A hidden gem in Kerobokan, one of Bali’s busiest streets, AQUAA Bali Restaurant literally feels like home. Complete with a sumptuous menu of homemade local cuisine and a warm feeling of home. With an open-kitchen concept and a homey décor, regulars can enjoy semi-outdoor seating as well as indoor seating. 

The restaurant is set to welcome a huge crowd of food enthusiasts. Its indoor area can be transformed into a gathering space for up to 50 persons. Imagine it like having your own living room. A much bigger space is also available at the front area of the restaurant, enough to accommodate up to 100 persons. The place also provides free Wi-Fi and its air-conditioned indoor space can also be a co-working space for the digital nomads in Bali. Some patrons even recommend this restaurant for its coffee. 

The owner, also the head cook for the restaurant, brought a magical touch to each of her dishes. All of the ingredients are of high quality which she meticulously selects from Bali’s neighboring island, Java. Their take on Nasi Goreng, an Indonesian staple food, also comes with beef rendang, also an Indonesian famous dish from Sumatra. The restaurant’s Nasi Goreng Rendang is rich with curry flavor since the owner added curry leaves in the ingredient.

The owner, Mrs. Yoke, originally from Surabaya, learned to cook independently. She first learned to cook because of her husband as she wanted her husband to have a decent home-cooked meal daily. Her husband, an Indian native, influenced much of her cooking, and thus all of her cooking is made from the heart and with every bite you can feel a mother’s love.

Nasi Lengko

One of the highlights from the restaurant’s menu is a dish called Nasi Lengko from Cirebon. Lengko is a Javanese word meaning scarce or rare. Some even say it’s an abbreviation of complete (lengkap) and budget-friendly (ekonomis). The history behind it is that the people of Cirebon created it during tough times after Indonesia’s independence in the 1940s using ingredients that are scarce and only available at that time. The dish has a similar taste to a Nasi Pecel from Yogyakarta, with a similar thick peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce as dressing.

Asinan Jakarta

Also, a vegetarian-friendly dish in the menu is Asinan Jakarta. Finely sliced vegetables and yellow noodle crackers all mixed into one with a tangy dressing made from tamarind juice and palm sugar. It can be enjoyed as either an appetizer or dessert due to its refreshing taste. Another must-try is homemade Bakmi Goreng (Fried Noodle), the noodle is firmer and thicker than the average noodles that you can find in street food vendors. Siomay Jakarta is also available on the menu, boasting a different flavor of peanut sauce. The owner uses a ground peanut, giving it a tangier taste.

Be on the lookout for this restaurant the next time you’re in Bali, we recommend it for both foreign or local tourists. The owners are friendly and welcoming and will be happy to share their stories. Do come with an empty stomach as each food is fascinating to try.

AQUAA Bali
Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.89, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Badung, Bali
10 am – 8 pm (Sunday Closed)
P: +6287755890954
IG: aquaabali

By: Icha Annisa