*Disclaimer – Prepare for a borderline pornographic description of my ultimate foodgasm in all of Bali. And, as always, the following article states my personal opinions only. I was not perked or paid in any way by Ibu Rai.*
After over a week of eating the same few basic staples for meals at our home stay in Penestanan, Sean and I were getting restless and craving some different, but still authentic food in Bali. We originally had Ibu Rai recommended to us through a few of the women staying at our house, and after reading a few tripadvisor reviews, we decided to spend our one precious dinner out there.
Ibu Rai is located in Ubud, right off of central Monkey Forest Road. You can’t miss it at night all lit up with pretty little twinkling lights. We were greeted by friendly staff who spoke fantastic English, and taken to a table of our choice as we arrived fairly early in the evening. However, within 30 minutes, the place was packed with more hungry customers waiting outside, so if you’re keen on going at a specific time, or if you have a large party, then reservations are recommended
We each ordered a large bottle of Bintang to start and enjoyed the classy, open-air atmosphere while flipping through the extensive menu. There was a little bit of everything – from Pizzas and Pastas to Asian Fusion and Traditional Indonesian.
We ordered the Vietnamese rolls to start, which were the only part of the meal that we weren’t amazed by. They were small and expensive for what you received, but the presentation was absolutely stunning.
When it came time for our main courses, Sean ordered traditional Indonesian Mie Goreng – fried noodles – with chicken and shrimp. The portion was generous and completely delicious – topped with fried egg and fresh spinach, with pickled vegetables and prawn crackers on the side. I ordered the Indonesian Satay, but opted for fish instead of chicken. I was served an enormous plate with 6 or 7 white fish skewers smothered in peanut sauce, 2 vegetable dishes, steamed rice topped with a corn fritter, a side of prawn crackers and additional peanut sauce for dipping. I can’t even explain how incredible it was – I had to feed some of it to Sean because I couldn’t finish the enormous pile of food in front of me.
We were both so full by the end of our entrees, but we couldn’t resist looking at the dessert menu. We ordered a chocolate cake to share and were impressed yet again. The cake was not baked fresh but was still phenomenal, and it was served with the most incredible vanilla gelato I’ve tasted in years. Amazing.
Once we were so stuffed that we could barely move, we received our bills…and our jaws nearly hit the floor. For 2 large beers, an appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert – plus a 15% service charge – our total came to 273,700 rupiah, which converts to just over $26.00CAD. A meal like that at home would have easily cost over $100.00CAD. Oh, Bali. We love you.
Ibu Rai presents a beautiful atmosphere for a romantic dinner date, a fun place for cocktails with friends, or even a sophisticated spot for a high profile meal out. The manager is also a wonderful man who came over to personally check in on us, and when I told him that it was the best meal I’d had in all of Bali, he was grateful and humble the way that all Balinese are. I would not hesitate to recommend Ibu Rai to anyone. What a fantastic experience.
Have you ever eaten at Ibu Rai in Ubud? Do you have any other favourite restaurants in Bali?