Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
I underestimated Sanur. As a non-party person, I wished I had known more about the area long before I knew about Kuta, Seminyak, etc. Sanur is quiet, filled with homes, and humbler than the west coast. Hence, aside to Ubud, which I still put on top of my places to stay in Bali, Sanur easily follows. But a major factor to this is because I was recommended places to eat in Sanur, specifically from Riyanni Djangkaru who is actually a foodie and local to the Sanur area. I also had the pleasure to stay in the area for a total of one month and give the list a go so they are based on my personal taste buds.
Six of the options are places where you can eat Indonesian food, while the others will cater to international taste buds.
Every ‘nasi campur’, is rice with at least 3 different side dish. The same goes for Nasi Campur Men Weti, which is currently run by its second generation. This eatery only sells one dish, the nasi campur, which consists of white rice, greens with shredded coconuts, mildly sweet and spicy marinated chicken, sambal matah (sliced chili and shallots, peanuts, drenched in lime juice and coconut oil), (if lucky because it can easily run out) one skewer of satay, and all poured in a light chicken based broth. My favorite addition would have to be the fried chicken skin on top, adding crisp and more flavor in the mix. To enjoy a dish, visitors sit in the eating area, ask the waiter the amount of dish they require, and wait until island gods bless you with a plate of goodness. Hand sorted from piles of food, the dish was delicious and not overly rich. Well, it had to be since I had to wait about half to an hour to enjoy it.
This joint only opens from 7AM to around 10AM or whatever time the food runs out. Be there early to be served first. Having said that, the food is guaranteed to be fresh every day. Cost is about IDR30,000 / portion.
Jl. Segara Ayu No.8, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
Moro Seneng is a Javanese eatery. Most of the time the food is freshly cooked, unless there is short of demand. There are numerous choices from steamed, fried and sautéed options, all in Indonesian style cooking (well, except for the battered fried chicken, following the trade mark of KFC). Drinks are also available with juices depending on seasons. There’s no recommended dish as it is based on preference, choose whatever looks good to you. Best part is that it’s a good kick of flavor, one that will pass any Indonesian tongue requirements. The best trait has to be that it’s open 24-hours every day of the week.
Prices range depend on what you order. Usually I dine no more than IDR20,000 / portion, which include rice, a protein, vegie side dish, and sweet tea. After choosing your sides to the white rice, you will be given little tokens which you will pay at the cashier. All cash, no debit nor credit cards.
Jl. Danau Poso No.78, Sanur Kauh, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
This Sundanese eatery is located not far from Moro Seneng. One of its popular menu is the fried chicken, but this joint also serves fried free range chicken which meat are tastier than the usual chicken in the supermarkets. In addition, my personal favorite would be bitter melon and the stinky beans. A good crunch and bitter taste. Fish and meat dishes are also available.
Meals start from IDR30,000 per portion, depending on what you eat. Ala carte is available but the menus work best shared between a small group of 2-3 people.
Jl. Sudamala No.55, 57, 59, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
On the Mertasari Beach, you will find a number of eateries to choose from. I’m sure many are great but the particularly recommended place on this list is Tities. You will recognize the stall with drawings of bras on its sign. This place is particularly good for the grilled fish. My favorite is the freshly grilled mahi-mahi fish with a generous portion, at least for me. And the sambal matah condiment is abundant. You enjoy the fish on the white sand and little crowd walking aroud, kinda like the early version of Jimbaran.
A meal starts at about IDR60,000, including beverage.
Jl. Kesumasari, Semawang Beach, Sanur, Denpasar, Indonesia
Small shop house complex by day, alternative food court by night. To be honest I don’t really know if I can say it’s the Sanur market but it does seem like it. There are people selling clothes, occasionally toys, and definitely an array of non-Balinese food. Satay, soups, noodles and mini eateries are available, including juice and snack joints. The food is mostly good, but not uber special for the Indonesian tongue. But what’s best is a lot of Indonesians eat here because aside to being affordable, there are menus that are typically found in markets and mostly around Indonesia, such as chicken soup, fritters, etc. So despite you’ll see a lot of foreigners also dining, there’s a strong authentic local ambiance in the air.
Prices range from IDR10,000 – IDR30,000 for main courses.
Jl. Pungutan No.2, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
Mak Beng is a nice option because they serve fish. Its basic dish is rice, fish head soup and fried fish. Yes, it’s all you can fish! Located on the seaside of Sanur Beach, there’s no question that they will get a daily supply of fresh fish. If you’re a pescatarian in Bali, you might want to give this a whirl. Personally, I think it’s good fresh fish but just mildly good for seasoning. It might suit the western tongue that is used to having the taste of the protein as the star.
It’s very popular hence there is a line, but basically you can order as long as you can find a place to sit. As long as you find a place to sit, you will be served. A portion is IDR60,000.
Jalan Hang Tuah No.45, Sanur Kaja, Denpasar Selatan.
Ah, pasta! Don’t we crave it once in a while? Especially for those that don’t stomach rice every day, surely they would want to revert to pasta. Massimo is a famous Italian restaurant with only 2 places in Ubud and Sanur. I love their pastas with good kick of tomato sauces and parmesan chees in their marinara sauce, which I had on both occasions I tried because it was so damn good. They have a long list of menu of Italian food. Don’t be overwhelmed by the line outside for their gelato, which is known to be one of the cheapest in Sanur. Step inside for the restaurant and you’ll be served, but with time because it’s usually packed.
A meal starts at about IDR80,000 per person, including drinks.
Jl. Danau Tamblingan 228, Sanur, Bali, Indonesia.
Ph. +62 361.288.942, +62 811 3 999 727
I had long given up on bagels because of a failed taste bagel joint in Jakarta, which no longer exists. But, things change and Bread Basket made me love bagels again. Warm and ready for an early breakfast in Bali since 7AM daily, this bakery has delicious cream cheese bagels. It’s nicely dense, not like a doughnut and has the right amount of taste; not too rich and not bland. They have a lot of other pastry options but I’m still enjoying the bagel run. The coffee is moderately good, nothing too memorable. But I guess it just adds the fact that the pastry and breads are its stars.
Bagels are about IDR30,000 / piece.
Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.51, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
As a former addict to Indian food, I can say that this place has good Indian food with portions that fit for 2-3 people. I can’t remember what chicken dish I had but I remember being overly full just finishing it with a portion of naan. But I slept a happy girl. It had the basic menus; tandoori, masala, vindaloo, and roti.
A dish that can be shared cost about IDR70,000.
Jl. Danau Tamblingan No.103, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan, Bali, Indonesia
And for dessert in Sanur, well me likey gelato Gaya, just across Gateway of India.