Bali's Batujimbar Café offers a taste of local, including traditional specialties and famous crab omelette

Western options are also available at this dining establishment that evokes a chic yet welcoming vibe.

The menu here spans Eastern and Western favourites (All photos: Batujimbar Café)

A staple among Sanur’s well-heeled and lively community, Batujimbar Café is the perfect spot for those who wish to enjoy healthy yet indulgent eating in soothingly luxurious surroundings. Original founder, Iskandar Waworuntu (it is now run by Aviadi Purnomo), actually started out pioneering an organic vegetable farm in the Pupuan hillside, near Tabanan, in the early 1990s. It was only after brainstorming with his younger sister Ade and sister-in-law Dewi that the family decided to also open a restaurant where their produce could take the starring role. Its nickname, Sanur’s Living Room, should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Despite Bali’s plethora of F&B establishments, Batujimbar Café stands out for its consistent quality, excellent service and ability to evoke a chic yet welcoming vibe. Drop by any night and you’ll get a taste of cool yet classy Bali at once. Here, a glamorous digital nomad could be working away on her laptop under the shade of one of the café’s iconic orange umbrellas or, within the Hank Foss-designed interiors, an Asian tycoon could be enjoying a simple supper with his extended family.

The menu spans Eastern and Western favourites, including traditional Indonesian specialties like perkedel jagung or corn fritters (55,000 rupiah or RM16.35), a selection of sate (95,000 rupiah) or vegetable spring rolls (110,000 rupiah), known locally as lumpia

Regulars know to always start with the Most Wanted (55,000 rupiah) — a fruit slushy made by blending local green tangerines and frozen rambutan — before moving onto more savoury best-sellers, such as the sop buntut (oxtail soup), warm pumpkin salad or black bean soup. Oh, and if you’ve braved the long queues of Bangkok’s Michelin-starred Jay Fai, give Batujimbar Café’s kepiting or crab omelette (RP85,000) a go and you just might be most pleasantly surprised.

There’s also a popular Sunday market established to support small local businesses en premise, selling fresh produce from Temuku Pupuan, the organic farm at the foot of Mount Batukaru, and a wide variety of local eats.

Go buy and try as much of the kueh as possible, especially the lemper, apem and kueku. Oh, and should you be staying at one of the several luxury hotels in Jimbaran Bay (the Ayana and Raffles are top of mind) and are loath to leave your precious cocoon, do know there is a branch of Batujimbar Café nearby, housed within the celebrated Jenggala ceramics factory, arguably one of Indonesia’s best artisan homeware brands for close to five decades now. Grab a bite to eat at the on-site café run by the same good people while shopping, browsing or simply waiting for your loot to be packed up.

Batujimbar Café, Jl Danau Tamblingan, 75A, Sanur, Denpasar Selatan. Daily, 6.30am to 11pm. See here for more info.

This article first appeared on Jan 8, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.


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