On our first trip to Bali, we stayed in Tanjong Benoa, around resort central in Nusa Dua – and the best feature of our resort was that it was right next to the best restaurant we ate at, in Bali and is still among my all-time favourite restaurants.
Bumbu Bali is a labour of love of Heinz von Holzen – a chef who has taken it upon himself to showcase authentic flavours of the Balinese kitchen and create a home dining experience. The moment you step into the restaurant, the decor, aromas and the warm welcome of the staff immediately connect you to the atmosphere and vision Chef von Holzen is striving to create.
Then begins the gastronomic joyride of your life. Smoky, perfectly spiced, melt-in-your mouth satays that arrive at your table on their own little grill, succulent pork in sweet soy sauce, braised beef in coconut milk, roast duck in banana leaf, and finally beautiful, delicate local desserts. Waddle home with twice the amount of food in you than the recommended limit, laze around with a book for the afternoon, take a walk or go for a run in the evening if you can bear it. Repeat. Yep, I could get used to that.
Bumbu Bali offers two more things we have to try out on our next visit – a cooking course that starts with a morning market visit and seems to be quite exhaustive and hands-on; and the Rijstaffel – which translates to Rice Table. It is a monstrous meal that the Colonial Dutch seemed to have devised to kill friends and family with. I think I counted a mere 16 courses on the menu and Priya (literally) didn’t have the stomach to take that on. Think Shoggy and I will need to take the Rijstaffel on, together.