The wonderful thing about eating in Bali is that you’re spoiled with diversity. I’m a big advocate for the local cuisine as it’s seriously tasty, deeply connected to the landscape and our culture, and deserves more attention than it currently gathers. At the same time, it’s exciting to see how the international food scene has blossomed. Many talented professional and home cooks from all stretches of the globe have set-up camp here over the past few years, bringing with them everything from natural wine-making skills to seriously sharp sourdough wisdom and pizza-dough formulas straight out of Naples. Pair all this with the fresh, carefully cultivated produce that springs from the island’s rich volcanic earth and you have, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating (and at times, random) culinary melting pots of the world.
But back to the local food. If there’s any piece advice I would offer to people travelling or living in Bali who would want to know more about it, it would be to eat as much of it as you can outside your classic restaurant setting – join a cooking class, ask people if you can meet a great home cook, go to the morning markets for breakfast and the night markets for dinner. Balinese food at its purest is so vibrant, layered and full of meaning and it tastes so much better when you consume it in its original context.
The main thing I’d like to emphasise, is that if you’re dining in Bali, look for honesty, go local as much as possible and don’t be afraid to seek out the artisanal stuff. Native ingredients and old-school cooking methods are at a risk of dying out. The best way to preserve them is to support them, and the best way to support them is to consume them. How fun is that?