Tag Archives: food

10 delicious Ubud restaurants with stunning views

You know Ubud is the creative heart of Bali – it’s bustling, busy and unbelievably beautiful. And while people might visit for the unique and vibrant local art, the scenery at Ubud is just as amazing as any masterpiece.

10 delicious Ubud restaurants with stunning views

Why bother to take a sightseeing tour when you can enjoy the amazing scenery over a leisurely lunch or a romantic dinner?

Ubud has it all – jungle, valleys, waterfalls and paddy fields. Fortunately it isn’t just a feast for your eyes – the food is equally divine!

These are the dining experiences that you, and your photo album, will remember forever!

The Queen of Ubud – Murni’s Warung

Everyone in Ubud knows Murni’s – ask any taxi driver and they will take you to her fantastic hillside restaurant.

10 delicious Ubud restaurants with stunning views

Murni’s Warung is iconic; it’s almost as well known and popular as Ubud itself.

Murni opened her little Warung with just 1 table, 2 chairs and an icebox in 1974, and her devoted and ever growing number of satisfied customers has been increasing ever since.

The restaurant now sprawls over four levels down the side of a steep valley – land that used to be farmed by Murni’s father.

Murni’s Warung by the roadside on level 1, and immediately look out on to the luscious hillside greenery. If you want to be by the river, then descend down to level 4 and find a table on the terrace. The lazy river snakes past below you, and in front of you is a sprawling wall of foliage.

The only reminder of modern day life is the bridge above you; which makes the valley haven look and feel even more precious.

Murni’s serves a wide variety of homemade dishes with plenty of external influences from travellers that Murni has met over the years. Daily specials ensure that you never get bored of the menu – no matter how many times you go back!

The best thing? You can order as many desserts as you want and be guilt-free as a good workout is available via the steep stairs down to the river.

If you love Murni’s Warung, make sure to check out her guesthouse and craft shop for a truly authentic Balinese experience.

We love Ubud and we definitely love Murni’s!

By Kim Wilson, Trip Canvas

10 delicious Ubud restaurants with stunning views

The Natural Guide to Bali

The Natural Guide to Bali

cover-natural-guide

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

 

Murni’s Warung, Ubud, Bali

Murni’s Warung, Ubud, Bali

“The story of my life is a long and complicated one” she said softly. And thus began my interview with the legendary Murni of Murni’s Warung in Ubud.

Many of my fondest memories of Ubud in the eighties are wrapped up in the walls of this multi-levelled eatery that is perched beside the Tjampuhan suspension bridge overlooking the Tjampuhan River. I remember spending oh-so-many lazy afternoons there when Ubud was a sleepy village, reclining in that tropical let-the-world-float-past way on creaky bamboo furniture. We’d sip on freshly squeezed lime drinks brimming with crushed ice eating Nasi Campur or Nasi Goreng. Lunchtimes drifted into dinner and it didn’t matter. There was nothing urgent to be done except chat about life, love and cosmic heroes – no mobile phones, internet, emails, reality TV, not even Facebook! Life was suspended between our daily routine and fairy tales.

The ground floor pavilion of Murni’s Warung was our preferred haven. Like the inner sanctum of a temple, this cosy space inspired discussions on all things sacred and profound. Ketut, my husband, any number of friends and I would gather at our favourite table and listen to never-ending tales of Ken Arok, one of the most powerful rulers of Indonesia in ancient times, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. The tales would almost lull me to sleep as I listened to the ongoing treacheries, tragedies and majesty of Ken Arok, the extraordinary beauty of his wife Ken Dedes and Hindu epics of family betrayal and bravery.

The seething jungle around us and the surging sound of the Tjampuhan River below enhanced the dramas. Nature seemed to grow before my eyes. I absorbed all that I could in what became a crash-course in Indonesian history and Bali-Hinduism.

Sitting with Murni in the downstairs Lounge Bar at Murni’s Warung that has now replaced our favourite retreat. Murni chatted about her life, treading delicately through sad memories of her childhood that have laid deeply buried in her heart for so many years. But on this breezy day, they bobbed to the surface and floated around us as if we were in a time warp. In those days, life in Bali was often arduous, unforgiving and heartbreaking for many.

Murni's Warung, Ubud, Bali

Murni touched on the tragedy of 1965: the communist coup that saw more people slaughtered in Bali than any other part of Indonesia. She spoke of the nightmares that continued to haunt her for such a long time and the many wounds that have been patched superficially but not healed. The tale of being taken from her mother at the age at seven left us silent.

After three hours of emotional chatter we dried our eyes and steered the conversation back to the incarnation of Murni’s Warung.

“I wanted my own business in Ubud so I rented this small Warung from Pak Munut. Victor Mason, who, believe it or not, is still alive and well in Ubud, gave it the name, The Black Stump. He said, just call it that and I did. But I had no idea what it meant!” she said.

“At first I had one bamboo table. I had started to sell sarongs, paintings and carvings. I didn’t plan to have a warung and I am not at all a chef. My future husband Pat would sit in the shop with me. He wanted to drink beer and eat sandwiches so I made these for him. Guests who came into the shop would ask if they could buy some too. “

“I eventually opened a little kitchen and began to sell beer and sandwiches. Every morning I caught the bemo to Denpasar to buy tomatoes, cheese, ham and bread and would come straight back home to run the business. I borrowed beer from my mother who had a shop in the market. We made ice boxes from cement and filled it with ice.”

The following year in 1975, Murni bought the property and changed the name to Murni’s Warung. Slowly the business expanded. Murni had clearly acquired the business acumen of her mother and years of a Cinderella-type childhood living with her father’s family in Denpasar (before the handsome Prince) had prepared her for an around-the-clock shop-keeping routine.

My guests taught me how to make everything. They taught me how to make guacamole because I had an avocado tree. But when they made it I couldn’t eat it because it reminded me of a Balinese poultice they make here for pregnant women. We were the first in Ubud to make yoghurt. The culture was brought from Holland for us. I eventually bought a fridge and made jackfruit and white mango ice cream,” Murni reminisced.

But it was Murni’s cakes that I loved to the most. She was and still is famous for them. In the eighties you were lucky to find anything more than fried bananas on local menus. Murni’s Warung was one of the first to serve a selection of international sweet dishes to appease cake eating, chocolate-craving gluttons like me. Her chocolate brownies and home-made pies saved many a home-sick traveller.

Murni’s Warung quickly became an institution and remains so to this day. It is an Ubud icon. Back then, I remember that one of the greatest joys about visiting Murni’s Warung was simply Murni. She used to sit at the front desk and invariably wander up to your table and have a chat. When Murni wasn’t there holding the fort, Nyoman, the head cashier, was there taking her place. Now there was a girl with her own brand of dry humour but she’s another story!

There is so much about Murni to love. Whether it be her heart that’s as big as the moon, her gentle nature, grace or soft humour ….or the combination of these matched by her lovely soft round face…whatever it is, it’s infectious.

Murni’s moving tale of longing, separation and hardship stays with me. Her struggles and subsequent battles laid the foundations of her success. Here is a woman who has learnt to straddle two cultures, for better or for worse. She created an iconic business, single-handedly, that helped put Ubud on the map. And for all these reasons, and many more, she is and will always be one of my favourite mothers in town.

Murni’s Warung, Ubud, Bali

Murni’s Warung Food Photos

Here are some of Murni’s Warung Food Photos:

Murni's Warung Food PhotosSoto Ayam – Chicken-soup Indonesian style.

This well-known soup comes from Java and is flavored with lemon-grass, ginger, kafir lime leaves and served with steamed white or organic red rice, glass-noodles and a boiled egg garnish. Mildly spicy.

warung-4Daniel’s Italian mother’s hearty, nutritious Minestrone Soup.

One of our favourite soups at Murni’s Warung . The secret is to give the broth character without overwhelming the other ingredients.

Pumpkin SoupCreamy Pumpkin Soup.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosSpring Rolls.

Who doesn’t love a perfectly crispy spring roll? Called lumpia in Bali. Spring rolls have been a popular snack in Asia for centuries.  They originated in China and were eaten at spring time. They started as a pancake filled with the new season’s spring vegetables.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosGado-Gado.

An Indonesian salad of slightly steamed vegetables, hard-boiled, spiced eggs, tofu, tempeh, cucumber,  tomatoes and shrimp crackers. The key to this delicious dish is our home made peanut sauce dressing. In 2018, Gado-Gado was nominated as one of 5 national dishes of Indonesia.

Bebek Betutu - Balinese Duck Bebek Betutu – Balinese Duck.

Bebek Betutu – Balinese Duck – Other than flying or floating, this is the only way you want your duck.  Bali’s most famous dish. The method of preparation is unique. To make the meat really tender, the outside and inside of the duck is rubbed and filled with Balinese spices. It is wrapped with the bark of the areca palm tree and buried  with coconut fibres and smoked underground very slowly for about 8 – 10 hours until it is so tender that the meat falls off the bone and melts in the mouth. It is  served with vegetable lawar and yellow rice. The Balinese only eat this dish on special ceremonial occasions.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosMurni’s Tutu Ayam.

A traditional local chicken dish. Slow-cooked for 8 hours with Balinese spices and served with yellow rice and mixed Balinese vegetables.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosMi Goreng.

Stir-fried noodles with vegetables and pieces of chicken.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosSatė.

Skewers of chicken, beef, fish, or pork served over glowing charcoal with our home made peanut sauce. Indonesian Satė is listed as number 14 of the world’s 50 best foods according to CNN Travel’s readers’ poll compiled in July 2017.

Satė Lilit Satė Lilit.

Satė Lilit – Balinese style satė, chicken or fish. Preparation takes half a day. Eating takes less than half an hour!

Murni's Warung Food PhotosGrilled Fish Steak.

From The Charcoal Grill Grilled Fish Steak  served with Balinese sambel matah – a slightly spicy, tasty, traditional Balinese relish of raw lemongrass, shallots, chilies and lime leaves.

Beef Rendang Beef Rendang.

Beef Rendang – Voted by CNN Travel as the clear winner of the ‘World’s Most Delicious Food’. Beef is slowly simmered with coconut milk and a mixture of lemongrass, galangal, garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilies, then left to stew for hours to create a dish of tender, flavorful bovine goodness. This Sumatran dish is served at ceremonial occasions and to honored guests. It will send your stomach into overdrive.

Murni’s Fish in taucho sauceMurni’s Fish in taucho sauce.

Murni’s Fish in taucho sauce – An award winning dish, served with steamed white or organic red rice.     

Murni's Warung Food PhotosOriginal Upper Elk Valley Cheeseburger.

One of our original dishes from 1974. The Cheeseburger was invented in 1920 in Pasadena, California, an amazing 20 years after the hamburger. Lionel Sternberger (no pun intended), a cook at his father’s sandwich shop, ‘The Rite Spot’, decided to place a slab of cheese on top of a hamburger, inventing one of the world’s most loved dishes.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosThai-Style Green Chicken Curry.

Thai-Style Green Chicken Curry – served with steamed white or organic red rice. Kermit got it wrong.  It’s not hard being green, it’s delicious. Thankfully, someone invented rice, with which diners can mop up the last drizzles of curry sauce. The king of curries. Please tell us if you like it hot!

Murni's Warung Food PhotosChicken Parmesan Salad.

Finely sliced chicken breast, parmesan cheese and crisp croutons.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosRaw Zoodles.

Raw Zoodles zoodles, otherwise known as zucchini noodles.  Our chef is spiralizing zucchini and making you believe that you’re eating noodles! But these are delicious, low-carb, gluten-free, fresh and raw – spiralized zucchini, broccoli, red peppers, carrot and basil leaves with a tasty, tangy Italian herb dressing of olive oil, lime, parsley,  garlic and honey.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosHealthy Avocado and Cucumber Salad.

Healthy Avocado and Cucumber Salad lettuce, lomato, avocado, cucumber, onion, green olives,  cashew nuts and carrot with honey mustard.

Vegan RollsHealthy Vegan Rolls.

Healthy Vegan Rolls – carrot, turnip, sprouts, baby romaine salad, white sesame seeds, black pepper,  and coriander leaves with a garlic, ginger dressing.

Veggie BurgerVeggie Burger.

Veggie Burger – with tempe, carrots, onion and lettuce served with French fries.           

Murni's Warung Food PhotosClub Sandwich.

Several places claim to be the creator of this classic layered sandwich. The famous Saratoga Club House in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1894 as well as the Union Club of New York City, take credit for creating the club sandwich, short for clubhouse. The latest theory is that  ‘club’ is  an acronym for ‘chicken lettuce under bacon’.

Murni’s Warung Food PhotosFishburger.

Fishburger – burger of the seas.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosVegetable Croquettes.

Vegetable Croquettes – served with our home made tartar sauce.

Vegetarian CurryVegetarian Curry.

Vegetarian Curryfull of French beans, boiled egg, cauliflowers, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, tempe, our home made curry sauce and the pièce de résistance: a slice of banana – served with steamed white or red rice.  

Murni's Warung Food PhotosHot Dog and Mustard.

Hot Dog and Mustard – stuffed with gherkins, onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

Fish and ChipsFish and Chips.

Fish and Chipsserved with our home made tartar sauce. Anything that’s been around since the 1860s can’t be doing much wrong.

Spaghetti Bolognaise Spaghetti Bolognaise.

Spaghetti Bolognaise There’s a reason spaghetti is so popular – it just works.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosMurni’s Balinese Caramel Cake.

Murni’s Balinese Caramel Cake – A delicious cake made for the Gods at Balinese ceremonies.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosCheesecake.

Cheesecake with fresh strawberry sauce. The Ancient Greeks were serving small cheesecakes to the athletes during the first Olympic Games on the Island of Delos in 776 BC and the Romans were giving them as offerings to the gods.

black rice pudding-5Balinese Black Rice Pudding.

Most visitors to Bali fall in love with the wonderful nutty flavour of Balinese Black Rice Pudding,  with rich coconut cream. It’s actually a deep purple colour and is called bubur injin. It can be  served at breakfast or as a dessert.

Apple PieMary’s Grandmother’s Scrumptious Apple Pie.

Mary’s Grandmother’s Scrumptious Apple Pie  – home made goodness at its very best, made even better if you add ice cream!

Strawberry Banana Yoghurt Pie Strawberry Banana Yoghurt Pie .     

Why has the Strawberry Banana Yoghurt Pie been on the menu since 1974? Because it’s a winner! And it’s made from the same yoghurt culture that’s even older! 

Murni's Warung Food PhotosPoppy Seed Cake.

Poppy Seed Cakewith lemon frosting.

Murni's Warung Food PhotosMoist Coconut Cake (seasonal).

You start by climbing a tree and cutting down a coconut.

Banana Cream Cheese PieBanana Cream Cheese Pie.

Chocolate Chip Bar.Chocolate Chip Bar.

A great power snack. Chocolate Chip Bar.

Murni’s Warung Food Photos