Where to eat and drink: Amed

Amed: Where to eat and drink

Amed’s many bays are lined with places to eat. You’ll be able to choose from simple warungs through to resort restaurants (most, though not all resorts, allow outsiders to dine). Nor surprisingly there is a heavy focus on seafood and you’ll see the daily catches of mackeral and tuna for sale by the side of the road. Plenty of other Balinese and Indonesian standards are offered along with some attempts at international food. Prices are generally moderate. With a couple of notable exceptions the coffee is inexplicably vile!

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On the off-beach side of the road, Warung Enak is a popular place for daytime snacking and does a breakfast for guests staying at nearby Lily Amed. On the beach side, Wawa Wewe Restaurant and Bar is a comfortable spot, while further up the beach, just before you reach the start of Jemeluk, you’ll reach BoBo’s, which offers iced drinks with ideally placed bench tables to enjoy the sunset and Gunung Agung lightshow.

Nearly first off the rank, beside a popular diveshop and almost opposite Kembali Bali sits Reef Bar. Come here for very good thin-crust pizzas and pasta dishes along with cold drinks. It’s a relaxed place with some bench seating and beanbags thrown around the place. If you’re on the front terrace, watch out you don’t fall over the edge.

Continuing along the beach road into Jemeluk, you’ll reach Cemanji Cafe with simple beachside seating offering Balinese and Indonesian staples. Food can take a very long while to rustle up, but is as reasonable as anywhere else. A little further down is the very friendly Pantai Seafood which does (you guessed it) seafood and Indonesian staples. They’ll also make a decent stab at a simple pizza should you happen to have a recalcitrant seven year old in tow refusing to eat anything but cheese. They also have four budget rooms for rent here.

A few doors further still will take you to Organik Cafe, which has the most alluring menu of fresh salads, sandwiches and treats like delicious cheesecake in the bay, with rare espresso and plunger coffee on offer.

Reggae-themed Amed Kedai is down by where the Gili speedboats drop off. We mention it more as a place not to eat rather than a place to eat. Service is slapdash, slow and the food very variable. At least their drinks are cold. Head to Moonshine (see next section) on the headland road between Bunutan and Lipah for all your reggae needs.

By Amedian standards, Bunutan has a raging culinary scene. Towards the Jemeluk end of things, Moonshine is a solid reggae bar and restaurant with generously sized decent bar food and regular live music. If you’re staying at any of the nearby resorts you’ll be able to hear the music without stepping a foot inside. We liked it here though -- great staff and a friendly vibe. At the other end of the spectrum, Health Resort allows no smoking and has no alcohol, but serves up the most health-oriented food in perhaps all of Amed in its small au naturale restaurant. Think kombucha, chai, house-made pasta and a scrumptious chocolate cake – book an Ayurvedic session or other healing therapy while you’re here.

Continue along the beach road and you’ll reach the brand spanking new Galanga, which was our favourite place to eat in all of Amed. The food here takes a little while – though maybe they are just finding their feet as they were only open two weeks when we ate there – but is made with real attention to detail. We loved their samosas, and came back more times than we can count for their banoffee “pie” (served in a glass). Their house-made ice cream is also a treat and the coffee is a welcome machine-made espresso. There’s no WiFi but 3G is okay and the little bamboo pavilions each have their own power cable. A little further down still (just on the east side of the bridge) you’ll find friendly Taman Bebek Hita, serving excellent duck done a number of ways – we liked fiery “angry” best but “garangkasem” was delicious too. There’s a rare kids’ menu too here, so this is a good spot to bring a fussy eater as they will still get items like fish nuggets and chips.

Amed Harmony, a little after Taman Bebek Hita, is one of the few places in Amed that does a decent coffee. They also offer a cooking class -- and have a few rooms for rent, with a cute swimming pool thrown in.

Continue along and the road takes a right and immediately on the right sits Warung Makan Tri Yoga, a bubi guling place that every visitor to Amed should try at least once. Get in early for a generous serving of port crackle.

Fifty metres further down, the road splits; straight ahead is Bangle, while the turn to the left takes you to the rest of Amed’s bays. On the corner sits The Grill, probably our favourite international focused eatery in Amed. They’ve expanded into their pretty backyard since our last visit and there is a telescope in the centre of the garden to keep the star-gazers busy. Try the tuna steak and their house-made orangecello is divine with soda and ice.

From the Grill, the road veers left and up the hill, taking a hard right at Waeni’s to run along the headland to Lipah. Waeni’s is arguably the best viewpoint restaurant in Amed and has beanbags scattered across a concrete deck to allow guests to fully enjoy the view. Prices are a little high for the standard, but the views are unbeatable. Get here by 17:00 latest to be sure of getting a beanbag. The food is not great – our gado gado for instance came with a fried egg, and the grilled squid was really underwhelming.

Compared to busy Bunutan and Jemeluk, Lipah’s eating scene is more limited. Gusto, beside Anda Amed, offers a short menu with a mix of Indonesian and western fare. The setting is comfortable and intimate for an evening meal, and the prices reasonable for the standard. It’s almost like a real restaurant – service was very good.

Down in Lipah village proper, we tried three places, the two on the beach road, Warung Shanti and Warung Sabar, had little to separate them, offering standard tourist menus and reasonable prices. On the beach there is a third place Cafe Indah, that was good for a drink and a bite to eat. They also rent snorkelling gear.

Most of Selang is given over to Good Karma (which has its own passable restaurant), but if you’re looking for a bit of variety, Aquaterrace is a smart looking spot wedged into the centre of Blue Moon Villas. They also have a few rooms and an attached spa.

Aside from the Grill back on Bunutan, Sails is Amed’s other relatively upmarket Western eatery. You can’t miss it, perched on the headland before Lean bay, and if you’re looking for a fancy meal out, Sails delivers -- they also offer a pick up service should you be staying in the area and not have your own transport.

If you’d prefer a sunset view with your meal, on Lean’s eastern headland sits Imbuh Bali, a restaurant, bar and guesthouse that has been designed in a way (we’re not sure if intentionally) to make it look like it is about to tumble into the ocean. Like Waeni’s a few bays to the west, Imbuh Bali is all about the views -- a great spot for a sundowner.

If you’ve decided to stay out this way, then having a wide choice of places to eat probably wasn’t a big issue, but you’ll still not starve. Smiling Buddha, the restaurant at Meditasi, is very well regarded for their food and offers a cooking class daily (and can pick you up from elsewhere if you don’t have transport). It’s a very chilled out but well placed restaurant and while we’ve not eaten here, we have heard good things about it. Up on the western headland sits Wawa Wewe III on the Rock, with a fabulously placed swimming pool and ice cold drinks -- ideal for sunsets.

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