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How to Eat like a Local in Uluwatu, Bali

Must-Try Local Dishes during a Trip to Uluwatu in Bali

By william barryPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Astari28, Nasi Ayam Penyet 2, CC BY-SA 4.0

Ranked among Bali's most popular beach holiday destinations, Uluwatu is not just for water sports lovers. Home to some of the best local restaurants on the island, Uluwatu is also a veritable paradise for those with a passion for Balinese cuisine. From well-loved street food items to signature dishes found in nearly every restaurant menu, here's a list of classic dishes everyone should dig into when wining and dining like a local in Bali.

Ayam Betutu

Rice lovers heading to Uluwatu for the day must order this beloved rice meal that comes with chicken cubes and satay. The chicken chunks have been infused into the rice with more than a dollop of chilli sambal so it's definitely not for those who can't handle spices. Served alongside a salad and topped off with peanuts, the reason why Ayam Betutu is such a hit with locals is due to how tender and succulent the meat is. The chicken is first braised before being smoked to create this unique flavour, which somehow doesn't get diluted even when the meat is broken up into chunks. Sambal Matah is another popular side dish that often accompanies Ayam Betutu and its rich flavour pairs perfectly with the chicken.

Nasi Ayam

Considered a staple in Balinese cuisine, Nasi Ayam is another favourite rice dish that comes with a wide range of side dishes. The bowl of rice is surrounded by not only a few satay sticks and shredded chicken slices but also a boiled egg and a French bean salad. Sambal and roasted peanuts are also served alongside the rest of the side dishes but what makes Nasi Ayam a little different from other chicken rice dishes is that the satay not only features chicken meat but also fish that has been marinated with the chicken cubes.

Tipat Cantok

Whether you are based at Anantara Uluwatu Bali or any other resort in the area, every holidaymaker must savour the taste of Tipat Cantok. Most restaurants in Uluwatu will encourage vegetarians and vegans to try this delectable dish as it's one of the few plant-based Balinese treats in the canon. Rice cakes are steamed inside palm leaves and tossed into a mixture that includes baby green sprouts, shredded cabbage and other veggies before being doused in peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce. Those with an aversion to spicy dishes can try this crunchy meal at any local eatery. The secret of its decadent flavour is in the peanut sauce, which is made by crushing peanuts, chillies and garlic together in a mortar to create a delicious pesto.


Lawar is a must-try for diners who love coconut oil. It is one of the best coconut-based dishes in Balinese cuisine. The dish is made by mixing coconut shavings with chicken skin and minced jackfruit in a bowl. The mixture is then combined with coconut milk and chillies. The dish is presented in a bowl made by hand and is served on a banana leaf. With a unique combination of flavours and textures, Lawar is both sweet and fruity.

Fish Head Soup

Seafood lovers on the lookout for a traditional Balinese curry need not look any further than the Fish Head Soup that's sold in nearly every local diner in Uluwatu. Ranked among the seafood delicacies in Balinese cuisine, this curry is a slow-cooked broth that can be consumed on its own or as a side dish to rice. The whole fish is boiled in spiced water, which also includes cucumber slices. Served with a bowl of rice and some fried fish, the aromatic broth is the stuff of dreams for hardcore seafood fanatics. To enhance the rich flavor profile, the Fish Head Soup often incorporates a blend of local herbs and spices, making it a savoury delight for those seeking an authentic taste of Balinese culinary mastery.


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  • Naveed about a month ago

    Well done!

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