Searching for a halal restaurant in Bali can be a tricky situation. Pork is common in Balinese cuisine — be it grilled or roasted meat, lard used for frying, or additions to salads.
However, halal food is not a rare commodity in Bali, as the island also welcomes a steady stream of Muslim tourists from neighboring cities, other Southeast Asian countries, and even the Middle East.
There are plenty of choices if you want to try something outside the halal-guaranteed popular fast food chains.
Here is a general overview of the halal culinary scene in southern Bali.
KUTA and SEMINYAK
The busiest tourist scene in Bali includes halal food establishments in its range of available restaurants. The food courts in shopping complexes like Beachwalk and Discovery Mall consist of mostly halal-certified food outlets.
The available Balinese warung (food stalls), on the other hand, can be rather tricky.
Notable halal restaurants in the area include:
Queen’s of India on Jl. Kartika Plaza for Indian cuisine;
Bho Bho Thai on Jl. Dewi Sri for Thai food;
Madania Restaurant on Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai for Indonesian meals; Warung Bunana on Jl. Kerobokan for Malaysian and Indian food; Nasi Pedas Ibu Andika on Jl. Raya Kuta for spicy Indonesian food;
RM Taliwang Bersaudara on Jl. Raya Kuta for spicy Lombok chicken.
The provincial capital is one of the easiest areas to find halal food due to the abundance of local food chains and Javanese warung in the area. Most of the Indonesian franchised restaurants apply halal certificates as standard.
The halal culinary scene has grown steadily as Denpasar is home to around 40 percent of the total number of Muslims staying in Bali, according to the 2010 national census.
You can find halal restaurants lining the streets in the Renon area. During the fasting month of Ramadhan, these already-crowded streets are even more packed at sundown by Muslims who are looking to break the fast.
Notable halal restaurants in the area are:
Restoran Renon on Jl. Cok Agung Tresna;
Warung Bendega on Jl. Cok Agung Tresna;
Warung Be Pasih on Jl. Bedahulu;
Tan’s Kitchen on Jl. Teuku Umar;
Warung Mak Beng on Jl. Segara Ayu.
The area is famous for its seafood scene, with a long line of restaurants along the beach that open up right before sunset. We recommend these seafood restaurants for your fix of halal food.
The restaurants rarely claim to be halal, but their menus are strictly seafood-based, with vegetables as side dishes. Locals and Malaysian tourists can often be found eating here, so hopefully that can put your mind at ease on the halal issue.
You can choose any of the restaurants on the beach; there is no significant difference in terms of quality between one establishment and another. The area is divided into three sections: Muaya beach, which borders the Four Seasons resort; the Kedonganan area, which is also crowded at night; and Kelan, which is separated from the other two by a fish market.
“Most of the other restaurants that do not label themselves as organic or vegetarian are likely to serve pork — even Ubud’s famous duck restaurant.”
The culinary scene in Ubud is an interesting one when it comes to the halal issue. With healthy lifestyles becoming a trend in the area, plenty of organic and vegetarian restaurants have sprung up.
Theoretically, vegetarian menus have more chance of being halal, but it would still be better if you inquire about whether they used any pork-based products.
Most of the other restaurants that do not label themselves as organic or vegetarian are likely to serve pork — even Ubud’s famous duck restaurant.
One notable restaurant that has the halal label is Indian Delites on Jl. Campuhan. Other than that, your safest bet is the Padang food (Padang being a city in West Sumatra with a strong Muslim culture) that is available at several spots across Ubud, such as Warung Padang Putri Minang on Jl. Raya Ubud.
Written by: Raditya Margi