Seminyak on Bali’s west coast, is the upmarket cousin to the party town of Kuta further south. The area is home to most of the island’s expat settlers, many of whom have set up boutiques, galleries and restaurants in the town. We list 10 of the best places to eat in the area.
Restaurant, Indonesian, Contemporary, $$$
If you’re looking for a perfect setting for a quiet evening out, this is the place to head for dinner. Cross stepping stones through a pool to get to the dining area, a beautiful setting with a cozy vibe. The food itself is a blend of international and Balinese cuisine, with local ingredients dominating the menu. Try the succulent betutu duck or the tangy tuna ceviche.
La Lucciola is something of a legend in Seminyak, with a beach-front view and a location next to the Petitenget Temple. The restaurant is always busy, and is usually packed until the late hours. During the day, the beach provides access to the restaurant, while in the evenings, you reach it through the temple’s parking lot, via a wooden bridge lit by burning torches. The menu changes constantly with each innovation that the chefs undertake, but with an emphasis on traditional Balinese flavors.
Sarong and its sister, Mamasan, are both owned by celebrity Chef Will Meyrick, better known as The Street Food Chef. While Mamasan is considered one of the best restaurants offering Chinese and Indochinese food, and is the younger of the two restaurants, Sarong focuses mainly on Indian, Thai, Sri Lankan and Indonesian flavors and was awarded the title of World’s Hottest New Restaurant by Conde Nast. Reservations are a must, since the place is booked full just about every night. Don’t miss the watermelon mojitos.
If you’re looking to dine on some of the best fresh fish on the island, head to Sardine. The place offers romantic, traditional Balinese décor, with muted candlelight. The bar, made of polished bamboo is an eye-catching feature, while the restaurant, as per its name, specializes in fresh seafood and organic produce. The latter is grown on its own farms, and the fish is sourced from the best suppliers in Seminyak. The pan-seared scallops with ravioli, miso grilled triggerfish and banana leaf steamed barramundi are recommended.
Part restaurant, part art gallery and part lounge bar, Metis ranks high among the fine-dining establishments of Bali, and therefore in Seminyak as well. The food is French-Mediterranean, brought to you by award-winning chef Nicolas “Doudou” Tourneville. As befits the ambience and food, the service and décor is also five-star.
Ultimo‘s wood-fired pizzas are made using coffee wood in the oven, giving them a unique fragrance and taste. You have the option of ordering a set Italian menu here as well, and the portions are fairly large. The menu is extensive and quite eclectic, and has remained more or less the same since the restaurant opened. The Chicken Cacciatore is recommended.
Mejekawi is the haute cuisine restaurant of Ku De Ta, Seminyak’s nightlife beacon and gathering point for the ‘happening’ crowd in Bali. Its gorgeous beach-side setting combined with the bistro-style décor makes for an engaging environment in which to sample Mejekawi’s blend of local and international cuisine. The restaurant serves two options; a set seven or 11 course meal, each of which is prepared using precision cooking methods that can be viewed through the open kitchen.
This place is not a Warung (food stall or small restaurant) in the real sense, but an actual sit-down restaurant where some of the best Balinese cuisine can be found at economical rates. The place is a favorite with locals, so tends to get crowded after 8pm (be prepared to wait if you arrive any time after that.) The menu covers pretty much everything in typical Indonesian food culture, from gado gado to whole suckling pig, with varieties of nasi (rice) and mei (noodles) included.
If you’re looking for a taste of Tijuana in Bali, this is the place to get it. ‘More Mexican than the Mexicans’ is an apt way to describe this place, with its shrine to Mother Mary at the entrance and multicolored tiles covering the walls. The food is a close match as well; try fish tacos with chilli mayo along with fritters, burritos and, of course, tequila cocktails.
One of the most understated places that you can go to for authentic Balinese food is Warung Eny. Its rustic, run-of-the-mill, appearance keeps the crowds away. If only they knew! The food is amazingly authentic, from the whole fish grilled over coconut husks to the nasi goreng and even the gato gato. Satay tastes great as well, and if you have the time, ask Eny for a cooking class.