You’d be forgiven for thinking that all Jimbaran Bay had to offer was seafood on the beach- it is the main reason why people visit. But spare the time to sample some of the offerings from the local restaurants and you’ll be richly rewarded. The main street that runs parallel to Jimbaran Bay is dotted with warungs that offer home style cooking that will make you wish you could stay in Jimbaran Bay forever. In the evenings, street carts appear and locals gather to grab some sate ayam (chicken sate) to takeaway or to wolf down a bowl of bakso before heading home. Linger a little longer in this small fishing village and you’ll fall under its spell like we did. Here are our best Jimbaran Bay restaurants:
Must Eats Number 1
Nasi Campur at Warung ?
Our top Must Eat in Jimbaran and our favourite meal in Bali was enjoyed at this humble eatery. We ate a meal here everyday during our three day stay in Jimbaran, it was that good. For the life of me, we couldn’t spot the name of the restaurant and we couldn’t communicate with the friendly cook/shop-owner to ask. It’s located next to Warung Khas Bali which sells babi guling and is a simple shopfront with a few tables. Nasi campur translates to mixed rice and is the go to dish here. A scoop of rice is laden with small portions of whatever is on offer that day- you can expect rice, a few proteins, vegetables, sambal and peanuts.
We sampled different dishes on each visit and were blown away by the variety of textures and honest flavours. We ate fried mackerel, tender babi guling, sambal chicken, fried tofu, tempeh, corn fritters, chilli eggs and green bean and coconut salad to name a few. The accompanying roasted peanuts were full of crunch and the sambal, fiery but with a great depth of flavour. Each mouthful was utterly memorable and had us shaking our heads with incredulity that it could be SO GOOD.
We won’t go on. Just do yourself a favour and eat there.
Good to know:
Nasi campur 13,000 (approx $1.30AUD/$1.10USD)
Located next to Warung Khas Bali at Jl. Uluwatu, No. 75X Kendoganan, Jimbaran.
Must Eats Number 2
Seafood feast at Menega Cafe
Jimbaran Bay seafood is a must eat when in Bali. Busloads of tourists arrive just before sunset to nab a table at the restaurants lining the beach and tuck into fresh seafood grilled over coconut husks. Word on the street is that the restaurants located at the southern end of the beach (the Four Seasons Resort end) are the best so that’s where we head. We arrive at 5:00pm and grab a table in the row closest to the water. If you arrive after 5:30pm then expect to have to wait for a table (up to an hour) or be relegated to one inside which defeats the whole purpose of eating here!
We gulp down Bintangs and watch selfies and jumping shots for the next hour. It’s hugely entertaining! Bypassing the set menus we head to the back of the restaurant to choose from the display of seafood to create our own feast. There’s lobster, king prawns, tiger prawns, jumbo prawns, numerous types of fish, clams and crab. The pricing is pretty fair and no one bargains here so we opt for clams, king prawns and a red snapper. All seafood comes with complimentary rice and vegetables. Waves of smoke billow into the air from the kitchen at the back as waiters ferry platters of grilled seafood to the now full restaurant.
If you’re in a hurry, then Menega Cafe may not be the place to dine. It’s by far the busiest restaurant on the beach and food can take a while. It’s worth it when it arrives though- the clams, smothered in a chilli garlic sauce are incredibly moreish, the red snapper is grilled to perfection and the fish’s flavour complemented by the smokiness from the grill. But the prawns are the winners on the day, the butterflied crustaceans are buttery and their crunchy shells perfectly charred.
The staff don’t rush you out, so we linger over our beers until the tide catches up on us and the table legs start to get a drenching. Dinner on the beach, watching the sunset, fresh seafood and cold beer. Magic.
Good to know:
Clams 45,000IDR per kilo (approx. $4.50AUD/$3.80USD)
King prawns 185,000IDR per kilo (approx. $18.50AUD/$15 USD)
Red snapper 85,000IDR per kilo (approx. $8.50AUD/$7USD)
Water 8,000 (approx. $0.80AUD/$0.70USD)
Bintang (long neck) 38,500IDR (approx. $3.80AUD/$3.20USD)
Jl. Four Seasons Resort
Telephone: 0361 705888
Reservations can be made via telephone or email, otherwise show up before 5:15pm and you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting a prime table.
Must Eats Number 3
Nasi Padang at Bungo Minang
You will notice on your travels throughout Bali, warungs which display their food in expertly piled dishes in their windows. These warungs specialise in Padang cuisine, the food of the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra which often uses coconut milk and is rich and spicy.
Bungo Minang, located on Jalan Uluwatu is where we head in Jimbaran Bay to sample Masakan Padang. There are so many dishes to choose from that it can be a bit overwhelming as well as a bit embarrassing as you watch the pile on your plate grow larger and larger! There is fried chicken, numerous curries, whole fried fish, eggs and a number of vegetable dishes- impossible to choose!
We eat a creamy, spicy chicken curry and a grilled eggplant which is accompanied by some cassava leaves and sambal. The sauce from the curry is incredibly fragrant and we would have happily just had it over rice with nothing else. We also sample beef rendang, a crispy sambal egg and the same chicken curry. Although the beef is quite tough, the rendang’s sauce is fragrant with lemongrass and coconut, again, the sauce takes the cake. Well worth a visit.
Good to know:
The price of your plate depends on the dishes you have chosen. We loaded up our plates and had two iced teas for 76,000IDR (approx. $7.60AUD/$6.20USD).
Open 24 hours
Note: If you are eating in local joints, you’d be hard pressed to spend more than $10AUD/$8USD for two people if you’re not drinking. If you’re on the beers then a Bintang long-neck will set you back about $3.50AUD/$3USD. If you’re eating at restaurants geared towards the foreign crowd then expect to pay 10% tax and roughly 7.5% service on top of your bill.
No matter where you’re travelling to we always recommend you have travel insurance. We use and love World Nomads.The great thing about them is that you can purchase travel insurance while you’re already travelling!
Looking for more? Check out our Best restaurants in Seminyak our Best restaurants in Ubud and the Chasing a Plate’s Guide to Bali for tips on where to eat, where to stay and things to do.
We hope this Jimbaran Bay guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist!
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