[Bali] Visiting Bali wouldn’t be complete without eating seafood at the famous Jimbaran beach, and the most famous spot to have a meal and drink there is possibly Menega Cafe.
Jimbaran is a seaside town in Bali known for its long beach, calm waters, lined with fish restaurants.
To spot the restaurant, simply look for thick smokes coming out from the ceiling.
Fear not that the place is not on fire, but instead you would expect signs of fresh seafood grilled using coconut husks. (However, do note that you may inhale more smoke that you would have liked due to the many neighbouring seafood restaurants around.)
To order, go to the front store where the seafood items are displayed.
You get choices from live lobsters, jumbo prawns, king prawns, crabs, squid, baracuda, grouper, red snapper, white snapper to king fish.
Choose your preferred seafood, inform the person the desired weight, and the way to cook the item – may it be steamed, fried or grilled. (If you are worried about pricing, do confirm it again.)
I didn’t regret ordering their signature Grilled Clams (IDR 65k for 1kg, SGD6.50) with fresh clams that were nicely-grilled and well-seasoned.
The highlight was their signature spicy garlicky sauce, making the clams very addictive.
This was possibly one of the most appetising ‘BBQ sauce’ I had in Bali, and a tip would be to ask for extra sauce to be dipped with other dishes.
Another signature on the menu was the King Prawn (IDR 255K for 1kg, SGD25.50), and you could opt for Jumbo Prawn if you want fleshier meat.
The prawns were so fresh that you could taste a hint of sweetness from its juicy meat.
On the flipside, the Grilled Fish (IDR 99k for 1kg, SGD9.90) came out much smaller than expected.
At least it was well seasoned and evenly charred, but nothing really differentiated this from a typical grilled fish.
The Fried Squid (IDR55k, SGD5.50) was also on the hard side, and perhaps not as fresh-tasting as I would like them to be.
A pleasant surprise came with a complimentary plate of Stir-fried Kangkong and cut watermelons slices.
To end the meal, I ordered a whole coconut (IDR 35k, SGD3.50), though it was disappointing to see that they served it using a plastic straw (Bali has instated a ban on single-use plastic.)
Despite hearing not-so-good reviews, touristy prices and inconsistent standard, surprisingly I enjoyed the meal at Menega Café.
The majority of seafood items served were fresh and well-grilled, plus this is a great venue to hang out by the beach with an atmospheric ambience of live music.
Be prepared to wait up to an hour for your table during lunch or dinner.
If you are in need of a faster meal, I would personally recommend heading over to Warung Sakura Seafood just a few shops. This restaurant is also managed by Menega Café that serves a similar menu (prices, quality doesn’t differ) but with less smokiness and crowd.
Jl. Four Seasons Muaya Beach, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 705888
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm
Google Maps – Menega Cafe
* Written by DFD͛’s Jakarta Food Correspondent @iknowhowtoeat who loves exploring NEW food places in both Indonesia and Singapore. DFD pays for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.