You’ve been travelling all day, you finally check into your room and you are hungry. Correction: hangry. You just want some street food in Bali and you don’t care what it is. We’ve all been there. It usually takes us a few days to settle into a new location. One thing we always push ourselves to do when we arrive is get out and test the local fare. I love a food tour but this time around in Bali, we decided to try our hand at experiencing food in Bali on our own.
So here’s a shortlist of five dishes that can start you out on your own self-guided food tour in Bali.
Ayam Lalapan – Street food in Bali
Fried chicken! A simple meal of chicken, rice, some condiments. I especially love the kecap manis, I think it’s dark soy syrup, it’s slightly sweet and when you mix with the sambal it’s a match made in chicken sauce heaven.
Bakmie – Street food in Bali
Egg noodles with minced chicken and broth. So, like chicken noodle soup…Bali style? Yes! We went to this cute little stall that was sitting next to a rice paddy but we have seen some of the bakso vendors also selling bakmie as well on mopeds. If you should find yourself in Canggu, head up the hill a little bit to Bakmie Benny! You won’t be disappointed and there is a pretty good chance you’ll be dining with the locals too! Go near sunset for the perfect evening out.
Bakso – Street food in Bali
Or meatballs come with rice noodles in chicken broth. The meatballs vary vendor to vendor but typically there are chicken, pork and beef meatballs. We’ve seen it served mostly from these makeshift mopeds and they serve you with proper bowls and cutlery so you eat it right there!
Babi sate – Street food in Bali
Barbecued pork skewers although sometimes it will be ayam (chicken) skewers too.
I have a knack for picking up the slightest scent of pork searing on a hot surface. Indulge me for a minute and remember the movie, Finding Nemo. Okay, fast forward to the scene when Dory and Marlin are with Bruce and the other sharks. Dory gets hit and her nose starts bleeding, everyone is concerned and then we see the bloodstream going straight to Bruce’s nostrils. This part where he inhales forgets he’s a vegetarian and then his eyes turn to savage mode. Pause. Yep, that’s me with grilled pork.
Anyway, back to the pork skewers. From what I can gather, the meat is marinated with soy, garlic, some chilli and then grilled. These little grill stations pop up along the street from about 4 pm and locals, on their way home, stop by to grab a handful. We’re not sure if this is typical but we had the “dine-in service” where this uncle made us babi sate with rice cakes and with spicy peanut sauce. The fatty part of the pork was slightly crisp, the meat was tender and jam-packed with flavour. The rice cakes were slightly salted, maybe to give some balance to the spicy and sweet of the pork. The real winner = spicy peanut sauce.
Nasi Campur – Street food in Bali
Depending on the warung and depending on what is favoured in the area but generally speaking nasi campur is made up of rice, red beans, meat, grilled onions, some veggies with a splash of sambal neatly packed in brown paper or banana leaf. It’s one of those dishes that is known across the nation and each place has its own style to it.
I hope this helps! Have some other suggestions we could add? Let us know in the comments.