Aribar has followed the trend. Mexican cuisine was all the rage in Bali in the 1990’s but then almost disappeared [with the exception of good old TJ’s] over the past decade. Now they are re-appearing all over Bali, from Canggu to Ubud, and all points in between.
Aribar is one of the better ones, operated by industry professionals rather than just enthusiastic hobbyists. Amazing good value as well! However what is interesting about this one is that many of the dishes, whilst following strict Mexican cuisine rules, are very different from what is available elsewhere.
Located at the front of The Bali Garden Beach Resort the decor is typical Mex, as is the food, but with a few sly touches, here and there.
Start with a variety of finger food. Corn on the cob is simply char-grilled, street style, but with cheese, chipotle [smoke-fried jalapeno chilli], mayonnaise and lime. The Chicken Wings are hot and spicy and of course there are Nachos, crisp tortilla chips topped with chilli con carne and cheese, served with guacamole, pico de gallo and sour cream. A surprise was the amazing little Corn Cakes, their centre is 100% corn, the patty crumbed and fried, topped with guacamole, pico de gallo [fresh uncooked salad mix of tomato, onion, peppers, etc] and a small slab of crisp pork belly. Sometime it is the simplest of dishes that can command your attention and stay in the memory….these I could eat all day.
The Tostaditas [4 per serving board] include traditional and experimental. Vegetarian [sweet corn, black bean, cheese, jalapeno and salsa verde], Chicken [sautéed chicken, guacamole, red chilli, cheese, tamarind mayo] and Pork Cheek [slow braised with cilantro and jalapeno with chipotle mayonnaise].
The unusual choice of meats, and their tastiest cuts, is a feature of the menu here. Local pork and goat in particular are often served in Bali restaurants as tough slabs of meat that are almost inedible. At Aribar the meats are slow braised for up to 4 hours, resulting in tender and tasty meat, but still at budget prices.
Fajitas can be chicken, beef or vegetarian. All served on a flat piece of tortilla with bell peppers, onion, pico de gallo, guacamole and sour cream. Burritos [chicken, beef, pork or vegetable] are soft tortillas rolled around Mexican rice, re-fried beans, guacamole, pico de gallo. sour cream and shredded lettuce]. The Enchilladas are stuffed with chicken or beef and topped with a chilli tomato sauce.
Salads can be the very Mexican. Avocado Chicken served in a tortilla bowl with marinated chicken tossed with avocado, lettuce, onion, tomato, fresh cilantro and honey lime mustard dressing.
If you like Mexican cuisine then you like Tacos! Even those who are not that keen on Mexican still like Tacos! The Taco here is a crisp shell that does not shatter at first bite, although you can also order soft shell if you prefer?. Standard Tacos [beef or pork cheek] or something different, such as the Honey Lime Salmon ot even a Corn Taco.
Sundays is Taco Day at Aribar with their special promotion of a board of 5 different Tacos for just Rp. 99,000++ [pictured].
The excellent tortilla Quesadillos can be stuffed with chicken, pork or just vegetables. Combined with a sauce with a bit of a bite, they are very good.
Mains, if you can handle one after all the traditional starters, are fairly simple, Burgers [crisp fried chicken with pickled pineapple, fried egg and cheese] or Chicken & Lime Sliders. The Ribs are with their house special BBQ sauce. Rib Eye Steak is grilled and served with a jalapeno pepper sauce. Carnitas Tortas is sauteed pork with chipotle sauce, pineapple, refried beans and a fried egg on crusty bread and red mole sauce….I love it!
Desserts are international apart from the Mexican Churros, served with cinnamon sugar, chocolate sauce on the side. The Kid’s Menu keeps them happy at a reduced price.
Mexican at Kuta prices rather than the trendy café ones, surprisingly cheap and from a very professional hygienic kitchen, all served with a smile …amazingly good value!
Restaurant : AriBar
Address : Bali Garden Beach Resort, Jl. Kartika Plaza, Tuban. [South Kuta].
Telephone : 752.725
Open : 09.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m. daily.
Non-smoking Area : Yes [inside air-con].
Smoking Area : Yes [covered side terrace].
Air-conditioned : Yes.
Parking : Secure in hotel parking, beside restaurant entrance.
Price : Rp. 400,000 for two [+ drinks]
Credit Cards : All major cards.
Food : Mexican.
Wine : Good list.
Service : With a smile.
Atmosphere : A Mexican eating house.
Overall : Great value!
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.