For all our Swedish language friends
From the culinary treats of Ubud to the high-class resorts of Jimbaran Bay, Bali is a foodie haven which can surprise even veteran travellers. The island’s thriving restaurant scene embodies the best elements of Balinese culture – Indonesian traditions, Western and Australian influences and an endless party atmosphere, whilst using the fruits of this tropical paradise to create unique culinary creations. Here are 10 of the best restaurants you should visit when in town.
Bali Asli a Taste of the Real Bali
We do not speak the same language, but the genuine warmth radiating from the older woman’s wide, open smile, reaching upwards to the corners of her eyes, requires no translation.
We cannot help but beam back. The smiles stay on our faces as we leave this traditional Balinese compound home and follow Penelope Williams, executive chef and owner of Bali Asli, on the rest of our trek through the village, Gelumpang, that neighbours her cooking school and restaurant.
GUEST CHEFS IN RESIDENCE
Bali Asli, a “Back to Roots” Epicurean Experience by Chef Penelope Williams
9 April 2016
The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu invites gourmands on a flavourful journey back to South Bali’s culinary roots hosted by guest chef in residence Penelope Williams, creator and Executive Chef of Bali Asli restaurant.
“Asli” means real, true and authentic, and it is the heart of Chef Penelope’s cooking. Her restaurant, Bali Asli, lies nestled in the foothills of sacred Mount Agung, in Gelumpang village, Karangasem regency, in northeast Bali, an inspiring environment surrounded by nothing but lush rice fields. Delivering “real culinary adventures”, Bali Asli promotes Balinese cuisine and culture, embracing the local community and paying homage to the amazing produce that is farmed, fished and foraged from the surrounding land and waters.
Penelope’s menus revolve around authentic Balinese food using a traditional Balinese-style kitchen featuring wood-fired, mud brick stoves that allow the real flavours of Bali to shine, particularly the flavours unique to Karangasem. Indeed, it is this region of Bali that has captured Penelope’s heart and inspired her on this culinary path.
Born in England, Penelope immigrated to Australia with her parents at the age of 7. After finishing high school in Australia, she travelled for six months though Southeast Asia, India and Nepal. She then headed to England where she became an apprentice chef at the Savoy Hotel, building up an invaluable foundation of skills.
Upon returning to Sydney four years later, Penelope continued her career in restaurants such as Bayswater Brasserie, Restaurant 41, The Boathouse, Bather’s Pavilion and Danks Street Depot. In 2007, she was sought out by Alila Manggis in East Bali, where her time as Executive Chef opened the door to a new chapter in her life and fuelled a newfound passion for authenticity, inspired by East Bali’s rich variety of fresh, natural produce. Bali Asli is the culmination of this passion, captivating guests with a slice of Bali that is a little out of the ordinary.
In Bali, food is very regional with many variations on a theme. Celebrating this variety, Penelope will tailor the Bali Asli concept to The Warung’s southern Bali setting. Join us on a journey of rediscovery as Chef Penelope enraptures you with original dishes unique to the areas of Uluwatu and Jimbaran that have become lost amid the influx of international flavours. Rediscover the beauty and vibrancy of southern Balinese cuisine in this enthralling dining experience. Secure your seat now!
For more information or reservations please email email@example.com.
Hello Bali Magazine
A day trip to Bali’s lush hinterland is always a good idea, especially when a tasty meal and scenic views are involved. And so we find ourselves at Bali Asli, in the north-east of the island, not far from the evocative water palace of Tirta Gangga. With a stunning setting high on a ridge, we are treated to an idyllic tropical panorama while enjoying a feast of authentic Balinese food. Picturesque rice paddies and thick tropical forests spread out before us, ducks waddle around the fields, cows rest in the shade of papaya groves, and Mount Agung makes a majestic backdrop.
Virgin Australia Travel
From almost any vantage point along the east-coast of Karangasem, the towering profile of Bali’s largest volcano is visible, looming imperiously over the surrounding rice terraces.
Back in 1985 when I last visited Bali as a young backpacker, it was on the cusp of change. The tranquil cultural centre of Ubud was little more than a single street with a few shops and even fewer cars.
The beach resort area of Kuta, although a hotspot for travellers, felt like a small village.
Today, those centres are awash with luxury hotels, villas and boutique shops, and the roads are often gridlocked. Even though I’ve changed too, I can’t help wondering: whatever happened to the Bali of yesteryear?
Thankfully, the answer is that it’s still there. The east-coast Karangasem area has hardly been touched, mainly due to the narrow, mountainous roads impassable for big coaches, and the black volcanic sand beaches that put off many sun-seeking tourists.
Read the full review about the Real Bali in Karangasem Regency
Nadia Felsch visit to Bali Asli posted 18 November 2015
Bali Asli visitors and guests come from literally all over the world and not least of all from the Netherlands.
This article just shows how international Bali Asli is and was spotted in a Dutch newspaper by a friend of Bali Asli.
It says, “Bali Asli is a wonderful restaurant and the host, Penelope Williams, is very friendly”.
SMH-Sunday 28 June 2015
On TripAdvisor you can read hundreds of rave reviews about Bali Asli and their cheerful executive chef Penelope Williams. Among the few critics is an expat who has lived in Bali for several years. She describes the restaurant as a place for naive tourists and her advice is to get far less expensive but good Balinese food at a local warung. There’s no accounting for taste and it’s certainly not cheap, so why would you go to Bali Asli? Let’s find out!
The mighty Mount Agung towers over Bali Asli and the view is simply stunning.
Join Penny’s cooking class and you could add a new life experience to your Bali bucket list, because you will not only learn
about Balinese cooking but also about the local way of life that makes Bali so special.
Plus the view from the restaurant is simply stunning!
Jetstar Inflight Magazine, February 2014
The Culture Trip, November 2013
Tucked away in the highlands of east Bali is a scenic gem that is
conserving the Balinese culinary tradition. Text: Stephanie Mee.
Photos: Lucky 8.
FOR over a year now, whispers have been circulating about an almost
mythical restaurant hidden in the foothills of Mount Agung halfway
between Candi Dasa and Amed. According to those in the know, the
views from the restaurant are unrivalled in Bali, the owner is a worldclass
chef with a CV that boasts some of the top restaurants in London
and Sydney, and the food is superbly fresh and authentically
For the full story open PDF here
Jl Raya Gelumpang
Gelumpang Village Amlapura Karangasem
www.smh.com.au 29 April 2013
The highlight for many of us was the day we spent at Bali Asli with Australian chef Penny Williams, a former head chef at Alila Manggis. She now runs a small restaurant and cooking school with more amazing views of Mount Agung. Her classes are themed “A day in the life of…”. We did “A Balinese woman”, going with Penny to Amlapura market to help her buy supplies, and returning to make the daily temple offerings of flowers. Then we all made a selection of dishes that we ate for lunch, learning a lot about the history, culture and food of the island along the way. I highly recommend it and wish we could have gone back for another meal! The few days we stayed at Villa Gils felt longer, as everything flowed so well. Extensive emails with lists of ideas for activities were communicated before we left Singapore, and after a short chat to Wayan each morning, our days were filled with a balanced mix of day trips and a quiet dinner in the villa, or relaxing by the pool and more formal dinners out. I did feel quite envious of the Australian couple who lived permanently next door. We could see them each morning on their balcony, having breakfast to the sound of crashing waves while men shimmied up the trees to cut down branches and coconuts. There is so much more to explore there.