The Nirvana Burger Bar is also a sports bar. Many screens cover all of the world’s major sporting events, as well as all the popular Australian ones. If sport bores you then the bar area and the front section of the restaurant is your escape. The Burger Bar is next door to the Nirvana restaurant, on the Seminyak side of Eat Street.
A few years ago I commented that even though the majority of Bali restaurants, including some fine dining ones, had hamburgers on their menu there were still no specialty burger restaurants. Then they came, in droves…..many of them were not to last the distance, and have already gone.
Hamburgers have existed in Australia for almost as long as they have in the USA. They are only a very recent addition to the menus of the rest of the world. Although there were a few attempts to do so, such as England’s awful Wimpy, and their even worse street food burgers which had the beef patty actually boiled and placed alone in a soft bun! Late night drinkers eat anything.
So it is no surprise that an Australian restaurant is the longest running specialty burger site in Bali. No they are not gourmet burgers, wagyu or from other exotic cuts or processes of meat. They are just simple plain hamburgers [with many filling options], which after all is what most people want. A quick snack, with taste!
You can not beat the basic classic; beef patty with lettuce, tomato and onion in a sesame seed bun. At Nirvana it is very good [pictured], served as they all are with French fries, or chips as they are called in Australia,
The ‘Aussie Burger’ appears on many Bali menus, sadly as misrepresented as Thai’s Tom Yum Goong or Beef Salad. It differs from the American way of preparing and serving a hamburger. In my younger years I made thousands of them on a working holiday. There are many small differences from the American, 1st the bun is toasted [the American is sometimes steamed]. The beef patty is hand moulded from the fresh mince, sometimes with finely chopped onion added, even some egg yolks as well as normal seasoning.
It has all the ingredients of the classic hamburger plus one special, pure Australian element, a slice of beetroot [without that it is definitely NOT an Aussie Burger]. The Cheeseburger option has the top half of the bun removed from the grill half way and the underside covered with a mound of grated cheddar cheese before returning till the cheese begins to melt. Any added egg is cooked on the hotplate in an egg ring, rarely seen in Bali.
Nirvana just about gets it right. Their version is a cheeseburger with fried egg added. Whereas the true American hamburger is properly best represented by those available at the Hard Rock Café, a larger sesame seed bun, fired patty, sliced dill pickle and table relishes for you to add as you please.
The variations on the classic are endless. Top of the list is, as always, the Hawaiian, with a pineapple ring added. A Bali fusion one, the Volcano, has a chilli sambal to give it a bit of extra heat. The Barbie Burger is still beef but with BBQ sauce. There are also double cheese and bacon & cheese burgers.
The Chicken Burger, chicken patty, lettuce, tomato and cheese, uses the Aussie colloquial name as a Chook Burger, which confounds all but Australians.
There are also Fish and Vegetarian Burgers. A Mini Burger Platter is 3 miniatures, one of each; beef, chicken and fish. To any of the burgers you can double up on or add your own favourite ingredient, there is a long list of available extras.
As an alternative to a burger meal try another Aussie standard, the Steak Sandwich. Apart from the beef fillet, tomato, lettuce and onion it also has beetroot, cheese and a fried egg. It is more a meal than a snack this one. A bit messy to eat but so, so good!
The Nirvana Burger Bar seems to throb, day and night. There are other snack items that go very well with a drink at the front bar. You can order Chicken Wings and Nuggets, Onion Rings or a plate of Potato Wedges [served with a cocktail dipping sauce], or a plate of Crumbed Calamari.
Simple cuisine served well, at reasonable prices. No wonder the place is always busy!
Restaurant : Nirvana Burger Bar
Address : Jl. Kayu Aya [ex Laksmana] 50B, Seminyak.
Telephone : 736.270
Open : 08.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. daily.
Parking : Private parking.
Price : Rp. 300,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : Visa, Mastercard.
Food : Burgers++.
Wine : Limited list.
Service : Smiling and helpful.
Atmosphere : Friendly and relaxed..
Overall : Great value for this area!
Copyright © 2018 Gerry Williams
Reviews that appear in Bali Advertiser are based on actual visits to the establishments listed, without the knowledge of the restaurants, and are not paid for by the individual restaurants.
Opinions expressed here are those of Gerry Williams and not necessarily those of Bali Advertiser. Gerry Williams attempts to write from a ‘typical’ diner’s perspective and, whilst quality of food is the most important criteria overall, value for money is the real measuring stick.