After a lovely time strolling along Petitenget Beach, and soaking all the warmth and benefits of the sun, we were getting hungry. So, we headed off to lunch. And we chose one of the Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook!
When we planned our Bali itinerary, our research found lots of social media posts and articles that mentioned Nook. On Instagram and Pinterest, people were taking photos of dining by rice fields. There was a rustic charm to this, and we were keen to try it.
So, we made sure our private tour guide knew of this place and would organize one of our lunches here. It turned out we did not have any concern. He was familiar with Nook.
It seemed that this restaurant was already quite well known. As he drove us to Nook, I silently hoped that it would not be a place where the hype outshone the dining experience. Would I be disappointed? Read on to find out.
Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Overview & Rankings
Cuisine: Indonesian, Asian Fusion, Western
Meals Served: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Coffee, Drinks and Cakes
Dining Choices: Dine In, Outdoor Seating,Take Away, Takes Reservations
Parking: Lots and valet parking
Family Friendly: Yes
Prices: $$ out of $$$$$
Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook Review
Dine by the paddy fields. A truly unique once-in-a-lifetime experience offered by Nook, Bali Indonesia. Such rustic charm that offers a quiet and peaceful meal with friends and family.
Best Places to Eat in Bali – Nook – The Video
Imagine enjoying a scrumptious meal and drinks right next to a traditional rice field in Bali. As you enjoy the food, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the wind is gently caressing the growing padi leaves. Watch the video to see why there is all the fuss about Nook, and this unique dining experience.
What is Nook All About?
As we left Petitenget Beach, I asked our private driver how long would it take to reach Nook? With a confident smile, he answered that it would take about 10 to 15 minutes. This surprised us as in our minds, we had this idea that Nook was far off in some local paddy field.
Well, it was. But it was only just outside the busy streets of Seminyak. When we reached there, we were pleasantly surprised. It was rather quaint. The restaurant was in structures made of wood, much like local houses in Indonesia.
I wondered how Nook came about? And it was only when I returned home that I found out that a local Indonesian entrepreneur thought of this concept.
In April 16 2013, the restaurateur created this new dining experience where customers can dine next to a rice field (also called a paddy field). It was al fresco dining where guests can enjoy fresh air, a quiet and peaceful space, and of course great food.
When we were at Nook, the paddy shoots were just growing. I can only imagine how awesome it would look when the paddy is all full grown, and patrons are treated to panoramic view of lush rice fields.
Travel Tip: Ask for a table just next to the paddy field. It is really an enchanting dining experience.
How is the Food at Nook?
We asked for a table by the paddy fields, and facing it. The staff said they would try their best as it was dependent on availability. We were lucky, and they managed to get us a table just next to the fields.
After we sat down, they showed us the menu. We ordered some food and drinks. Thankfully, the drinks arrived first. We were so thirsty!
Don’t the drinks look so yummilicious!? The mango and pineapple juices were sweet and fresh. I had a drink called the Wild Thing. The name attracted me, and I felt a little wild that day. Just kidding.
The Wild Thing is a mix of apple, pineapple and watermelon. It was refreshing!
Travel Tip: We heard the coffee is quite good here. We were too full to try it. Maybe you can try it, and let us know?
The food soon arrived. First, the potato fries came. The private tour guide ordered it. It was so little! We kept urging him to order more food. But he politely declined, and said that was all he needed. I believe he may have been a little too shy.
Then the Special Babi Guling, which was Balinese Roasted Suckling Pig, was served. As you can see, there were rice, vegetables, satay, side dishes, and a soup that accompanied the suckling pig.
To be honest, it was mediocre in taste. The suckling pig was a little tough. They could have made it a little more tender. The satay was better than the one we had last night. But still not good enough quality.
Next was the Udang Balado, which is prawn cooked in tomato based garlic sauce, served with rice and vegetables at the side. This dish was better. The sauce was piquant, and complemented the rice. But the prawns were a little small and tough. It would have been better if the prawns were larger, and juicier.
I had read that some people call Nook as a warung that served a good variety of Balinese, Indonesian, and Asian-Western Fusion cuisine. In fact, some went as far as to say that the Nasi Campur is one of the best in Bali. Nasi means ‘rice’, and Campur means ‘mixed’.
I beg to differ. While I agree the food is good. In the next few days, we discovered some cafes and restaurants that served better dishes. In fact, there is a warung that is very popular with the locals. And I will blog about that later.
To be fair, we did not try the Nasi Campur. We ordered the other special dishes. And my impression of their quality of food is based on what we tried. Maybe the Nasi Campur is really good? You try it, and let us know?
How to Order the Food and Drinks?
Ordering food and drinks at Nook is about the same as ordering food and drinks at most restaurants. There is a menu. The drinks and breakfast choices are printed on one side.
The new dishes, appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, local favorites, pasta, dinner dishes, specialties and desserts are printed on the other side. Take your time to choose.
When ready, just wave to the nearest server. And he or she will come to you to take your orders. There. Simple, right?
What Does Nook Look Like?
After the meal, I decided to walk around to see what the rest of Nook looked like. I captured it all on video. Watch the video above to see a tour of the place.
One thing nice about Nook is the table setting. Clean. Simple. No fuss. There is the usual displays on food and drinks they suggest for the day. Other than that, the table is clean. And the utensils arrive with the food.
*** Travel Tip: Ask for napkins. Strangely, they do not place them at the table until you ask for them.
As you are aware, at Nook, you are dining amidst nature. So, there would be some little birds and creatures around. There are trees, shrubs, open air, clouds, and flowers. The birds are lovely with their sweet chirping. The insects are subjective.
To me, I am all right with all types of creatures and animals moving about as we enjoy our lunch. Here is a little friendly spider that decided to visit us while we ate.
Travel Tip: If you have an aversion to creatures and animals, then this is not the place for you. Consider other venues for your dining needs.
What Else is at Nook?
Besides food and beverages, Nook has a little retail going on. Check out all the nice stuff you can get here.
There are some things you can even get as souvenirs.
And of course, there are all the pretty flowers to appreciate as you take your time, and have a good breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Nook – Asia Travel Gems Final Word
Asia Travel Gems Rating: 3.9 out of 5.0
The sun shining on the plantation, the gentle breeze teasing the leaves of the paddy, the peaceful ambience, all made the time spent here delightful.
But that very unique feature made me think – how many times will a customer have their meals at Nook? What will make a customer come back?
After all, the eating by the paddy field thing needs only be done once, and that’s it.
So, the next level of selling proposition must be the food. And to be honest, the food is not that memorable. What we have tasted have not succeed in alluring us back for another round.
Don’t get me wrong. The food is good. It is worth it to visit Nook, and enjoy a meal. But to go back again? Well, maybe not.
Still, the unique experience has saved this restaurant from a terrible three star rating. But because the food is not good enough, it does not deserve a five star rating. I give this a four star rating. And encourage you to try only to be able to have said you have tried Nook, and ate by a paddy field.
Where is Nook?
One of the saving graces of Nook is that it is not in the busy city areas. But that is also one of the inconveniences because you have to travel there by a vehicle.
Jalan Umalas I No.3, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday (including public holidays), 8 am to 11 pm
Telephone: +62 361 8475625
How to Get to Nook?
Nope. No train to Nook. In fact, no train in Bali.
From what I have seen, it is better to take the taxi or get a private driver.
You are going to Nook to enjoy a meal. Don’t walk. It is too far, and you will end up drinking more than eating. Perhaps be so exhausted that you are unable to enjoy the pretty paddy field view. Take the taxi or get a private driver.
You can take the taxi or Grab to Nook. For more information about getting about an Indonesian city, read my article about Indonesia.
Looks tempting because it is a cheap way to get around. But be careful. Wear a helmet. We did not choose this after reading about the accidents that killed many locals and tourists who rode scooters or motorcycles.
Private Driver and Tour Guide
Our choice of transport in Bali. And we will get our favorite private driver and tour guide again when we visit next time. It is so convenient.
Travel Tip: Get a private driver and tour guide. Contact me, and I will connect to ours. He is awesome!
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Wishing you and your loved ones safe and happy travels.
Hey everyone, I am Timotheus. When I am not giving lectures, I love traveling and visiting cities and towns all over Asia. It is a thrill for me to find and share awesome places to see, great tasting food to eat, and restful rooms to get a good night’s sleep.