As the co-creator of one of Bali’s most known plant-based restaurants, Kynd, and a long-time local on the Indonesian island, Lauren Camilleri knows Bali dining. She describes it as a paradise for food enthusiasts.
“Whether you’re seeking refined dining experiences, a multitude of funky bars and cafés or authentic local Warungs, Bali encompasses them all,” Camilleri says. “The most appealing aspect is its affordability, making the culinary journey even more delightful.”
What truly sets it apart, though, she says, is the genuine warmth and infectious energy of the Balinese people. It’s their hospitality that adds an exceptional touch, not only to your dining experience but to your overall Bali stay, Camilleri says.
Camilleri also appears in the ten-part series Paradise Kitchen Bali With Lauren Camilleri, which airs on SBS Food starting Thursday, September 21, and on SBS On Demand after that. In the series, she shares many of her picks for the best Bali restaurants, but in case you can’t catch the show, she’s sharing some of them here. Ahead, the 11 Bali restaurants Camilleri thinks are worth a visit. Plus what to expect and order from each.
“Of course, I am a bit bias here, but I eat at Kynd six days a week,” says Camilleri. “We just launched our new dinner menu in both our Canggu and Seminyak locations, and I am hooked on the eggplant parmigiana.”
“Yuki Canggu is a modern Japanese restaurant that has a full vegan offering. It’s located right on the beach, so the perfect place to eat some sushi and watch the sunset. My favourite dish is the Watermelon Tuna rolls.”
Milk and Madu
“Milk and Madu in Canggu and Ubud is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and has something on the menu for everyone. It’s a casual and cool space that serves high-quality food at a reasonable price. I love the Greenpeace pizza.”
“Moksa is my go-to restaurant in Ubud [in northern Bali]. It’s owned by a passionate Balinese who has created a menu that is fully plant-based and packed full of flavour. My go-to dish is the laksa.”
“Tanaman in Seminyak beach club Potato Head is a futuristic, architectural, culinary experience. Chef Dommy [African-Australian chef Dom Hammond] experiments to create the most amazing dishes that defy the mind. The sharing menu is a must-order, so you can explore as many new and amazing flavours as possible.”
“Revolver is one of the OG restaurants in Bali. It’s famous for its coffee and vibes and is now located in Canggu, Seminyak, and even at the international airport. It’s easily my favourite spot for coffee on the island.”
Warung Jawa Busri
“If you want to try local food, Warung Jawa Busri in Canggu is a must-visit. It’s famous for the Nasi Campur, which is a mixed plate. The restaurant is small in space but big in flavour. The owner, Ibu Sri, serves a wide variety of options. She serves you the white rice, and you pick your favourites from her display window. Make sure you try the Tempe and Coconut dish.”
Times Beach Warung
“On the beach overlooking the famous Old Man’s break at Batu Bolong, Times Beach Warung is the best spot in Canggu to take in the sunrise while enjoying a nice cup of coffee. Also, a great spot for an açai bowl or post-surf coconut.”
“Rize is my boyfriend’s absolute go-to when he takes me out for a brunch date. The relaxing atmosphere, Indian-inspired menu, and extremely tasty food make it a joy to keep on returning to. Every single time, I order the Masala Dosa coupled with a soy chai for the perfect brunch meal. The dosa comes with a variety of sensational chutneys, which taste especially good with an extra crispy dosa.”
“Be sure to book Shelter in Pererenan [area next to Canggu] in advance, as this place is a very popular location, and for very good reason. It has an assortment of exceptional dishes on the menu, so is the perfect dinner spot. The daily specials also never disappoint. They feature a piece of magic, expertly concocted by Head Chef Stephen Moore.
Batukaru Coffee Retreat
“Batukaru Coffee Retreat is a little off-the-beaten-track but well worth a visit. Ibu Kentri forages for the freshest ingredients on her own land in Jati Luwih. Then along with her expert local chefs, they create the most delicious Nasi Campur. It has some of my favourite food on the whole island.”