We all have our favorites when it comes to Indonesian cuisine. We consider them our comfort food, or dishes that brings back good memories of a place or those who made them. It could be the famous rendang that we tried in West Sumatra, or is it the pepes ikan that our mom used to make, or is it a bowl of bakso that always passes by. To celebrate Indonesia’s Independence day, we figure you might want to try something special. So we explore the island and look for the best places that offer Indonesian food and serve it in a fine dining style. They use the best ingredients to get the right flavor and plate it nicely in a way that you won’t even recognize it. Fancy for some Indonesian food?
Where: Potato Head Beach Club, Jl. Petitenget 51B, Seminyak.
Kaum, meaning “clan” or “tribe” in Indonesian, is the leading culinary concept from PTT Family. Opening an Indonesian restaurant is not something the team takes lightly. Before launching the restaurant, the team behind Kaum embarked on an exotic culinary expedition, travelling across the archipelago to learn about the indigenous cooking methods, exotic ingredients, and authentic flavours of Indonesia’s tribal communities. Thus, after the success they had opening Kaum Hong Kong, this November they officially open Kaum Bali.
Start your dish with something light, like Batagor – a West Java snacks made perfect by Kaum. Or Gohu Ikan Tuna – a marinated Ternate-style raw tuna that’s so delicious and light. Then prepare yourself for a treat because their sharing menu is amazing. We tried their sate buntel with Acar Rujak, with lamb meat that is juicy and melts in your mouth. Pepes ikan Pesisir is a dish you must try, along with their Bebek Goreng Sambal Mangga Muda. We love how they hand-picked their suppliers, and share their stories on their website. That way, when we eat at Kaum we are supporting local villages and farmers while enjoying the best Indonesian food from across the archipelago.
Where: Jl. Taman Ganesha no. 9, Petitenget (in front of Alila Seminyak).
The craze on Indonesian food is just starting, and Arsana is one of the newest additions to the few Indonesian restaurants you must try. Focusing solely on authentic Indonesian cuisines, Arsana’s patron is none other than William Wongso. When it comes to Indonesian food, he’s the man to go.
Chef Wongso created signature dishes for Arsana, including Grilled Lamb Chop in Rendang Marinate, Maranggi Wagyu Saté, Bekakak Fried Duck, Crispy Pork Pata, Rica-rica King Prawn, Gado-gado Jakarta and plenty more. Arsana means happy, and this is what you will feel once you’ve tasted their delicious food. With a capacity of 140 seats, you can choose to sit indoors or outdoors, where you can relax in the midst of busy Seminyak street.
Where: Jl. Hanoman, Ubud. | Website: www.manisanbali.com
When you stroll down the busy street of Hanoman street in Ubud, you can’t help but stop upon passing by Manisan. There lies a majestic 350-years old joglo (traditional Javanese house) in the middle of lush rice fields. Such a stunning view. Go inside, and there you can enjoy a selection of Indonesia’s finest menu, some you might have never heard of.
The menu is personally curated by Mr. William Wongso, a culinary legend in Indonesia. For months he ensured that the Manisan team gets the authentic ingredients from all over Indonesia to get the best taste. Every one will get a complimentary cassava chips with homemade dip as they wait for the food. Try their Batak spiced ceviche, Tuna Naniura, with it’s authentic ingredients andaliman. We also love their Asinan Jakarta and Pisang Kepok Sambal Tuna for starters. For main course, they have various sate selections, as well as their grilled menu. All to be paired with the sambal of your choice. We love their take on Steak Jawa, with juicy beef that is worth to try. For dessert, we love how they made a super yummy pandan pana cotta, or kue lumpur that is paired with kolak pisang. Manisan Bali is truly the home of flavors.
Where: Alila Villas Uluwatu, Jl. Belimbing Sari, Pecatu.
For those looking for great Indonesian food while enjoying stunning cliff top view across Indian Ocean, The Warung is a great choice. A few months ago, they introduce new menus that emphasize their unique take on Indonesian food from across the region.
Some of which are a delicious Ayam Betutu, Nasi Liwet and Babi Panggang. All dishes are made using local produce, fresh from organic gardens and without any MSG. As part of their commitment in bringing Indonesian food to a new level, The Warung is also launching a program, which is the Chef-in-Residence program. This means that they will invite guest chefs known for their mastery of Indonesian cuisine to share the knowledge with Alila’s culinary team. And guess who gets to try these delicious food… you!
Where: Jl. Pankung Sari 100x, Kerobokan
With the success of Merah Putih, Chef Kieran Morland continues his exploration of Indonesian food with Sang Saka Restaurant. This restaurant only seats 40 people, but in this intimate setting people can truly enjoy a mouthwatering selection of Indonesian themed dishes.
They offer a small, simple, contemporary menu injected with a wide range of traditional flavors from woods, such as coffee, clove, rambutan and coconut husk. The menu will also be frequently changed so that they can truly take advantage of seasonal products and fresh ingredients. Try their version of veggies that includes charred leeks, nasi jagung and buffalo curd, or Udang Kipas that involves slipper lobster, smoked potato and woku. Their Sapi includes wagyu top sirloin with a side of cashew sambal. Sounds delish.
Where: Jl. Raya Kerobokan 86A. | Website: www.republik45.com
After finishing their upgrade and re-open the restaurant early this November, Republik 45 is a vibrant venue that pays homage to this nation. It is not your typical Indonesian restaurant. Every week they have the coolest parties and events in their venue. Yet, they still maintain their commitment of serving traditional Indonesian cuisine that represent a genuine statement of Indonesian independence, character and pride.
This can be seen from their name that signifies Indonesia’s independence day that took place in 1945. Republik 45 prepares and serves their food “The Indonesian Way”. This means, most of their food are meant to be shared with friends and families. Try their Buntut Bakar Sambal Kemangi, Ayam Bakar Taliwang, Tempe Penyet, or Jukut Pusuh Biu with Banana Blossom, peanuts and local greens. They use 90% gluten free local produce and ingredients. So try it all and experience a real interpretation of all parts of the archipelago.
Where: Jl. Petitenget no 100x, Kerobokan.
As one of the first places in Bali that offers fine dining Indonesian food, Merah Putih surely is the place to go. Merah Putih is a celebration of Indonesia, in it’s cuisine, culture, design and people. Outside, you can see silhouettes of people moving, reminding us of a shadow puppet show. Meanwhile, inside, you will be blown away by its beautiful design. The food is a masterpiece of its own, with Chef Kieran Morland ready to blow your mind.
The menu is divided into two sections: the traditional and the baru section. The traditional highlight the best regional dish that is prepared in a simple way, using locally sourced product and the very best aromatic spices. While the baru/new menu is where the chef plays with his imagination and delivers an interesting take to a familiar menu. We love their beef shank Bak Pao which is rendang in a steamed buns; Udang Bumbu Bali and of course their version of Suckling Pig where the crispy pork skin mix beautifully with their andaliman seasoning. Their menu is served family style so everyone can try a little bit of something. Such a treat!