Indonesian food registers high on my food craving scales and when I lived in the area, a few years ago, we used to visit Bali Bali often. Many years have passed since we last ate there and we were very curious to know how they’ve faired since our last visit (3 or 4 years ago).
Bali Bali is an inconspicuous establishment in the West End and will not be particularly well known among trend-fickle foodies. However, for those who love Indonesian and Malay cuisine, Bali Bali offers an great opportunity to indulge in some proper South East Asian cuisine at a very decent price.
The feel of Bali Bali is that of a traditional Indonesian restaurant. The interior may not be as picturesque as for instance Champor Champor, but still feels very authentic and cosy. When we visited Bali Bali we tried the following dishes:
- Fried crispy chicken wings with garlic and chilli (8.5/10)
- Beef patties (8.5/10)
- Soto ayam (8/10)
- Beef rendang (8.5/10)
- Chinese spinach with fish paste and chilli (8.5/10)
- Kaylan with garlic (8.5/10)
- Coconut pancakes (8/10)
- Whole sea bream (8.5/10)
The dishes at Bali Bali are tried and tested classical Indonesian / Malay dishes and the execution is of high standard. Particularly the kailan vegetable dish is an absolute favourite. Compared to another Malay restaurant that we recently visited in central London, Champor Champor, Bali Bali compares favourably with its traditional dishes. Both restaurants are very good but I do prefer Bali Bali as it has a more varied menu and the execution is consistently good. If fact, in all our years of visiting Bali Bali not once were we disappointed with the service or the food.
The total bill at Bali Bali came to £75 (incl. service charge a pot of tea and two glasses of coconut juice).
Food rating for Bali Bali:8.5/10
Service rating for Bali Bali: 8.5/10
Overall rating for Bali Bali: 8.5/10
(Overall rating is based on personal taste, opinion of ambiance and price)