The Best Dishes in Bali
Some countries have outstanding cuisines, complicated and intense flavors, bright colors and above average freshness. Fruits and vegetables that have enjoyed around 13 hours of sunshine each day as they’ve grown, fish that have swum in the bluest of oceans and lakes. Spice combinations you couldn’t have predicted, and they’re not even trying. I am talking about Bali. The sun-drenched, white sand and crystal watered paradise on earth. I could, of course, talk about the reasons that you should make haste and book a flight but rather than talk about what you already know, let’s take a look at something you might not – yet.
Or rather, ‘mix-mix’ is a plate that might just be one of Indonesia’s best-known dishes. Fresh vegetables piled high on a plate, slathered in peanut sauce. It is a cold salad, which many people do prefer. What will you find in it? Eggs, bean sprouts, cucumber, tofu, potato, spinach and corn. You might find a couple of variations, but overall, you’re going to get a sweet, crunchy dish with a lot of flavors. Like everything in Bali, you’ll find this super cheap at a street vendor or can check it out in an upscale restaurant.
This one is very cool, firstly the name is actually Dutch and hails back from the colonial times – it simply means Rice Table. If you’ve never been particularly enamored with vegetables, then this dish is likely not going to be something you’re going to enjoy. This dish tends to look more like a platter of things, with rice as the middle part of the meal, hence the name rice table. What are you going to find in it? Prawns, pork, chicken satay, mixed vegetables (sayur urap), potato croquettes, yellow nasi tumpeng (a rice cone), chicken with sambal (hot sauce or paste made from chili peppers, shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, shallot, scallion palm sugar, lime juice and various vinegars), and finally some smoked duck. A lot of food and perfect for sharing and tasting some of the best flavors that Bali has to offer.
It wouldn’t really be a list of the best of Bali foods without sate. While you might think that is a spelling mistake, it is Satay in Malaysia and Sate in Indonesia. However, the spellings aside – the food itself is going to be familiar to most. The chicken is mashed and blended with a vast range of spices (each vendor will spice slightly differently, so this is worth trying in a few places), the mashed meat is then pressed into shape around a lemongrass stick, and barbecued. It is worth noting that chicken sate is called sate ayam and the fish is lilit ikan, it probably won’t come with peanut dipping sauce, but it will be phenomenal.
The food is fresh, and you can pick up an excellent dish for as little as 50 cents from local vendors or splash out and head to a fancy restaurant. Whatever you do, check out vacation rental villas in Bali, book a flight and arrive hungry.