The Jakarta Post
Savoring grilled seafood at the fish market is recommended. (Shutterstock/-)
People pack Jimbaran fish market every morning. Customers arrive early to hunt for the freshest catch unloaded just a few hours earlier. But for those who are late, the market still has lots of fresh seafood available throughout the day.
Many market sellers hail from the island of Madura. Fish are kept in boxes filled with water and ice to maintain freshness. From lobster to tuna, the market sells various types of seafood. For example, you can buy prawns of varying sizes at a starting price of Rp 70,000 (US$5.24). Tuna is another favorite type of seafood, but perhaps the most popular is snapper. The sellers will also clean the fish and cut it as you wish.
Despite the wetness and rather unpleasant odor, the market is one of the area's popular tourist attractions. Tourists, usually accompanied by local guides, regularly visit the market to learn about local culture and see various types of tropical fish. The activity is part of cooking classes organized by hotels in Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. At the market, cooking class participants choose their own fish to be cooked and enjoyed for lunch.
“If you want to buy fresh fish, choose those that look alive. Their eyes are clear, and their body is still slimy. Look at their gills, see whether they’re still red and if you press the body, make sure that it bounces back,” said Heinz von Holzen, a Belgian chef who has taken tourists to the market for 17 years.
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“For squid, the freshest will change color if you pressed down on the skin. And don’t worry about prawns; they are fresh, although most of them are sourced from farms instead of the ocean.” Around the fish market, visitors can also shop for vegetables and spices in local wooden kiosks.
Those who want to savor fish in the market without having to cook it themselves can get their seafood grilled at a local stall just next to the market. Grilling service goes for only Rp 25,000 per kilogram and, on top of that, visitors can also get complimentary steamed rice and sit on the wooden bench overlooking the vibrant Jimbaran Beach.
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Those looking for a more intimate atmosphere can head to beachside restaurants on Muara Bay in Jimbaran, Four Seasons Resort Bali At Jimbaran Bay, or at Café Nine (also in Jimbaran, behind the Telkom office) to enjoy al fresco candle light dining by the beach and choose their fresh seafood at the restaurants. (kes)
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