Azul’s is a must visit when in Legian Beach and if you are staying at the Bali Mandira you are in luck as it is the Mandira’s beach club and bar. An atmospheric bar with uninterrupted views of Legian beach, its captivating menu is little eurocentric but delicately incorporates Asian flavours.
It also serves up island-inspired Tiki cocktails which are fruity and delicious, the perfect place to sit, sip and watch the sun go down. Azul is also a hot spot for Bali’s expat influencers at its renowned Sunday beach club.
But, like most people who go to Bali, you might be going for the beaches and affordable accommodation but, another must try in Bali is the local desserts. Balinese dessert dishes feature unforgettable aromas and flavours. Here are six must try sweet treats in Bali.
6 of the best:
Some of these sweet treats are best tried in their traditional form by the side of the road, prepared fresh and fast as scooters whiz by and dogs beg for a morsel. Others are plated in contemporary styles and paired with wine in restaurants in central Ubud.
1. Bubur Sumsum - Coconut rice porridge
This is a comforting sweet and salty coconut rice porridge, made by cooking rice flour and a pinch of salt in coconut milk. It's usually served cool with palm sugar syrup and occasionally sweet potato dumplings (biji salak). Because this dish is easy on the stomach, it's often given to people who are feeling queasy or are suffering from indigestion.
Where to get it:
Bubur sumsum is best tried at traditional markets such as Pasar Badung on Gajah Mada Street, one of the main roads in Denpasar or at a warung (local cafe). It's usually served at breakfast to accompany traditional hot 'tubruk' style coffee. Various iterations of bubur sumsum are also served at special events and as part of offerings for rituals such as Tumpek Uduh (a ritual dedicated to blessing local crops and plantations).
2. Batun Bedil - Glutinous rice flour dumplings in brown sugar sauce
Batun bedil is a sticky rice cake served with a brown sugar sauce. The texture of the rice cake is soft yet slightly chewy, and the sweet, caramel-like sauce that coats the rice cake is served warm. Batun Bedil is made from rice flour mixed with coconut milk. It's shaped by hand to form a small bullet (bedil), then boiled and served with a melted brown sugar sauce and freshly grated coconut.
Where to try it:
You'll often find batun bedil wrapped in banana leaf on sale at one of the traditional markets. If you want to try making your own, check out Bambu Bali - a restaurant and cooking school located on Jalan Pratama Street in Bali's southern Benoa area.
3. Klepon - Sticky rice balls with caramelised sugar
This traditional Balinese rice cake originated in Java and is loved as an on-the-go snack by locals and tourists alike. After biting into the chewy, circular rice ball, you'll be rewarded with a gooey burst of sweet caramelised coconut sugar. Klepon is usually green - an extract from the suji leaf is used to colour the rice flour. Occasionally you'll also come across a dark version, which is made with black rice.
Where to find it:
Because of the shape and convenience of this sweet treat, it's often given as a gift or taken on car trips as a snack. Wherever you are in Bali, klepon will be easy to find. From the seller walking around with a basket on their heads or slung across their shoulders, to the busy market stalls lining the streets.
4. Pisang Goreng - Banana fritters
This delicious Balinese treat is essentially deep fried banana or banana fritters.
Bananas, ideally the pisang raja variety, are coated in a simple batter made from flour, water and salt, then deep fried in oil. Variations will occur in ingredients, but the results are always delicious. They're best served piping hot and taste amazing alongside a bowl of vanilla-bean ice cream.
Where to get them:
Give these a try at the contemporary Batik restaurant and bar on Kayu Aya Street in central Seminyak or head to Bonita Bali which is located on Petitenget Street.
5. Laklak - Balinese pancake
This traditional dessert is similar to a pancake, but Balinese style. Laklak are made from rice flour and coconut milk and served with grated coconut and a little sugar on top. Like klepon, laklak are usually green thanks to the addition of the suji leaf.
They're delicious eaten steaming hot, and like pisang goreng, taste amazing served with ice cream. To make laklak, rice flour, coconut milk and a little sugar are combined and poured onto a cast iron or clay pan. Balinese people like to eat these pancakes served fresh in the morning, sprinkled with shredded coconut and palm sugar.
Where to try them:
For an authentic taste of these little green pancakes, head to Ne Men Gabrug on Hayam Wuruk Street in Denpasar, where you can see the batter being ladled into cast iron pans on top of a well-worn brick stove. They'll be served to you piping hot with a generous amount of freshly grated coconut and palm sugar syrup.
6. Bubur Injin - Black rice pudding
Unlike the other sweet treats, bubur injin takes a little longer to prepare. Glutinous black rice is soaked overnight; it's then boiled with pandan leaves. Finally, a coconut milk sauce is made from thickened coconut milk, salt and pandan. This sweet sticky dessert is often topped with fresh fruit like strawberries, pomegranate or jack fruit.
Where to try it:
Have a go at making this one yourself at the Green Kitchen cooking school in Sidemen, which is just over an hour from central Ubud.
If you're looking into organising a culinary adventure in Bali, get in touch with the team at HOOT to find out about our accommodation options and package deals.
- Posted in Bali