One of many popular Balinese dishes is nasi ayam (or chicken rice), a dish that gains just more fans these days. As most Balinese are Hindus, which allows them to eat pork, you will find so many Balinese dishes that contains pork. This makes Bali as one of very few places in whole Indonesia that serves non-halal food publicly.
Nasi ayam, however is one of the halal dish that can also be easily found in Bali and is definitely attracts many people, especially those who loves spicy food. One serving of nasi ayam Bali usually contains rice, spicy chicken, sate lilit, sayur urap, egg, roasted/fried peanuts, some crispy fried chicken pieces (may include skin or intestines), and of course the spicy sambal. Urap sayur is a mixed vegetables (typically long beans and bean sprouts) with shredded coconut side dish. Some also serve their nasi ayam with a bowl of spicy chicken broth. By the description above, I hope you get the point that this dish is truly hot and spicy! Nevertheless it is still a very tasty and delicious dish, one that hubby and I crave for.
Because this is a fairly common dish in Bali, you can find many sellers throughout Bali island. However, there are a few that are very popular among local/Indonesian tourists. These popular sellers are said to have the best nasi ayam and almost always flooded with diners, or sold out by certain time of the day due to its popularity. Out of those “best” nasi ayam, we have only tried out two places: Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku and Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki Jimbaran. I will review both places below as well as provide you the details of other so-called best nasi ayam.
- Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
The first time we came here was on our honeymoon trip and always come back whenever we are in Bali. We would make time to go to Ubud for a meal in here. This flavorsome dish only costs Rp30,000 (approximately AU$ 3). I love their sate lilit, which is a nice break from all the spicy stuffs. If you can not handle strong spicy food, just let them know when ordering, they can add less sambal and spicy sauce to the rice. The restaurant has semi-outdoor lay out, it is beautiful and huge, green maintained garden, and many seating pavilions in the garden. I’d recommend if they are not busy, to have your meal in one of their pavilions/bales for calm and serenity atmosphere. I was told they have branches in Seminyak and Denpasar as well, but we have always come back to this original place.
Address: Jalan Raya Kedewatan No. 18, Ubud
Other addresses: Jalan Kayu Jati No. 12, Seminyak and Jalan Tukad Badung No. 11, Denpasar
- Nasi Ayam Ibu Oki, Jimbaran
We have only tried this in our most recent trip after reading many positive reviews online. Most of the reviews are that their nasi ayam is very spicy, much spicier than Nasi Ayam Ibu Mangku. So, we braved ourselves to come and try their nasi ayam. Yes, it felt like every single side dish is spicy, so much that by the time I finished my meal, my tongue was burned and numb. The price was about the same, but serving size is bigger and more meaty than one by Ibu Mangku. The restaurant was so busy and packed, it’s the kind of place where you eat quickly under the stares of those queuing for seats. So, maybe that contributes to the heat and thus our tongue’s perception of spicy 🙂 For those who feel adventurous and have high tolerant to spicy food, I am sure you will love this nasi ayam. We would come back again next time, maybe not during the lunch hours to avoid the big crowd.
Address: Jalan Celaga Basur No. 3Y, Uluwatu 2, Jimbaran
- Nasi Ayam Men Weti, Sanur
This is another very popular nasi campur seller in Bali, a small shop located in Sanur. This is said to be sold out very quickly every day, even before lunch time. We are very keen to try our luck next time we are in town.
Address: Jalan Segara Ayu, Sanur (next to the Sanur Beach Market and not very far from MacDonald’s)
- Nasi Ayam Mardika, Kedewatan Ubud
This is located just next to Nasi Ayam Ibu Mangku and the owners are said to be sisters. A lot of reviews mention that nasi ayam Ibu Mardika is spicier and more greasy (not necessarily a bad thing) than of Ibu Mangku. We have never been here as well and looking forward to come.
Update: Yes, we came here in 2016 – please see our post here for the review.
Address: Jalan Raya Kedewatan No. 20, Ubud (next to Nasi Ayam Ibu Mangku)
Those above are just a very few of what we have tried or want to try based on numerous recommendations. However, I am sure there are many other nasi ayam which are just as delicious or might even be better and yet to be discovered!