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Bali’s most happening neighbourhood is showing no signs of slowing down – and with some of Melbourne and Sydney’s biggest restaurateurs opening venues in Seminyak in the past year, ticking off every hot spot is a welcome challenge.
Ask Adam McAsey of hospitality group 8 Degree Projects what the appeal is and he’ll tell you it’s the food scene.
“The standard is so high now; Bali is attracting a whole new generation of operators,” he says.
If you’re visiting for the first time – or the first time in a while – here’s a taste of what Seminyak has to offer, no matter what you’re after.
Sofia visited Bali as a guest of 8 Degree Projects
FOR AFFORDABLE FINE DINING
BIKINI \ Bikini turned on its neon in January and is already a Seminyak hot spot. Reminiscent of a flirty New York warehouse, it’s another win for Adam’s 8 Degree Projects team, which is also behind next door’s Sisterfields cafe. From foie gras parfait cigars to desserts that mimic the pink feature wall, a meal this playful back home would be triple the price.
FOR STREET FOOD
WARUNG BABI GULING SARI KEMBAR 99 \ In Seminyak, fine dining restaurants sit beside street-side shops selling local specialties. For the equivalent of $3, this is where you’ll find the best babi guling – suckling pig – served a variety of ways with rice: as soup, on a skewer, with jackfruit, sticky with kecap manis, in satay and garnished with crispy dried intestine.
- Jalan Teuku Umar Barat No. 99, Denpasar Barat, Kerobokan Kelod
FOR BEING SEEN
DA MARIA \ Who knew you could get a thin, bubbly-crusted, Napoli-style pizza in the middle of Seminyak? Opened by Australian restaurateur Maurice Terzini at the end of last year, Da Maria will appeal to anyone who appreciates the glitz and glamour of Capri. Indoor fountains, a blue-and-white colour scheme and beautiful people are never more than arm’s length away.
THE SLOW \ Not far from Seminyak in Canggu is The Slow, exquisite boutique accommodation best described as tropical minimalism in style. Features include floor-to-ceiling windows, rain showers and private pools; the health-oriented cafe downstairs is worth a visit alone. As the resort is still in its soft opening phase, suites are $170 and private pool rooms $220 – run, don’t walk.
KIM SOO \ Set in a pristine white building with a small pool out the back, this is one of the best homewares stores in Bali – and it’s surprisingly affordable. Overflowing with metal-studded wood, textiles, stoneware, cushions and jewellery, this is the kind of place you pop in to buy presents and leave with goodies for yourself. After you shop, take a moment to relax at the adjoining Kim Soo Cafe.
FOR YOUR HANGOVER
BO$$ MAN \ There are a few burger joints in Seminyak, but BO$$ MAN keeps it simple with six burgers, house sauces and perfectly cooked patties made from 60-day dry-aged chuck steaks. The very best part is worth saving for last – you can get burgers delivered from 11am until 4am, seven days a week, so you can recover as quickly as possible after a big night out.
MOTEL MEXICOLA \ It might look deceptively small from the outside, but it’s difficult to visit Motel Mexicola for dinner without kicking on – and ramping up – until the wee hours. Decorative tiles, vibrant nooks and Mexican memorabilia abound. Expect staff that clap along to loud music, as well as dancing after dinner. If you like pina coladas, this is the place for you.
EXPAT ROASTERS \ Just over a year old, Expat Roasters wouldn’t be out of place in Flinders Lane. The tiny shop – all concrete finishes and tropical staff uniforms – serves the best coffee around. Espresso, soy lattes, pour-over – whatever your regular order, Expat works closely with local Indonesian farmers and producers alongside a selection of international favourites.