Sharking’s guide to the best restaurants and bars in Seminyak, Bali
Driving from Sanur through Kuta and into Seminyak I was wondering if it was worth just staying on the Island of Lembongan rather then head into what looked like the throngs of a completely western holiday town. And even though that’s exactly what Seminyak is – an upper class Kuta – there were still some amazing eats and drinks to be had. And lets just say that the Sharing team were in town to find the newest and best places in town that have yet to show up on any other sites. As such – these are the places of note that we think our followers would be interested in hitting should they find themselves in Seminyak.
This is the brand new cafe by the team that opened one of Seminyak’s best cafes – Revolver. Only open for the last month, Baby Revolver was situated rich next to our hotel and no one yet knows about it (compared to the original Revolver which is on 2 floors and pumps brunches like in Melbourne). It is a tiny little shack that seats 8 people inside and 4 people outside. The food offering is limited to a few sandwiches and fruit dishes but the space in Baby is reserved of the coffee machine – which pumped out the best coffee in town. Well worth searching out.
Baby Revolver – 102 Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak – across the road from Gourmet Cafe. Facebook.
This is another cafe could be picked up and transported to Melbourne and would instantly become a hit. Livingstone Bakery was opened a few months ago by a 29 year old Chinese guy and it certainly makes an impact on one of the main strips of Seminyak. It’s large, makes great use of natural light, bakes everything fresh in-house every day and does one of the most insane burgers that I have ever heard of – The Elvis Burger – with xxx. The fruitjuce is freshly squeezed and the home made iced tea with lime, mint and lemongrass certainly set you up to take on the crowds. Steering clear of the Elvis Buger we settled on sharing a beef burger and collecting an assortment of croissants, cronuts and pastries to have while riding around town on the scooter.
Livingstone Bakery – 88 Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak. Website. Facebook.
This was the only place I had any interest in booking before arriving in town and even then we were only able to get a 10pm booking. Though the service was good, there was quite a big push to tell us that the kitchen closed at 11pm so any orders must be finalised prior. My thoughts are that if you can’t offer a normal level of food service to those coming in at 10pm then don’t accept the late night bookings.
Saying all this – it was the meal of the trip hands down. You have to do the comparisons with Chin Chin in Melbourne. We all preferred Mama San due to the completely different flavour profiles and ingredients of each dish. We and many others have found that while the double chin is a great feed, many dishes have the same ingredients and sauces – especially when every single dish you order – be it appetisers or mains – hits the tiny table within seconds of each other. Stand out dishes included the Crispy “confit” pork hock on the bone with nahm jihm jauw & nam pla prik. I strongly suggest you check out the bar upstairs should you need a drink or a place to wait for your table.
Mama San – Jalan Raya Kerobokan, Badung. Ph. +62 361 730436. Website. Facebook. Twitter. Bookings essential.
This was the find of the trip. While waiting for our Mama San reservation we decided for a pre dinner drink at the Corner House. Only open for the last 2 months, this is situated on a corner that you may not even look twice at when you pass it during the daytime. Nightime when the lights shines out from the inside of the restaurant is where it captures your attention and draws you in to see what all the fuss is about. While it looks like a restaurant with a small bar area (which it was until I went exploring to get a few shots of the venue), there is one of the best hidden bars in Seminyak located on the top floor just up the stairs. While downstairs is all about natural wood, exposed bulbs and white tiles, the bar upstairs is beautifully lit by the lighting surrounding the bar with a good smattering of tables and couches to slouch into with a martini or whisky sour. Hot coffee and the espresso martinis are all made with beans supplied by Revolver Espresso. I can’t speak about the food but this was the best bar in Seminyak that no one knows about yet.
Warung Ibu Alit
How we found this place is beyond me. Scootering along one of Seminyaks main roads in the early morning, I spotted a few local bikes turn off down an alleyway. Always keen for an adventure, this alleyway lead to the massive rice paddy that Seminyak surrounds but is rarely ever seen due to the build up of boutique hotels and villas. It certainly was a breath of fresh air to be out of the local rat race and as it was time for a bite for breakfast we headed to one of the warungs overlooking the rice paddys. There is only 3 along the road and two are completely western – if you call yourself a warung (local street food) and your ‘specialty’ is wiener schnitzel then we won’t give you the time of day.
But Warung Ibu Alit was filled with locals heading off to clean the rooms in the villas and hotels and they were all eating either a meat or vegetarian version of nasi campur. We put in our order and were not disappointed. A spicy mix of rice, chicken, tofu, vegetable and sambal mix was filling and set us up for a full day of exploring.
Contact: Warung Ibu Alit – Ask for where the rice paddies are and drive along the road. Fucked if I have any other way to get there – just stumble upon it like we did.
If you’re in the mood for some street food in the morning or at night then head to Tamansari Market.
Contact: Tamasari Market – Jalan Tangkuban Perahu (Kerobokan), Badung, Bali.
Even though I am completely against the on trend mexican wave that has bored the masses to tears in Melbourne we were told to at least go and have a drink at Mexicola in Seminyak. We had driven past it many times during our trip and the facade facing the road was interesting enough to pique our interest to see what all the fuss is about. One thing I will say about Bali is that when the restaurateurs decide on a concept, they follow it through to the n-th degree, and Mexicola is completely on point.
So on point that if someone copied the design, layout and menu from here and dropped it into Melbourne, it is done so well that it would drain every single person eating at Melbourne’s other Mexican restaurants overnight. Radio Mexico, Acland Street Cantina, Chingon and every other two bit taco joint would be run out of business. The design is jaw dropping, the food is good and they can cater to the masses. I hope these photos reflect what we found. There’s a crabshack just around the corner who I suspect is run by the same guys and was completely full of the beards and ink crowd, so it will be interesting what they will commit to next.
Only opened 2 months ago, Barbecoa is what The Newmarket tries to be and does so at a very affordable rate. It is a church of BBQ, grill and fire in a very sexy setting. The most expensive dish on the menu is AU$28 with most mains from the grill hovering about AU$11-13. Seating is on tow floors all looking out the stunning glass frontage in a large warm wooden room where you can watch either the pigs or lamb being cooked over fire right in front of you.
The Parlour Kitchen, Bar & Lounge
One of the newest restaurants in Seminyak, Parlour has been only open for 3 weeks and caters for you across the day – whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or multiple interesting happy hours. What we liked most about this venue was the aqua and grey mix of furniture in the bar and the Balinese goddess mural in the main dining room – also completely bathed in natural light. During normal happy hour you have the interesting option of free flowing wine for 2 hours for AU$17, all martinis on offer for AU$7 among a few other options. But if you like a whisky, on a couple of nights during the week from 9pm-11pm you can get free flowing whisky for just AU$20. If that doesn’t float your boat then we can’t help you.
The Roots Babershop and Concept Store
I spotted this as we were driving around late at night and they were just finishing up painting a very cool mural on the wall. I don’t trust anyone to cut my hair in KL and this place looked like it would do a decent enough job. The Roots Babershop didn’t officially open til the next day so I made it my life’s work to be one of their first customers the next day.
Lads. If you want a haircut I strongly suggest keeping your hard earned dollars until you land here. I had a haircut that lasted an hour (just needed a short bad and sides job) and at the end the boys gave you a scalp and shoulder massage to loosen you up – all for the cost of AU$4.50. Just as good as a $45 cut I had just before I left Melbourne.
The Roots Barbershop and Cencept Store. 25 Jalan Embong Ploso, Surabaya, Bali. Facebook
Ku De Ta
And then we come to Ku De Tourist Trap. This is where people come to get tarted up, pay for some expensive, average cocktails and watch the sun set. We went along because that’s what our friends had planned but if you’ve seen one sunset then this is no different. Why not go to an interesting bar, get a decent cocktail while the lemmings selfie themselves into extinction?