Category Archives: Murni’s Warung

Fodor’s Indonesia – 1999

Fodor’s Indonesia – 1999

Murni’s Warung: Beside a small ravine just outside Ubud, this multi-level restaurant is spacious yet intimate. The street level dining room has terrific views (particularly of a nearby waterfall), as does the downstairs bar. Throughout the shadowy wood interior is complemented by simple bamboo furniture and Indonesian art, creating a rustic and very Balinese feel. Both Indonesian and Western dishes are served, and special buffets are available on Western holidays. The Balinese duck – stuffed with spices and baked so thoroughly that the meat falls off the bones – is tried and true. The friendly, cheerful staff are ready to offer advice on local activities or simply rock babies while parents eat. A shop on the upper floor is a veritable gallery of Balinese items. Murni’s also has some accommodation, including two rooms, a bungalow and a house – all moderately priced.”

Fodor’s Indonesia – 1999

Cadogan Guides – Bali

Cadogan Guides – Bali

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Murni’s Warung down by the Campuhan Bridge is one of just a few places which have been catering for travellers since they began to come to Ubud in the 1960s. The warung is actually a restaurant with an excellent menu of traditional and Western-style food, including mouth-watering delicacies such as frozen banana cheesecake.”

 

Cadogan Guides – Bali

 

Insight Guide Bali, 2002

Insight Guide Bali, 2002

cover-insight-guide-baliMurni’s (tel: 975233) located over the Campuhan River can’t be beaten – there are now three levels of seating, the grill is open for scrumptious barbecues of fish, prawns and chicken.” [Now four levels]

Insight Guide Bali, 2002

Insider’s Guide to Ubud

Insider’s Guide to Ubud

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Where to Eat: Murni’s Warung

Insider’s Guide to Ubud
Delicious, voted the World’s best food magazine, March 2005

“This three-level restaurant is an Ubud institution. The freshly baked breads are delicious, especially in a chilli club sandwich, and you can sit on the top terrace for curries, burgers, hot dogs, steaks and more. For dessert, you’ll want to stay for the cakes and the homemade yoghurt and ice cream.”

Insider’s Guide to Ubud

Lonely Planet Guide, Bali, 2005

9781740596817: Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok (Lonely Planet Bali and Lombok)

Lonely Planet Guide,

Bali 2005

“Since 1977 Murni’s Warung has been an Ubud favourite. The setting is beautiful and a four level dining room overlooks the lush river valley. Indonesian dishes, curries and Western options are available. There’s a cosy bar on the second level down. One quibble: the gift shop gets bigger every year!”

[Note from Murni: Actually, it’s since 1974]

Lonely Planet Guide, Bali, 2005

The Natural Guide to Bali, 2005

The Natural Guide to Bali, 2005

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Eat in the Gorge at Murni’s

“In 1974, Ni Wayan Murni opened Ubud’s first restaurant, where she served a mix of Western and Balnese food. Since then, generations of travellers have enjoyed the quality of her cuisine. Despite increasing road traffic, the four open-air levels facing the splendid river gorge offer absolute tranquility in a totally out-of-this-world atmosphere. It’s a most pleasant place for a great healthy breakfast (Rp 45,000) or dinner (Rp 75,000). Vegetarian meals, home-made yoghurts, fantastic fruit juices, cakes, and pies are also on the MSG-free menu.”

The Natural Guide to Bali, 2005

Hello Bali, April 2005

Hello Bali, April 2005

 

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Murni’s Warung

Andrew Charles
Editor, Hello Bali, April 2005

 

“As you approach through the highly-carved Balinese doors, you know you are in a place dedicated to the finer things of life…”

One evening recently, I decided to meet up with my old friend, Renée, and dine in Ubud’s oldest restaurant; Murni’s Warung. It’s above the sacred Campuhan River, just beside the old Dutch suspension bridge, facing a spot-lit wall of tropical trees. There is a real Murni and old Asian hands know her well. I was hoping she would be there.

As you approach through the highly-carved Balinese doors, you know you are in a place dedicated to the finer things of life. We resisted the almost irresistible temptation to go into her shops, which are on either side of the doors and which house her treasures. Murni is a well-travelled collector, who brings back amazing things.

Walking past the famous cakes, and making a mental note for later, we made our way to the little-known, comfortable Lounge Bar for cocktails: a Mojitos for me (tall, minty, thirst-quenching) and a Melon Colada for Renee. This is a great place to unwind, listen to great music, perhaps meet an old friend passing through and take in some amazing art. I particularly admired the primitive stone statues from East Sumba.

We both like gardens, ponds and shrines, and the sound of running water, so, after the drinks, we made our way down to the bottom level, through the third floor, which is often used for banquets and which we’ve named The Elephant Room, because it has so many Ganeshas, the God much loved by the Balinese. I would really like to get the new bronze one, commissioned by Murni five years ago and which has just been finished. It’s almost 6 feet tall and a whopping 500 kilos. I’m saving up for the deposit.

We sat down and spotted a few famous people. I think they recognized me too!. The menu is extensive and has not only the Indonesian favourites, but also a very good selection of Western dishes. There are also a number of Thai-inspired dishes, which tend to be specials, and change daily.

I decided to go Indonesian, opting for the mini-lumpia (delicious, crisp spring rolls served with sweet and sour and peanut sauces); an excellent choice – light and tasty. Renee ordered a creamy pumpkin soup, which was nutty and full of flavour. Murni was in the restaurant, presiding lovingly over her creation. She came over, smiling, to our table and explained that the pumpkins were organically grown on her property, Murni’s Villas, in the foot-hills of Mount Batur.

For the main course, I ordered the Bebek Betutu, traditional Balinese smoked duck and Renee chose Western fare, the Chicken Dijon. This proved to be a tender, juicy chicken breast, sautéed in white wine and finished with a cream and Dijon mustard sauce, steamed green beans and honey-glazed carrots on the side. My duck was perfect – meat falling off the bone, not at all fatty like ducks in the West, steamed saffron rice, vegetable lawar and a tasty duck consommé.

I’ve forgotten to mention the small but perfectly sufficient wine list. I chose an Australian Chardonnay, which was very reasonably priced and perfect with the duck. Renee wanted to try a local tipple and went for the Brem Merah, home-made Balinese rice wine, served with a squeeze of lime. The brem was hailed as “delicious!”

A quick look at the menu confirmed that deserts were a must. Murni has always been well-known for her baked on the premises cakes and pies, but I couldn’t get past the cheese cake with fresh strawberry coulis. Tangy lime and strawberries made this the perfect finish for an already memorable meal. Renée chose the Balinese Black Rice Pudding, creamy rice cooked in coconut milk, pandanus leaf and topped with grated palm sugar. Renee loved it. And the rice really is black!

What else? Well, we returned to the Lounge Bar to complete the night with espressos, served with sweet spice and vanilla biscuits. Settled back on the sofas, who could resist a liqueur? Not us! Two Benedictines please.

Oh yes, the bill. The three-course food bill for both of us came to Rp. 201,500 before tax and service, which was very reasonable. I’ll not mention the drinks bill as we had some I haven’t told you about!

After all that feasting, we really appreciated the free transport back to our hotels and a great night’s sleep.

Hello Bali, April 2005

All roads lead to Murni’s Warung

All roads lead to Murni’s Warung

Murni's Warung Lombok Times

All roads lead to Murni’s Warung, Mary, Martha, Murni’s Warung and Me

Bud Smith
The Times, Lombok, August – September 2007

 

Mary is my wife, Martha is my mistress, Murni’s Warung is a famous restaurant and I am myself. It is a long story but we all found ourselves on the island of Bali in late 2006. A spur of the moment thing, as often the best – and the worst – of things in life are. Summer is a busy time in London for a jazz singer and I was dead beat, so I proposed to my wife that we take off to Bali in October. I remembered the wonderful mushroom pizzas in the late Sixties and Mary, an interior designer, remembered the fantastic art.

Little did I know that my mistress Martha would be there. Martha is a 25 year old blonde living in Greenwich Village, a beautifully talented poet. I was singing in Soho last year and noticed a book signing in Borders right close to the club. I went in between sets, lined up, told the young poet that I was a man in a hurry, a jazz man in a hurry, had to rush and could she write something poetic. Dear Bud, Harvey Wallbanger, 10.30 in the club tonight, Martha!

Hardly had we got over our jet-lag than Mary and I made a bee line for our favourite restaurant in the whole world: Murni’s Warung in Ubud. We both love good food and drink, but even more we love good food and drink in beautiful places, where the prices are reasonable. Murni’s Warung is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! You walk in, facing you are coconut trees, palm trees and betel nut vines. Suddenly a blue-winged kingfisher glimpses by and a second later his mate. It is no surprise that the Bali Bird Club meets there keeping beady eyes out for bird and butterfly life.

The beauty is not only natural. Murni is a well-known collector of fine arts from all over Asia. At the entrance are Balinese statues, all chosen for their fine carving and fabulous expressions. On the walls are antique shadow puppets: the tree of life, which starts and closes the Balinese shadow puppet play, and the expressive clowns, who explain the story to the audience. They are for sale and I have a fine collection of them. The restaurant is on four levels and all the rooms, and especially the Lounge Bar, are decorated with Asian textiles, tribal pieces and objets d’art. Murni is often at hand expounding on art and food in the same breath.

Mary and I went to our favourite part of the restaurant, which is on the lowest level, just above the river, which you can hear rushing by underneath. So romantic. The President of East Timor and his Australian wife were on the next table. Mary ordered the Balinese Smoked Duck, which comes with Balinese vegetables. President Gusmao leaned over and said, ‘Good choice. It’s really smoked. They don’t fry it here.’ I ordered Bali Guling, a spicy pork dish eaten at special festivals. When I’m in Bali, I can’t get enough of it, and it was especially great that evening. Jacobs Creek Chardonnay helped the food go down. President Gusmao’s wife told us it’s the most popular wine in the World.

Murni’s Warung is famous for desserts. I just love the cheesecake in a strawberry coulis – better than New York cheesecake, which is saying something – and Mary adored her Cashew Pie and ice-cream. We then went to the Lounge Bar to have a chat with Murni, who was preparing to go to San Francisco to exhibit some of her collection, and drink a couple of cocktails. They play rather good jazz in there too.

Nyoman, the bartender, discreetly handed me a note. ‘Dear Bud, Harvey Wallbanger,10.30 in the Lounge Bar tomorrow morning, Martha!’. It was the Readers and Writers Festival in Ubud and Martha was launching her latest book of poetry. Nyoman smiled and said, In Bali all roads lead to Murni’s Warung!

All roads lead to Murni’s Warung