Is it a Warung? Or is it a Restaurant? Where do you draw the line? Small and clean, stylishly furnished but in a simple Balinese manner, the place does not frighten off passers-by with the prospect of a large bill. The feel of the place is of quality with value, and that is what it delivers. Sate Bali is a great newcomer to Eat Street, even if it is almost at the far end [opposite Santika Villas].
Traditional Balinese dishes abound, even though a few of them may have been borrowed from the Indonesian cuisine. Entrees set the scene for me at most restaurants. Here there are only three, but order them all and you have a great luncheon spread for two. Ayam Pelalah is one of my favourite dishes when presented correctly. Shredded chicken tossed with chilli and lime, it is essentially a dry dish but far too often too dry and either bland or overworked with chilli. At Sate Bali it is perfect! For an added bonus shards of the fried crispy skin have also been included. Jukut Mecantok is just mixed vegetables covered with a tangy peanut sauce. Sari Segara Sambal Matah is assorted seafood with that famous lemongrass sambal. Three contrasting dishes [add a couple of serves of steamed rice, if you wish] and it makes a great luncheon.
For soup, your choice of Ikan Kalas [seafood with cardamom, in coconut milk] or Calon be Siap [a Chicken Bakso, Balinese style].
I normally prefer Tum Ayam to Tum Bebek. But, once again, here the Tum Bebek is perfect! It has been steamed whilst wrapped in a banana leaf. I often find that minced duck is very dry, but here it has been cleverly combined with a little coconut milk to keep it moist, without detracting from the dish. Three wonderful spicy parcels full of taste, with sambals and rice on the side. Be Celeng Base Manis is braised pork belly in sweet soy. The meat, not too fatty, is full of flavour. Be Siap Base Mekalas is chicken braised in coconut milk and cardamom. The final braise is Sapi Mumbu Bali, beef tenderloin in coconut milk.
With a name like Sate Bali, you would expect an array of sates, and you would be right! Chicken, Beef, Pork or Minced Seafood, are available. Order your favourite or a mix of all, either as either a shared entrée or as one of your mains.
Sambal Udang leads the seafood section: plump prawns in a chilli sauce that wakes you up! Pesah Ikan Tengirri is marinated Mackeral that has been steamed in a banana leaf.
In the evening, for dinner, there are three major additions to the lunch time menu. A great Ayam Betutu [which does not have to be pre-ordered], a variety of grilled fresh seafood [lobster, prawns, whole fish, squid or a monster mixed platter for only Rp.165,500++], and two imposing set menus.
For the uninitiated, Ayam Betutu is one of Bali?s great cuisine inventions. Whilst the duck version is more universally known it is this chicken version that is offensive to no one [I do, but not everybody else loves the strong flavour of duck]. The bird is heavily seasoned, wrapped in leaves, and cooked underground in embers, overnight. At Sate Bali one serving is a half chicken, enough to share if also ordering other dishes.
For beginners to Balinese food, order one of the two excellent value set menus [Rijsttafel, or rice table, to borrow from the Dutch]. Both consist of nine small courses, the meat version is only Rp.140,000++ and the seafood one Rp.150,000++ [both are meant for two persons].
All of the main courses, at Sate Bali, are served with three different rice types, and an array of local vegetables cooked in the Balinese style.
Desserts, as everywhere in Asia, are quite basic, but that does not mean they are not enjoyable. Pisang Fgoreng Dengan Es Krim [fried banana with ice cream] is on the menu of course, as is Dadar Poleng [Balinese rolled pancake stuffed with grated coconut and palm sugar]. Great for the sweet tooths amongst us!
The wine list is simple [local] but very well priced. But, as you are eating local food why not drink wine that has been developed or at least bottled here? The service is always friendly and smiling. Who cares if the English is not always perfect, we are eating Balinese food in Bali!
What a relaxing, enjoyable and inexpensive, way to enjoy life in Bali?
Latest Visit: Sate Bali now offer one of the most original Balinese Cooking Course, and only for Rp.325,000 per person. You help prepare a full Balinese feast, that includes:
All the necessary Balinese spice mixes [for seafood and chicken] and sambals Matah, Tomat and Bumbu Kacang].
Then an appetiser of Jukut Mecantok [mixed vegetables with peanut sauce]
Tum Bebek [steamed minced duck in bambo leaf] Pesan be Pasih [steamed fish in banana leaf] Babi Kecap [pork with sweet soy] Mie Goreng [fried noodles]
Finally, a dessert of Dadar Gulung [rolled pancake stuffed with grated coconut and palm sugar].
Then the best part; you all sit down and eat the spoils of your labour.
You go home with full recipes of all you have prepared, and eaten, to amaze your friends at home!
A visit to remember!
After helping to prepare and cook everything you then get to eat it as well. Great Value!