We finally got to eat in Menaga Cafe Jimbaran! We wanted to go the last 2 times we went to Bali this year, ever since we tried the famous Warung Menega in Lombok (think the owners are related) which is still the BEST meal I’ve ever had in Indonesia. I have to qualify that I am an utter sucker for seafood. So does the Jimbaran Bali counterpart measure up to the Lombok legend? My answer after the jump.
We made reservations (which I highly recommend because this place gets packed on weekends) and arrived at about 830. We were so surprised to see that it was crazy full – we could barely pass between tables!
They have a system that I found was different from the other Jimbaran restos:
- Find the guy in charge (we were told to look for the guy in blue)
- Ask him for your table number
- Go back to the entrance where they have the fresh seafood on display.
- Tell the seafood dude what you like. I recommend:
- Clams *best thing on their menu, especially for garlic lovers like us!,
- Udang Jumbo/King or Jumbo/King Prawns
- Kepiting or Crabs
- Ikan or Fish
- Cumi or Squid (pronounced Choo-mi)
- Tell him how many Kilograms of each. If you don’t know, then just tell the guy how many people are eating, i.e. lima orang or 5 people, and he’ll make a recommendation
- And tell him how you want each item cooked. If you ask me, everything is best “bakar” or grilled with their special sauce – even their crab. This is the reason Ikan Bakar Jimbaran (Jimbaran Grilled Seafood) is so famous! Oh and if you are like us, not used to super spicy food, ask them not to make it spicy. You can say “tidak pedas” (not spicy). Because “mildly spicy” here in Indonesia is still pretty darn spicy for us Filipinos!
- Then you can head back to your table to order your drinks. No need to order rice and veggies because rice, kang-kung and fruits for desserts are complimentary.
- 1 Kg king prawn – Rp 140,000
- 1 Kg squid – Rp 75,000
- 1.1 Kg yellow crazy fish – Rp 82,500
- 2 Kg clams – Rp 80,000
- 5 Cokes – Rp 10,000 each
- 1 Aqua water – Rp 8,000 each
Everything was delicious and fresh (1 Clams, 2 prawns, 3 fish and 4 squid). Our favorite is still the clams and the Menega signature garlic dip which we would combine with kecap manis or sweet soy sauce. This is what makes Menega different from the other Jimbaran or Ikan Bakar (grilled seafood) restos that we’ve tried. The others just serve sambal and kecap manis. The garlic sauce is way better in Lombok. Aside from the flavor, the garlic is minced more fine – but perhaps the Jimbaran branch just doesn’t have time with the amount of customers that they have. It’s absolute mayhem.
Total with 10% tax is Rp 487,850 or about 55 USD for 5 really hungry Filipinos. Not bad at all! Remember that we were (over)charged Rp 500,00 at Ganesha for only TWO PEOPLE on our first Jimbaran experience? Now we know better! There are so many yummier and cheaper Jimbaran restos on Jalan Four Seasons! So if your driver volunteers to take you to Ganesha, you are better off asking him to head to Jalan Four Seasons and choosing between:
I also don’t recommend New Moon Cafe. We had a bad experience with mushy lobster, shrimps and squid! Urk. That means it’s not fresh. =(
If you want to check out Menega Cafe, be ready to contend with slow service. Or try to get their earlier before the evening crowd. At sunset or even early dinner at 5pm perhaps? The flavor of their seafood is excellent, better than most of the other Jimbaran restos I’ve tried and everything is perfectly cooked. And the price cannot be beat! They seem to be honest with their weighing because the 5 of us hungree hippos couldn’t even finish everything. It may be a long wait but you always forgive them once the food arrives. LOL.
Again be wary of some tourist traps like driver recommended establishments (like Ganesha) where I feel the weighing scales are fixed because you get so little for so much money. (The food isn’t even spectacular – just pwede na or okay.)
WARUNG MENEGA LOMBOK is still the best Ikan Bakar resto in Indonesia for me! But Menega Cafe Jimbaran has to be the best tasting of all the Jimbaran restos I’ve been to. I’ve only been to Radja Cafe, Nyoman’s Cafe, Ganesha and New Moon (I don’t recommend the last two). I would avoid it on weekends unless I can arrive at about 5:30 pm. Also reservation is a must for peak hours. We ate in Menega Cafe THREE TIMES in 7 days. So I guess we love it huh? =P
MENEGA CAFE – JIMBARAN
- Jl. four Seasons, Muaya Beach, Jmbaran, Bali
- +62 361 705888