Simple Fare

Warung Mak Beng @ Bali

A bit of a drive away from Kuta, you get to Sanur Beach. This is a seaside, one of many in Bali, that has a port that brings you to the nearby desert islands, and also a gourmand destination for those who love fish and spice.

Sanur Beach

Mak Beng has been dishing up steaming fish head soup and fried fish since the end of the colonial era (est. 1941, to be precise). As a result, it’s a bit of a Sanur institution, revered by locals and sought out by many a foreign backpacker whose dining due diligence led them there. Its location, slap-bang on the route to catch the Lembongan and Penida fast boats, makes it a popular stop-off for those heading to the islands.

Residents and tourists flock here for a bowl of their traditional fish head soup and deep fried fish. I don’t understand why they would deep fry the fish (it could be giant grouper, local tuna or mackerel), as these were freshly caught fish by local fishermen. Given to a Cantonese chef, the fish would be steamed to enjoy its freshness.

The main options on the menu are rice, fried fish and fish soup, all of which are abundant in authentic flavours and are served with a side of their famous freshly made spicy sambal. You don’t have to order; just get a number, wait for your turn and then take a seat to enjoy your meal.

A fried meaty piece of ikan laut goreng (fried saltwater fish) with a wonderful smoked sambal and kaffir lime on the side. The deep fried fish was delivered with the bones intact so be careful because you could not choose the cut. All it needed a good smothering in Mak Beng’s sambal terasi (an earthy chilli relish made from shrimp paste) for flavour and moisture. Be warned, the chilli packed a punch!

But it was this absolutely fabulous bowl of sup ikan laut (spicy fish soup) that blew me away. The soup has assam from the tamarind, and fragrance from the spices. It’s loaded with enough turmeric to cure a common cold. Lemongrass and lime juice add a welcome bit of freshness. The addition of cucumber in the soup was deceiving – the soup is so spicy that it would make you sweat cold beads immediately.

It was a soothing drink, and you would not stop at one; this local orange juice was freshly squeezed from local mandarin orange called kintamani that is grown natively in the volcanic soil of Kintamani. Very sweet with just hint of sourness, this killed the heat for a moment of reprieve.

The place gets pretty packed (especially during lunchtime), so drop by early to snag a seat! No reservation, first come first serve. Love all, serve all.

Warung Mak Beng
Jalan Hang Tuah No.45, Sanur Kaja, Denpasar Selatan, Jl. Hang Tuah No.51, Sanur Kaja, Denpasar Selatan, Kota Denpasar, Bali 80227, Indonesia
Tel : +62 361 282633

Visited Mar 2023

#sanur #sanurbeach #ikanlaut #warungmakbeng #warungmakbengbali


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1 comment on “Warung Mak Beng @ Bali

  1. Pingback: 150 Most Legendary Restaurants of the World – live2makan

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