Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My Gluten Free Bali Adventures: Part 1 – Nusa Dua

GF rice noodles from the Westin Resort, Nusa Dua

It’s raining outside while I sit here flicking through my Bali photos, listening to my Balinese tunes (which I picked up for $1/CD!). The heater is turned up full blast, my uggies are on my poor little cold feet and I am sipping a hot tea. Yep reality sucks!

I’m back from beautiful Bali and had the most amazing time! It was sunny and relaxing… just what the doctor ordered. We ate some amazing food (which I can’t wait to tell you about), saw plenty of gorgeous sunsets, sipped lots of cocktails and shopped till we dropped!

Travelling and being coeliac can be a little tricky, especially if you don’t know how to speak the language. So before leaving for any holiday, I always get in contact with the Coeliac society to obtain their handy translation cards and information pack.

Even though the Balinese people are so friendly and always willing to help, I highly recommend you take the translation cards along with you on your next trip – they saved me so much time and effort in explaining what gluten free means because it’s all translated for you!

We started our Bali adventure in Nusa Dua, where the food was absolutely delicious! The flavours were incredible and for the majority of the time, gluten free wasn’t an issue. Luckily enough all 3 of the hotels we were staying in supplied gluten free bread! 

GF bread served at breakfast
We landed late on our first night in Nusa Dua, with our stomachs grumbling. As there were no restaurants open we had to opt for room service which is when we had our first Nasi Goreng. Surprisingly, for room service, it was actually quite delicious!

GF Nasi Goreng

Nasi Goreng was the stand out dish of the holiday and we ate a lot of it! It’s a traditional local rice dish, which is similar to fried rice, served with an egg on top and usually chicken skewers, a side of vegetables, and no doubt a big hit of chilli! We ate many variations of this and each time it was delicious. Just make sure to ask them about the sauces they use. Soy sauce is commonly used in Nasi Goreng so avoid this by asking them to replace it with fish sauce.

In our room on arrival we had a lovely welcome fruit plate, with some exotic Balinese fruit we had never seen before. The Snake fruit (clearly the one with the brown snake like skin) was crunchy and was a bit like an apple. The Mangosteen, the centre fruit with the reddy-brown shell, I had never tried before but it soon become our favourite fruit of the holiday. Inside the thick skin is a juicy, white flesh. It is similar to lychees but has a sweeter and more floral taste.

Exotic Balinese fruits

Nusa Dua is primarily a resort village and there is not much else to do but relax and unwind, which wasn’t a bad start to our holiday at all. However if you feel like doing a little bit more while staying here, you can hire a taxi to take you out and see the sites for the day. It will cost you approximately $50 for the entire day and the taxi driver will act as your tour guide. On our day trip we saw a batik and silver factory, temples and beautiful beach lookouts.

Breathtaking views from Uluwatu temple

The highlight of the day was the Uluwatu Temple. This temple was truly beautiful and I highly recommend it. The temple is perched on a cliff and the views are amazing! You are given a sarong to cover your legs on arrival, and be careful of the monkeys at the entrance. They will not harm you but be sure to put your sunglasses away and cameras around your wrist or the cheeky monkeys may steal them!

Cheeky monkey happily munching away on potatoes

During our day trip, we also stopped off at Jimbaran Bay for lunch. This place is famous for fresh seafood served right on the beach. Personally I think this is over-rated and probably wouldn’t go back. Our 1kg fish we hand picked seemed to have shrunk dramatically while cooking! Also there was a pack of wild dogs running around on the beach. Probably harmless, but nonetheless I couldn’t quite settle and enjoy myself!

Jimbaran Bay lunch

If sight seeing is not your thing, head to Bali Collection. This is a shopping centre in Nusa Dua filled with shops, restaurants, bars and lots of massage places. You can get a free shuttle to and from most hotels.

My first fresh coconut of the holiday!

When travelling to Nusa Dua, The Rock Bar, at the AYANA Resort is a must. Try to get there for sunset, as the views are amazing. Although we had to wait 45 minutes (Sunday is their busiest night so get in early) the views were still breath taking and I highly recommend visiting for at least a drink or two. They serve bar food here with not many gluten free options. So for dinner we headed to one of the AYANA Resort restaurants, which were very accommodating for gluten free food. We were given beetroot chips for starters, and then for main I had a traditional Indonesian Beef Rendang Curry, which was absolutely delicious!

GF Beetroot Chips

GF Beef Rendang Curry

I have so much more to tell you about my gluten free Bali adventures, that I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one blog. This is just the beginning. Join me as we travel to beautiful Ubud in my next blog!
GF papaya salad from the Westin Resort, Nusa Dua

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  1. I am going to Bali on thursday, so thank you!! - Love the blog!

  2. You're welcome! Have a fantastic time in Bali and let us know if you discover any more goodies :)

  3. Hi, I know its been a while but I am looking to travel to Nusa Dua & I am stressed about the gluten free food. Can you please advise what resort you stayed in? My sister wants us to stay at Club Bali Mirage.

    1. Hi Kerry,
      We stayed at the Westin Resort, however I'm sure most places will be able to accommodate. It's a good idea to email your hotel ahead of time so they can prepare. Enjoy your trip :)

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