Bali: Warung Nikmat

“Unlike your common Balinese food, it wasn’t as spicy and heavily seasoned – although the sambal still packed quite a punch.

Transmigration has long been seen as the solution by many in the country in order to attain a better life. More often than not, however, the scenario would see people from villages and small towns getting lured by the bright lights and the smell of success of larger cities, or, in the case of Bali, an island flowing with milk and honey. Some migration stories have ended not so well, but for others, it proved to be a decision that has changed their lives for the better. Take Warung Nikmat in Kuta, for example. Founded by Javanese in 1994, it has since become a go-to culinary spot for both locals and tourists.

Located in Gang Biduri on Jalan Bakung Sari, its whereabouts can be a tad complicated to find if you travel by car due to its lack of a proper parking lot. My driver had to drop me off right at the end of the alley, from which I had to walk for about a hundred metres until I reach the establishment. For someone like me (read: overweight), such a short stroll left me in quite a famished state, so as soon as I got there, I immediately went to the counter to grab some food.

From the smorgasbord of dishes on offer – which took me a while to come to a decision despite my struggle to dampen my hunger – I opted for stewed tuna chunks, beef satay, and a mix of green mustard and long beans along with my rice. Patience was not an option, so I had to thank my lucky stars that the place wasn’t too crowded at the time, which I took to my advantage by sitting at the nearest table I could find.

From the corner of my eyes, I could see a gang of foreigners busy stuffing themselves. Rather than observing what they were having, I dove straight into my meal. Unlike your common Balinese food, it wasn’t as spicy and heavily seasoned – although the sambal still packed quite a punch. My most favourite dish was the refreshing tuna, which tasted a lot like what I usually eat at home in Jakarta. Having been away for more than a week, it turned out to be the perfect cure to my yearning for a good home-cooked meal.

Jl. Bakung Sari, Gg. Biduri No. 6A,
T: 0361 764 678
Open daily from 8.30am to 9pm
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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