Top 10 Favorite Indonesian Foods

When it comes to Indonesian food, our face lights up and our bellies get excited! Indonesian food has been created to make the world a better place – and we’re not biased! Well... sort of! But honestly, Indonesian food doesn’t get the credit it deserves most of the times, as Thai food or Chinese food often do. 

On your next stay in Bali ask us where to go or what foods to try, or even better get one of our talented chefs to come cook in your villa, for a more personal touch to your meal we can organise in villa cooking lessons. Either way, there’re plenty of options for everyone, from vegan, vegetarian options to meat options, halal, more healthy or naughty, any way you like your food!

To make you even more excited of all the yummy options you have available in Indo, we have put together a top 10 favourite Indonesian dishes so you get the gist of it and give you something to look forward to! Check them out below and let us know what you think!

1. Nasi Goreng

Nasi goreng

One of the most popular and well known dishes, Nasi Goreng translates to ‘fried rice’. Probably the most famlous dish in the entire of Indonesia, this simply but yet scrumptious dish comes with a variety of veggies and spices. Can add chicken or beef to it, crackers and and a sunny side up egg on top. It’s quite a treat and most Indonesian restaurants will serve their own version of it. 

2. Beef Rendang 

beef rendang

 Also known as dry curry, Rendang is a dry beef stew of sorts -  and is one of the most popular dishes in Indonesia. Originated from West Sumatra, Rendang is basically beef, sometimes they add liver, chicken, goat or other meats, cooked in coconut milk and spices until it becomes dry making this yummy dish one to remember. For veggie lovers out there, some of the vegan restaurants have their own version of their vegan rendang, which is pretty yummy too, so make sure to give it a try as this is downright amazing. 

3. Lalapan


One of Indonesia's most popular way of eating, simple, white rice a hearty sambal or hot sauce, and fried food, deep fried, for extra crispiness, the Ayam Goreng would have to be one of the best meals you will ever have. Super simple yet right to the point. There are catfish, duck and Tofu options, as well, but if you like chicken and are ready for a simple but yet delicious meal, you have to hit the lalapan. 

4. Soto Mie / Mie Goreng

Soto Mie / Mie Goreng

Noodles are an alternative option for those not wanting not wanting rice as their meal staple. Served with either of chicken, beef, seafood or vegie options, the noodles are generally complemented with sliced rissoles spring rolls and an egg to give added texture. It’s pretty special and has a lot of texture, so make sure you try this one as well and let us know what you think. Indomie was a subsidiary company owned by the former President Suharto's family. The systems of farming in Indonesia, were formed in such a way that all local farmers would sell there grain to Suharto's company, who would then sell it back to the people of Indoneisa. So with the Indo Mie establishment, Suharto was making money from both of Indonesia's carb alternatives and helped him with gaining the crown for unofficially being the richest man during his rule as president.

5. Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam

Chicken soup , It’s usually yellow and slightly spicy and it’s usually served with lontong or nasi empit or rice cakes and vermicelli noodles. Can be served at breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. Add some chili to really get this soup popping. 

6. Ketoprak


or better known as Gado Gado is one of our favourite Indonesian vegetarian dishes, Ketoprak is a mix of bean sprouts, deep-fried tofu, onion, eggs layered with a special scrumptious peanut sauce. Really good vegetarian option. 

7. Rawon 


Rawon is a black beef soup, made with beef and black nuts which gives is a strong nutty taste. It’s usually served with rice and it has a very dark colour.

8. Sate / Satay ayam

Sate / Satay ayam

Sate or Satay Ayam are grilled chicken skewers served with flavourful peanut sauce and rice. It’s one of the go-to options for a lot of Indonesians and Bali holiday makers, eating juicy chicken pieces from a stick with a peanut sauce,  when you try this, try and get Lontong as your rice option. Its a sticky rice cooked in a bananna leaf that fuses into a great textural change for rice. Simple and tasty, this is a favourite for the kids. You can get beef, goat, fish, and veggie sate optios as well. 

9. Bakso 


Bakso – an all time Indonesian favourite is a meatball soup made from minced beef mixed with tapioca flour, served with noodles, rice vermicelli, vegetables, tofu and eggs. Pretty much any beach you go to in Bali will have someone selling Bakso. Give it a go

10. Nasi Campur


The last on the list and definately our favourite, "mixed rice" as the name is directly translated to is served all over Indonesia, and varies according to the area or the chef. Generally you walk into a warung or local restaraunt, and the server will provide you with a plate of rice, you are then able to select from the many choices on display and create your ideal rice dish. Once you get onto the Nasi Campur, you will probably be trying to eat one of these at least once a day. We love these so much that we will dedicate a blog to the best Nasi Campur spots in the Seminyak region in one of our next blogs. 

Remember we are in Asia, and all foods will generally already be spicy when compared to the West. If you are asked about how strong, we suggest going a medium at the very most. 
A few clean food practices: Indonesia is a tropical island and the temperature is ideal for many bacterias to thrive. So if you are new to Bali, please break your stomach in before trying the local street food. Street Food is amazing but if your stomach is fresh to Bali's amazing foods, its best to stick to more popular restaurants before moving to the street. Simple practices like washing your hands will also help reduce the chance of any "Bali Belly", which everyone that travels to Bali will experience at one time or another. Contact us for some good ways of combating this if you need. 

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