You probably thought you were going to Bali to lie on a beach, get ridiculously cheap massages and drink cocktails for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Well we’re telling you that you should pack your stretchy pants as well as your bikini, because this tropical hideaway is full of some seriously delicious Bali restaurants where you can eat, drink and no longer fit into your board shorts.
‘Seek food. Find happiness’ is Happy Chappy’s mantra – and boy did we seek and find. We found our happiness 11 baskets of dumplings into their dim sum Sundays. Unfortunately, despair soon followed when we realised we couldn’t fit in the deep fried ice cream, followed by one hell of a food coma.
If you thought you were leaving quirky hipster cafes and smoothie bowls behind you while you went on holidays, think again. Sea Circus is the edible version of a tropical island paradise or at least their zesty tacos and passionfruit and guava margaritas are.
MEXICAN AND WILD NIGHTS. That’s basically all you need to know about Motel Mexicola, Stuff your face with tacos, drink bucket loads of margaritas, then stay and party away the entire night (or three of them – you’re on holidays!) in their epic part Mexican, part tequila-induced fever dream madness.
You know what the best thing about being on holidays in Bali is? Being able to drink yourself silly on cocktails like their limoncello, vodka, ginger beer, strawberry and popcorn number – on a Tuesday. Just make sure you line your belly with epic amounts of duck and chilli dumplings and twice cooked pork ribs in with blackbean, ginger and soy.
Prefer the finer things in life than drinking until 3am in a sweaty beach bar? Book a table under the glittering chandeliers at Sarong, and settle in for a pan-Asian feast. And we mean pan-Asian – you’ll find everything from lamb kebabs to butter chicken to red duck curry on their contemporary menu.
Our perfect Bali beach day would go something like this: Sisterfields for lobster scrambled eggs, beach, Sisterfields for soft shell crab banh mi, massage, Sisterfields for Thai glazed 18hr pork belly, nearest bar. And for those who’d like to keep their beach body – there’s plenty for you here too.
Revolver? More like revolving door as you roll in for a breakfast of ricotta hotcakes with blueberries and Malteser whipped cream, roll back in for a burger at lunch and get yourself ready to party all night with one of their boutique cold drip coffees. Yes, you can get good coffee in Bali. Just because you’re relaxing, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be caffeinated.
Honestly, if you don’t eat at least one epic dessert while you’re on vay-cay, you’re not doing holidays right. Barbacoa’s incredible dessert tasting plate fits the bill, and their gorgeous rustic surrounds, irresistible woodfired meats and view of the surrounding rice paddies will have you wanting to stay forever.
They say family style, we say challenge accepted. This Balinese restaurant will sweep you off your feet with one look at the grand dining room, and the share plates will keep you off them for the rest of the night. Whether it’s a traditional plate of tiger prawn and pork belly salad or a modern rendition of flavours like those in the beef shank steamed buns, we definitely won’t be able to Putih down.
We’ll admit, we didn’t really know where to start: the Potato Head beach club sports three restaurants, two bars, sprawling lawns beside the ocean, and a pool WITH a bar. If not for sheer concern for our liver we’d have well and truly moved in by now. With one of the best sunset views in Bali, pull up a chair by the bar (your pick), let the DJs do their thing, and beware the Barong Zombie cocktail.
One last feast for the road? At Sardine, it’s a struggle to put the camera down (but don’t worry, we still managed to eat). Set in a bamboo marquee in the heart of a rice paddy field, this is a photo op you won’t want to miss. Local seafood and vegetables from their in-house garden are the heart of Sardine’s menu – and the arak cocktails? Just a bonus.
Our Bali restaurants tally? Eleven food comas and one mind to head back over.
Words by Ranyhyn Akui & Samantha Charitom