This is just a review of the restaurant at Pondok Pitaya, as we have a home in the area and no need for accommodation. We are expats who built our home off Balian Beach about 16 years ago; at that time, other than the nearby bus stop Soka Indah (which has great Nasi Goreng fyi), there were only a few restaurants (one of which is close by to Pondok Pitaya--Gaja Minah; fabulous French/Indonesian food and good wine choices).
Today the area is becoming well known for its surfing and several B&B's have sprung up,along with accompanying restaurants to our delight. There are several little surfer restaurants on this beach now and by far, our favorite two are Pondok Pitaya and Pondok Pisces. Both of these restaurants are usually packed (during high season you might even want to call to make a reservation, although if you are not in a hurry, you can hang out at the beach until there is an available table).
We love going to Pondok Pitaya to eat, no matter breakfast, lunch or dinner. To start with, the restaurant is right off the beach and the view is stunning. You can get acceptable wi-fi (a one time fee of Rupiah 50,000 allows you to get their wi-fi access for a good duration of time--we recently went daily for over two weeks with the same access password), so you can get online, eat and drink, all while enjoying a panoramic oceanfront view.
The menu is really good comfort/diner-style food. The chicken wings are to die for (and come with chunky, crispy fries with just the right amount of salt), the hamburgers are very satisfying (one of the only restaurants in the area to serve them so even more satisfying to have access to them!), guacamole/bean dip w/chips are great (avocados are seasonal...), the burritos very filling (and high on the carb side if you are a surfer who needs the calories--a bit much for a couch potato...), the fresh fruit smoothies are refreshing, the iced ginger tea is powerful (try it w/o sugar if you really want a kick...), and the BBQ whatever is always fantastic (although a few times the BBQ itself has been broken, so ask ahead of time). There is almost always daily fresh fish and of course a variety of local soups/noodles/rice/curry dishes.
As for drinks, Bintang beer is always available (and a safe choice). I wouldn't trust ordering cocktails here with vodka/gin, etc. as the brands used are likely also to be local (watchout for the hangover...). Sometimes wine by the glass is available and there are actually a couple of bearable local (Australian joint ventures) wines...they are great about asking to just try a sip first. We bring our own wine and there is no corkage charge (yet...let's hope the place doesnt' become TOO popular so this and other fab oceanfront perks disappear or are charged for....).
Finally, the staff is very friendly and as one person has mentioned, reactive. However, they are quick to provide service once you do approach them. Considering you are still out in the middle of relative nowhere, this is a fantastic little beachfront restaurant.
- Also Known As:
- Pondok Pitaya Surfer Hotel Bali/Tabanan
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience a world of limitless adventure and sun-filled days in Balian ... where you can live out your dream of being a surfer or enjoy a family holiday with few rounds of ice cold Bintang beers. Sample the freshest Indonesian and Western cuisine. 45 min from the Tabanan Mountain area for a coffee plantation hike and fresh brewed Balinese Coffee. Or slip into a waking dream with clear sky, millions of stars blinking at night and accompanied by tropical sea breeze. Some say Pondok Pitaya is a hotel, but some say its home. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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