“Eat, Drink and be Merry, for tomorrow we only have to lie on the beach and sleep it off…”
The variety and quality of the dining experiences on Gili T has expanded enormously in the past few years. Back in the early days (early 1990’s) fried rice, fried noodles, and pancakes was pretty much all there was. With the advent of more discerning visitors, competition among the abundant cafes and restaurants has driven a superb array of eastern and western foods, in addition to the very cheap local warungs, serving a variety of rice-based dishes.
Most of the mid to large accommodations, and all of the Dive Resorts, have on-site restaurants offering a standard range of western and local favourites, with a variety of wood-fired pizzas and Italian food appearing on most menus. Especially popular in the evening are the sea-food barbecues, which can be found outside most of the accommodations at the south-end of the island. These also have a range of steak and other meat on offer, with a free salad bar.
Here are a few of our favourites listed below. All of these are on the busier Eastern side of Trawangan, and most have superb views of Gili meno, with Lombok and the impressive Mount Rinjani in the background.
Ryoshi – a franchise of the highly popular Bali chain, next to the Irish bar, for Japanese food and fresh sushi
Scallywags Resort – upmarket organic menu, elegant styling and with free wi-fi. Superb desserts.
Pesona Shisha Lounge – open air sheesha lounge and wide range of Indian food overlooking the ocean
Rudy’s Pub – long term favourite serving good range of local and western favourites, parties after dinner
Manta Café – next to Manta Dive, excellent divers hangout offering Mexican, French, Italian and Indonesian fare
Wrap-a-Snapper – fish and chip shop, English / Australian style
Blue Marlin – Excellent barbecue, extensive menu, after dinner parties
Ombak Restaurant, Villa Ombak – fine dining, ideal for candle-lit romantics
Coco Café – day-time hangout with excellent coffee, gourmet sandwiches, brownies, apple pie and more.
Beach House Café – excellent variety of well-prices western and local dishes, very popular seafood barbecue
Horizontal Lounge – chic cocktail lounge with extensive menu, good club mix after dining
Terminal Bar and Restaurant – beach front dining next to the harbour, Mexican, pizzas, local and international
Luce D’Alma Resort – Excellent fine dining in a more peaceful location
Parties and Nightlife
Gili Trawangan is the island best known for a wild night-life scene. The island maintains a tradition of allowing only one location to host the late night (10pm – 4am, or later) party, ensuring everyone gets together rather than being spread around all over in “mini-parties”. Other than that, most places close up around midnight.
The south end of the island, from the Beach House up to Sama-Sama Bungalows, is the liveliest stretch. Further north you also have Horizontal Lounge, which despite being a superb location and devastatingly stylish, only seems to get pumping when there’s an organized event going on.
Party Schedule on Gili Trawangan:
Mondays – Blue Marlin
Wednesdays – Tir Na Nog (Irish Bar)
Thursdays – Horizontal lounge
Friday – Rudy’s Pub
Saturdays – Sama Sama. In fact Sama Sama has live music most nights, and is an ever-popular hang-out.
Finding where to drink, mix and mingle earlier in the evening or on non-party nightts is simply a question of walking along the beach front at the south end of the island and checking things out – the north is blissfully quiet.