Ubud has many hidden nasi ayam joints that you need to try from time to time. However, let’s start with one of the most iconic – Nasi Ayam Betutu Pak Sanur!

Ubud has many hidden nasi ayam joints that you need to try from time to time. However, let’s start with one of the most iconic – Nasi Ayam Betutu Pak Sanur!

THE LANDSCAPE OF Ubud is ever-changing. Of what used to be known as a sleepy town where people would seek solitude and meditation; Ubud now have shops, resorts and restaurants spawning at an alarming rate. The town may become more touristy than ever, but Ubud still retains much of its unique charm.

One way to prove that is by tracing the traditional values. In general, Balinese surpasses many other cultural communities in Indonesia with the preservation of their centuries-old tradition and that can be seen all over the island. Food-wise, Ubudians keep their wet market alive as well as staying true with the cuisines we always look forward whenever in Bali.

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While not setting aside the classic choices of Balinese food in Ubud like nasi ayam Kedewatan or the uber-famous babi guling shacks here, there’s one in particular that we would like to give a special appreciation in this issue. Behind the façade of the jammed main street and Starbucks first coffee shop here, an inconspicuous nasi ayam betutu joint owned by Pak Sanur on the narrow Jalan Arjuna is among our finest discoveries.

Just a stone’s throw away from the main street, you will find a compound on the right side of street. The place is kept neat and has more than enough seats to bring your whole family for breakfast. Opens from as early as 7 am, Pak Sanur’s three-decade old nasi ayam betutu business usually closes before noon.

Pak Sanur himself welcomes his patrons whenever possible and he would mingle among us to share a bit or two about his business. Initially, he opened his business down at the market but decided to move it to his home until present day.

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Service is unparalleled. The crews are kind and steadfast behind the counter, serving every dine-in order quickly while also preparing takeaway rice for a lady who would carry a whole bunch of it upon her head and sell them around the town. The formula is very simple and that involves only a portion of warm rice and topped with the slowly cooked ayam betutu served alongside some fried chicken innards, vegetables, and a bit of fried noodles. Accompany it with Pak Sanur’s fiery sambal, it’s probably one of the most divine traditional fare you will ever find in Ubud. And that’s for only IDR 20,000/person!

Pak Sanur’s ayam betutu is unlike the betutu lalah from Gilimanuk that emphasizes the spiciness only. Ubudian’s ayam betutu boasts the in-depth flavor from the spices and slow-cooking process unlike nowhere else. A visit to Pak Sanur’s restaurant should be a bucket list for your food trip here and comparing his to other joints around would be an adventure of its own.

Jalan Arjuna, Ubud – Bali
OPENING HOURS: Daily, 7am – finish (before noon)
SPEND: IDR 20,000 / person

Written by Rian Farisa Photographs by Rian Farisa June 21, 2016.