I was really surprised by the variety of great restaurants in Bali. We ate mostly in Seminyak, and there’s an increasing number of international chefs setting up shop here, with a range of flavours to tickle anyone’s taste buds.
We were in Bali on holiday and did things very differently: normally when we travel in Asia we’d spend most of our time eating street food and exploring local places, but we just couldn’t resist the selection of restaurants on offer.
Here’s where to eat in Bali.
Stepping into the grounds of Motel Mexicola is like finding yourself in a kitschy version of Frida Kahlo’s house. The walls of the colourful restaurant and bar are plastered with all kinds of paintings, tiles and Mexican memorabilia. The décor is really fun and the staff are friendly and attentive. Here we ate possibly the most delicious chicken and cheese quesadillas I’ve ever had, along with prawn tacos and chicken tacos with salsa and red cabbage. The margaritas are quite potent.
This is a small warung on Petitenget that had some great reviews but didn’t overly impress us. It’s a family run business with a fairly steady stream of customers. We ate delicious corn fritters, chicken satay (unfortunately the sauce tasted slightly burnt) and giant grilled prawns in garlic sauce.
Potato Head Beach Club seems to be the hip new place in Seminyak. For a minimum spend of 500,000 rupiahs (around $50 – easily done by purchasing two or three cocktails) you get a huge sun bed and an enormous range of cocktails to choose from. The day beds overlook an infinity pool which itself overlooks the beach. Food is decent and I ate prawns cooked in cumin and served with a pomello, cherry tomato and avocado salad that resembled som tam. A very cool way to spend a few hours in the sun.
A friend recommended this place tucked away near the W Hotel and said the food is better than Motel Mexicola, and I agree with her. The place itself has a cool Melbourne vibe to it and serves small Mexican plates. I recommend the juevos luja tacos and carnita tostadas.
One of Seminyak’s newest restaurants, Métis is beautifully located by green rice paddies. I recommend coming a little earlier so that you can sit on the outdoor couches and watch the sun go down with a cocktail in hand. The cuisine is French-Mediterranean inspired with a bit of Japanese thrown in for good measure. Expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for dinner for two. Unfortunately I was struck down by Bali Belly so didn’t get to fully enjoy our dining experience here.
Café Zucchini offers a range of fresh salads and juices – a nice option to detox after all the cocktails we found ourselves drinking in Bali. Come early though; we arrived just before 2pm and most of the salads were finished.
I don’t recommend La Plancha for food (our grilled prawns weren’t fantastic) but I do recommend it for a beach sunset. La Plancha has colourful beanbags to sit on as you watch the sun sink down over the ocean. Or, you can choose any of the several similar places along the beach – they all seem to have the same beanbags and umbrellas.
Quite a few people raved about Made’s Warung as offering authentic Balinese food, and I had a delicious beef rendang here. Also on offer is Western and Japanese food, so you’re a bit spoilt for choice. The warung has traditional dance performances on each night, which makes it feel touristy, but it’s still a nice place to eat.
One word: ribs. The ribs here are amazing and almost rival those I’ve eaten in Texas. Get here early; there was a line forming at 7pm.
I read a lot of reviews that said the best babi guling (suckling pig) was at Ibu Oka in Ubud. It sounded amazing: roast suckling pig served with crackling, rice and vegetables. In reality, I wasn’t overwhelmed by it. But it is a filling meal for about $6.
Another restaurant that had a distinctly cool Melbourne vibe about it. The menu is lengthy and it was difficult to choose from the variety of dishes on offer. We ate BBQ duck buns, lamb and pumpkin pot stickers, Thai beef salad, stir-fried prawns with chill jam, and water spinach with garlic, but our favourites were the soft shell crab and fried lemongrass chicken. Upstairs is a great little bar serving more-ish cocktails.
We had never heard of this place located in Jimbaran Bay, but a taxi driver suggested it, as we had a late night flight and Jimbaran Bay is only 10 minutes from the airport. We pulled into this beachside restaurant and chose our own lobster and prawns, which were grilled for us as we watched the sun go down. But I much prefer the lobster we can get in Papua New Guinea, which is much bigger and cheaper.
Have you been to Bali? What are your favourite places to eat?