A warm welcome awaits you at Apa Kabar Restaurant in Sanur.
Located just around the corner from the Bali Kembali Hotel where I was staying and chosen for that reason, Apa Kabar is an authentic Indonesian restaurant serving tasty food and great drinks with a chilled out vibe.
Whether you’re a party of one or have brought the whole family, they have the space and staff to cater to you. Seating is outside or inside and you can take your pick. I opted to dine al fresco with the gentle hum of passing traffic from the street, which is nice as it feels like true Bali. The restaurant is set back a little off the road with a pavement and a couple of steps to separate it and while its not a heavily congested road, the traffic was pretty frequent while I was there.
While Apa Kabar is easy to find and get to, they also offer a free local pick up service for those staying in the local Sanur area, not necessary for me but very cool all the same.
The drinks menu at Apa Kabar is pretty extensive with a range of cocktails, fruit juices, soft drinks, beers and wines available. There’s a bar out front with comfortable chairs around it if you’re looking for somewhere friendly and welcoming for drinks only perhaps while catching up with friends back home using the free WiFi (the code was Awesome21 while I was there!) or for a night cap after your meal.
Dining at Apa Kabar is great if you want to enjoy traditional dishes, served in well presented way. The menu is out front for you to look through and some of their most popular dishes are photographed too, which is great for tempting you to try something new. Often a lot of people will stick with the same dishes because they don’t know what to expect from something they haven’t tried before but the photos help with that.
After a quick look at the menu to check that there was a couple of the Balinese dishes on there that I’d been missing on my plate since my last visit to the country, I ventured to the steps for a table and was greeted immediately by a happy, smiling chap in smart, Indonesian dress.
After choosing my table, I was brought a complimentary fruity alcoholic shot and a couple of pieces of garlic bread which was the perfect appetiser for a hungry solo traveller after a LONG journey from the UK!
Service was chilled but efficient in taking my order and I like that I was asked whether I’d like the starter and main I ordered to be brought together or separately. I chose the latter as I wasn’t in a rush and the vibe was so relaxed, I didn’t feel self-conscious dining alone.
Light background music playing modern chart hits from the likes of Rhianna and Little Mix combined well with the gentle chatter of other hungry travellers and sounds from the road to create an atmosphere that was chilled, inviting and accepting. There was another solo traveller while I was there, along with a couple of duos and a few groups of around 5 or 6 people. The ages of guests dining ranged from pre teens to retirees, which I think is a testament to how well this restaurant caters for all.
In no time at all, I was enjoying a small bottle of Bintang (19,900rp.) with an ice cold glass; the perfect drink for a warm, balmy night in Bali.
For starters, I ordered the spring rolls (28,900rp.), which were crisp and jam packed with veggies. While it may seem like a pretty standard option to pick, spring rolls really are a must try over here because they’re really tasty, very affordable particularly for the portion you receive and they’re not like the ones you’d order from a takeaway or buy in the supermarket back home. The roll itself is thicker than the light, thin sheets the ones I usually have are made with and they’re much bigger too; the result is more crispy and textured on the outside and softer on the inside. Perhaps it’s the difference between Indonesian and Thai or Chinese spring rolls, I’m not sure!
Two were served, each cut in half and well presented on a bed of shredded cabbage, a lettuce leaf and a slice each of tomato and cucumber. Drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce over the top, they were full of flavour and the ideal welcome to my first meal in Bali.
For my main, I picked out a dish that I had really been missing since I was last here and that’s Satay Chicken (56,900rp.). Nothing compares to it back home and I already know I’ll be enjoying many portions of it over the time that I’m in the country!
Uniquely served over hot coals are small pieces of marinated chicken on skewers. Perfectly cooked and succulent, they’re ideal to be enjoyed immediately but if you leave them over the coals for a little while like I did, they become a little crispier with the marinade stickier. Absolutely delicious, especially when dipped in the thick peanut sauce served on the side. If you think you’ve enjoyed the peanut sauce with satay chicken in the UK, then you really haven’t tried anything yet! The peanut sauce that accompanies this dish in Bali is incredibly thick, indulgent and not to be missed!
With the chicken satay, there’s the choice of steamed rice or the fried rice that I chose to try something different and I was so pleased that it wasn’t oily when it arrived. Served with the same lettuce, cucumber and tomato garnish as the starter and a generous handful of prawn crackers, this dish was plentiful, well presented and full of flavour.
After dining, I was comfortably full and feeling very relaxed. I hadn’t once felt nervous about dining or taking snaps of my food on my own and I wasn’t rushed out of the door once I’d finished. In fact, the service was a little slow once my plate had been cleared and the bill took a little while to arrive once I’d asked for it. Usually that wouldn’t bother me on holiday as I love to relax, chill out and settle into the easy was of life in a more laid back country but at this point, the jet lag had hit me and I felt like I was going to fall asleep at the table!
Apa Kabar is very reasonably priced but be aware that 10% government tax and 5% service charge will be added to the bill, which is standard practice in Bali. Mine came in at a total of 121,555rp. (105,700rp. plus the tax and service charge at 15% of 15,855rp.) which equates to an incredibly affordable £6.48 at the rate that I exchanged at (1GBP = 18750.00rp).
During my stay in Bali, I dined here a for a second time (those spring rolls are just THAT good!) and this time there was live music playing with a guitarist singing blues hits.
Apa Kabar is open for drinks only too, you don’t have to eat a meal at the restaurant to come here. I also sat on the high armchair stools at the bar for drinks while I worked away on my laptop and made some WhatsApp calls back home. These chairs are mega comfortable and I could sit for a few hours on them without my legs going numb! This is a great spot for WIFI as the connection was really strong. The waiter behind the bar is so friendly and would often bring over nuts to enjoy as a snack and fruity shots throughout the night. Now that’s great service!
Big on taste and atmosphere, little on price, I’d certainly recommend dining at Apa Kabar if you’re in the Sanur area!
Address: Apa Kabar Restaurant, JL. Danau Tamblingan, No. 190 Sanur Bali
Phone: 0361 – 282153, 286385
Free Local Pickup: YES
Free WiFi: YES