Hear, See, Smell, Taste, Feel the spirit of Bali in restaurant Bumbu Bali, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia
The restaurant to Rumah Bali villas, in which we stayed in Nusa Dua on Bali island, is called Bumbu Bali. The breakfast of the villas is prepared right there. There are two restaurants in the street not far from each other. One is Bumbu Bali 1, the other Bumbu Bali 2. The cuisine in both is identical. If you want to taste traditional Balinese dishes and to see a program with folk music and dances, you should visit Bumbu Bali 1. The traditional local music is called Gamelan. It is performed with percussion instruments- gong, metalofon, xylophone with bamboo slats, from time to time a bamboo flute is heard. Balinese dances are very interesting- with sharp, but gentle head, eyes, fingers movements to the sides, while the body is bent in a bizarre position of zigzag. The hands are strangely folded into the elbows and wrists. It was an interesting experience. You can see by yourself fragments of traditional dances and music in my movie dedicated to restaurant Bumbu Bali below.
The Chef and owner of restaurant Bumbu Bali, as well as the Rumah Bali villas, is a very interesting person. Chef Heinz von Holzen has a successful career as a chef in the restaurants of the largest hotel chains around the world such as Ritz Carlton, Hayatt and Hilton. I had the pleasure of attending his cooking class dedicated to traditional Balinese cuisine and learned a lot of interesting things like for example frying secrets to get crunchy coatings. 😊 If I can describe Chef Heinz briefly with musical styles, he’s been made of classical music batter, but he’s taken the rock-and-roll path, currently living ethno, having a jazzy radiation and creating a tremendous groove around him!
For his villas Rhuma Bali, where we stayed, read in my article: Do you want to go to Bali Island with the whole family in comfortable villas with private pool? I know a place like this!
…. The grill works hard because all the skewers are arranged on it (here they call them satay).
…. The bizarre movements of the dancer, which performs folk dances;
…. Household supplies, panels and paintings on the walls;
…. The huge tray in which they carry sets for 2, called Rijsttafel. For the price of 340 000 IRH, i.e. EUR 16, you get a menu with everything worth trying, satiating not only your taste, but also your vision and olfaction with all those Eastern flavors, colors and tastes. It even includes desserts at the end;
…. Information in the menu from which we found out why imported alcohol is so expensive. Because of taxes and excise, which accrue up to 300% sometimes, any alcohol from abroad is very expensive. My recommendation- stick to the local brands of wine, which are only bottled in Indonesia and are as good as the Australian, only that they are not so expensive. Otherwise you risk paying above EUR 50 for an ordinary wine, that does not comply with its price. Look for the pictures in the film, that show which wine brand to choose for avoiding expensive bills.
…. Pleasant service- The people of Bali generally do not speak fluently English, but are always eager to help you. We have very good understanding in English here, so there were no mistakes with the orders;
…. Chilly taste in most dishes without being unpleasant, but still be careful, sometimes it is quite strong;
…. Crispy garlic flakes/onions- very nice, slightly sweet, without a lot of pepper spray;
…. The pleasant caramel palm sugar juice in your mouth when chewing the soft slightly stringy husk of rice dough dessert called kelepon!
…. Gamelan– local traditional music, which is played on percussion instruments- gong, bamboo xylophone, metalofon, bamboo flute.
…. Ginger, lemongrass, onion;
…. Caramel flavor of palm sugar in rice dumplings with coconut cream and caramelized syrup. It is also felt in the Kelepon- a, covered with coconut flakes.
…. If you are two, try the Rijstaffel – it includes all the interesting local meals offered by the restaurant. It consists of small portions of food, something like local tapas. You will find some interesting rolls wrapped in a palm leaf. Don’t eat the leaf, it’s tough! 😊
…. Ice cream– here are all variations- pineapple, lemongrass, mango, vanilla, chocolate;
…. Ribs, marinated and greased with barbecue sauce, Just eat your fingers!
Whether you go to Bumbu Bali 1 or 2, it doesn’t really matter if it’s just about food. In the first, however, you will watch a folklore program. If you haven’t visited traditional Balinese dance performance, you’d better go to 1 to have that opportunity. If you’re wondering what to do next and try the local cuisine, just order Rijsttafel for two. The word comes from the Dutch language and means “rice table”, i.e. in it you will find all kinds of rice-based dishes or garnished with rice. It’s in a meat and vegi variant. If you’re with a kid/kids, for them you’d better get the skewers. If they love rice and noodles, get them from the local Nasi goreng and Mie goreng. For desserts try at least kelepon or rice dumplings in palm sugar syrup, and pour generous amount of with coconut cream on them. They are included in the Rijstaffel. All local pastries are made from rice flour, for the simple reason that this is the most common form of starch in this region of the world. Such desserts are not to be found easily and are not typical for Europe, even more, they may taste strange, but be brave and try them- they are very tasty. Palm sugar is also a very common local sweetener, even I would recommend to get some home. It is extracted from the color of the coconut palm. It has a wonderful aroma and is brown in color. It is healthy because it contains inulin, which stimulates the development of beneficial flora in the intestines, but also has a lower glycemic index. However, you have to be careful with its consumption, since in big quantities, likewise white sugar you will be in trouble, especially considering how delicious it is. 😊
For the finale, I will add a story that we always say when it comes to Bali and the people there. After one of our frequent dinners in Bumbu Bali, on foot because it was very close to the Rumah Bali villas where we were staying, young man on a bike came after us. Turned out he’s the waiter from the restaurant. The guy’s been chasing us because he found under our table Balinese rupee and he wanted to know if the money was ours. Turned out they fell out of my husband’s pocket, along with some cash receipts from our groceries. That’s how we recognized it was ours. The amount was appr. EUR30. I think the story speaks for itself, of the honesty of the people from Bali, of their reluctance to benefit someone’s distraction, for their goodwill. This behavior is probably the result of the local culture, the way of educating the children, religion or everything together, but it also raised extremely the restaurant’s reputation. Could you help yourself not visiting Bali any time soon! 😊
How to book your stay on Bali?
How to get to restaurant Bumbu Bali and Bali island?
Check-up for promotions of Qatar Airways with the QR code below. This is how we booked our tickets at very affordable prices.
A: Jalan Pratama, Tanjung Benoa, Nusa Dua 80363, Bali, Indonesia
T: Bumbu Bali One: + 62 361 774502
T: Bumbu Bali Two: + 62 361 772299
Open hours: 11:00-16:00, 18:00-Last order 22:00
There is an online booking option and an option to bring alcohol for a fee.
Once on the island, to get to Bumbu Bali 1 and Bumbu Bali 2, Bali, Nusa Dua, use the map by hitting the red pins and then clicking Directions:
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