Fish Market visit with Chef Paul Lewis of Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran

I try to visit the local market in every state or country that I go to. Many people may not understand it, but I think wet markets and grocery stores/supermarkets are a fabulous way to experience the culture as well as to acquire better understanding of the locals’ way of life, plus not to mention the dietary habits of a state/country.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-033

Besides, I have a fascinating obsession with fresh produce.  😀
This is the popular Mahi-Mahi fish by the way, that has a mild sweet flesh that can be eaten raw (sashimi style) or grilled, baked or pan-fried.

rebecca saw - jimbaran bali fish market

For Kathmandu and Shanghai I didn’t manage to visit any markets as both were media trips and we didn’t have time for marketing. In Japan, I spent hours strolling Tsukiji market and I loved it. Fortunately for my Bali trip, Chef Paul of Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran took me on his bike, helmet-less to one of the fish market in Jimbaran!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-021

Traveling in Bali is best done on 2 wheels. The traffic is bad at most times but traffic is never a deterrent for those on 2 wheels! 🙂

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-022

We whizzed past rows of shoplots and food outlets and homes. The locals smiled as we rode past. Everyone looked friendly but sun-browned! The weather is hot and humid even though it was 10am in the morning. I thanked heavens for the motorbike!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-023

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-024

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-025

After numerous narrow alleys and lanes, we finally reached the market. Appropriately enough, it’s located right beside the sea. Stench of ocean life wafted around us.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-028

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-026

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-027

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-031

The sea is so blue and the sand so fine. It’s so beautiful!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-029

This is a panaroma shot of the beach with Chef Paul. I love this shot. What do you think? 🙂

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-046

Chef Paul lead the way into the small but busy fish market. Inside, stall after stall displays rows and rows of shellfish, fishes, squids, lobsters, prawns and sea creatures!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-032

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-036

Some of the fishes were easily identifiable while some were new to me.
And that’s one of the reasons why I love wet markets! I get to learn about new species of sea creatures and if you ask nicely, the vendors are usually more than happy to part with some recipes on the best ways to prepare that particular fish/seafood.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-038

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-039

All fresh seafood at the market were caught using these boats and from around the sea from Jimbaran. It’s amazing how the fishermen catch such big fishes, squids and lobsters and in such large quantity using these simple boats isn’t it?
In fact, a number of them goes out to sea for days. Chef Paul told me that some of these seafood are exported and sent to various locations around Bali.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-043

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-050

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-049

Some of you may be squeamish to see a fish being cut up but not me. I actually find it fascinating. 🙂

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-034

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-035

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-042

And oh, this rather interesting contraption is actually the weighing scale used in this market.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-037

The vendor will put the selected fish on top of the scale (the bowl) and shift the weights (bottle-looking things) on the scale on the other end. Then he informs you of the weight and price to pay. So medieval isn’t it?

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-041

After exploring the market, both of us went down to the beach and watched as the fishermen go about their work. Chef Paul said if I were to come here early in the morning, I would be able to see them coming back from the sea with their catch.
In fact, once they land, there would already be some buyers waiting to snap up the best and freshest seafood for the day.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-044

We stood and admired the beautiful beach for a while. Blue skies, blue sea and soft sand… it would have been wonderful to hang around the beach for a while longer if it wasn’t so blazing hot!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-045

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-047

Chef Paul is a firm believer of using local produce as much as possible in his cooking and his menu at Bamboo Chic reflects his creative approach to food. He has cleverly infuses local ingredients in some of his dishes while picking up some local recipes since he started his stint in Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran. More of his food will be in another post.
Meanwhile get to know him better by watching this video. See him mingle and source for produce at the local market and organic farm. I was literally salivating as I watch him barbeque seafood at the beach!

Travel Bali: Taste of Discovery with Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran

Talking about BBQ, as we walked towards Chef’s bike, I saw a stall barbecuing fresh seafood. Chef Paul said these fellows cook your seafood for a fee and all you have to do is buy your seafood from the market.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-051

These clams smelled really good!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-052

There were fresh coconuts for sale at the entrance to the market; fabulous for the sweltering heat.

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-053

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-054

And then it’s time to head home!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-055

Enroute back to the hotel, we passed another market which sells vegetables and meat. Chef Paul asked if I would like to have a look as well and I would have if it wasn’t for the scorching heat. Perhaps next time!

Le Meridien Bali Jimbaran - rebeccasaw-056

Thanks Chef Paul for your time and the ride! :DD
Now, how many of you are like me, loving to tour the local market when you’re in another country?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Sean

    Ooo, that’s a very good point! This is a cool way to see what the fish looks like before it’s all sliced up and cooked and served, and it helps us understand our seafood better 😀

  2. sycookies

    I absolutely agree with you on the market place. It’s definately one of the best ways to undestand and learn about the local cultures. And the sea…what a sight. Thank you for such a great post.

  3. Cherly

    It’s always fun to read your posts becky. You do go out of your way to do the extraorinary! I did enjoy all of your Europe adventures 🙂

  4. Soo

    hi Rebecca,

    I am interested to go to this Seafood Market. I will be travelling to Bali Next April 2016. I would like to go and see and purchase some to cook to my taste.

    I would like to know where is this market located? Which hotel would be the best to stay?

    1. Rebecca Saw

      Hi Pei Yee
      Choose hotels that are in Jimbaran area. However Jimbaran is pretty quiet and also a distance from Kuta.
      So it depends on what you are looking for yea.
      Since you mentioned cooking, I’m guessing you are looking for a personal villa?

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

How to Afford Your Next Getaway

After a sustained period of lockdown, nothing will be more exciting than planning your next vacation. With freedom returning to our streets in the coming

Buy Seafood Online

Get your favourite seafood delivered to you!  The coronavirus epidemic has been taking a toll in Malaysia. People start working from home, restaurant can only