Bali didn’t only has beautiful beaches and landscapes to discover. Something not to be missed is definitely the authentic taste of local food that will make you dreaming day by day after leaving the island. The gift of nature, culture inherited by the locals, as well as the strong mores of Hindism has lead to create significant flavors that distinct the island from any where else in the country — yet it can be said as one of the exotic taste you would find in Indonesia. Island of God indeed is a right name to be given — for it’s beauty, for it’s culture, for it’s food.
It’s already my 5th month living here as part of this beautiful island but during this time I still can’t reach all of the region for it’s nature nor it’s culinary traditions. As if in Kuta, the notable dishes would be Babi Guling while the must to eat ones in Ubud is nothing than Nasi Ayam Kedawatan. There are uncountable of them, especially in the rural area with some even didn’t get noticed.
Bringing out culinary from different part of the island is likely arrange on a puzzle. Effort needed and only qualified cooks with strong traditional blood will do. And here is exactly what Waroeng Dadong, the newly opened restaurant in Kuta try to serve on their table.
Waroeng Dadong, the restaurant’s name sounds classic but it was not that simple to be given. Waroeng refers to Indonesian traditional restaurant while dadong derived from Balinese language means the old woman or grandmother. Combining two, the restaurant aimed to bring the best authentic Balinese recipes from the ancestors.
The effort not only being done with taste, but also with visual approach of the interior. Instead of having a dine inside a building, here I had a pleasant traditional ambiance while enjoying the warm wind blew up in an open air. Monochrome portraits hang on its bricks wall, showing bright smile of Balinese girl — somehow it took me back to rural memories of walking on the rice field in Ubud. In the middle of the restaurant, small fish pound leading to a God statue separated the room into two. Best part of the interior could only be seen after sunset. As the sun goes down, the casual ambiance turned into beautiful view of dozens traditional rattan lamps shone on the woody ceilings. It was truly nice.
Waroeng Dadong’s menu come with vary Balinese traditional starters, soup, tipat (rice cakes), bubuh (porridge), and other ala carte main courses. They also have a complete set menu for those who would like to experience different taste of Balinese side dish at once. Following the locals, their food made of varieties spices blend with fresh vegetable and choice of chicken, pork, or fish. However, vegetarian choices is also available. What made me lifting up my eyebrow was the price — not because expensive but it’s affordable enough compare with notable typical restaurant in Kuta area.
During the feast, I got introduced with some of Balinese cuisine that are unknown but surprisingly good enough to make me keep dig in. The exotic starters went to Lindung Sune Cekuh — Balinese fried eel mixed with special garlic and galangal sauce. This crispy eel taste so honest but successfully turned that person who was not a big fan of eel to get addicted (Read: me). The plate also accompanied by steamed vegetable mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut or traditionally called as urab. Other comfort starter that can bring up your appetite might be that famous Balinese Chicken which is essentially shredded grilled chicken with Balinese spices dressing.
Besides, bowls of signature Balinese soup also being served at Waroeng Dadong. There are only three soup options at present but just reading the ingredients left me licking my lips, Kuah Nangka Balung was one of them. Nothing can bet the rarely combination of young jack fruit and rich soup cooked with pork bone, agree?
I started my main courses with beautifully platted Nasi Tumpeng Dadong consist of Balinese style rice coned (with choice of white rice, yellow rice, or steamed rice), spicy shredded chicken, fried egg balado, satay plecing, tum babi, kacang saur, urutan, and urab. This plate cost a bit expensive compare to all but worth the big portion. The heroes went to it’s sate plecing, one of the best I had! Other interesting menu that definitely will walk me back is Rendang Babi. I owe my self for that.
When Nasi Campur Babi is too common for you, try out this Brengkes Babi, one of notable pork menu at Waroeng Dadong. This dish was a bit unique, made of chopped pork skin and belly then mixed with young coconut and Balinese spices sauce. It then wrapped with banana leaves and grilled. The texture was soft when I spooned it on but still I could taste the chewy belly and strong Balinese flavor. The plate accompanied with rice and Balinese lawar, mixed of vegetables, coconut, and minced meat in rich herbs and spices.
For not-that-heavy meal, bowl of porridge over with peanut sauce, shredded chicken, and urab called Bubuh Base Kacang might be the option. Take it with sambal to have it tastier. I just noticed that Bali has it’s own rice cakes dishes and it become my favourite as well during the visitation. Tipat Kuah simply was rice cakes over by turmeric chicken stock, sprinkled with fried shredded coconut and nuts. I recommend both of this dishes for breakfast since it come with lighter taste.
Closing the feast, these nostalgic sweets of Dadar Gulung and Lolon Dadong bring up the memories for having jajanan pasar so much. The plates also come with reasonable price with IDR 15.000 per portion. Taking a cup of Balinese coffee with the sweets couldn’t be more perfect to wrap up the afternoon.
Discovering authentic Balinese taste in one place frankly is what people needed when they come to Bali. With this concept, Waroeng Dadong differ itself as the pioneer to serve the exotic rural taste from the island. Nicely traditional inspired modern interior is another plus that bring out comfortable sitting while enjoying the meal. Located close to the Ngurahrai International airport, the restaurant might become a stopover as you arrived in Bali. Waroeng Dadong just open it’s door for the first time in this 14th January. Spirit to bring the best of local tradition is there, great food is there, and I am anticipated to see more of the greatest ahead!
WAROENG DADONG KUTA BALI
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No.20, Tuban, Kuta Sel., Bali, 80361 (0361) 8476797
Operational time: 10.00-22.00
FB: Waroeng Dadong
Tripadvisor: Waroeng Dadong – Tuban Bali
Cuisine: Indonesian, Balinese
Smoking room: Yes
Live Music: No
Parking lot: Yes