Eat Smarter in Bali
Being a chef in Bali is quite a unique experience. For many tourists, Indonesian food comes across as exotic even when the quality of those meals may not be that great. Understanding how flavors mix and match means you are less likely to be impressed by substandard and overpriced cuisine. Our head chef Jonay Armas, who has had a few Michelin stars under his belt over the years, makes it his mission to explore Indonesia and eat local food as often as possible. Jonay is always keeping an eye out for places off the beaten path that are popular with locals.
“Last time I was in Surabaya all I wanted to do was check out the local markets and eat where the locals were. It is a good way to try new food when you are in another country. Here in Bali my favorite sate is from Sate Madura. It is always packed with locals and I go at least twice a week. Their goat soup is also delicious!”
One of Jonay’s favorite dishes on the island however is Bebek Timbung. This dish is served in many places across the island, and is an absolute delicacy. “They slow cook the duck inside bamboo over charcoal, filled with different spices and the minced duck liver. It is very reminiscent of old-school French and Spanish cuisine as well. It is a wonderful mix of flavors and spaces, which takes an impressive amount of skill and technique to get right!
Another one of his popular haunts is Jadi’s home cafe in Kerobokan. “The first time I met Jadi was in my first trip to Bali back in 2010. The restaurant is her actual home and I love the idea of home-cooked meals. Her food is from Borneo so it is a really unique taste to have on the island. She has a very limited menu, making only a handful of dishes which she just nails every single time.