Get Real Indonesian Taste from Local Warung

The innumerable cafes and restaurants spread across the tourist-friendly areas in Bali are seemingly catered for a foreigner. Most of the Indonesian food in these places, however, can be quite bland as they are stripped from the usual spices and chili that infuse the dish its complexity.

So where to get a taste of pure, local dish? Why the warung, of course! Warung, literally means food stall/shop, are everywhere, actu- ally: they’re between your posh Italian joint or Aussie sports bar, the Warung Banyuwan- gi’s (a regency in East Java) and the Warung Muslim’s, that unassuming local place where they serve home-cooked food like pecel (steam veggies with coconut sauce), tempe orek (sweet sliced tempeh), ayam goreng (fried chicken), and perkedel jagung (corn fritter).

Some might see it as un-fancy, but there is actually some warung here that are favored by foreign tourists alike due to their some- what “upgraded” appearance or with the promise of non-MSG food.

Two of the most frequented spots can be found in the Canggu area: Warung Bu Mi (a play on the Indonesian word bumi, meaning earth) in Batu Bolong, in which the visitors are mostly foreigners, and Warung Heboh in Bera- wa. The basic foods are still there but with oth- er varieties such as red bean with sweet sauce or bamboo stalks. Other noteworthy warungs are Warung Cabe-Cabean in Kerobokan, where they serve inexpensive jumbo juices, and Warung Gloria in Kedampang that offers four different kinds of rice: pandan (with sliced pumpkin), corn, brown, and white rice. Thank- fully, they all come with a spicy sambal.

Bali Pocket Magazine