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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Must Try Balinese Dishes – Five Local Dishes not to be missed
Joanna James Joanna James
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Must Try Balinese Dishes – Five Local Dishes not to be missed

When in Bali you will find yourself spoilt for choice, with so many delicious dishes that make up the local cuisine. Foodies will love these five local favourites, all rich in flavour.


Babi Guling

This is a dish that you must try when in Bali, as you won't find it elsewhere in Indonesia as it is a pork based dish. It is centred around delicious and tender roast pork, which is prepared over an open fire, usually on a hand-operated rotisserie. As the pig is roasted as a whole, this is traditionally a dish served at large communal events, but with so many foodies and travellers wanting it, it is now often served in restaurants as well. The dish doesn't consist only of delicious meat, it is served with rice and vegetables, rich with spice and flavour, making it a fantastic meal.


Bebek Goreng

This is a delicious treat, especially for those who love eating duck, and while it can be found elsewhere in Indonesia, it is especially well made in Bali. The duck is deep fried, and many restaurants have mastered the art of serving it so it is perfectly crispy on the outside, while still being soft and succulent on the inside. Whether you enjoy it at a small and simple restaurant or in an elegant Ubud, Bali resort, this dish will not disappoint. It is served with rice, vegetables, and sambal, all perfectly combined.


Babek Betutu

Betutu is a spice mix made up of many different spices, which are ground to form a rich spice paste. This delicious dish is made up of chicken, or sometimes duck, which is marinated in this flavoursome paste, and then wrapped in a banana leaf. This is then steamed, from three hours to overnight, depending on where it is made, and some restaurants may even require 24-hour notice before they can serve up this dish. The result is meat that melts in your mouth while being rich in flavour. The dish will be served with rice and some other accompaniments, based on where you order it. Traditionally it was served on festive occasions, but today you can find it with ease during your travels.


Balinese Satays

Where ever you go in Bali, you will likely find these on the menu, from a street food stall to more fine restaurants like those at Alila Ubud. It is one of those dishes that you cannot escape wherever you eat in Indonesia, but it is that popular for good reason; satays are easy to eat and packed with flavour. Meat, often chicken but occasionally other meats too, are cooked on a long skewer, prepared with sauces and spices that will treat your taste buds. You can enjoy them as a meal, or even as a snack whenever you're hungry.


Mini Rijsttafel

This one is something of a feast, Rijsttafel is a Dutch word that means 'rice table', and this is indeed what this is. In its traditional form rice can be accompanied by up to forty side dishes, but today, it is likely to be served with far less, about seven or eight sides. What these side dishes are will vary based on where you eat it, but the combination of all the flavours will have your taste buds dancing. Even in its mini form, this will usually be a dish to be shared, and some restaurants will even recommend that it is for two.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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