20 Jun Guide to Eating & Drinking in Bali
Bali has really come of age in the last few years. This beautiful island in the Indonesian archipelago – which is only a short and direct flight from all capital cities in Australia – is now dotted with world-class restaurants, gob-smacking bars and the choice of breathtaking villas and resorts to stay in is mind-boggling.
Those who believe that Bali is overrun with ‘bogans’ and that a visit there will result in a nasty dose of ‘Bali Belly’ either haven’t been there in recent times or have simply been staying at or eating and drinking in the wrong places. The staff at The Adventure Traveller are all passionate about Bali and with their guiding hand can guarantee you an amazing experience on the ‘Island of the Gods’. Here are a few of our tips for eating and drinking in Bali:
Potato Head Beach Club (http://www.ptthead.com)
Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak |Phone: +62 361 737979
Opened in December 2010, Potato Head is our new favourite bar in Bali and to say it is an amazing venue is an understatement. Set in a huge beachfront ampitheatre with an infinity pool that is beautifully illuminated at night, Potato Head sets the benchmark for beachside bars and is the perfect place for sunset cocktails whilst listening to cool music and watching the waves roll in. Phone ahead to reserve a day bed by the pool and if you’re travelling with kids they will be made to feel welcome here. We recommend the lobster quesadillas and the Indus Nesus cocktail. The mojitos here are really good too.
Ku De Ta (http://www.kudeta.net/)
Jalan Laksmana 9, Seminyak, Bali | Phone: +62 361 736969
Ku De Ta is definitely a bar to experience whilst in Bali and is the perfect place to enjoy a few cocktails, eat tapas, listen to eclectic tunes, people watch and admire a beautiful Balinese sunset. Get there early to increase your chances of getting a decent seat and expect to part with quite a few dollars if you plan on working your way through the extensive cocktail list. The food and drinks aren’t particularly cheap at Ku De Ta but the prices are to be expected for a place of this quality – it is without a doubt one of the best beachside bars in the world.
Jalan Petitenget No.6 Kerobokan Kelod, Seminyak| Phone: +62 361 737888
This stunning and very intimate restaurant serves world-class food and is a must-visit when in Bali. We recommend getting to Metis in the early evening for a few pre-dinner drinks overlooking the rice paddies and lotus ponds as the view is breath-taking. Make sure you leave room for desert or do as we’ve done in the past and only come for desert – the chocolate souffle is spectacular.
Hu’u Bar & Restaurant (http://www.huubali.com/)
Jln Oberoi, Kerobokan | Phone: +62 361 736443
A visit to the Hu’u Bar & Restaurant will guarantee you a memorable dining experience. The setting is almost magical with unexpected vistas from all parts of the restaurant. The gardens, pool, lights and furnishings add to the modern yet Balinese ambience and the staff are attentive yet unobtrusive. The food and drinks here are top notch and the menus is impressive, innovative and imaginative. If you plan on having a big night, Huú Bar is a good choice for those who like to drink and dance until late.
Jl. Laksmana (Jl. Oberoi), Temple Petitenget, Kerobokan | Phone: +62 361 261047
We always pop in to the thatch-roofed La Lucciola whenever we’re in Bali as the food is consistently good, it’s really well priced and the beachfront location is fabulous. Ask to be seated upstairs at the beach end of the restaurant for a cool breeze and enchanting views out over the sand and sea. La Lucciola is not just an excellent place for lunch but perfect for dinner too. On a visit in the evening you will be walking between the oil burning torches that edge the pathway.
Sea Circus (http://www.seacircus-bali.com/)
Jalan Kayu Aya, Oberoi (opposite The Samaya), Seminyak | Phone: +62 361 738 667
This cute and quirky but hip little seafood restaurant with a funky vibe serves great tapas and has an 8-page long menu of delicious cocktails. With well-priced food and drinks, friendly staff and a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, Sea Circus is the perfect place for a casual bite to eat or to have a drink with friends by both day or night. They serve large milk bottles full of cocktails too which is a great way to get the evening (or day!) off to a good start.
19 Jalan Petitengat, Kerobokan | Phone: + 62 361 737809
Just around the corner from Hu’u Bar on Jalan Petitengat, Sarong serves wonderful food and the ambience inside the restaurant is amazing. They have a very good and varied menu that caters for all tastes however there is a strong focus towards Asian and Indian fusion. By Balinese standards t is slightly pricey but definitely worth the money. If you don’t like your food too spicy make sure you advise the waiter when ordering.
Jl. Laksmana Oberoi, Seminyak | Phone: +62 361 737082
Some people say that this casual and laid-back restaurant serves the best Italian food in Indonesia and they may not be too far off the mark. The menu is very extensive however we recommend you just stick with the pizzas – they are very tasty and large enough to appease even the biggest appetites. Prices are very reasonable too so if you’re looking for a well-priced lunch or dinner you cannot go wrong at Trattoria. Given its’ popularity it can get quite busy, particularly in the evenings, however you’ll never wait any longer than 5 or 10 minutes for a table and there is no need to make a reservation. They also deliver to nearby restaurants and villas.
Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud | Phone: +62 361 970013
If you’re a fan of Japanese food you must go to Minami for dinner whilst in Ubud – we can guarantee that it will be one of the best Japanese meals of your life! The food is fantastic, incredibly fresh, exquisitely presented and very well-priced. The restaurant itself is in a beautiful and intimate setting with lovely gardens and the service is spot-on. The tuna carpaccio was spectacular – actually everything we’ve eaten there is. Minami is an essential dining experience whilst in Ubud.
Jl. Campuhan, (near Museum Antonio Blanco), Ubud | Phone +62 361 970095
There is a lot of competition amongst restaurants in Ubud but none can surpass Bridges for a combination of great food, wonderful service and a spectacular setting overlooking a river and gorge near the centre of town. The food is a fusion of European and Asian cuisine and the wine list is extensive and well-priced by local standards. The meals are pricey compared to other restaurants in Ubud however this is justified by the high quality of food and service. Phone ahead to book a table overlooking the gorge. This really is a wonderful restaurant.
Cafe Havana (http://cafehavanabali.com/)
Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud | Phone: +62 361 972973 / 972974
Cafe Havana is not just a lively cantina serving Cuban-Caribbean cuisine and Cuba’s legendary cocktails such as the mojito. With Salsa-dancing waiters and waitresses and a local band playing such good Cuban music that they’d give the Buena Vista Social Club a run for their money, Cafe Havana is a place to celebrate Cuban culture, music and dance right in the heart of Bali. The food and drinks are good but it’s the atmosphere which makes this place such a good restaurant: one could easily be mistaken that they were sitting in a cafe in La Habana. Call ahead to arrange a pick-up from your hotel in the restaurants’ 1963 Chevy Biscayne.
Jazz Cafe (htt://www.jazzcafebali.com/)
Jalan Sukma, Ubud | Phone: +62 361 976 594
Serving up some of the best cocktails and live music in Ubud, Jazz Cafe is without a doubt the hottest night spot in town. With exceptionally good bands performing every night of the week and playing a mix of Jazz, Blues, Latin, Funk, Soul and World Music a visit to Ubud is not complete without a late night spent letting your hair down at this cool restaurant and bar. Although the food isn’t anything to write home about, the cocktails and music certainly make up for this. 2-for-1 cocktails during Happy Hour will certainly get your night off to a good start!
Jalan Suweta/Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud
The locals rate this local eatery as the best place to eat ‘ Babi Guling’ (suckling pig) in Bali – and celebrity chef’s Anthony Bourdain (‘No Reservations’) and Fred Chesneau (‘Cooking the World’) think it’s pretty damn good too! You shouldn’t go to Ibu Oka expecting a squeaky clean western dining experience but if you go there with an open mind and the hope to sample some of the best pork you’ll ever eat then you won’t be disappointed. Located just opposite the central market, you should get there early (11am) for a table as the restaurant gets very busy and the food usually sells out by about 1pm.
Juice Ja Cafe
Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud | Phone: +62 361 971056
Right next door to Cafe Havana, Juice Ja Cafe is a great little spot for a light and healthy lunch. Juice Ja pride themselves of serving organic food and the meals there are well-priced and very tasty. There are two balconies at the front of the cafe where you can sit overlooking the street – one of which is furnished with a low table surrounded by pillows where you can sit comfortably on the floor. The homemade frozen yoghurt, ice cream and fruit juices are a nice respite from a hot day out and about in Ubud.