Welcome to Bali and an amazing opportunity to enjoy a culinary holiday like no other.  You may think I’m joking, but I’m not.  There are some destinations where they say you should bring an empty suitcase and take it home full with shopping. This is an island where you should bring an empty stomach! Thirty five years ago when I first came here, it was a very different story. There were only restaurants with incredible menus outside their door claiming to make Oriental, Western and Indonesian food. Inside, the incredible turned to inedible very quickly.

Welcome to Bali and an amazing opportunity to enjoy a culinary holiday like no other. 

You may think I’m joking, but I’m not. 

There are some destinations where they say you should bring an empty suitcase and take it home full with shopping. This is an island where you should bring an empty stomach!

Thirty five years ago when I first came here, it was a very different story. There were only restaurants with incredible menus outside their door claiming to make Oriental, Western and Indonesian food. Inside, the incredible turned to inedible very quickly.

The exceptions to that were Poppies and Made’s Warung who are still here today and still really popular. Then came TJ’s and Gado Gado, also still here Goa 2000, sadly gone, and the Lotus group, which continues as well. 

Finally the breakthrough came with Warisan, when Said and Doudou established what had to have been the first “fine dining” restaurant, at least not in a hotel. Their success lives on in Metis and Warisan has been reinvigorated as well.

With that, the floodgates opened and Chris Salaans wowed us with Mozaic, Kudeta became a superstar, and La Lucciola became the place to be seen. 

Now… well the scene is so comprehensive, so complicated, so dynamic that you have to read all the way through this issue just to get the bare bones of the astonishing industry that has grown up in the last ten years. It is a far cry from the days of the one-chef-cooks-all warung. 

But there are some sour notes too. The government sadly is not on board and regularly puts the industry through hell with selective import restrictions, so essential ingredients can’t be found. It also imposes a horrendous tax on alcohol so wine is ridiculously expensive. And last, but not least, has allowed traffic and parking to become such a nightmare that getting to and from your favourite restaurant may be a real headache, never mind parking. 

But please do one thing while you are here… try Indonesian food too! There are a huge range of dishes available, usually much cheaper than the western equivalents, and it’s delicious!

 Have yourself a great culinary odessy! 

 

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NOW! BALI

Kilo Run
Devinsky

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