Some of the many emails and comments we receive from our visitors

Lucy Liu, – 26 November 2017
***** Great ambiance and fantastic view. Love the bamboo menu as well. Go for the big set menu!

HoFuchs, Berlin, Germany, – 20 November 2017
We did a 6 hour cooking class with Penni of Bali Asli in Nov 2017. After a very interesting shopping trip to a local market where Penni showed us heaps on all kinds of different fruits, vegetables, and Balinese foodie culture, we prepared our own Hindu offerings and learned how to pray in Bali Asli’s wonderful garden. On the marvellous terrace, Penni gave an intro into different tastes by using interesting examples like Balinese lime, tamarind, galangal, and kencur. Then, we prepared several pastes as bases for developing different tastes in the dishes we were about to cook. Working in parallel – thus intensifying the learning – we prepared chicken sate with self-made peanut sauce, seasoned marlin in banana leaves, nasi goreng, sweet pumpkin sachets, and fern-tip salad. After cooking, we had this wonderful menu on the terrace giving to beautiful rice fields, with the gorgeous mount Agung in the distance. Penni’s self-brewed ciders and the stunning cocktails are highly recommended!
P.S.: Mount Agung is not dangerous; the Indonesian authorities are very cautious and would restrict the area if necessary. Also, Bali Asli is ~10 km from mount Agung and situated on a hill.

Nicole Biscardi, September 2017
Hi Penelope,
I’ve been meaning to write you and drop a few lines of feedback. The cooking class with your Chef was fantastic. Such an exciting and memorable part of our trip to Eastern Bali. Your restaurant is beautiful, and we had the best time trekking throughout the hills with Dewa– he has a true passion for it, and is very much both guide and guru! I just wanted to say thank you, and let you know that we really enjoyed the day!

Malicuddle, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, – March 2017
“Cooking class and amazing meal”
We had a short stay in Bali at the beginning of January, but our cooking class at Bali Asli was by far one of the biggest highlights of the trip. My husband and I were traveling with our 4 year old, and the sous chef, Mr. Dewar, was very understanding and patient about our experience being adjusted to her pace. We enjoyed a shortened walk in the surrounding rice paddies before digging in and beginning to cook. We learned so much and absolutely loved the experience. Moreover the food was outstanding, and the view was gorgeous. Don’t skip Bali Asli!

Petti, Tweed heads, Australia, – January 2017
About a 2 hour drive from Seminyak, we began our day at 8 am . We were accompanied by Penny, the owner and Executive Chef to local markets. Penny gave much detail about various foods in Bali and we purchased many of the ingredients for our cooking lesson. Penny is passionate about food and embraces true Balinese cuisine and culture. We learnt how to make Balinese offerings , we cooked a delicious lunch , which we later enjoyed . The day is very hands on and is highly recommended for those looking for the true Bali. The views from the restaurant, particularly of Mt Agung , are spectacular. Penny is vibrant and friendly and is obviously highly respected in the local community

Jim M, Melbourne, – January 2017
Well this food experience is hard to beat, Mt Agung in the near back ground reaching out to you will take your breath away. While you take some of the best scenic photos from your table or the huge balcony, the chefs will be preparing the tastiest authentic Balinese food you. The health drinks and home brewed fruit beers are a must.
The scenic drive is also wonderful, allow 2.5 hours from Ubud and book in advance.
Dear staff, thank you for you hospitality and care in welcoming us.
Definitely recommended

Elizabeth Travers, Bali, – 14 October 2016
Just back from the amazing weekend at Bali Asli boot camp in East Bali.
We ran, we swam, we jumped, we trekked, we cycled, we sweated, we hurt, we ate, we drank, we laughed and we survived!
Big shout out to the wonderful Penny Williams from Bali Asli for her expertise and enthusiasm in planning our whole weekend. It was an experience that extended my belief in myself and I did things I have never done before with a group of outstanding people.

Marta, Netherland, – 22 July 2016
Dear Penny,
We loved the cooking class. Everyone was very friendly and Dewa was amazing. My mum doesn’t speak english so I had to translate everything and he was so kind to speak slowly so I had enough time to pass all the knowledge to her. We loved the food, the ambiance and your Bali Asli family. We have learnt heaps. Thank you so much again!
Warm Regards
Marta and Family

Anna, Warsaw, Poland – 02 July 2016
Penny let me thank you for an outstanding service and make my Julia taste Bali although her strict diet restrictions.
We visited you with Gosia I will take all the tastes of Bali Asli back to Poland.

Heather, New Zealand – 13 June 2016
Good morning Penny,
I sit here back in NZ, contemplating the perfectly splendid day we had on Monday 6th June.
I cannot find enough superlatives. From the start, being picked up by Made, to meeting you at the market, to arriving at your wonderful home and school, to experiencing your special talent at interacting with us all and your staff, to learning the respect to have for the food, the super loos and the sharing of the food was just the best.
Serenity comes to mind.
Ava has shared her experience with her Dad with enthusiasm. She excitedly showed the photos, described the market and beautiful gardens and the friendly staff and how Penny, “the cooking lady is really really nice”.
Loved every minute. Thank you.

Cindy, Bali – 10 May 2016
Hi Penny,

So happy. All went well. In the end Volker said I should be awarded an Oscar.
Volker speaks and understands bahasa very well so we had several close calls.
Gudih was really on the ball with diverting certain questions. Hahahah.

He thought we were going to visit a cave. Not until we stopped in front of the Jukung did he realize we were going on the water.
We caught together 7 fish. I caught 3. Only one was big enough to be eaten. It was so much fun, the sea was flat and peaceful.

Dewa was wonderful. His explanations were clear and interesting. He was relaxed and he speaks English well.
He took his time and answered all our silly questions. We were hopeless in folding the banana leaves and with a big smile and some teasing words he showed us again several times.

I have added some pictures you might like.

Susie, Sydney – April 2016
“Cooking with Love”

I had the best experience with the staff at Bali Asli. I started with fishing in the morning and then travelling to the restaurant where the view was to die for. The two guys who takes you are out are so helpful and make the experience worth while. I was travelling on my own and at first was unsure but Penelope the owner and staff make you feel very welcome. Then my passion, the cooking. I have never cooking food like this and I loved every minute and their welcome drink was the best I ever had lol. If you are going to be on the east coast make time to go there for lunch or just do the cooking class.

Sydney – 12 April 2016
“A richly rewarding day”

We chose to do the market tour plus cooking class and lunch. A great day. Picked up promptly at 8am from our hotel in Candidasa, we were taken to Amlapura markets where, over turmeric tea, we met our fellow travellers. We were guided through the markets in a leisurely but organised way, and then back into our transport and on to Bali Asli restaurant. A beautiful building, beautifully sited. The tour and class weren’t run by Penny on this occasion, but by the Balinese chef, who took us fluently and informatively through some key groups of ingredients – spices, rhizomes, vegetables. Then into our aprons and onto our knives. We prepared a number of dishes from scratch and either cooked them ourselves at the table, or watched the staff of the restaurant cook them for us, in the case of the sate lilit in a firepit on the restaurant’s terrace with its sensational view, a couple of exotic cocktails and we relaxed over lunch to enjoy the food we’d prepared and the company of the other “scholars”. A thoroughly enjoyable experience, highly recommended.

Derek, Adelaide – March 2016
“Hands down the best traditional food in Bali!”

I have been to Bali over 10 times and never experienced anything like this. You can go to many places and have a nice view, and the view from Bali Asli is certainly spectacular but the food is “next level amazing.” The location is a bit of a drive if your not staying in East Bali but totally worth it. I will be making the trip back to this amazing dining experience every time I travel to Bali from now on.

Francine Bleau – 19 March 2016
Hello Penelope,

Our day started very well with Made. He was on time and very polite. Then, we met your mentor, Dowa who showed us the market and then he explained all the vegetables and fruits we did not know about. He chose two knives that we bought as a souvenir for our sons.

We had a lot of fun cooking together and although you weren’t there, I can assure you that it was a superb experience we will never forget.

Many thanks to all the staff members that made us feel like family.

Francine and Claude Bleau


Shanthini Naidoo – 10 January 2016
Shanthini visited Bali Asli in January 2016 and completed the ‘day in
the life of a Balinese fisherman’ and cooking class.
Shanthini says, “the cooking experiences at Bali Asli are just that
– a total experience, combining a great insight into Balinese tradition
and culture…….”.
“Thanks for a great time we really enjoyed it”.
Read Shanthini’s complete story on her blog

Chenxing Han, Taiwan, – 25 November 2015
Thank you for a wonderful day at Bali Asli

Dear Penny,
I came to Bali Asli last week with Sue Mace and a couple of her friends, and I just wanted to write to thank you for guiding us through such a beautiful, memorable day. It’s very inspiring to meet someone who is so passionate about her work, who has built an organization with integrity and love.

It was so interesting to learn about the local flora on our hike. I really enjoyed the cooking class and of course the delicious food. I’m much more aware of the flavors in my food now, and am looking forward to the new year when I’ll be able to resume cooking again and playing with balancing different flavors. (I’m at a Buddhist university in Taiwan for this semester, and our simple vegetarian meals are all provided by the dining hall, so I’m not able to cook.
I hope the flash drives work out well (the wood is so elegant!), and that Bali Asli continues to grow and thrive. I will be sure to recommend it to anyone I know who is headed to Bali!

Best wishes,

Renee Tao, Los Angeles, USA – 20 November 2015
Hello Penelope.
The hike was challenging but was a great way to explore the beautiful mountain. I am glad we did it as the temperature definitely was cooler than Uluwatu. I am glad that we hiked up and took the stairs down as the stairs going up may have killed my knees. Pura Ayu was amazing and definitely a highlight to cap the end of a long hike. We did “cheat” a bit and got on the motorbikes at the bottom of the stairs. LOL. It was just too tempting.
Thank you for your advice and directing us towards this amazing experience.

Renee Tao

Madeleine, Australia – 23 October 2015
“Totally Delightful”

Hello Penelope
Back in the real world unfortunately. I just wanted to let you know that my friend Sue and I had a marvellous, instructive and totally delightful cooking day at Bali Asli. Pak Dewa was a great guide and cooking instructor…so calm, so helpful. Sue actually teaches Indonesian language and culture to primary school children and we have both visited Bali several times but we were able to stop, ask questions and take heaps of pics for Sue’s classes at the market so it was really useful.
Just beautiful surroundings and far away from the madding crowd! And great food as well.
I will try and return next year.
Madeleine Davis

Janey, Brisbane Australia – 05 October 2015
“Cooking with an AMAZING VIEW!!!!”

We left Sanur early to get over to Bali Asli but the easy (hour and a bit) drive was great to see a bit more of Bali. Just make sure your driver knows how to get there. Bali Asli called our driver the night before to make sure and give him directions. THE VIEW is amazing!!!!!! We did the day in the life of a balinese lady. We then took our own car down into the village and walked around the local markets. They were friendly and fun to watch and take some pictures. Our guide/chef took time to tell us about local fruits and foods. We got to taste different fruit and palm sugar rice treats. Great experience 30 to 40min walk around the market Then we came back and had coffee and tea with Bali treats on a plate (too much to eat) The toilet view is a loo with a view!!!! We then had a lesson on how to make blessing/offering flowers and learnt the meanings/symbolism. We given loads of water and refreshing drinks. Then we got started on learning how to make 7 different meals. we ordered beers and coctails during the meals aswell. (mocktails and juices were on offer) The chef was great – spoke fantastic english and told us different things we could substitute the ingredients if we didn’t have at home. We then sat down to eat all our food we made!!!!!! Such a great experience. Oh we got to keep the apron too.. The cost was a bit exie.$$$ but for what we got I would have paid the same. around $100 aussie we did have a couple of coctails and beers. Market walk, morning tea, cooking class, 4/5 course meal and apron! I would come back here and do one of the other experiences on offer – check out the website. Fishing would be fun.

Bill S, Sydney Australia – 23 July 2015
“The best cooking class and tour in Bali”

We did the market tour and class with Penny Williams. We were here at Bali Asli last year and couldn’t wait to return and of course we were not disappointed by this wonderful experience.
The market tour was fantastic fun and Pennys knowledge of all that is Bali, from the Hindu religion to all the types of food was just mind blowing. It was also great to see how she communicates with all the stall holders, she is quite a character! The class back at Bali Asli was immense so I recommend you have a small breakfast and don’t plan a big dinner that night.
The view across the paddy fields and up to Mt Agung is spectacular, book a tour and a class here, it is just the best, thank you everyone at Bali Asli, we love you, Bill, Duncan and Judy

Lucia, Perth – 5th April 2015
“A special place …you will never forget your time here….”

Bali Asli a beautiful restaurant nestled in the foothills of Mount Agung ….a hidden gem in small village of Amlapura…
The drive up to the restaurant is lovely… steps up to restaurant give nothing away …once inside the space opens out to a vast dining room built with wood and natural stone …one whole side of the restaurant is open and gives sweeping views …of rice fields and the mountain …very beautiful.
It is owned by Australian executive chef …Penny Williams…a wonderful person …very passionate about her food …here they cook real Balinese food using a traditional Balinese style kitchen…wood fired ovens ..and no electrical appliances for food preparation….
We had the best ever Nasi campur , served so beautifully like you have never had it before….it was truly delicious…..
Penny took time to come and welcome us on arrival and then chatted with us after we had eaten ….it was a very special afternoon….
Do yourself a favor ….put Bali Asli on your list of places to go ….it is a hard day to beat!

Megan Hooper – 14 January 2015
Hello Penny,
We had a fabulous time.
We were a little late – our driver got lost.
The walk was exhausting and fantastic at the same time.
My husband was hesitate at first but we have not stopped talking about it being a highlight of our trip – and we have been coming to Bali once or twice a year for 20 years!!
We will come again and will tell others the same.
Thank you for your correspondence.
Megan Hooper

PS: the food was fantastic.