We’re in Jimbaran, a seafood town. So we have no choice but to eat seafood.
The Jimbaran beach is lined with probably 50 or more seafood warungs (the local name for a small family-owned outdoor restaurant). Divided into three sections, each part of the beach has a row of warungs that serves pretty much exactly the same thing, freshly caught fish from the local fish market, lobsters, prawns and squid. Even the preparation is exactly the same: the seafood is grilled over dried coconut shells instead of charcoal and then served as is or sauced to your liking. The prices are listed as “per 100 grams” and you even get to pick your own fish right out of the ice bins.
So how does one choose which restaurant to try?
Answer: look for where the locals eat and stay away from the ones filled with tourists.
The warungs at the north end of the beach are the most expensive, so that’s where the tourists head to. But at the south end of the beach is where the food is tastiest. Our favorite place was Cafe Made (mah-day) where the grilled squid was perfectly prepared, tender and juicy, laced with a sweet smoked flavor from the coconuts shells. The snapper we ordered was nicely seasoned and smokey, with crunchy skin on the outside and delicate flaky meat on the inside.
Wash all this down with a glass of watermelon juice and you’re in heaven. On the other hand, the one tourist trap we tried on the north end got it all wrong. The prawns were dry and rubbery, the squid was tough and they took credit cards. Can one eat seafood every day? In Bali, I think the answer is definitely “yes.”
To be continued…