There are many eateries in Bali where you can feast on good food with picture-perfect, idyllic rice fields around you. Some might even say that it is the quintessential Island of Gods experience (other than beaches, of course).
The major downside of other restaurants is, perhaps, the lack of variety when it comes to Indonesian dishes. Not to mention the soaring prices, especially at establishments located in the island’s most popular spots.
Warung Nads is a brand new little gem in the heart of Umalas, Kerobokan that opens daily and serves delicious Indonesian dishes at affordable prices compared to other joints in the area. The blissful restaurant is surrounded by paddy fields and is located on the same street as several other dining places that are perhaps more popular among visitors, such as Nook and Warung Italia.
Authentic Indonesian dishes are featured prominently by Warung Nads – with the highlights including their nasi campur mewah (special mixed rice) with either white or brown rice featuring sides from all over the country, ayam woku berempah (spiced chicken) from North Sulawesi, tongkol sisit bumbu balado (red-hot spicy tuna) from Sumatra, urap (mixed veggies with grated coconuts) from Bali, and sweet tempe (soybean cake).
They also have nasi bakar rendang (grilled rice with rendang spice) with well-steamed rice covered in banana leaves. When the thirst is real and the sun is hot, Warung Nads offers, among others, fresh rujak (mixed fruits) for dessert.
What sets Warung Nads apart is that not only does it let its local dishes and paddy fields shine, but it also puts an emphasis on being a place where people can meet up and let their hair down with its relaxed atmosphere.
“We have wanted to open a simple restaurant with delicious meals that are affordable for everybody – especially Indonesians – for so long. I was inspired by both the college cafeteria and Raminten restaurant in my hometown, Yogyakarta,” Ayun Sundari, who owns Warung Nads with her husband Husin Daud, told Coconuts Bali.
Warung Nads’ nasi campur (mixed steamed rice) is priced at IDR30,000 (US$2), making it the most “expensive” dish on their menu. Other beloved local dishes that Warung Nads serves, such as cap cay and rendang, are cheaper than that.
Ayun noted that the restaurant has managed to keep prices affordable because it chiefly serves Indonesian dishes and uses locally-sourced ingredients.
Of course, that does not mean establishing Warung Nads was an easy task for Ayun and Husin. The idea was sparked when they visited Bali seven months ago for leisure. By chance, they spotted a good location in Umalas to build their dream restaurant – noting that other more established restaurants in the area rarely serve Indonesian dishes.
“There’s a huge potential there. Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still ongoing, we went with our guts to move fast to build an Indonesian dining place in just two and a half months. Truly crazy,” he said.
Conceding that Warung Nads is their first restaurant and they did not have prior experience in the F&B business, Ayun said that they are grateful for help from their friends who were supportive of the restaurant’s concept.
“It does take a village to build a restaurant,” Ayun said.
Warung Nads’ simplistic approach and humble image have attracted many customers. The restaurant is already popular among local artists, such as filmmakers, and NGO workers who can often be seen at the tables brainstorming ideas.
The restaurant is also equipped with power outlets in strategic locations, ideal for remote workers to place their laptops and hunker down to meet looming deadlines. The idyllic scenery certainly serves as a mood booster to get your work done.
All pictures provided by Warung Nads team.
Jl. Umalas 1 No.8A, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
Open daily from 8am to 10pm