The ultimate way to get to know a destination, according to a chef? Through sampling its traditional and local dishes, of course. Eating in Bali is an adventure unto itself, and the island’s most renowned dishes are abundantly flavored with local herbs and spices, exciting chefs, foodies, and travelers alike. Below are our chefs’ top picks for tantalizing your taste buds when you visit beautiful Bali, Island of the Gods.
“When you visit Bali, you have to try Nasi Goreng, which is traditional Indonesian fried rice and grilled satay, traditional-style marinated meat on skewers – both capture the flavors of the region perfectly. You can also try these on board at Terrace Café when we are sailing in Southeast Asia.”
Franck Garanger, Fleet Corporate Executive Chef
“I recommend Sate Lilit Bebek, which is a nice minced duck skewer with a touch of lemongrass and then for dessert try Lapis Legit, a delicious layered cake. You won’t be disappointed with food in Bali!”
Farid Oudir, Executive Chef
“When I traveled there this past winter, l really enjoyed the harmony of the dishes in the daily food – from quick street food to the best restaurants. A few of my favorites are Bebek or Ayam Betutu, an iconic Balinese dish of either a whole duck or chicken stuffed with traditional spices and wrapped in banana leaves, and Pepes Ikan, which is fresh fish with lime juice and spices cooked in aromatic banana leaves.”
Alban Gjoka, Senior Executive Chef
“One of the most classic dishes – and one of my favorites is Ayam Pelalah. The recipe is simple so I love to whip it up for dinner parties – it gives the night an exotic flair.”
Kathryn Kelly, Executive Chef & Director of Culinary Enrichment
Chef Kelly’s Balinese Spicy Shredded Chicken
4 red chiles, seeded
1 Thai bird chile, seeded
2 shallots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4 chicken breasts, room temperature
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ cup peanut oil
2 bay leaves
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 stalk lemongrass, in 2- to 3-inch long slices
¼ cup fresh ginger juice
2 limes, quartered
In a food processor, combine chiles, shallots and garlic. Grind to a smooth spice paste.
Pound chicken to an inch thick, then thinly slice along the diagonal (with the grain of the meat), into ¼-inch by 2-inch rectangles. Meat will look like uncooked, shredded chicken. Toss in coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of spice paste and marinate 1 to 2 hours.
Heat peanut oil in a wok, then add the bay leaves, kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass, tossing until oil is fragrant and seasoned. Quickly remove the leaves and stalks and add the chicken, tossing in the wok continuously until chicken is cooked. Once cooked, toss in ginger juice.
Serve the chicken warm with a generous squeeze of two lime segments and with the remaining spice paste on the side.
Enjoy, or selamat makan as they say in Indonesia!