Cheap, tasty food. We could not wait to get stuck into our culinary adventure and what better way to start than a traditional Balinese warung.
After arriving in Canggu on the West Coast of Bali, we dropped our bags off at The Uma Homestay and went out to do what we do best, eat. We had heard lots about the warungs of Indonesia which offer local food at extremely low prices. So we took to the street to see what we could find. Swerving the swarms of mopeds heading towards Batu Bolong beach, we stopped at Warung Bu Mi. A seemingly quaint, yet busy eatery.
As our first dining experience on the island, I didn’t know what to expect. Approaching the counter in the warung I was asked firstly “white, brown or yellow rice”. Having no real idea what yellow rice was I decided that was the best option. Yellow, just so happens to be lemon rice which was bloody lovely and I would highly recommend.
Next, you are instructed to choose other bits by pointing at what you want through the glass.
I selected a variety of what I thought was meat and veggie dishes however some of it had a texture I couldn’t quite put in either category. It was all packed full of flavour and was of a perfect heat for my taste buds. Enough to leave your mouth buzzing for a while after.
A great first impression of Indonesian food. It paired nicely with my first ever Bintang. A crisp, easy to drink pilsner that is just what you need after a long day in the humidity of Bali.
Perfection, however, it was not. As it was buffet style a lot of dishes were not the warmest. Also as a foodie being oblivious to what I was eating was not ideal. I wanted to know about the food I was eating rather than just shovelling it in. However, this was the way it seemed to be, with a constant queue of people lining up to be served. There was no consideration but serve up, eat and leave so the next person could sit down. A hectic first meal in Bali, exciting, and flavoursome. An exact reflection of my first impression of the island itself.
Lorna’s first impression
We had a long tiresome journey so in hindsight the rushed experience of “select, eat, leave” was just what we needed to satisfy our bellies before heading back to sleep. In saying that, the whole experience (including the initial walk down the main road with no pavements) was a bit overwhelming at first. Perhaps the limited English of the staff members and lack of labels for each dish helped me pick quicker than I usually would. I did feel rushed as practically every seat in the house was full and the constant queue left no time for indecisiveness.
I went for the yellow rice as I wanted to try something new and then continued to point at all the other dishes that I wanted to try on my plate. Noting down what I actually ate would be a guess at best. So explaining each segment of the dish would be a challenge. To avoid the dreaded Bali belly I tried to select mostly veggie dishes. Saying that I did end up with what I think was a chicken skewer.
Everything I ate was enjoyable and really gave me the taste for Indonesian food. We both also decided to order a Bintang which is a cheap, yet popular, Asian beer. Beer isn’t my drink of choice but I’m glad I tried it.
The best part about our Warung dinner was the price. For two beers and two full-to-the-brim plates of food, we paid Rp 127,000 (£6.60).
We would recommend heading to Warung Bu Mi for an authentic experience.