Bali: Lawar Bali Kartika


With a bowl of Ares (spicy pork broth boiled with banana shoots) also served alongside it, Lawar Bali Kartika’s much-lauded Lawar is a veritable masterpiece of a dish.

Babi Guling (suckling pig), Nasi Campur Bali (Balinese mixed rice), Ayam Betutu (Betutu chicken), Lawar (spiced vegetable salad with coconut and minced meat)… the list of wonderful Balinese dishes is a never-ending one, and you can see why after spending time on the beach, eating ranks second in the most favourite activity undertaken by visitors to Bali.

The culinary industry on the island is a dynamic line of business where new establishments pop up on almost a bi-monthly basis, overpowering the appeal of those that have been in existence even before I was born. Thankfully, you’ve got Good Indonesian Food to switch your attention to these long-standing joints.

Inaugurated back in the 1970s, Lawar Bali Kartika specialises in Lawar Bali and is a firm favourite amongst locals. It now operates two outlets in Denpasar, and I was fortunate enough to have dined at the one on Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai. There’s ample parking space here, so motorists need not be worried. Interior-wise, the focus here is on wood, as long wooden tables and benches form the foundation of its spacious dining area, which I reckon could hold up to 60 people at one time.

Customers can choose either to have chicken or pork for their mix of Lawar, while side dishes that accompany the Lawar on a plate of rice include Urutan Babi (pork sausage), thinly sliced fried pork liver, Sate Lilit Babi (minced pork satay) and Tum (steamed Lawar with a soupçon of pig’s blood). With a bowl of Ares (spicy pork broth boiled with banana shoots) also served alongside it, Lawar Bali Kartika’s much-lauded Lawar is a veritable masterpiece of a dish.

Ketut, who’s my local guide for the trip, informed me that Ares is a compulsory dish for every cultural event in Bali, and that this joint’s bowl of spicy porky magic is different class compared to others. “I always take my guests here whenever they tell me of their want to eat authentic Balinese food,” he adds. Point taken, my friend, and duly noted.

lawar bali kartika
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai
Denpasar, Bali
Open daily from 8am-6pm
Rp.30,000/US$2.20 per person


A die-hard fan of authentic Indonesian delights who loves the idea of travelling to the cradle of those enticing local treats. Yet, you might often find this young lad busy with his guitar – be it alone in his room or, sometimes, on stage.

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