Happy Bali bellies in Jimbaran Bay with kids

Bali sunset

Sunsets are something that Bali does particularly well. And Jimbaran Beach is the place those in the know gather to enjoy them. Which is why, at sundown, we find ourselves leaving the Ayana Resort and Spa to instead sip a leisurely Bintang at bustling Jimbaran Bay with kids.

At least sort of, as said kids have run off to stalk, with serious intent, a guy selling balloons.

Only the emergency purchase of a duck and an Angry Bird wheelie balloon (don’t even ask) allows the poor guy to escape without having to have an AVO taken out on a particularly obsessive Sugarpuff.

JImbaran Bay with Kids

It proves an astute purchase as the tow-along balloon thingy proves to have true pulling power and my little cougar kitten is soon enjoying her first holiday romance with a younger Balinese man she picks up on the beach.

JImbaran Bay with Kids

As the two tiny tots cuddle and play together, Raffles frolics merrily by the water’s edge with some older local kids and their ball, connected only by a shared language of play. It is a beautiful thing! When our kids engage with other children on our travels, it not only strengthens their experience and creates a world of connections for them (and their parents) but also teaches my wee but worldly little lovelies to appreciate both the similarities and differences of those from other cultures.

JImbaran Bay with kids

We fill the kids happy little bellies with fresh fish from one of the seafood shacks that line the beach,  and watch as they feast on perkedels (corn fritters) and some freshly barbecued corn from a cart that’s sitting quite randomly on the sand.

corn kart on the beach, Jimbaran

But mum and dad are fasting in preparation for a rare night out together at Ayana’s Dava Restaurant. Sans enfants. Gasp!

To be honest, we’re a tad nervous as it isn’t often Mama and Papa Eats World get to eat out without lugging a truck load of baby wipes or having to nag someone to finish their vegies. And babysitters are a rarity. But we’re biting the bullet! Well, we’re actually biting succulent chunks of crayfish, slivers of rare wagyu beef, freshly shaved truffles and a perfect baked chocolate fondant.

By candlelight.

Alongside a pretty terraced lily pond.

Yep, it’s a little bit special. And by little bit I mean it is freaking amazeballs!

And while our meal and the time alone is all kinds of awesome, the biggest surprise of the evening is returning to our villa to discover that the ever hungry Raffles and Sugarpuff haven’t eaten their babysitter and are, in fact, fast asleep.

Food is an integral part of what makes a visit to Bali and a stay at the Ayana Resort & Spa experience so special. Besides fine diner Dava, the resort offers a huge choice of dining from fresh seafood on the beach and trattoria-style Italian to a melting-pot of pan-asian cuisine and traditional Indonesian market fare, which rocks.

Speaking of rocks, we can’t miss a visit to the resort’s famous Rock Bar but this time Mr Eats World and I take the kids as chaperones, lest we actually start getting used to uninterrupted conversation.

Rock Bar

Accessed by inclinator, the split-level bar  merges almost organically into the cliff face. It is Bali’s hippest bar and the queue to get in is long but as guests of the resort, we’re whisked through VIP style, the kids welcomed with crayons and colouring books and a bowl of the fanciest chips I’ve ever seen.

Rock Bar chips

Mr Eats World & I surreptitiously steal a few and toast another beautiful day in Bali as waves break below us and traditional fishing boats sail past into yet another postcard perfect sunset.

Bali, Rock Bar

But the most special dining experience in Jimbaran Bay with kids is a quite simple one that we enjoy on our last day after an eye-opening tour Raffles and I enjoy of the local fish market.

FIshing baskets on the beach, JImbaran

We’re the only tourists and my beautiful boy is as intriguing to the lovely locals as their fishy wares are to him.

FIsherman, Jimbaran

He is warmly welcomed to see, touch and taste the freshest of fresh fish.

JImbaran bay with kids - a small boy and a crab at Jimbaran Fish Markets

And to view the bizarre array of unrecognisable seafood as it is sorted and unloaded straight from brightly-painted fishing boats on the busy beachfront.

JImbaran Bay with Kids

As excited as Raffles is about seeing where his food comes from and playing in the fishing boats, once we return to Ayana for lunch his excitement goes turbo as we enjoy a very special meal of seafood nasi goreng (Indonesian style fried rice made with a spicy tomato sambal), and tum bebek (tasty minced duck with a spicy bumbu genep paste and lime leaves steamed in banana leaves).

Steaming Tum Bebek

A meal that a beaming Raffles – chef’s hat firmly in place – presents proudly to us after his first ever official cooking class with the lovely chefs at Ayana’s Padi Restaurant.

Jimbaran Bay with Kids Raffles learns to cook nasi goreng at Ayana

And it is as delicious as he is.

Nasi Goreng kids


THE RECIPE – Seafood Nasi Goreng

Seafood Nasi Goreng


4 tbs Vegetable Oil
2 cups cooked white rice (best prepared the day before)
1 cup of chinese cabbage, julienned
1 cup of bok choy, julienned
1 cup of leek, finely sliced
1 long red chilli finely diced
2 shallots diced
4 garlic cloves finely diced
100 gm firm white fish (we used snapper fillet) cut into cubes.
100 gm prawns peeled and diced
50 gm of calamari, diced
2 eggs, beaten
1 egg, whole.
1 tbs fish sauce
2 tbs Sambal Tomat (recipe below)
1 tbs mushroom soy sauce
1 tbs fried shallots.


Heat 2 tbs oil in a wok or heavy fry pan.
Add shallots and garlic and fry for a minute.
Add the beaten eggs and fry, stirring.
Add chilli and add fish and calamari, stir fry for one minute then add prawns and fry until seafood is almost cooked.
Add a tbs oil, fish sauce and sambal.
Add vegetables and cooked rice, stirring gently.
In a separate pan fry an egg sunny side up and put aside.
Add mushroom sauce and white pepper to taste.
Serve with fried shallots, and fried egg.

Sambal Tomat (for nasi goreng)


2 tbsp of vegetable oil
3 shallots, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic
4 large chillies, seeds removed and roughly chopped
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp shrimp paste
2 tbs lime juice
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a heavy based frypan or wok.
Add shallots, garlic and chillies and fry for about 4 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and shrimp paste and fry until soft.
Take off heat and add blend ingredients in a food processor to a coarse paste.
Season with salt and lime juice.
Cool before use.

19 Comments on Happy Bali bellies in Jimbaran Bay with kids

  1. adzy
    July 12, 2013 at 11:08 pm (11 years ago)

    I just love reading about your adventures 🙂

      July 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm (11 years ago)

      Aww, thanks gorgeous. How are you?

  2. MrsD
    July 13, 2013 at 8:09 am (11 years ago)

    So beautifully written!! and I LOVE the duck on wheels. How was your night out?? xxx

    • Kate
      July 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm (11 years ago)

      I’ve never seen a pull-along balloon before! Very clever! I can see why she stalked him!

        July 19, 2013 at 11:29 pm (11 years ago)

        It was really cute. And lasted for ages. I wanted one… 🙂

      July 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks, Lovely. It was awesome 🙂

  3. NewLifeOnTheRoad (@NewLifeOnRoad)
    July 14, 2013 at 6:14 pm (11 years ago)

    Oh it sounds so heavenly….would love to eat out in Bali, and to see freshly caught seafood!
    Love your sweet little girl playing on the beach with another sweet little boy. Beautiful pics 🙂

      July 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks hon. It was special 🙂

  4. Have a laugh on me
    July 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm (11 years ago)

    I just imagine how cool it will be for your kids to read these one day 🙂

      July 19, 2013 at 11:25 pm (11 years ago)

      I just hope they don’t hold all the oversharing against me. LOL

  5. jp
    July 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm (11 years ago)

    I loved the pictures it reminded me of when mine were a similar age. My youngest is now 18 and they are all independent. It is bittersweet. I love them just as much but they don’t need me now – apart from the occasional tug on the wallet – and it leaves a kind of hollow feeling. As no doubt many parents do I wish I could go back and do it all again……. but better.

      July 19, 2013 at 11:27 pm (11 years ago)

      I find it hard to be away for a minute. There eventual independence terrifies me 😉

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    July 18, 2013 at 1:23 pm (11 years ago)

    Hehe look at Sugarpuff go! A sweet holiday romance already! And we went to Dava too-I remember lots of cocktails 😛

      July 19, 2013 at 11:28 pm (11 years ago)

      I don’t remember lots of cocktails. Mostly because of the amount I consumed 😉

  7. laurasmess
    July 22, 2013 at 9:47 am (11 years ago)

    Gorgeous, gorgeous post. You have such a way with words. Haha… love those artistically arranged fries, the wheelie balloon and Raffles’ chef’s hat. Glad that you guys had an absolute blast xx

      July 22, 2013 at 9:56 pm (11 years ago)

      Thanks so much Laura. So sweet of you to say x

  8. Angela Swanson
    July 25, 2013 at 1:22 am (11 years ago)

    Those pictures were priceless, and your post was so beautifully written, Lovely children by the way! Thank you so much for participating in our link party last week. We hope to see you at our next Blog Strut Linky Party at mypersonalaccent.com!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

Signup to our newsletter for exclusive subscriber content including expert travel advice, original recipes and giveaways.


Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

Bio pic BoyEatsWorld


© Copyright boyeatsworld 2020. Powered by WordPress.