We were staying at a lovely five star resort in Nusa Dua, Bali.
Our room had a spacious balcony with comfortable chaise longues, but – like at most four and five star hotels – the price for drinks and snacks in the mini bar was outrageous. As usual, my companion and I decided to head outside in search of a mini mart to stock up on beer, soft drinks, and snacks that we could consume on our balcony.
After leaving the confines of our gated community, we walked past several shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés on our way to the mini mart that we had spotted earlier that day.
Nusa Dua Café
Trying to drum up business, a waiter at the Nusa Dua Café suggested we come in for a drink. The place looked quite nice, and they were playing nice music. We said that we were going for a walk and would stop in on our way back to the hotel.
After stocking up on provisions at the mini mart, we returned to the café, where the waiter seemed delighted that we did, in fact, return.
We had already had dinner so were good for just one beer. As we were about to leave, much to our surprise, we were offered a ride back to our hotel.
We were later to find that this was a common practice in Nusa Dua – food and beverage establishments have shuttles that will pick you up and drop you off at nearby hotels. That fact that we hadn't spent much didn't seem to matter.
Before leaving we told the waiter that we would be traveling about Bali for about a week, but would return for dinner after we returned to Nusa Dua.
Fast Forward 10 Days
It was our last night in Bali, and we kept thinking about that charming little restaurant. Fortunately, we had saved the name card. We called the number, and the shuttle came to pick us up.
When we arrived, the waiter remembered us. We were served our complimentary “welcome drink” (a small glass of fruit juice) and some complimentary garlic bread.
With a menu that ran from appetizers and soup to fresh seafood, European food, Chinese food, and Indonesian food, making up our minds was difficult. But one thing was sure: we were going to have Indonesian food.
We settled on the Tandori Chicken Saté – not to be confused with Tandoori chicken. What we got were chicken kabobs served on a bed of tomato rice. We also tried the nasi goreng, Indonesian style fried rice that is topped with a fried egg and those ubiquitous Indonesian style shrimp crackers.
The food was delightful, but that wasn't a surprise. I didn't have one bad meal during the two weeks I spent in Bali. Indonesian food is surely one of Asia's best kept secrets.
Live music Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The Nusa Dua Café was housed in a beautifully renovated bungalow, with outdoor seating in the garden in front. The staff was welcoming and friendly, the ambiance was informal and relaxed, and the food was excellent and reasonably priced. Would definitely return on future trips to Bali.
Where: near the Main Gate, Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: 62 361 776664.
Copyright Michael Taylor Pictured: Nusa Dua Café, Nusa Dua, in Bali, Indonesia Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer