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4 Dishes You Have to Try in Bali

September 25, 2019
Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort

Best described as an elaborate and well-rounded, Balinese cuisine maintains all trademark aspects of the culture in every dish that comprises it. Traditional in nature, Bali’s signature dishes play a significant part in the character of the region, some of them being as old as the culture itself! If Bali is your next adventure destination, it’s essential that you don’t forget to taste a few of the local delicacies.

Balinese Dishes You Can’t Miss

Keen on satisfying your hunger for one-of-a-kind cultural experiences and delicious bites? Here are four traditional dishes you need to try:

1. Satay
Whether you’ve tried Satay once in your life or have it on a regular basis, prepare to be mind blown because there’s nothing like the real thing in Bali. Also known as “sate” in Indonesian, Satay holds the powers of making anyone’s mouth water on smell and sight alone. Offered in chicken, goat, beef, or pork options, Satay is a simple, yet flavorful dish of meat skewered on sticks. Although every country might have their own take on “meat-on-a-stick,” Indonesia’s Satay is unique because of the rich flavors flood every taste bud with each bite.

Unbeknownst to most people, every part of Indonesia has its own take on the staple dish, with Sate Lilit being Bali’s own. Sate Lilit takes the flavor of every stick up a notch by marinating the meat in a mix of coconut milk and other spices. The marinade elevates the character of every bite, incorporating spicy, sweet, and savory tastes. The presentation is also another strength of Bali’s Sate Lilit, with every slice of meat being wrapped instead of skewered.

2. Babi Guling
If you’re in Bali with expectations of keeping a healthy diet, then try again next time because a delicious serving of Babi Guling can make you forget about your diet. Babi Guling (or Balinese Roasted Pork) is best defined by its decadent melt-in-your-mouth feel. The dish’s distinct flavor and texture is made by roasting a whole slab of pork by rolling it over a fire. Typically served as a special treat, Babi Guling can be eaten without any regrets whatsoever because of all the flavors that are packed in a single serving. With a distinct juiciness and a complex flavor brought out by traditional spices, Babi Guling is a must-try for everyone making a visit to Bali.

3. Betutu
Popularized for being the Balinese king’s favorite meal, the delicious flavors that come with every serving of Betutu showcase why it is enjoyed by royalty. Made with a whole chicken or duck stuffed with a mix of Balinese spices, Betutu is a labor of love and dedication. If you want to know what it’s like to eat like a king, then it’s in your best interest to order a serving of Betutu.

4. Bubur Mengguh
As Bali’s answer to porridge, Bubur Mengguh is a dish that shows that the best flavors don’t always have to come from elaborate preparations and vast ingredients. Bubur Mengguh is a staple in every Balinese ceremony and festival for all the right reasons: it takes the standard bowl of porridge up a notch by infusing it with flavors made from a unique liquid mixture. The special liquid mixture used in every bowl of Bubur Mengguh has been honed for centuries in Buleleng, Bali. It consists of spices, celery, roasted peanuts, and shredded chicken. Should you find yourself in Bali on a rainy day, make sure to start off your cozy morning with a warm, freshly prepared bowl of Bubur Mengguh.

The best way to understand Balinese culture is through its cuisine, as every dish that is served has its own story and distinct style of preparation behind it. When traveling to Bali, make sure to try out every recipe on this list. However, don’t miss out on going beyond it by asking your local tour guide or Bali Hotel concierge for additional recommendations. Most, if not all of the best dishes to try in Bali can be found in beach restaurants along the shores of Jimbaran—but your best bet is to head over to Jimbaran Bay Beach Resort for a full-on food trip.

If you’re looking to book a spa resort in Bali, get in touch with us today to book your stay.