Bali is a perennial favourite when it comes to quick getaways for Singaporeans. Sandy white beaches, surf breaks, amazing resorts, great and cheap spa pampering on offer… what else can one ask for?

Less known is the fact that Bali is also a food paradise. We recently visited Bali and explored the up-and-coming Canggu area, north of Kuta. We were not disappointed! In the last few years or so, many cool restaurants and cafes have popped up amongst the paddy fields in Canggu, making the area one of the most hipsters scenes in Bali. We reviewed four of them here:

1) NOOK

Jl. Umalas 1, Gang Nook No. 1, Kerobokan, Bali

On the second day, we set out to check out one of the hottest entrants in the restaurant scene in Canggu – NOOK. The open-concept restaurant opens up to a view of a lush paddy field, and serves – inarguably – the best Nasi Campur (mixed rice) ever! There is a good selection of side dishes (fried fermented soya beans, corn fritters, eggplants cooked in sambal, chicken satay), and a selection of mean sambals (what’s Indonesian food without sambals?) I mean, just look at this mouth-watering combo…

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For little M, there is the option of Spaghetti Marinara which she happily ate on her own. She later set out to explore the restaurant on her own and came back chirpily reporting sightings of dragonflies and tadpoles in the paddy field.

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2) ECHO BEACH CLUB

Jl Pura Batu Mejan,

Echo Beach, Canggu 80361, Bali

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Echo Beach is one of the recently christened surf spots in Bali. It is also home to amazing seafood restaurants by the beach (or more, off the cliff) where diners could enjoy an open-air seafood BBQ selection while being serenaded by the sound of crashing waves and majestic cliff-side landscape.

Diners get to choose from a fresh selection of seafood and 3 generous heaping plates of side dishes. The prices are reasonable, the seafood super-fresh and Little M was happily eating off our plates!

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3) METIS

Jl. Petitenget No.6

Kerobokan Kelod, Bali

Inarguably one of Bali’s most sophisticated restaurant. I had Seafood Linguini which comes with a generous serving of Crab, Prawns, Baby Squid, Scallops, and Mussels. The service was impeccable and the atmosphere elegant – we felt a little bit underdressed! It took some time for the food to arrive, I was glad we brought along a little art-and-craft project for Little M that kept her quiet and contented for a good duration of the waiting time, while we adults enjoyed some quiet conversations.

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Hubby, the meat eater, ordered Morrocan Lamb Shank Tagine and he was not disappointed. An exquisite dish of slow-cooked Australian lamb shank with root vegetables, served on a bed of warm fruity couscous, it was a feast for the senses.

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The restaurant is very spacious, facing a huge garden. There is an open-air area where diners could enjoy the evening breeze while sipping their Pinot Noir.

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4) BEBEK TEPI SAWAH

Jl. Batu Belig No. 77

Kerobokan Kelod,

Kuta, Bali

Set amidst beautiful tropical gardens designed to mimic a lush Balinese village, Bebek Tepi Sawah is a must-visit for all visitors to Bali. There are a few branches of this popular restaurant and we visited the one in Batubelig nearest to our hotel. We had our lunch in one of the lovely private pavilions in the garden, overlooking the Bebek Tepi Sawah Spa.

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I ordered the crispy duck rice, the signature dish of the restaurant. It was a tad dry for my liking but the portion size was good! Of course you eat the rice with a good serving of Balinese sambal, after all, what is Indonesian food without the sambal…

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 – Susan A.