10 Best Restaurants in Bali
Thanks to an influx of famous cooks from other parts of the world, fusion is the latest thing across Bali’s tourist centres. But traditional Balinese cooking is everywhere. Here’s where to find the best food; those places you tell your friends about when you get home.
- Mamasan, Seminyak
Chinese, Indonesian, Indian, Malay, Singaporean, Thai, Cambodian, Vietnamese. The pad Thai is a delicious, non-adventurous affair. The crispy confit pork hock with nahm jihm jaew is multinational and daring. Mamasan is kinder on the whole to foodies, but the eats are cheap and the place is calm and cool. Reservations are easy to come by.
- Sarong, Seminyak
Sarong was street food guru Will Meyrick’s first foray into Bali’s sit-down restaurant game. It worked; it won awards. The menu deals in age-old recipes turned upside-down by innovative cooking techniques (Meyrick’s signature) and dinner is a formal, lantern-lit experience. Book a table in the main pavilion as early as you can.
- Potato Head, Seminyak
Soon as you arrive, make a bee-line for one of the layback beach sofas on the lawn. Get things underway with a signature sangria fish bowl (they’ll recommend it), then ask for the MoVida tapas menu. Tried and true Melbourne-born fare in an ultra-trendy beachfront speakeasy is a hard combination to beat.
- Sea Circus, Seminyak
Sea Circus reinvigorates the pan-fried comforts of home with slight exotic alterations. Around $5 Australian will get you the ‘Posh Smashed Avo’ with feta, toasted seeds and poached eggs; pair it with a coconut latte or a shot of dirty kombucha to make it a brunch worthy of party town. Doors open at 7.30am daily.
- Sardine, Kerobokan
Balinese fine dining always involves some kind of extravagant visual centrepiece; Sardine has a monolithic bamboo pagoda, a network of rice paddies and a table-side pond filled with rare white koi. To eat and drink: local seafood and organic garden greens, and any of the arak-infused cocktails (we won’t say why here, but they’re quite something).
- Motel Mexicola, Seminyak
Leave Bali and enter a world of round-the-clock carnivale. Tacos, quesadillas, ensaladas, postres, housemade sangria; everything is vivid and colourful and herbaceous. Toast your table with a round of tequila to finish.
- La Lucciola, Seminyak
La Lucciola is a casual open-air eatery set on a nice section of Seminyak Beach. The kitchen is helmed by an Italian, which means authentic Mediterranean with subtle Asian mix-ins. Try the braised Balinese duck salad with green pear, hazelnuts, and watercress and cap things off with a finger banana souffle with raisin gelato.
- Cafe Zucchini, Seminyak
Hunt through the boutiques; end up on ‘Eat Street’; sit down to an inexpensive lunch big on greens and zesty, fizzy mint and lemon drinks. For around $6 Australian you can tuck into a trio of salads or a plate of crispy corn fritters. Skip across the road to the Red Carpet Champagne Bar afterwards.
- Merah Putih
Everybody who’s been to Bali knows about Merah Putih. Two storeys, floor-to-ceiling windows, angelic white eco-friendly roof columns. The menu is half-traditional, half-modern. The chefs are some of the best on the island and seafood is their speciality. Opt for the soft shell crab, the coconut-smoked yellowfin tuna and the tiger prawn sambal and share it with your tablemates.
- Ku De Ta, Seminyak
Ku De Ta is the place first-timers go the moment they check in. Ku De Ta is Bali’s ultimate hybrid, featuring a restaurant and bar and beach club, which means you can graze, sit down to a three-hour-long degustation, or spend the sunset sipping cocktails in the arms of your special someone. The beachfront views are gorgeous – guaranteeing a grand sunset, daily, almost as though scheduled by staff – but a starry night on the terrace is one of the best humans will ever get to see.