Seminyak: a gourmet guide to Bali’s food hot spot
If neighbouring Kuta is a party-lover playground, then this sun-kissed town on Bali’s beach-strewn south west coast is a gourmet paradise. Seminyak has long played host to great restaurants and buzzing bars – sunset cocktails at Ku Te Da are an essential experience – but there are a few perennial favourites and new openings that deserve a moment in the spotlight. Expedia’s Aussie travellers spend 5-6 nights in Bali and that’s plenty of time to work up an appetite. Here are our favourite food and drink spots in Seminyak.
French pastries and comfort food: Livingstone Bakery
This recently opened bakery and café at 88 Jalan Petitenget is huge, with two light-flooded floors and a chilled outside space. From croissants to cookies, everything is baked in-house. The menu – from brunch staples and burgers to pasta, pies and steaks – has real comfort food appeal. Wooden fittings and pretty pot plants add to the casual atmosphere. It’s only been open a few months, but already there are plans for pop-up music performances, a scone and sparkling wine afternoon tea menu, and upstairs exhibition space.
Asian street food with a sophisticated twist: Mama San
The 1920s-colonial-Britain-in-Asia aesthetic gets a contemporary makeover at this two-storey warehouse on Jalan Raya Kerobokan. It’s not just the striking mural of gentlemen’s club madam Mama San or the pumping upstairs cocktail bar that sees this place regularly book out – it’s the food. From an Indian lamb and chana dahl curry to a grilled Thai beef salad, roasted Peking duck and Vietnamese spring rolls, the menu confidently roams the continent giving classic dishes a modern twist.
Casual café by day, intimate drinking den by night: Corner House
With beans sourced from local roaster Revolver and modern Aussie-meets-Asia brunch and lunch menus, it’s easy to while away a few hours at this sprawling building on Jalan Laksmana. The outside walled courtyard that’s strung with lanterns and fairy lights is particular attractive. However, head back in the evening, climb the wooden stairs past old-school sepia photographs and discover one of Seminyak’s best-kept secrets. Beneath the vaulted ceiling, a standalone white-tiled bar dominates this intimate candlelit space that’s dotted with colonial-chic sofas and cane chairs.
Funky fit out offering fiesta-themed fun: Motel Mexicola
While the foodie world has fallen heads over heels in love with all things Mexican, it’s unlikely you’ll find an establishment that packs such a vibrant punch as Motel Mexicola. From the colourful pineapple tiles to the kitsch Day of the Dead statues and Papel Picado bunting, the fit-out of this Jalan Kayujati haunt is a non-stop fiesta. Expect all your fiery and fragrant favourites from the Cactus State – tacos, empanadas and ceviche – served alongside an extensive menu of tequilas.
Barbecue meats in hacienda surrounds: Barbacoa
The art of cooking meat over fire is taken to the next level at this Latin American hacienda-style bungalow on Jalan Petitenget. In fact, on any given day you’re likely to see a couple of whole pigs or lambs on the rotating spit. Exposed brick walls and piles of chopped wood add a distinctly rustic feel, but don’t be fooled – Sydney chefs Adam and Sean have elevated the simple Argentine asado experience (a social gathering that revolves around a barbecue) to elegant heights.
All-day feasting in modern Balinese surrounds: The Parlour Kitchen and Lounge
It’s hard to know what to Instagram first – should it be the black and yellow Balinese goddess mural that stretches from wall to ceiling, the colourful patchwork sofa in the living room area or the sophisticated blue-and-white tiled alfresco bar? Just as this Jalan Raya Petitenget venue comprises multiple themed spaces, the menu moves from bistro-style brunch dishes to French-inspired fine dining. It might be just a few months old, but The Parlour Kitchen’s tasting menu, international wines and various happy hours are winning it a loyal following.
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