!) I love it lunch or dinner as food, decor and service is always impeccable BUT it really is a fun night out with friends if you’re in to fun music, atmosphere and general good times with delicious food.

La Finca incredible Spanish tapas bar – best tapas I have had out of Spain (try the dessert plate too) and a MUST GO TO every time we are in Bali.

Barbacoa – Think sexy decor. Worlds best cocktails (order the Cosmo Kiss, it’s not on the menu but they will make it for you and its the best cocktail I’ve ever had). I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.Y delicious Tapas. THIS is Morgans favourite restaurant in Bali hands down and in the last 3 years have come every single time without fail no matter what. Try EVERYTHING on the menu if you can. We have, and there isn’t one thing we haven’t wanted to eat 100 times more of. My favourite though? Pork Ribs and the cauliflower salad.

Watercress 

Watercress

Awesome, awesome breakfast / lunch and dinner – best espresso martinis in bali and best breakfast in Bali also. We have done all 3 dining experiences here – brekky, lunch and dinner, and each has offered a different atmosphere but absolutely delicious food, great service and yummy beverages.

Crate Café really small hole in the wall but super infamous with the locals. GREAT for breakfast (smoothies / breakfast type food). Super basic ordering (think smoothies, coconuts and bread based dishes) but awesome wall for photo ops and a check in 😉

Milk & Madu – LOVE this place in Canguu for breakfast. Outdoor dining experience with great coffee and a big variety of menu options. This place wasn’t ever not busy when we would go every morning for breakfast whilst staying in Canguu

Sisterfields

Sisterfields

Really popular cafe in Bali that is a fantastic little spot for a casual (and healthy) breakfast or lunch. I love it for the balance of healthy vs naughty. I can go here and grab a big yummy salad and smoothie whilst Morgan can still order a burger or smashed avo off the menu. Win / Win.

Jimbarian Bay

Cuca 

Cuca

Some of the best food I’ve ever had – one of the top restaurants in bali (in ours and others opinion). An absolute dining experience, and I think best as a couple romantic dinner. You can choose to opt for a ‘private dining’ experience where they can shut off your table to the surrounding tables with curtains or you can have more of a fun, vibrant dining experience at ‘the bar’ (which is like a sushi bar and you can watch the chefs make the food). My advice? Go twice and do both experiences.

Sundara

Sundara

Attached to the four seasons (where we stayed pre wedding) Beautifulllll restaurant / bar. My recommendation? Book a sunbed at Sundara pool and bar for a day 🙂 There is a minimum spend but it’s SO worth it. You can take the 10metre walk up to the inside or outside restaurant area for lunch or dinner and dine on absolutely DELICIOUS and fresh food for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We have done all meals here, and again, one of our un missable restaurants whilst in Bali.

Rock Bar – attached to Ayana resort ..literally as the name suggests, a bar carved in to rocks. SUPER cool tunes, cold cocktails, AMAZING sunset viewing. DELICIOUS tapas. It can get busy, and hot – so you have to be ok with waiting to get in in busy season BUT worth it if you’re in to awesome bali dining experiences. Try to get a lounge and watch the sunset over the water sipping on a cool cocktail.

Uluwatu

Single Fin – amazing amazing for sunset drinks & chill out / photos. Much younger crowd, and I don’t like to stay on here to ‘party’ (I must be getting old!) but it’s great for a late afternoon drink over looking the ocean. Pizza is delicious but this place to me is more a go to for drinks vs food.

El Kabron

El Kabron

If you do nothing else, go HERE!!! closest thing to Santorini I’ve been. BEAUTIFUL place for drinks and DELICIOUS tapas. One of our absolute fav bars in Bali. Even if we stay in Seminyak we will book a driver out to Uluwatu for a sunset drink and dinner here. They also have a pool on the cliffsedge so you can swim and take in the sunset whilst sipping on one of their delicious cold cocktails. Once the sun has gone down, dry off, slip in to a nice dress and walk the few metres to the restaurant for a night of incredible food.

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So there you have it. The COMPLETE guide (in my humble opinion) in eating your way around Bali. There are lot’s of other GREAT spots (like ‘Sling Bar’ or ‘The Plantation’ or ‘Double Six rooftop bar’ – all those 3 listed restaurants are actually at the Double 6 hotel by the way) BUT I still don’t think they’re as good as the above listed places.

Next trip over to Bali, plan ahead, work out where you would love to go and book ahead so you have a plan knowing your food and sunset cocktails are all planned out, and I promise you your trip will go from an amazing 8, to a solid 10.

Happy eating gorgeous souls.

Love, Anna xo

Images: ALL my own, except La Planchaa credit here and cover photo, credit here. 

Bali Trip – Day 6

This is it! The last chapter in the story I have added to my life that has changed me in every way. Even thought it was ‘just’ a week I feel calmer, clearer & more energised and on the right path with life. The lessons I take away from this trip I will remember forever & I am blessed to have found Bliss Sanctuary for Women to have experienced this journey on & with. 

DAY 6

I’m journaling early this morning as I sit overlooking the pool drinking a coffee listening to all the beautiful birds sing. I’m about to ride my bike the 10 minute journey to yoga for the last time to do the class of Kundalini. I still can’t believe it is esoteric based yoga and I had only just started learning about that before my trip – some things are just meant to be. I do love how life works out like that. As my journey is drawing to an end – I depart bliss at 2pm for the airport, I am filled with real excitement and anticipation. Almost like I now know clearly what I have to do in life for my goal attainment and am ready to do it. I’ve realised a lot on this trip and I want to keep learning and growing when I return home. I also think it no coincidence that I’ve been wanting to learn more about nutrition and food and I end up on the retreat with a vegan raw organic food nutritionist. I can’t wait to get home and start visiting my local farmers market for fresh fruit and veggies weekly. I think my time at the market will be a nice way to continue spending quality quiet time with myself. Another lesson I’ve learnt over here is about not stressing so much over little, or big things. I am in control of my feelings, thoughts and emotions and I have the tools to not work myself up in to stressed states. I have found a beautiful balance and peace over here and I’m determined to emulate that back home.

The two card lessons for today are: Patient – my deep inner peace gives me patience to wait and Reflection. How apt. I know I’ll need patience going home and was thinking yesterday how I need to focus on letting things go – small things that are not worth being bothered over.

I feel so blessed to have been able to come on this trip and will always cherish the memories I have made. I feel like my lessons learnt are not things to be left here but the start of something much more greater and much more deeper. I am going home to work on living in the moment more. I constantly think about work or business stuff when I’m out with friends or relaxing on the couch or cooking – anytime! So I am going to stop that like I was able to over here. I just need to be and let live and be grateful and aware of my amazing loved ones, conversations and moments in time I’ll never get back so I will be living in them.
In 2 hours I’ll be on a big jet plane back to reality and the daily grind where I’ll be challenged to not remember all my beautiful lessons and growth. I have strength however and am on a new level of persistance and determination so I can’t wait to get back and put myself to action.
Yours in light and love,
Anna xx

Bali Trip – Day 5

More from my journal about my time on my Yoga Retreat I did through Bliss Sanctuary for Women I had wanted to do before 25 – I can’t recommend doing your own time away here highly enough. 

DAY 5

It’s my last night in Bali and as sad as I am to say goodbye to my experiences and new friends, I do feel like I’m ready to go home which I’m glad about. I feel like my readiness proves to me like I got out of this trip what I came to get and am ready to go home and continue this exciting new journey I’ve started. I have had the most amazing time and truly believe I was meant to do this trip at this exact moment in my life and meet this incredibly wonderful women. I really want to find a place in Perth that does Kundalini yoga and pick up a class of that once a week as well as my Hatha yoga. I have my last class of it tomorrow morning and I’ll be sad to see the end of the teachings and lovely instructor Daphna. I’m so proud, excited and happy that I finally sat and did all my goals today – Personal development, Career/Financial, Toys/Adventures and Contributory. I am in a different space mentally now and know it will take a whole new level of focus, commitment and persistence from me to make them all come true but I really am so excited by all that my future holds.

Today at the villa I just relaxed by the pool and wrote and read. So blissful. Sue the other lady here who is a reiki master did some reiki on me today and it was certainly a new and surreal experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I really did feel intense heat and energy. I’m so excited about seeing Morgs and I have missed him so much, absence really does make the heart grow fonder and I’m so lucky he supports me when I want to go off on personal adventures like this one. I jumped in the kitchen today with our chef Alit to learn how to make her amazing banana pancakes, and then a chilli chicken at lunch. She was so patient and lovely but it is just so the Balinese way. So beautiful. My lessons for today are: Cool – I have a cool head, and a warm heart in all situations and Sensitivity.
So looking forward to more relaxing, reading, writing and pampering tomorrow on my last day.
Yours in light and love,
Anna xx

Bali Trip – Day 4

Day 4 from my time at Bliss Sanctuary for Women where I got a whole lot more than just yoga & relaxation – here I share some more from my journalling I did whilst staying at Bliss.

DAY 4

“I can’t believe I’m already at Day 4, only 2 days to go. It’s an odd feeling as I have felt like I have been here longer due to all the growth experiences I’ve had but at the same time, feel like it’s rushed past. One thing I do know is that the 2 women I’ve met here will be life long friends. We keep saying that we were all meant to be here and to have met each other at this exact time in life. Sue & Judy have taught me that I am very lucky and privileged to be where I am at for 23 and to really not take anything for granted and that I need to continue to strive for what I want and who I want to be so I never regret what should or could have been. I’ve been riding my bike to Desa Seni yoga classes everyday and adore the Kundalini yoga there. Today was so incredible though, we all went back to Ubud and yet again I got to experience so many beautiful moments. We visited the Antonio Blanco Museum of art – the art was stunning, really sensual actually but it was the grounds the museum was on which made my experience. From there our driver Putu took us to a Buddhist temple to do a blessing if we chose too, I of course did! We got to trek through flights of stairs in what felt like the forest until we found the temple ruins with an elder a top who allowed us to do our own blessing, then did his own blessing on us. I don’t know why, maybe it was because I was so touched by the experience or maybe because it was such fun experiencing another culture, but it was quite emotional. We finished off our day with massages and facials and a big delicious Balinese feast back at the sanctuary. When I got back to the villa I pulled the two cards again and today’s lessons are: Angelic – like an angel I constantly give subtle care and help others and Tenderness. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

Yours in light and love

Anna xx

[‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’]

Bali trip – Day 3

Today’s entry was quite personal for me but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share straight from my writing excerpts so below is the follow on from Day’s 1 and 2 so far in Bali. (If you want your own amazing experience following your own bliss then book at the Sanctuary I stayed at here..)

Day THREE

Today could very well have been my day of enlightenment! Is that even possible? It felt like it anyway. Apart from my morning yoga session, which was hatha today, I stayed at the sanctuary all day writing, relaxing and seeing the healers and others who came to visit me. And eating. Gosh you sure can put food away in Bali. The gorgeous chef Alit here can’t understand how I fit in 2 lunches and 4 servings on dinner, I’m putting it down to the fresh air and pure relaxation that is making me so blissfully hungry! I had two really amazing visits today, one from the local ‘healer’ Sammi, and another from a tarot reader Christine who did a reading for me. Sammi works on your body like a physio or masseur would almost and mixes in his intuition in to reading you almost like a psychic would too – he outlined so many things only I would know and I was blown away at how correct he was when it came to all my issues – low blood pressure, kidney pains, low back issues… his visit turned out to be quite emotional as he fixed all aspects of my body (back and low blood pressure to be exact) and sat with me and spoke with me about life and connecting my mental with my psychical more. He wrote out all things I should be doing for better life alignment and assured me that I am and was fine. It’s a strange thing when you find hearing ‘you’re fine’ from a stranger so comforting. After Sammi I had massages and a facial from our masseur on site to relax before the afternoon reading by Christine, which turned out to be also very insightful. I always take anything like that with a grain of salt and caution however and would never let anything they say dictate who I am or what I do. It all was very positive though and she saw lots of success around my career and relationships. Having all this time to myself today though has made me think of Morgan (Mr M to you regular blog readers) so much. I love that absence makes the heart grow fonder and trips away like this affirm how much I truly love and adore him. My 2 lessons for today from the cards are: Unlimited – my mind stays free, above limited, trivial matters below.. and – Courage. 

I am SO finding my bliss.
Yours in light and love

Anna xx

{ My daily breakfast I still miss – The YUMMIEST Banana pancakes & a delicious fruit smoothie }
{ Feeling relaxed, rejuvinated & amazing }

Bali trip – Day 2

Another excerpt from my diary I kept in Bali this past week as I went to pamper myself with reading, massages, yoga and some time to myself to think & grow … (remember you can book your own amazing retreat too at Bliss here…)

DAY 2

“I think there’s always a concern with a trip like this that you’ll loose sight of why you came in the first place as you get caught up in the daily going on’s that come with being in a different country and discovering new cultures. I can happily confess that day two of my journey has continued to deliver and I’m learning so much about myself and continuing to grow mentally. I had come in to 2012 with a greater purpose than just my yearly goals. I wanted to learn about true happiness, and ensure that as I continued to strive for success I didn’t feel lost or let down when I achieved it. My mantra for the year was and is ‘it’s not about what I do or what I say in all my relationships and with myself, it’s about who I am and become’ – and this Bali journey was my starting point in embarking on that mantra. In the last two days I have learnt more within myself about calm and balance than I have in the last 3 years and what an amazing gift I feel that is. I’m currently sitting serenely looking over the sparkling pool about to get my hot stone massage but have yet again pulled my 2 cards for the day. They are: Flexible – I am careful yet carefree, determined yet patient, a master & a child, and the word I got is Satisfaction. I can’t believe how much I am getting from just these little lessons I am claiming as ‘meant to be’. I had late last year started to question why I wanted what I wanted in life & feared that when I did in fact start attaining it, that it wouldn’t be enough and I worried about happiness. I know it sounds crazy as why would you feel like that if you had everything you wanted but it happens all the time! Through learning, listening and a tonne of other avenues I’m learning how to live a life centered around strong values & principles so happiness truly does come from within. I can’t wait for tomorrow and to see what it brings.

Yours in light & love

Anna xx

Bali trip – Day 1

I have just returned home from the most incredible, & enlightening trip from Bali – thus my absence from blogging last week. For those familiar with my 25 before 25 list, you may remember probably not that I had ‘Go on a yoga retreat’ as one of my accomplishments I wanted to do before the age 25. I started this list merely 2 months ago, and can now say I have crossed that off. What started out as strictly a yoga trip however turned in to so much more as I learnt so much about myself travelling alone for 6 days journaling, reading, loving and laughing. I thought as a nice warm up to when this blog turns in to my travel diary as I trek through Europe for 4 and a half months later this year, I’d share with you excerpts from my diary of what I wrote & my treasured photos daily over the next 6 days from my trip in Canguu, Bali.

The dream to do a yoga retreat became a reality thanks to Bliss Sanctuary for Women – a luxury resort type villa where I spent my week being pampered, looked after, feed, loved & finding myself. Bliss is everything you could hope for and more. From the moment you arrive and are greeted by the gorgeous hostess you feel like you are home. I had gone to do some yoga, and just treat myself a little – & experience travelling by myself – but truly did get so much more in the end. If you are ever wanting to go to Bali or haven’t even thought about doing something like this before…you have to put it on your to do list and look no further than Bliss. The package includes all your meals (we’re talking breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks – the LOT), 1.5 hours of pampering a day (facials, hot stone massages, hair treatments,pedicures, manicures, the list goes on – anything and everything you would need), a personal driver, luxury accommodation (in a room above), & Yoga & meditation at a beautiful yoga centre just down the road (which you can bike to or get Putu to drive you to). It really was the best week of my life & something I could never really put in to words just how much you should do it. I will be back – with my mum this time!!

DAY ONE …

“Surely this can’t be real. I’m here, travelling alone for my first time in a beautiful womens’ sanctuary that is, what I’m deeming as close to heaven on earth as I can get. I have my own chef, driver, gardener and masseur for the next 6 days as I find myself & develop my character not to forget my daily yoga sessions (which I get to ride to on a bike!) As soon as I walked through the doors I knew this was exactly where I was meant to be at this point in my life. I have already started and finished my first book “Lets not screw it, let’s just do it” by Richard Branson and I took away some great lessons I already want to apply to all aspects of my life:
  • Be bold.
  • Have FUN
  • Challenge myself
  • Stand on my own feet
  • Live in the moment
  • Value family & friends
  • Have respect
  • Think young
Each day we’re to pull 2 cards that give us daily ‘lessons’ to focus on and a word that we must learn from, it’s said the cards pick you, & after today I believe it. Having only known one gear for years now, and that’s GO, my cards were – Calm (I am calm & steady in every situation like a rock in a storm) and Balance. So apt. It’s summed up exactly what I want and need from this week and day one has already set me up with an amazing sense of peace.

Yours in love & light

Anna xx
[Indoor / Outdoor bathroom]

{ Dinner night one – it was so yum I can’t even begin to explain }
{ My first afternoon & I am already experiencing a calm & happy I haven’t in years }