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Bali Cafe: Authentic Indonesian Food You Should Try (CLOSED)

Update: This restaurant is now closed

My occasional lunch group decided we should go find a new restaurant to try.  Something new, something fresh, something we’ve all never had before. So I went on the web search for new restaurants that have popped up on the east side of town and found one.

 

2716 E Central Ave
Wichita, KS

info@balicafe.biz
Tel: 316-682-0002www.balicafe.biz
Bali Café is an Indonesian restaurant that offers such authentic foods such as rending, dendeng, lambok, soto, mle bakso, sate, etc. After reading that sentence for your first time, you probably have the same look I had when I saw it. (one eyebrow raised). Their website has their full menu, many items I’ve never heard of. Those that know me will know that upon reading something like that and never having tried it, I just have to see what it all is. My friends were open to trying it out so we went.
It’s located on east Central just west of Hillside. Don’t drive too fast or you’ll miss it. Fortunately there’s a sign sticking out to let you know it’s there. The place is small and quaint with minimal Indonesian decorations up on the walls. There are about 7 tables inside so I’m guessing if the place gets busy; it’d be a good idea to get carryout.
I told my friends about their website so they had a good chance to see the menu before we arrived so we all had a good idea of what we wanted. One of my friends changed their mind because they had a little board that showed one of their popular items was the Beef Rendang. We ordered the following three lunch items and the last one was an appetizer:
Dedeng lambok (spicy sliced beef – sliced beef slow cooked in coconut juice and spices, deep fried until crispy, serve with fresh ground chili).
Ikan rica-rica (1/3 pomfret fish grilled in red spicy sauce)
Beef rendang (beef cooked over low heat in coconut milk flavored with lemon grass)
Otak-Otak otherwise known as fish cake (fish meat and spices, wrapped in banana leaf grilled to perfection)
The employees there were super friendly and answered any “stupid” questions we had. I’m sure they get those types of questions all the time from newbies coming in and they handled it well.
To help kill the time until our food was ready, one of the guys bought a bag of “Garuda” which are coated peanuts with a spicy kick. Wow. Glorious. Incredible. Tasty…….slowly running out of synonyms to use. These are better than the Planters Honey Roasted. I need to find a grocery store that carries these.
Not too long after, our food came out and it was grub time. We took a small second to look at our food and process in our minds what it was we were eating. I had the dedeng lambok and knew I was about to be full. The rice and vegetable side had good flavor as did the sliced beef. The sliced beef tasted as it was cooked a little long but that didn’t deter me from finishing it.
One of the guys who had the Ikan rica-rica enjoyed his meal as well. His only complaint was the amount of bones in the fish which can’t be helped. Lastly my friend who ordered the beef rendang enjoyed his meal and had the similar comment of the beef being a little overcooked.
The appetizer was a different story. The otak-otak is wrapped in banana leaf so when you open it up it’s a fish meat patty. I asked what it was and if I memory serves me correct, its fish meat mixed in with spices. They mix it up and then pack it down to a “fish cake” shape and then steam it, followed by grilling it in a banana leaf. The taste was certainly unique and something I’ve never experienced before. Unfortunately it wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m usually not one for texture but it was very different. One friend tried it and finished his but wasn’t sure if he liked it. The other friend had two of them and liked it. He was the last one of the group, we would have voted to enjoy it. Truly goes to show how unique everybody’s taste buds are.
After finishing, we all agreed we would add this place to the rotation and give it another try in the future. There were other items we saw that we wanted to put in our bellies.
You too should give it a go. It’s something different I’m sure many of you have never had before. If you’re into trying new foods, supporting local and friendly establishments, Bali Café is your place.

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