Jimbaran Seafood Warungs


Jimbaran is known as the ‘golden mile’ because of its great white sand bay and selection of high end resorts. Real estate in the area is premium and no wonder, with access to the beach, the airport and Kuta, not to mention the surfing beaches on the Bukit peninsula.

One of the cool things to do when on holiday in Bali is to eat grilled fish on the beach at Jimbaran Bay in the evening. Though not the bargain it once was, visitors love it because its a unique experience. You mention the word ‘Jimbaran’ anywhere in Indonesia and people often will make the connection with grilled seafood.

Jimbaran is only a 10 minute taxi ride from Kuta, 20 minutes from Sanur and 15 minutes from Nusa Dua making it accessible. The local Jimbaran taxis try to monopolize the evening crowds by not allowings outside taxi companies to pick up at the beach, including Bluebird. You can however arrive in a taxi and have him wait (best to agree a round trip price including the wait beforehand), or stroll from the beach area to the main road, Jl. Uluwatu just 400 meters away and flag down a passing taxi.

If you ask an expat about seafood at Jimbaran, most have their favourite warung. Virtually all of them offer the same product in the same format, so its just a matter of which one takes your fancy and offers a good price.

The seafood warung are located on the sand in 3 main groups between Kedongan in the north, just south of the fish market, to Jl. Bukit Permai in the south. The seafood warungs do good business in the evenings and attract large groups from Jakarta and other Asian locations. The accepted method of ordering food at Jimbaran is to check out the fresh fish at the front of the warung, choosing the items you want and asking the price. Most seafood is priced by the kilo, with lobster by the 100gr. Prices vary but you might get something like:

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Snapper 40,000rp / kg
Squid 30,000rp / kg
Prawn medium 80,000 – 90,000rp / kg
Lobster 100gr 25,000rp

Best bet is to wait until the other customers have moved onto the beach and talk to the staff. If they are asking prices much higher than those quoted offer the about, don’t be scared to to ask for 40,000rp a kilo for snapper if the staff ask for 80,000rp.

After you have ordered choose your table on the sand, making sure not to accidentally sit at next door’s table, they are closely packed. After ordering drinks (water, soft drinks or beer) you’ll notice the strolling minstrels, featuring guitars and a double bass. These guys are good vibes and make money from tips. they will pass your way sooner or later so it can be fun to ask for a song and give them 10,000rp.

The food generally takes around 25 minutes to appear and will include other items such as potatoes, rice, kangkung (green vegetable), sambal (spicy Indonesian sauce) and more. The whole beach bbq atmosphere is also aided by the fact each warung cooks its seafood over huge grills fired with coconut husks, generating tremendous heat.

Some of the most popular seafood warungs are Roma Cafe, Jimbaran Beach Cafe and Bamboo. Jimbaran Seafood Warungs are also okay during the wet season as most can squeeze you inside if a shower suddenly hits.