Strawberries feature largely on several menus, and ayam bakar Taliwang, a spicy barbecue-style chicken dish originally from Sumbawa, is equally well known around Bedugul.
For a pleasant restaurant-style atmosphere, Strawberry Hill Hotel is the fanciest place in town, and has reasonable prices. The cosy rustic-style restaurant serves Javanese and Western food including gudeg Yogya (25,000 rupiah), a jackfruit curry from Yogyakarta, and an excellent sate (55,000 rupiah). Heat is a little turned down to cater for Western palates, so if you like it spicy, ask. On the colder nights their rich flavoured hearty red bean soup (21,000 rupiah) will warm you up, and if that’s not enough, move closer to the log fire and sip on a sekoteng, a spicy and sweet hot ginger drink (8,000 rupiah). Portions are a little small, so there’s room for dessert. Wash it down with a cognac (92,00 rupiah). If you’ve indulged too much, the rooms here are some of the best in the area.
Rumah Makan Bedugal Lake View not only have a good ayam bakar Taliwang, as the name suggests, you get a pretty lake view for free. At the southern end of Danau Bratan, amid a row of 100 competing bakso sellers (okay, about 20), the unassuming restaurant serves a “paket” which includes fall-off-the-bone ayam bakar Taliwang, pelecing kangkung (water spinach), a couple of different sambals, rice and a drink for 55,000 rupiah. An extra strawberry juice will set you back 12,000 rupiah, one of the cheapest in town.
If you’re just stopping by Pura Ulun Danau Bratan, Warung Muslim Taliwang is another decent ayam bakar Taliwang resturant, opposite the temple. In a hurry? They a have point and pick nasi campur option too.
De Danau is a huge sterile-looking glass-fronted building opposite the temple. They have excellent lake views and the food is rather good. The menu caters to local tour groups, and is a little pricey for local fare, but servings are generous, possibly more designed for sharing with a group. We tried the cap cay (40,000 rupiah), simple stir-fried vegetables, and the veggies were so fresh and crunchy we felt positively virtuous. The strawberry juice here is 30,000 rupiah (plus tax). De Danau have a pick-your-own strawberry farm next door and also offer a couple of decent clean rooms for 400,000 rupiah.
Near the corn and cabbage statue at Candikuning, Rumah Makan Ananda is a funky looking coffee shop with a pool table and tree-root tables. They have a coffee machine with lattes or cappuccinos for 15,000 rupiah. Their attached restaurant serves Balinese chicken, duck and pork dishes for 35,000 to 50,000 rupiah for a “paket”.
Opposite Rumah Makan Ananda, the street leading to the Botanic Garden comes alive in the evening with an array of food carts. We tried the sate and the fried chicken “Kentucky style”, both not bad washed down with a Bintang.
Roti Bedugul is a small bakery, with a couple of tables and chairs to cater to a lunch-time crowd. They serve house-baked pies (with a vegetarian option) (30,000 rupiah), wraps (35,000 to 50,000 rupiah) and sandwiches (35,000 rupiah) using freshly baked bread.
Heading North, 500 metres past the temple, Strawberry Stop is a Bedugul institution. The owner was one of the first to cultivate strawberries in the area, and as expected, it’s strawberry-centric. Indulge in strawberry pancakes with ice-cream and honey for 17,000 rupiah or a strawberry milkshake, also for 17,000 rupiah.
De Danau: Jalan Raya Candikuning, Bedugul (opposite temple); T: (0368) 203 3054; www.dedanau.com; open daily 08:00-20:00.
Roti Bedugul: Pasar Candikuning, Bedugul; T; (0368) 203 3102, (0812) 381 2843; firstname.lastname@example.org; open daily 08:30-16:00.
Rumah Makan Ananda: Jalan Denpasar-Singaraja, Bedugul; T: (0368) 203 3173; open daily 08:00-21:00.
Rumah Makan Bedugul Lake View: Jalan Denpasar-Singaraja, Bedugul; T: (0819) 1569 1911, (0822) 3708 8600; open daily 08:00-21:00.
Strawberry Stop: Jalan Denpasar-Singaraja, Bedugul; T: (0368) 203 3100, (0812) 391 9558; email@example.com; open daily 08:00-19:00.
Warung Muslim Taliwang: Jalan Denpasar-Singaraja, Bedugul (opposite temple); T: (0368) 203 3122, (0813) 3881 7666; open daily 09:00-21:00.
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.