Bali is full of little warungs – small hole in the wall restaurants run by locals that serve up cheap food all day long and into the night. Some will be distinctly average, and some will surprise you with some of the best meals you’ve had on your trip. As a rule, trust the crowds, especially if they are local. But to short cut it for you, one of the better ones in Ubud is Biah Biah. Buzzing all night long with holiday makers and backpackers, the food here is simple Indonesian fare, served on banana leaves and grease proof paper, as is tradition for warung food in Indonesia. The food is plentiful and the beer is cheap.
Try the pangsit goreng sayur (17,000 IDR) – vegetable wantons, deep fried and served with a spicy sambal and salt on the side. They are delicious in a dirty kind of way, just as the pangsit goreng keju (18,000 IDR) are, which are essentially mozzarella sticks. Rice and noodle based meals start from 20,000 IDR, my favourite being the nasi goreng ayam sambal matah (23,000 IDR) – rice and chicken cooked with fresh onion, garlic, chilli and lemongrass, though I tend to ask for extra chillies on the side for an extra kick.
One of the best parts of Biah Biah is their small plates menu, kind of like Indonesian tapas, all priced around 7,000 IDR per dish, which is literally pennies and the perfect way to try Indonesian food without commitment, even on the smallest of budgets. The deep fried tempeh manis in sweet soy sauce, garlic and chilli is excellent, as well as the bregedel kentang – deep fried potato with egg and Balinese spices. Their vegetable small plates are great as a side to go with their main rice dishes, and generally vary around local green vegetables jazzed up with peanut sauces, grated coconut and Balinese spices. It’s all delicious and incredibly good value.
Biah Biah is also one of the cheapest places to drink the local Plaga wine, sold at half the price it usually is elsewhere. The beer is ice cold (around 30,000 IDR for a large Bintang) and the atmosphere can easily keep you here for hours on end. One of my Ubud favourites, and you have to listen to me because I lived there for a while.
Jl. Goutama No. 13, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
+62 361 978249
Open every day between 10am and 11pm
Tapas: Starts from 7,000 IDR
Meals: 20,000 – 25,000 IDR
Large beer: 30,000 IDR