I have just spent another amazing week in Bali and even though it’s my fourth trip here, I’ve managed to eat at several new and exciting places which I thought I would share with you.
Being 29 weeks pregnant I wasn’t able to do much else but I’m not complaining… I LOVE FOOD. There was also no need for a placard this time (I was last here only in early November) as I was quite obviously pregnant not just stuffed to the gills with mie goreng.
I’m still a Seminyak snob but this was also my first time staying in a private villa with my family and I highly recommend it. Walk straight out of your room and dive into the pool. No getting up at 5am to reserve your sunbed near the pool. No annoying kids splashing you. Heaven!
But first, let me set the record straight on a few things about being pregnant.
So many people were dumbfounded that I was heading off overseas, but there is obviously some weird myth in circulation about getting on an airplane so late in a pregnancy. My doctor advised that is it more than safe to fly up until about 35-weeks. I have heard various people say that it is ‘not advisable’ to fly in the third trimester but my doctor assured me it was fine and it comes down to personal preference. Some airlines won’t let you fly after a certain amount of weeks as they don’t want you to give birth on their plane, but most will let you fly up until this point as long as you have a medical certificate from your doctor stating that it is a low-risk pregnancy. The only difficulty you may have is getting travel insurance if you are over 35-weeks.
Other people were shocked that I was heading to a place like Bali just being pregnant. Those people obviously haven’t been to Bali in the last few years or they would know that it is perfectly safe, quite clean and as with most things, you should use common sense – like not eating any food from street vendors. I stayed in a beautiful private villa, ate mostly at 5-star restaurants, and only drank bottled water. I’m super relaxed, happy and full of food!
On that note, I’ll launch into my Bali dining recommendations… Unfortunately, I was too lazy to take too many photos on this trip so I’ve taken most of them from the restaurant website for effect.
Located on Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak, the food here was so good we came for breakfast two days in a row. The cafe itself has a breezy, relaxed decor and a super cool bathroom. Obviously the ‘circus’ theme was close to my heart. I had the Eggs Benedict both days, they were so good! Alastair had the ‘Sin City’ breakfast especially for hangovers and it included coffee, orange juice, Berocca and a Panadol. Genius! I particularly loved the little ‘thought of the day’ notes they left with the coffees, my favourite being the Johnny Cash quote, “This morning, with her, having coffee” when asked for his definition of paradise.
I also sampled their amazing ice-cream, the mint flavour had real, finely-chopped mint leaves and the caramel was just perfection.
FIRE @ THE W RETREAT & SPA
Breakfast here was by far my favourite! While the boys were out extreme mountain bike riding, us girls treated ourselves. Yolo! For 330,000 IDR we could attack the amazing buffet AND order anything from the menu. Donuts for breakfast? Rude not to! I ordered the Belgian waffles and supplemented them with several other delightful sweets such as said donut, chocolate mousse, cookies as well as the chocolate fountain! If Indonesians can eat fried rice for breakfast then by George I can eat dessert for breakfast. And it was AMAZING. We also felt quite ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’ surrounded by many beautiful people (apparently Paris Hilton was holed up somewhere in the hotel) and if I could ever afford the lazy $500-odd a night, I’d definitely stay there.
Expensive tastes and no money. Sigh.
Located on Jalan Petitenget and the beach in Seminyak, it’s right near Potato Head Beach Club.
This super cool cafe is located on Jalan Kayu Aya right next to Seminyak Square and is quite obviously one of the most popular spots for breakfast. With a menu that looks like it belongs in Melbourne, my brother thought he’d better bring his Mac just so he could fit in with all the hipsters hanging out there (he thinks he’s hilarious).
I had the pancakes with vanilla bean ice-cream, maple syrup and berry coulis plus the most refreshing lime and mint granita. My brother had sweetcorn fritters and his girlfriend had a quinoa salad. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
We ended up at this little gem quite late and last minute after a long day, and when none of us were really in the mood for a sit-down dinner. But the Latin American-style menu blew our minds and we were so glad we went. Offering lots of small food items for sharing, I sampled the most amazing toasted ‘chappa’ bread (similar to Turkish bread) with chilli oil, a beef brisket soft shell taco and the best thing I have put in my mouth all trip… Sweet corn on the cob with chipotle mayo and some kind of thin cheese! So delicious. Alastair and my Dad both tried the ‘Babi Guling’ (suckling pig, a very famous Indonesian dish) and said it was magnificent. The only dampener on the evening was the fact that I couldn’t enjoy a sangria with my meal, but the honeycomb ice-cream sandwich for dessert almost made up for it.
Located on Jalan Petitenget in Seminyak – no, we didn’t stray far from Seminyak – the restaurant building, decor, lighting and general ambience were just stunning and the service was tip top.
We had mixed reviews about coming here, “hope you like spicy food!” But we all loved the modern Asian fusion cuisine. Being pregnant I thought I would go easy so I had the roti bread (amaze balls), fried rice with sweet corn and peas, and also braved the massaman curry. However my family sampled crispy lemongrass chicken, twice-cooked pork ribs, and crispy salted pork to name a few.
Located on Jalan Raya Kerobokan in Seminyak.
I went to this modern Asian canteen last time I was in Bali but it was so good I had to return. My brother’s girlfriend and I had a long lunch here sharing spring rolls, hoisin duck dumplings and suckling pig (babi guling) steamed buns along with a cocktail (alcohol-free daiquiri for me). But the real highlight was dessert – a decadent chocolate tart with salted chocolate ice-cream and biscuit pieces! Hello food coma.
It’s located on the famous ‘Eat Street’, Jalan Laksamana right near Seminyak Square.
I had also been here previously but wanted to take my family. This place has the best atmosphere, the only thing it is really lacking is air-con! It gets extremely hot inside with only fans for relief, so much so that it becomes hard to enjoy your food. This time we went for the banquet (about 190,000 IDR a head) and there was SO much food between seven of us that we couldn’t finish it all. Sweet corn with sour cream and salsa, chicken enchiladas and beef tacos to start, then came the mains. Holy moly, two whole barramundis and a heap of BBQ ribs! Welcome to Bali!
Located on Jalan Kayujati in Seminyak, it’s a really great place to eat or for drinks. The music is unreal and we met the owner who would intermittently appear with a bottle of tequila and climb on the table to pour it down people’s throats. There was also a conga line of ladies at one point!
So for now I’m all Bali’d out having visited three times in less than 12-months, but this was one of my most enjoyable trips, pregnant belly and all.
Thanks Bali – it’s been real!