Bali Bali, Covent Garden

You ask - you get! After the foodie side to my blog went by the wayside just a tad as the fitness reviews took over, I've been receiving numerous in-mails from you guys asking for them to return. So here we are - starting off with Best Indonesian in Central London, Bali Bali 


Bali Bali, London


What they say:

The nearest you can get to Indonesia, without the bother of getting on an aeroplane.


A truly authentic Indonesian restaurant in the heart of London's West End. Over the years we have steadily built a reputation as a venue where you can relax, enjoy excellent food and find yourself in a little part of Indonesia.

What I say:

OK, so I have to admit, Bali Bali isn’t necessarily the swankiest of restaurants. It’s not necessarily somewhere you would look at from the outside and think to yourself, I HAVE to go there. Nonetheless, it’s always the hidden, unpretentious gems that turn out to be the true stars, and Bali Bali was certainly no exception!   


Table for 2

What we ate:

As we pondered over a menu full of delicious dishes – everything from rice and noodles, to fresh fish and meat, to vegetarian options and salads, the oh-so important decision of what to select was just too much! Thus, when the friendly waiter came over and told us about their ‘House Speciality’ – eight of their most popular dishes served in a taster style, perfect for two to share – it was a no brainer.

The feast arrives!

Whilst the selection varies seasonally, our feast (the only way I can describe the ‘taster’ dishes!) was made up of:

-          Garlic Sotong – deep friend squid with herbs, garlic and chilli

-          Kalio Kental – Padang style chicken breast cooked in coconut sauce

-          Rendang – Spicy beef cooked on slow fire, flavoured with chilli and coconut

-          Semur Daging – Sliced beef cooked in Indonesian soya sauce

-          Ikan Tomato – fish cooked with garlic, chilli and tomatoes

-          Udang Mentre – Prawns fried in medium, hot chilli sauce

-          Egg fried rice – need I explain?!



Crispy Squid and Stir Fry Veg


Whilst the selection would usually include Sate – skewers of chicken marinated in spices and served with peanut sauce –as my plus-one was allergic to fresh coriander, we skipped this one out. One thing  for sure, for anyone with any allergies or intolerances, the staff are incredibly knowledgeable and willing to alter dishes based on your needs.

OK, enough photos, time to eat!! 


Highlight:

Oh gosh, it’s difficult to say! Whilst my guest loved the Garlic Sotong (deep fried squid), I was also a huge fan of the fish dishes, but more so the slightly lighter Ikan Tomato (the tomato sauce was deliciously rich, subtly sweet and the seabream cooked to perfection) and the Udang Mentre (I’m not a huge fan of spices, but the sauce was more sweet with just the right amount of chilli to give it a subtle kick). That said, the Kalio Kental coconut chicken was also incredible, as was the Beef Rendang (not something I would have chosen myself, so I’m glad the selection given forced me to venture out and find new favourites! )

A plate of everything!


Lowlight:


Banana fritters

I almost don't want to say this, as we honestly couldn’t fault the Main dishes, however when it came to desserts I never find the Oriental options particularly appealing. With Bali Bali's choices including Indonesian layered cake, banana fritters, coconut milk pancakes; already full from our main, we decided to share a ‘safe’ option of Chocolate Chip Mint Ice cream. However, refusing to let us leave without trying out the Thai speciality, Banana Fritters in honeys syrup, the waiter brought over a portion of these also.

OK, so I’m not a huge fan of deep fried food anyway, but when it comes to deep friend banana, after an already pretty heavy meal…. I probably would have preferred to stick to the ice cream!  But, like with the Beef Rendang, if I hadn’t of tried I wouldn’t have known….

When in doubt, always stick to the ice cream!


Service:

What really made Bali Bali stand out was the impeccable service we received. As a family run business, having been in business for decades, the staff could not have been more knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. Not only were we greeted and seated down straight away as we entered, our food arrived fresh moments after ordering, and service throughout the meal was attentive, yet not overbearing. The perfect combo!


Vibrant and bustly without being overcrowded

Price:


With main dishes ranging from around £8 - £12,  and sides around £3, Bali Bali certainly proves great value, particularly given its central location and generous portions sizes. Amazingly, our eight dish feast was priced at only £20.50 per person – fantastic value for the sheer volume of food, yet fresh and high quality ingredients, in the bright, spacious and authentic Balinese restaurant.

Would I go back?

You bet! The only difficulty would be whether to order the 8 dish selection again, or a full size portion of one of my favourites (the struggle, however, would be deciding which one)!

Defeated!

 


Bali Bali Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Comments

  1. Thank you for posting them. They have lots of knowledge and tips. I hope you can upload more posts. Keep your work.They are so great
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