Bronte – 5 December 2014

Hi Penelope,

My visit on Wednesday was lovely. I was side saddle on a motorbike with my driver. Very exciting!
I was the only guest at this quiet time.
But I loved it!
I chose the bali blend tea with the balinese sweets. The tea is beautiful and the sweets a lovely combination of fresh and cooked treats, the presentation simple but pleasing to the senses, the deep fried cassava lovely.
There were swifts or swallows darting in the air and then the spectacular view.
One of your friendly staff was making pomanders with oranges and cloves. I used to make them when I was younger.

The bathroom was a lovely surprise too. The wallpaper is gorgeous.

Thanks for a special experience.
Best wishes, bronte

Louise Crawley, 22 August 2014
Hi Penny
Just wanted to thank you and your team for such fab day those couple of weeks ago.
We loved the whole day and Daisy said it was her favourite of the trip.
Had friends over for Nasi Goreng and chicken Satay on Wednesday and made the Bali Bambu which made it. Was just wondering how many people the Nasi Goreng recipe is meant to feed – it was a bit guess work so just thought I’d ask for next time.
We are in the cloud when we got back to Villars and so just kept thinking of the beautiful view from your restaurant till ours came back.
Looking forward to our next lesson already!
Louise, Tom and Daisy

Paul Bailey, 21 August 2014
Hi Penelope
I just wanted to thank you and your staff for a really great day initially we expected to go to a local village market
but the walk around the mountain was an excellent experience and education .
The cooking was great we as a group are having a cook up in a couple of weeks Ian Joan and myself are cooking and John is Sourcing
the ingredients .
Thank you very much
Paul Bailey
ps also John and Joan have you on a list of things to do for their villa guests when they start renting.

Thomas, Munich, Germany – 8 August
“The Real Bali….”

is sometimes not so easy to find on Bali but with BaliAsli we experienced an incredible time…
the market visit, the food, the restaurant, the staff and especially Penny are just incredible.

For us the cooking class was the highlight of the trip and we went back the next day for lunch also because we could not stop dreaming about this place.

THX again for this wonderful time… Hope to see you one day again…

Sharon Hubbard, UK – 8 May 2014
“Thank you”

Hi Penny,
Just a note to echo Bitten’s mail & to say what a fabulous day we shared with you – & the journalists! I’ve started the trek home & have an overnight stay in KL before the big journey tomorrow. Having had time to reflect on our day together I can honestly say it’s one of the most enjoyable, informative & fun days I’ve ever spent!
Looking forward to seeing the journalists photos & reviews which can only be fantastic.
Wishing you continued success & happiness with your dream.
Kind regards
Sharon Hubbard

“A must when in Bali” – 16 April 2014
Bali offers many cooking classes but none compare to the Bali Asli experience. Chef Penelope Williams makes magic happen. I experienced the ‘Day in the Life of a Balinese Lady’ in order to travel to the morning market in nearby Amlapura with Penny. She is an expert on local ingredients and local recipes and clearly understands the traditions, culture and influence of that region. You will learn to make exquisite dishes then enjoy them at her restaurant. Be sure to have a locally inspired cocktail or two. Well worth the drive if you are staying in Ubud or Sanur. See you again Penny!

“A Special Place” – 6 April 2014
We stopped in after touring around the beautiful areas of Sideman and Tirtagangga – off the main drag and along a small road, the views from this place completed the day.
It was a quiet day and Penny the Australian exec chef spent a bit of time with us explaining the background of the restaurant. She loves being able to shop the markets every day and harvest from the nearby gardens to produce fresh seasonal food.
We had a set meal (megibung) which included samples of all the dishes – a stressless way to order.
The restaurant serves meat but no dairy – I forgot to ask why. My pick of the dishes was a spiced coconut curd wrapped in leaf and steamed or grilled. Must try!
Homemade ginger beer to accompany. Lots of drinks choice otherwise.
Exceptional Bali coffee.
Its the sort of place you could chill out and spend the afternoon. Loos with a view too.
Penny is supported by a team of locals who together cook great food.
Worked out about AUD25 a head but well worth it.
Highly recommended for a special occasion.

Katie Malyon, Sydney – 5 January 2014
“Happy New Year”

Thank you again for a fabulous cooking class for Jeff, Susannah, Nikko and his girlfriend Ally. We’ve been talking constantly about the experience and have already recommended you to a couple of people. What a truly beautiful location and a sensational introduction to Balinese cuisine – your support staff make it so easy and with, your expert knowledge, it’s an absolute winner – definitely the highlight of our trip to Bali this year. I’m happy for your to use my support in any advertising material

Rashita Banu, Singapore – 7 August 2013
“Thank You”

Hi Penelope,
A big thank you, to you and your wonderful team for making this retreat a huge success. My students and I had a lovely time at Bali Asli. The view never fails to take my breath away and my students couldn’t stop themselves from snapping pictures. We all LOVED the food you prepared. All of us agreed it was the best brunch ever. I hope to take a cooking class from you the next time round.
Have a great day ahead.
Warm Regards,

Hastings on Holiday, Perth, Australia – 15 June 2013
“Simply Stunning”

Or Stunningly Simple – Either way well worth a visit. Awesome atmosphere, Amazing Views and a must do on any trip to Bali.

Lovetravel, Australia – 12 June 2013

What an amazing restaurant! First, the view – Mt Agung in all it’s glory. We were lucky enough to have a clear day so that we could see the entire outline of Mt Agung with fleeting clouds and with the rice paddies as a vista in the foreground. The food – scrumptious! We were served krupuk ( crackers of varied flavours and textures) and three sambals and roasted peanuts. We both had Nasi Campur (which changes almost daily). A mound of delicious rice with purple taro and sweet potato (I think) with fish satays, a very tasty vegetable soup with broad beans and spinach and delicate spices, a chicken curry that was subtle and sophisticated at the same time and a coconut tempeh that was really very good. My hubby enjoyed the same dishes except he opted for the banana flower salad over the soup. To drink we had home made pineapple beer – what a taste sensation! We also tried the jackfruit beer – never thought I would see hubby drinking fruit beer but he pronounced them both delicious. Penny the owner and chef is an amazing lady who had a dream and has made it a reality. One of the best meals I have indulged in in a very long time.

Kerry G Tempe, NSW Australia – 6 June 2013
“Beautiful restaurant, cooking class”

We had planned to do a cooking class in Legian later in our holiday. We saw a recommendation for Bali Asli and decided to go their for lunch. I did a bit of research and when I saw photos of the location and read about Penny we decided that this was the place for a cooking class.
After going to the morning market to buy ingredients we went back to Bali Asli and started the class. Penny was so informative and knowledgable about everything Bali! Asli means genuine or real and this was Asli sekali!
I couldn’t recommend this higher as a “must see” on a Bali holiday. Do yourself a favour

Flyingstars Melbourne, Australia – 1 June 2013
“Live & Learn Love – Bali Asli”

I feel a bit guilty for not posting a glowing review of our village tour & cooking school experience from last year which we did enjoy so much. So here goes now.. the first part of the trek was pretty strenuous with uphill challenges ( wear comfy footwear) however you are rewarded with interesting village experiences and have your cameras fully charged for spectacular scenery. After whatever experience you have chosen, Penny spends a largish part of the class taking students through an amazing culinary journey, tasting sniffing and much learning about Balinese ingredients and culture prior to an easy paced enjoyable lesson, as the eager staff happily keep you supplied with delicious drinks. You may never take a sate for granted again …
There has been much written about the beautiful building that Penny had built to house the restaurant and cooking school and the magnificent views – words can’t do it justice you must come here and see for yourself.
This visit we came just for the meal and again it was worth the drive. This is locally grown & freshly picked and prepared food at its best.
From experience I would definitely recommend staying close by at one of the recommended stays on the Bali Asli website ( I think if it’s close by Penny provides a pickup service) both times we have been to Bali Asli the traffic from both Ubud and Seminyak was horrible and getting anxious about being late for a class or a meal is not the best start to enjoy it. Ensure too that you print out a good map for your driver beforehand to find Bali Asli, they say they know where it is – and sometimes they don’t!!!

Charlieaust, Australia – 1 June 2013
“Traditional Indonesian food at its best”

We ate at Bali Asli yesterday with friends, at the suggestion of our accommodation place. The first thing to come out was a unique drink with snake fruit, cloves, cinnamon and star anise and stirred with a sugar cane stick. Most of us wrote down the ingredients to try at home but with pear or quince as we can’t get Snake fruit in Victoria.
Nearly everything from the menu to the decor to the food appears to be traditional Balinese.
We shared the 6 mixed dishes which was mostly unique and very very good. The Australian chef Penny came out to explain everything to us. She exuded the enthusiasm who is in love with her profession and explained that she buys organic food which she selects in the morning and then works the menu around that. Some of the herbs and vegetables are grown on the property.
Some in our party liked the pork best, some the minced chicken satay, and some one of the many salads. They also had an interesting beer selection of Jackfruit beer, ginger beer and pineapple beer and another one I can’t recall. It wasn’t to my tastes but others in our group loved it.
The service was lovely as was the setting which overlooked the rice fields in the valley below.
(The best view was from the loo if you’re sitting down that is).
I don’t think they are open for dinner but not sure about that as we at lunch. We will eat there again, next time we are on the East Coast. Note that it is hard to find so you would have to organise contact between your driver and the restaurant before heading out.

Kent GS Sacramento, California – 29 April 2013
“Exceptional Restaurant, Beautiful Location”

It would be well worth scheduling a day around lunch at this restaurant. It is well off the beaten track and your driver may have to call for directions as you get close. But you will be rewarded. This was one of our finest dining experiences in Bali. We ordered the sampling menu for two and were treated to wonderful foods we could not have imagined. A coconut curd roasted in a banana leaf might not be high on your list of things to try –until you’re had a bite. The same applies to Fern tips, Pumpkin leaves with wonderful sates and grilled prawns or a soup of corn, coconut and Bali herbs.
The view out over the fields and rice paddies toward Mount Agung is also worth the trip. Highly recommended.

Linda C Sydney, Australia – 25 April 2013
“An off the beaten track, wonderful experience”

My husband and I visited Bali Asli early last year. It’s hard to find things to do in Bali where you feel that you are getting an authentic experience of local life. But this is the real deal. Penny’s love for the island and its people is palpable, intense and passionate. I learned more about Balinese culture in a couple of hours with her (and our guide) than on any previous visit. We did the village walk/cooking class activity. We were the only people on the walk and this lovely man meandered with us through the small village near the restaurant. We met locals, sat with them, talked with them, ate with them. Some parts seemed untouched by modern civilisation. Such lovely people.

Then we had our cooking class with Penny. Even though we are quite familiar with asian ingredients and asian cooking, I was doubtful about Balinese cooking in comparison to say, Thai or Vietnamese. How wrong Penny proved me! And to be able to sit and take in that breathtaking view while eating this fabulous food you cooked yourself….heaven.

The only down side is that it is a long drive from central Bali (I think about 2-3 hours depending on traffic). Next time I think I would try to stay a night locally as we were pretty exhausted when we got back to our Villa, but it was still worth it!

Jennifer S Berkeley, California – 23 April 2013
“Highlight of our trip!”

My mom and I have been to Bali many times, and hands down, our Bali Asli adventure was the absolute highlight of our trip this time! We booked the Day in the Life of a Balinese Fisherman followed by the Campur lunch, and it far exceeded our expectations! Penny Williams, owner/chef extraordinaire provides a rare peek into the life the Balinese, through the culinary adventures and dining experience at Bali Asli. We saw parts of the island that only locals know how to find, and we were able to feast on authentic Balinese food that is prepared with care and love. Bali Asli restaurant and cooking school is an artistic masterpiece in and of itself, with locally sourced materials, spectacular views, and gorgeous landscaping. All the ingredients used and the cooking technique on wood burning stoves are authentic. The vast assortment of hand made krupuk, my favorite, were delicious! Bali Asli is an elegant retreat from the hustle bustle of popular Bali destinations, reminiscent of old Bali: peaceful, serene and magical.

Donny S Jakarta – 22 April 2013
“#1 for a number of reasons”

After having a great time at Tirta Gangga, we decided to give this place a try after reading positive reviews and getting recommendation from a friend who had been to Bali Asli just a few months back.

So amazed by the stunning view from the restaurant: the rice fields and mount Agung (although the sky was not so clear).

The staff and owner were so passionate about Balinese food and its historical/cultural background. They change their menu depending on whatever good stuff they can find in the local market. We tried their signature set menu “megibung” which offered various great tasting items ( soup, veggies, chicken and sate lilit/minced meat satay). The soup which had spinach and black beans (grown in their garden) was simple but flavorful. My other most favorite is the grilled chicken.

Bali Asli is the place to enjoy true Balinese food in a magnificent setting surrounded by amazing people with passion to maintain Balinese legacy.

Kevin C Singapore – 20 April 2013
“It’s that good!”

Just had lunch at Bali Asli. This place deserves every accolade and award it is given.
We were thoroughly impressed. The chef/owner is super talented and really loves her job.
Her enthusiasm and energy reflect in every aspect of this wonderful restaurant. By far the best meal we have had in Bali. Local traditional Balinese food made with care, attention and a deep understanding of ingredients and technique. It is that good!

Macbris Brisbane – 28 January 2013
“An Absolutely Must Do”

We had been told of this amazing authentic Balinese restaurant 45 minutes away from Blue Moon, right off the main road, in the middle of rice fields – we just had to go. Bali Asli is situated in Gelumpang Village in Amlapura. Run by an Australian chef, Penny, the whole dining experience is an absolute must. Penny has combined her flare for cooking with her love of Bali, its people and local food ingredients. The results are some amazing authentic dishes. I had the local beer ‘tasting plate’ to start – pineapple, mango, ginger and jackfruit beers (all alcoholic) were served in small shot glasses – so glad I did. The rest of the meal was a taste sensation of many different dishes. The restaurant is new, very airy, and designed to capture the awesome views of rice fields with the giant Mt Agung front and centre. Would have to be one of the best restaurant views you could have surely.
It was a bit overcast on the day we were there and Agung was covered in cloud, but over the course of our lunch, it gradually appeared in all its majesty – just a wonderful sight.

Douglas K Melbourne – 14 January 2013
“A true original”

A true gem on all levels–the food, the view, the drinks, the ambience, and Penny, the extraordinary Australian chef who runs the restaurant. ‘Asli’ means ‘original’, and Penny runs adventures for visitors to find out for themselves how and where the best and original ingredients can be finely and authentically cooked. The restaurant is designed with a very large outlook onto a stunning view of rice paddies and mountains. We had the king’s menu, which was beautifully presented and tasted even better in its variety and authenticity. It is well worth the trip for lunch, and if you are lucky, you may meet Penny and be inspired by her creativity and enthusiasm.

Stormsus Tarbert UK – 05 January 2013
“A must for foodies!”

Bali Asli has given us a unique experience of Balinese food and culture. Penny is a delight and very informative. She is very passionate about her business and it rubs off. We all enjoyed her tuition and the lunch in what must be one of the best dining rooms on this planet ( I have seen a few stunners) Thank you all so much for a memorable day.

Julie B London – 01 January 2013
“Amazing Day”

We booked the cooking class at Bali Asli through Asia Trails and despite having to get up at 5am during our otherwise lazy honeymoon (!) we had the best day of our holiday. We were greeted by the very friendly staff with a gorgeous drink and cold towel. The view from the balcony was breathtaking. We were lucky to be there on a beautifully clear and sunny day and the rice fields with the volcano in the background was a perfect setting. We then met Penny, the chef and executive director who is an inspiring lady. She quite obviously loves Bali, the people and especially the food. She took us on a trek to the local village and we had the rare opportunity to meet real villagers in their day to day lives. It was humbling to see the way they live off the land making use of everything around them and they were so very welcoming. During the trek, Penny showed us the vegetables, herbs and fruits of the fields which set the scene brilliantly for our cooking class. The class was great fun – It was well paced, extremely informative and of course the best bit was getting to eat the fruits of our labour! I would wholeheartedly recommend a day at Bali Asli, either simply to sample the menu or a cooking class. I think the trek before the class adds a unique flavour to the day which you certainly wouldn’t get anywhere else. I also think the toilets are the best I’ve ever been to! 100% at one with nature!

Aussie in the World – 27 December 2012
“Wonderful experience in Bali Asli”

We were picked up from our hotel in Candidasa and enjoyed the short scenic drive over the hill to the most beautiful Bali Asli to a warm and very welcome greeting from Penny and her skilled staff. Our experience was titled A day in the Life of a Balinese Woman and began with us making an offering to the gods. The introduction and orientation to all the dry and wet ingredients we would use during our lesson was done with the right balance of information and at a great pace for discussion and learning.
The staff were helpful, Penny comfortable and relaxed in the teaching mode and our participation was balanced to allow for learning and experience without slowing down the time frame to get through everything we had to.
We all sat and enjoyed our lunch together overlooking the breathtaking views from Bali Asli and agreed it was a highlight of our holiday and a memory we will cherish.

Marisol F Gold Coast Queensland – 12 December 2012
“A must stop when visiting East Bali!!”

3 years ago we met Australian Cheff Penny Williams (owner of Bali Asli) as she organised our wedding in Alila Candidasa Bali.
Her professionalism and customer service exceeded our expectations. Since then she has opened her own Restaurant “Bali Asli” which we have visited several times when in Bali. (just came back from a fabulous 2 weeks holidays in magic Bali)
Bali Asli is the epitome of good taste and Balinese gourmet experience.
The Balinese food that Penny offers is a magical experience to our senses.
Bali Asli also offers the opportunity of cooking classes where you enjoy eating what you have created.
Encrusted in the hills of Gelumpang Village in Amlapura , only 30 minutes from Candidasa is a must stop for anyone wanting to experience the real Bali.
The views to the valley and Mt Agung are breathtaking!

MandaMango Denpasar – 12 December 2012
“Highly recommended day out in East Bali”

We went for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed it. The view is delightful, on a clear day you can see Mount Agung towering in the distance. The food is beautifully presented, service was very attentive. Penny is so interesting to talk to and the kitchen is fascinating – no electric equipment – all done by hand the traditional way and everything is cooked over wood fire. If you are looking for a unique culinary experience in a beautiful setting – this is a must do.

Colin Seal Perth – 12 December 2012
“An Absolute Must!”

What a Fabulous experience. What an amazing location and view. Thank you Penny for sharing your love of Balinese cuisine and the story behind the dishes you served. The whole group loved the experience and the taste sensations you created.
Looking forward to returning.

Paleo Perth – 5 December 2012
“Learning can be fun and tasty!”

Took a cooking class here, was a little concerned at the price but turned out to be worth the money – a really unique experience. Was wonderful to see the local farm and learn about the native species and local traditions. Class was great, very informative and practical. Came away excited about the dishes I can make at home. Penny was a great guide and really made the day for us, all the staff were great and the lunch we made was delicious too. Wish we had more time to take the other classes!

Clare McAlaney Melbourne – 16 November 2012

I’m writing a book, and realised cooking schools in Bali was a much needed section, but hadn’t had a whole heap of direct experience here.
So on recommendation of a friend, we headed up to beautiful Amlapura, north of Candi Dasa on the east coast. The drive from Candi Dasa is lovely, there is also a scenic way through the rice paddies if you can find a good driver.
Driving the last 500m to Bali Asli will take your breath away. Majestic Mt Agung is to your left, its top shimmering in cloud. Beneath it, there are sweeping rice paddies that fade to jungle. If you choose a trek, you will explore what truly lies here. Cool, sparkling waters, green that looks like its been photoshopped, and tranquil villages that have not changed a whole lot in centuries.
We marvelled at how Arak is made, and tripped through a slightly challenging but doeable walk for about two hours, with our wonderful guide Ketut. It’s fair to say we were all intoxicated with the beauty and peace of what I can safely say is the Real Bali.
Back to Asli for our cooking school. Wow. Splendid views to drink in, while we sipped on a soda, ginger and lemongrass drink, before doing truly lovely aprons we were allowed to keep…nice touch.
The class was fun. We had four of us, family and a friend, and laughed and oohed and ahhed our way through learning about local produce (a must!) and little tips and tricks of the Asian kitchen.
The end result was an absolute feast (if I do say so myself!), which we enjoyed with a glass of good quality local wine (additional charge, but very reasonable).
I cannot recommend this highly enough. I am currently writing a book on Bali as mentioned, and this is one of the most remarkable places I have been in recent times. No fan fare, just tranquility, authenticity and, a wonderful and engaging host and chef, Penny.
Price is about 850.000 per head, but it is worth it. I believe Penny can help with transfers.
I recommend staying at least one night in the villas she manages (email her, I have lost the card), as the drive back can be a long one. It would have been nice to go and have a dip in the pool and savour the joys of the day. Candi Dasa is only 25 minutes away, or Blue Lagoon (where we stayed the night before) is about 50 minutes away.
Thumbs up! This is such a great example of what self belief and passion can achieve. I am in awe.
It’s also open for brunch and lunch, and special events, well worth it. Wow, what a wedding venue!!!

Ingrid G Perth – 06 November 2012

Had so many recommendations to visit Bali Asli we finally made it there and it was so worth the visit.
The view is absolutely stunning and even the drive there was so interesting.
We had met Penny, the owner previously and she greeted us very warmly.
The menu is different, but inviting and the food was sensational. Fresh, spicy, colourful and so tasty.
Our only criticism was the price of the drinks. I think the most expensive we had come across our entire visit.
Apart from this, we thoroughly enjoyed our visit and lunch and will be returning in a hurry!

Han Koln – 05 November 2012

We booked “A day in the life of a fisherman” at Bali Asli. Penny (owner and head chef) organized the transport from Ubud to Bali Asli. It took us more than 2 hrs to get there, but it was definitively worth it. Due to the very high waves the fishing trip was cancelled and Penny took us on a trekking tour to the nearby villages. The tour was wonderful – we stopped at a very small village to have some coffee, saw the preparations for a huge village ceremony and experienced the real Bali. After 2 hrs we came back to the restaurant and started the cooking lesson. Penny is such a wonderful person – enthusiastic, warm and a great teacher! Food, drinks, staff and views were also AMAZING – the day was the highlight of our week in Bali!

Shari Hart – 13 October 2012

Hi Penny,
So lovely meeting you and experiencing Asli. Would just like to thank you so much for a truly amazing day. It was full of everything that is so beautiful about Bali and you have more than captured it.
What an adventure and experience!
More than loved it. Look forward to spreading the Asli love.
Warm regards

Addy of Oz, www.balitravelforum.com – 9 October 2012

Penelope’s cooking class was the most AWESOME experience for my friend Judi and I during our recent trip to Bali – from the early morning fishing trip in a jukung (no luck for us though!) to the delicious morning tea cakes – Bali-style, to the expert advice about rhizomes, spices & herbs, to the hands-on food preparation, to the cooking our own nasi goreng and finally sitting down to an amazing buffet spread with views across a panorama of green & lush ricefields, to the slopes of Mt Agung! Oh and with a glass of wine in hand – who could ask for anything more?
Some of the dishes we made were: bambu paste, mahi mahi in banana leaf, tofu in banana leaf (origami style), chicken satays moulded onto fresh lemongrass stalks and the satay sauce, a baby fern-tip, coconut & bean salad and of course, the nasi goreng too – a feast to behold.
What a truly FABULOUS day made all the more special by the warmth and generosity of Penelope and her Balinese staff.
Thank you Penelope for sharing your skills & recipes with us and we wish you every success in your new endeavour.
And for new “pupils” don’t forget to check out the toilet views!

Cassie Perth – 3 September 2012

Hi Penny,
Well our Bali holiday is over and I’m back behind the computer at work (little sad).
Below is the newsletter where I discovered Bali Asli, which I said I would forward to you.
Paul and I absolutely loved our trek and cooking class, highlight of our trip.
Paul has already planned our shopping trip for this coming weekend to buy supplies.
You have an amazing location and wonderful staff, I’ll be sure to point people in your direction.
Wishing you all the best with your lovely restaurant.

Take Care,

Helen and Joe – 3 August 2012

Hello Penny
Am sorry for not replying to your email sooner as we have been on holiday.
One of the highlights of our first trip to Bali was our day at your school where we learnt not only about cooking but Balinese culture. We would have been too timid to sample food at local markets without your guidance; you gave us the confidence to sample & taste the local food at the markets we later visited. Also we understood more about Balinese life through your thoughtful introduction to their culture. We are inspired to fire up our wok. Next time we visit you – next year, I hope we can learn more about Balinese cooking & culture.
Thank you for providing us with this insight. Your school is so beautiful architecturally & captures the essence of Balinese culture . Kind regards, Helen & Joe

Samantha Brown – 7 July 2012

Suck on a lemon, then a lime, then a lemon again, the lemon will seem much sweeter; take a slice of kencur, a root essential to Balinese cooking, bite down on it a little and it will leave your tongue anaesthetically numb; take slices of ginger and smear over sunburn for relief — it’s cool to the skin, though warming in the mouth; grate some turmeric and stuff it into your belly button to relieve a sore tummy. These are some of the things I learned during my day at Bali Asli, a restaurant and cooking school nestled into a hill in Amlapura overlooking Tirta Gangga and up to majestic Gunung Agung — this must be one of the most stunning vantage points to see the volcano on Bali.
For the full review click on

“Sensational View, Superb Food and Brilliant Service”
Visitor Perth – 2 July 2012

Where ever you’re staying in Bali this restaurant is a must visit. It’s a great day out, the food is incredible, you MUST visit the toilet, the scenery is amazing and the atmosphere, service and welcome is exceptional. The chef and owner is Australian and has done an incredible job designing the menu and the restaurant to keep it authentic Balinese. The attention to detail is quite simply exceptional.

“East Bali Culinary Highlight”
Visitor – 1 July 2012

I chose “A day in the life of a Balinese lady” culinary experience for my partner and I and both of us thoroughly enjoyed it. For the rest of our trip we recommended a Bali Asli day or meal to pretty much everyone we met who may have been heading to East Bali.
The restaurant is beautifully located and constructed. The market visit and cooking class were informative and fun. Much of the prep work was carried out by the lovely Bali Asli staff while we learned about the properties of various ingredients and then concentrated on the tips and knowledge that Penny shared as we cooked our way through a feast of a menu.
Penny easily answered all our questions about what we might replace ingredients with at home, what can be taken with us, as well as niggling questions about some of the foods we had come across already.
Of course our favourite part was sitting down to eat what we had made. My favourite dish was the fern tip salad. I also rated the lime daquiri made with arak. Please try one, they go wonderfully with the view.
Even if you only have time to call in for a meal (or just a lime daiquiri to take in the view), it is well worth coming out of your way to visit. This was one of the highlights of our 2 week visit to Bali. Anyone with an interest in cooking or eating traditional Balinese food (or just eating delicious food) will be well rewarded by a visit to the wonderful Bali Asli Restaurant.

“Don`t think you have seen them all…..”
Ivan Vugt Erftstadt, Germany – 27 June 2012

So, you think you are a world-wide traveller, having seen all luxury and star- rated restaurants? And you think this is just another one reaching for that star? Well, just forget what you know and open your heart, soul, body and mind for a new experience!
We had the great opportunity to visit this restaurant last December. Our first visit was announced, and due to the timing, Penny had instructed her lovely employees to make a nasi goreng with some tralala around. Well, what can we say, it was by far the best nasi goreng we ever had. It simply convinced by its purity and by its wonderful clear taste, just lovely. Unfortunately we did not meet Penny in person, so, we had to come back!
We did that, a few days later, and this was not announced but spontaneously decided. And of course spontaneous visits may lead to some improvisation, as our visit took place less than one hour before closing time. And guess what? Penny managed to pamper us with just some stuff still around in the kitchen and garden and created again a wonderful delightful and purely tasting dinner. It again overwhelmed us, how pure the taste and intense the food tasted. It was simply superb.
Oh, one thing, if you expect this restaurant to be fancy and luxury, then it will disappoint you. It has simple wooden tables and chairs, simple decorations and all that has a meaning: the “stuff” around should make you concentrate and focus on the food, thats why it makes it trip worth!
And dont forget to visit the toilet… it is like sitting in the cinema and enjoying the life like a movie…. The view is overwhelming, as from all the other places in this lovely restaurant. You have the rice- fields in front and the holy Gunung Agung, the all-mighty vulcano in the background; all what makes Bali so special is concentrated in this one place!
We can only recommend this restaurant as part of a Bali- experience. On the other side, we do hope that this little treasure remains a little hidden gem, so that we can always hop by by coincidence and get pampered by Penny and her staff!
Thanks for your effort to integrate Bali experiences with the joy of dining, concentrated in this one place! Good luck Penny! We will visit you soon again!

“If you get the chance make sure you visit this place…words dont do it justice!”
Bec – 24 June 2012

Penny and her team were awesome. We did a cooking class and was one of the best things I have ever done. Penny is of a pure heart & inspiring! The views, the food can honestly say was the best meal this trip in paradise…

Brenda Reimers, NL – 23 June 2012

After the walk we had lunch in Bali Asli, restaurant and cooking school. When we arrived at the location, wow! the view is stunning and took our breath away… The restaurant is situated in the tranquility of the rice fields and in the distance you can see Mount Agung… amazing view…
We stayed to short in Karangasem otherwise we would have joined for a cooking class. We’ve heard it is so fun, you learn a lot about real authentic Balinese cooking and much much more, it is very good. That day a group of photographers followed the cooking class and you can see they enjoyed it a lot… Penny Williams, the executive chef and director gives the classes, she is one of the best..
Before the lunch Penny explained us all about the ingredients and the food. The food was great, as well as the atmosphere and location. Unfortunately the memory card of my camera was full otherwise I could have shown you the food and the beautiful table set up, but we will be back!

“WOW and WOW!!!!”
Visitor Sonoma, USA – 15 June 2012

We were looking for a way to introduce our son(12) to the history and culture of Bali at the beginning of our trip. Thanks to Tripadvisor, I came across Penny and Bali Asli. We scheduled two classes…. one the market tour and the other the fishing trip. We were there during the full moon and because the sea was rough we had to change the fishing trip into a village tour but both were truly amazing. We ended up going to the full moon party as well and I highly recommend being able to see the view at night as well.
Penny is a passionate professional who has created a unique way to make you experience Bali…the sights, sounds, scents, taste and touch. It is obvious from the loving detail in the structure itself that Penny is very talented and resourceful and we were very fortunate to have her introduce Bali to us. Her staff follow her lead with a large dash of the exceptional warmth and friendliness of the Balinese people. Our two days here were a total delight….thanks to all of you…..we will see you soon.

“Beautiful Setting/ Great cooking classes/ A fabulous experience”
Pip L Melbourne – 10 June 2012

I attended the Bali Asli Cooking school with 5 friends (all of us keen cooks), with high expectations. It certainly surpassed those expectations!
Penny is an enthusiastic teacher, with so many hints that don’t just apply to Balinese cooking.
We attended three classes which were as much cultural experiences and glimpses into Balinese way of life as they were cooking experiences. The village walk was wonderful, through little villages and rice fields.
The restaurant setting is superb over rice fields to Mt Agung, and is constantly changing .
The restaurant itself is stunning and the food fantastic.
A great experience!

Jane Milojevic – 8 June 2012

Hi Penny,
Just wanted to say a big thank you for a wonderful experience at your beautiful Bali Asli.
What a beautiful spot and your class was magic, very entertaining and informative. I’m looking forward to some yummy meals from the resident chef (Bob!).
I have been spreading the word about Bali Asli but will be even more vocal now – just gave the strongest recommendation to a friend who has friends planning to go to Bali in late July so hopefully it
will turn into a booking for you and two more converts to spread the word. I am feeling positively evangelical!
Definitely a lady on a mission!
Have a great year and enjoy your warm weather. It is freezing here on the south coast!
Best Regards,

“BALI ASLI a must do”
Jill F Adelaide – 27 May 2012

My friend suggested the cooking school. Knowing I love to cook.. wouldn’t advise it anywhere else. Its so hot but here it is cool and you watch the volcano slowly vanishing in the clouds and then appearing again, so amazing to see. So off I went with my teenage kids to the cooking school. It was so nice to take some time together in this busy world, to slow down and relax and take in the culture and the food; the teens also had a great time especially eating their food they had prepared. Penny has such great knowledge of food, I could have simply listened to her talk all day!,, and just because she has worked with Gordon Ramsey she doesn’t swear like him,,,hahaha… a fantastic morning. The staff are all so helpful and make sure you drink a lovely cocktail whilst cooking…………………………….. and the best loo with a view I have seen; see you next time Penny.

Mellie Doyle – 26 May 2012

Bali Asli is the most beautiful dining experience we have had so far in Bali. The setting is so peaceful, overlooking the rice paddies and mountains and the food and service make for a memorable time.
We found the place easily, as there is good signage along the way, and were greeted by friendly, professional and hospitable staff. The design of the restaurant is simple elegance, with the view taking primary focus and what a vista it is.
The menu is concise, which is hard to find in Bali, and the Balinese dishes are traditionally prepared, yet served with sophisticated flare. The waitstaff explained each dish in detail as it arrived, and were happy to talk indepth about the ingredients.
We met Penny, the chef owner, originally from Australia and she was really friendly and approachable. We learned that Bali Asli is her passion, and she has obviously invested a lot of energy in the project, with the attention to detail noticeable.
We would love to return and take the cooking classes that Penny conducts, but that will have to wait till our next visit to Bali. I would highly recommend a visit to Bali Asli for a wonderful
lunchtime experience.

Ian Robinson – 28 April 2012

Hi Penny,
Only arrived back in Perth yesterday and internet and mail set up was out of whack in Bali, so have only found your e-mail today.
We did indeed have a fantastic lunch.
Patricia had a good time touring the kitchen and getting a run down from the chefs of the day but was quite happy to sit back and let them do the preparation. They also kindly gave her a copy of recipes. Rest assured, just like Colenel Sanders, your secrets are safe with us.
We were all impressed by the views from the dining area and loos alike. We loved the decor, roof, kitchen, wood fire stove, furniture, water wall, cleanliness of everything, the whole place.
Please pass on again our thanks to your wonderful staff. The chefs, waiters and everyone else provided great service and all seemed genuinely happy and proud to be working with you at Bali Asli. You have a great crew together there and I wish you all success for the future.
We will certainly pass on your name and highly recommend a visit to Bali Asli to any other friends holidaying in Bali.
All the best, we will do our best to live life and eat well.

Steve Kahl – 4 April 2012

Frankly, we were simply blown away by what you’ve done with Bali Asli and will be recommending to any and all. And we were really delighted to have Mudi as our trekking guide to Lempuyang. I am very grateful to you for suggesting him, as we would certainly not had anywhere near the depth of experience we had without him. In fact, after being there, I seriously doubt we would have even been able to find the access to the steps route and we most certainly would not have been capable of doing the jungle ascent. He was an immense foundation of knowledge and wisdom, both spiritual and environmental. We would eagerly seek him out again as a guide for any trekking we might do on Bali. A real gem of a human being!

I want to particularly congratulate you on the staff you’ve assembled at Bali Asli. The village trek we did with Made made me realize that you’ve done a marvelous job in training your group to aspire to greater things than simply being a waiter or whatever. He was especially creative in figuring out a solution to my problem after I realized that I’d left my lumbar pillow back at Tirta Gangga. This would have had rather uncomfortable consequences on my return flight had I not been able to recover it quickly.

I do have one suggestion with regard to conveying information. There was a bit of a mix-up about our pick-up time on Saturday; I actually was never told what time to be ready, so we really had to rush when we learned Made was waiting in the parking lot. It also appeared that the massage ladies hadn’t been informed what time we’d be available for massage, as they were apparently told to be at Bali Asli at 9:30 when in fact we wouldn’t be ready for them until much later. They were both extraordinary, however!

The above is a very minor issue, I should add, and I expect to be posting to TripAdvisor in the near future about our experiences with Bali Asli. I deeply hope that you are able to succeed in this marvelous undertaking and wish you all the best. We had nothing short of a truly magical time in East Bali and you and your staff were a major reason for this. Karen’s identical twin sister Susan and her husband are coming to Bali in October and we’ve already told them they must contact you about their schedule. They are not, unfortunately, physically capable of doing the Lempuyang trek but they will swoon over the restaurant and the the cooking classes you offer.
Karen and I are both intent on a return visit to Bali and will surely be contacting you when that starts being planned. Until then, thank you ever so very much!