Though it’s relatively new, few places in Bali conjure up the great trading days of the Dutch colonial period like the Tugu Hotel in Canggu. The 26-suite property is home to an immense collection of Indonesian antiquities, along with 1930’s oil paintings by Belgian artist Adrien Le Mayeur de Merpés, and German artist Walter Spies. To really relive the days of old Java, have lunch or dinner in their restaurant, Waroeng Tugu. (“Waroeng” is a traditional hut with an open village-style kitchen). The chef, Ibu Soelastri, cooked for the past four presidents of Indonesia. Come with a group and order the rijsttafel, Dutch for “rice table;” you’ll get a mountain of steamed rice accompanied by dozens of spicy side dishes: sambals satays, seafood, pickles, vegetables, and fruits. Bare hands are the historic cutlery of choice, and dishes are served on banana leaf-covered pottery.
Tip: Especially if you’re planning to take advantage of the rijsttafel, advance reservations—and several hours for eating—are essential.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.