“Like the menu, the service here is quite straightforward. “
There’s something special about the food at Warung Mak Beng. I remember this one time I was sitting in front the telly, when my chubby nine-year-old nephew suddenly told me that he was craving for the fried fish from Mak Beng. Now, for this to come from a kid who prefers to devour pizzas and burgers shows that Warung Mak Beng is not your typical warung.
First established in 1941 by Mak Beng and her husband I Putu Gede Wirja as a coffee shop for fishermen in the Sanur Beach area, the rapid development of their business saw the couple adding rice to its menu. It has since undergone a number of transformations, and now, with Mak Beng’s grandchildren at the helm, it has become a popular warung with a menu that comprises just the one dish. I made my last visit to Warung Mak Beng on a recent trip to Bali.
So there I was, waking up early in the morning just to savour its food. Come 8am, I had already reached the warung, but most of the seats were already taken by early risers. Like the menu, the service here is quite straightforward. The waitress came and asked me how many portions would I like. “One?” I replied, and off she went into the back of the shop. Not long after, she re-emerged with a bowl of fish-head soup and a plate of fried fish. They were both made from a snapper, and both tasted other-worldly amazing.
Although a tad oily, the soup featured a spiciness that left a pleasant lingering taste at the tip of my tongue. It would make any spicy-food lovers go gaga. On to the fried fish, and a bite revealed a crunchy yet meaty texture. It was a bit salty, which provided a nice balance to the spicy soup. The sambal and kaffir lime that came with the dish were the cherries on top. And not a whiff of stench could be detected from the fish too.
Overall, my experience at Warung Mak Beng was just wonderful. Forget about air conditioner and friendly waitresses; this is one warung that should be on the top of your list of eateries to pay a visit to.
By Jessicha Valentina
Jl. Hang Tuah No. 45,
T: 0361 282 633
Open daily from 8am-10pm