After hearing such good reviews about Biku Tea House, we decided to have dinner here during our trip to Bali.
Biku is the Indonesian word for Chinese Monk – after an old Chinese monk statue that sits in the restaurant. Offerings are giving to him each day and the status is a pretty important aspect of the place.
We walked there, which probably wasn’t the best idea (remember, lack of footpaths!) and I was happy to get there after trudging the streets for 20 minutes. We entered a large traditional Balinese teak house crammed full with timber cabinets filled with trinkets and chinaware that you could purchase. There was a book corner in the front right hand side of the tea house, and another corner filled with jewellery and houseware. And I can’t forget the giant table topped with about 12 different types of freshly made cakes and scones.
We settled down at the table we booked (thank goodness for this, because it filled up quickly after we arrived!) and both enjoyed a Bintang beer. Now, I’m not a huge beer fan but confess when I am feeling really hot, it hits the right spot. It’s also a very easy beer to drink as it is light and has a pleasant malty flavour with no icky after taste (there’s the girly review for you).
We started with an entree of spicy chicken wings, which weren’t anything to remember other than it was crispy. We went straight to the Indonesian corner of the menu, and Mr Ana Pepes Ikan Luat – or snapper in Balinese spices grilled in banana leaves. It came out on a big timber platter and smelt delicious. The snapper was very very fresh and tender, however it was slightly overcooked – probably something you’d only pick up if you eat a lot of seafood. It came with a massive home made prawn cracker with soybeans laced in the cracker – yummo! Fluffy long grain rice and a side of wilted vegetables came with it. Mr Ana didn’t leave me much to sample.
But that was ok because I ordered the better dish (in my opinion)! Bring on my Nasi Campur!
Not the best photo as it was taken with my phone, but you can see that it full with different little dishes. It was the best nasi campur I had on our trip – and I ate it around 4 times… It’s described as a Balinese rijsttfel (a Dutch word meaning rice table), and basically consisted of about 3 different vegetable dishes, some fried tofu, beef rendang, sate chicken sticks, and tempeh. I loved every component of this dish, the flavours were SO delicious! The sate sticks had a strong smokey grilled flavour as it was grilled over charcoal, the beef rendang was full of spices and flakey to eat. The snake bean side dish was flavoursome – we would learn how to cook this later in Ubud. And the little slivers of tempeh were crunchy and I really enjoyed eating this mixed with my rice. Tempeh is a soybean staple from Indonesia, and when slightly fried, becomes deliciously crunchy.
Since my dessert tummy wasn’t occupied, I decided to try one of their specialty cakes. I had trouble deciding and stood there for a while with a confused look on my face. A kind waitress asked me if she could help me and I told her I couldn’t decide between the coconut and almond meal cake, or the lime and pistachio cake. I asked her what she would recommend and she immediately pointed to the almond meal cake. And it didn’t disappoint, very nice and heavy with almond meal………… The little scoop of ice cream as appreciated too!
We went home with happy tummies that night. And at just over $5AUD a head, it didn’t make a dent in our pockets.
Ps – there’s a great homewares store next door, make a little time to check it out.