Bar

Bali Food Diaries – September

From incredible beach barbecues to Bali’s most anticipated beach club opening, from table top dancing to a surprise appearance by one of our favourite chefs, to a great new day to night experience in Batu Bolong to an inspired new plant-based restaurant in Seminyak, we’ve have had a delicious month and there’s more to come. Follow us on Instagram for the latest and greatest in Balifood.

Spectacular Saturday Seafood Barbecues at Karma Beach Club.

Karma Beach Club is the best spot in Uluwatu to hang out with friends during the weekends.

Dazzling seafood barbecues are a mainstay in Bali, but never has the location been so deliriously breathtaking, nor the seafood so spectacular than at Karma Beach’s new Saturday seafood feast. Chef Joseph Antonishek has merged his new-found love of local flavours, with his early forays into camp cooking and his passion for design and engineering to create something quite special.

Each Saturday evening, the team at Karma Beach erect a massive bamboo frame with racks and cages operated by pulley systems. Three fire pits deliver the heat and smoke required for the feast. “We hang octopus from the racks, fresh local seafood and venus plants from Lombok, together with whole pineapples that slowly bake before we finish them with delicious palm sugar from Rote Island and serve the dish with pink peppercorn ice cream and kemangi,” chef Joseph says.

The regular Saturday-only event will also deliver dishes that abide by the clean eating ideas of fresh meats and veggies handled with a light touch. However, there will be lush jungle curries cooked in bamboo and fresh grilled Zebra fish – the world’s only fish species that has travelled to outer space and is constantly researched by scientists. “All the fish is  brought in every Saturday from the seafood markets at Jimbaran – where I eat at least twice a week,” says the Californian cook who once shot a pilot TV series about cooking and camping. For bookings and soundtracks click here. Ondy Sweeting

Karma Beach Club @karmabeachclubs. Jl. Villa Kandara, Ungasan.

Cafe del Mar Bali revealed.

The highly anticipated Café del Mar Bali will open its doors soon.

This is the opening we’ve been hearing about for almost two years and it seems we are about to learn what it’s all about. With an early September soft opening, we’ve had a sneak peek and it’s big. Straddling the surf beach at Berawa, the venue has a giant shell-like stage, a sound and light tower, a bistro and restaurant, a horizon pool and some very stylish private cabanas.

Bringing one of the most famous Ibiza clubs to Bali is the work of many, and our job is to simply enjoy. If you’re here in September, stop by for a sample day out. Stretch out on a day bed beside the horizon pool, let the world-famous soundtracks wash over you and get a glimpse of what’s drama is to come. The grand opening extravaganza is slated for next year and festive season events are already in the making.

Café del Mar @cafedelmarbali. Jl. Subak Sari, Canggu.

555 Brings a taste of Thailand to Berawa.

The striking interior of 555 Thai catches everyone’s attention.

Lovers of Thai food will be heavenly transported to another time and place at 555 Thai, the new eatery in Berawa. It might seem crazy, but sometimes you just want to take a small holiday from Bali life. 555 Thai is just the flashback you need and almost as good as a trip to Bangkok, with adorable interiors and home-style food. Every nook and cranny has something interesting to look at, from gorgeous wallpaper to neon lights carefully placed throughout the venue. The menu consists of authentic Thai dishes; start your evening with a papaya salad or tom kha gai soup and finish with a curry, stir fry or pad Thai. Although the menu is traditional and straightforward, the drinks menu is a crazy mix of experimental cocktails, along with mocktails, as well as wine and beer options. Choose a traditional cocktail with a Thai twist, or be adventurous and opt for one of the exotic signature cocktails. Every day 555 Thai hosts a happy hour from 5PM – 7PM, which gave us the perfect opportunity to dive right in to their drinks menu, a discovery that did indeed make us very happy.

555 Thai @hahahathai.bali. Taman Tamora, Jl. Raya Semat, Canggu.

Made’s Warung turns 50!

A traditional Balinese ceremony at one of many Made’s Warungs.
The humble Kuta warung that opened street-side 50 years ago has fed and watered generations of locals and visitors. When a young Made went to help her mother at the small shack (it was barely a warung then), a legion of surfers had just discovered Bali and they devoured the home-made nasi campur and banana pancakes that made up much of the menu. Westerners started wanting more, the warung grew and it is now a famous part of Bali’s modern culture. The Seminyak restaurant that spans half a block came later, and is a second home to many locals and expats while it entertains tourists with regular, and very beautiful, authentic dance performances. The second generation, and indeed the third, have taken over from Made and her Dutch husband Peter. The menu has grown to include Western, Japanese, Thai, and most recently pizza, yet their nasi campur and the glorious soto ayam (chicken soup) are still among the island’s best. The famous warung has spread to the airport and even to Amsterdam, yet the original keeps calling us back. On August 30, Made’s officially celebrates with a party in their usual fabulous style with music, fashion shows and groaning buffets. The atmospheric Kuta warung is built on the original site and pays homage to the past and the present, while in Seminyak the garden restaurant and warung is still one of the Seminyak haunts we return to again and again.
Made’s Warung @madeswarung.

Day to night at Canggu’s new Ninety One resto and bar.

Ninety One Bali serves only the best Meditteranean dishes with just the right amount of spice.

It’s sexy, it’s happening and it’s delicious. It comes as no surprise that former champion surfer, Tip Jabrik, has decided to create a restaurant, pool club and bar in the happening main street of Canggu’s Batu Bolong. Ninety One is quickly making a name for its day to night concept featuring fabulous Middle Eastern cuisine with a strong focus on healthy eating principles, and taking it a sophisticated step up. With Mason just a few steps away, they need to be good, and we can happily say, we enjoyed this a lot.

Ninety One’s menu takes a unique approach. Inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine and modern eating philosophies – vegan, you say? – the menu encourages guests to share. Ninety One is the kind of place that redefines the dining experience. You aren’t here to simply eat, it’s an experience best shared with friends and family, or perhaps your partner. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, during the day guests are encouraged to take a table poolside, log on to the wi-fi and linger for a dip. By night, the lights are low, the service is warm and friendly and their signature cocktails – I recommend the Oasis – set the mood for a night on the town.

Ninety One Bali @ninetyonebali. Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.91, Canggu. +62822-9888-9191

Chef’s Bistro Brings a familiar face back to Petitenget.

You don’t need a reason to devour this gorgeous pavlova at Chef’s Bistro.

At first sight, the street-side Chef’s Bistro doesn’t give much away. It’s only once you enter the salon that the magic happens. And it is magic, if you too love classic French bistro dishes that have captivated diners the world over. Enter the chef, and he’s the best surprise of all. Patrick is a very familiar face to many of us expats. As the original Chef at SIP, the famed bistro in Seminyak, he wooed us with steaming bowls of onion soup, hand-made salmon ravioli floating in deeply delicious seafood bisque, farmer-style pates, duck confit, beef braised in wine, and more. And it’s all here. Different location, a different room, a nice wine list, that can never compare to the one created by Christian, SIP’s original owner, but it covers all the bases. Another thing you have to love is the prix fixe menus served at lunch. Two courses at Rp175k , three courses at Rp195k. This is really heaven on a plate. If you’re a fan of classic French food, drop by and say hi to the very humble Patrick and his new team with some are old SIP hands as well, at the light-filled salon in Jl Petitenget. Check out our other favourite French restaurants here.

Chef’s Bistro @chefsbistro.bali. Jl. Raya Petitenget 35, Seminyak.

The return of 40 Thieves.

Everyone’s favourite speakeasy is back and better with their craft cocktails and artisanal spirits.

Finally, I hear the screams. For months now, we’ve been missing the crazy nights, the close-knit crowd, the DJs who positively encourage you to dance on the tabletops and the serious drinks that fuel outrageous behaviour. 40 Thieves will open bigger and better than ever on the weekend of August 30 and 31, and I feel a line-up coming on for business as usual. Moving next door to larger premises, Bali’s most famous speakeasy will re-open with completely new interiors, double the capacity and the personality-fuelled drinks we have come to love. Not to mention their new VIP bar, irreverently called The Panic Room, more on that later! Are you ready for this? We sure are.

40 Thieves @40thieves.bali. Jl. Raya Petitenget 7, Seminyak.