Bali: Hottest spots to eat and drink right now

Bali's bar and restaurant scene is not only going off right now - it's accessible for anyone and any budget.
Botanica Seminyak Bali best restaurants

Bali has come along way from serving up plastic plates of nasi goreng and chicken satays. Those iconic dishes are still available – and the best can be served on those plastic plates – but this island paradise has transformed itself into a drinks and dining mecca that is loved by foodies with all sorts of budgets.

It seems every week a new must-visit venue opens serving up fine fare that is rarely priced above AUD$30 – and that dish would be something exquisite. Add to that a level of service unrivalled, sophisticated interior design and a holiday vibe and Bali is a place people actually come for gourmet getaways.

We have rounded up a few of our faves that have either newly opened, got a makeover or are just so hot right now.

UNI – stylish and sophisticated dining that’s both casual and afforable.

UNI, Berawa

The quote from the chef Steven Skelly about this newly opened Japanese-fusion restaurant sums up the vibe – “Uni is the place you can eat at multiple times a week, not just on special occasions.”

Since it opened in October, the reviews have been coming thick and fast about the Bali-best combination of fine dining in a casually sophisticated setting at a great price. As an example, a five-course tasting menu which includes dishes like snapper carpaccio and a crab lasagne that has achieved local cult status is priced at under AUD$40 a head.

Chef Skelly described the food: “Locally sourced seafood and vegetables are served with Japanese and French influences in a modern style. No messing around with elaborate plating or crazy combinations.”

Skelly has teamed up with drinks expert Nicolas Lento – and when we say “drinks”, this isn’t just your standard wine and cocktails, although they also star.

“There (are) of course minimum intervention wines. All of them will be available by the glass. The beverage pairings will be including cocktails, teas, natural wines, sake to match the tasting menu,” Lento says.

Uni Restaurant & Bar, Jl Pantai Berawa No. 99, p. +62 811 388 3371, [email protected]. Open daily 6pm – 10.30pm for food, and late for drinks.

Botanica, Seminyak

If you’re in Bali, you want to feel like you’re in Bali. And you’ll know you are not at home when when you enter the tropical oasis that is Botanica.

It’s all palm trees and chill vibes – and while all around Seminyak is crazy busy, in Botanica you can kick back in a comfy seat and sip your favourite cocktail.

Dishing up a “modern Australian menu”, it also ticks that increasingly popular box of using ethically sourced, local Indonesian produce. In another claim to fame, it also has Bali’s largest range of wines by the glass.

It’a also another casually sophisticated Bali eateries that serves up fine food at a price holidays can enjoy. The seafood platter – under AUD$25 – is epic, and a pretty posh burger is about AUD$12. Can’t be upset with those prices.

Botanica, Jl. Kayu Jati No.1, Seminyak. Open 7 days, 9am-midnight.

The tropical oasis that is Botanica.


Motel Mexicola

Viva la party! Motel Mexicola has been established on the Bali scene for a while now but it’s impact grows and grows – because this place is all about joy.

From its brightly coloured Instagram-able decor to its delicious Mexican menu, Mexicola is a fave for all ages. During the day, the families are loving it and then when the sun goes down bring on the table dancing and the conga lines. Every day is a celebration at Motel Mexicola.

The menu has all your Mexican favourites – with tacos starting at about AUD$3 each. But affordability aside, the food has won accolades far and wide for being genuinely and deliciously authentic Mexican.

Motel Mexicola, JL Kayujati 9X, Seminyak. Open 7 days, 11am-1am.

Motel Mexicola – where it’s a fiesta every day.


The Slow Kitchen + Bar, Canggu

“A place to rest your bones, stir your senses, and expand your mind” – that’a the concept behind The Slow, which, with its accommodation and arts and culture focus, is more a multi-facet destination than an eating and drinking venue.

But it’s the kitchen and bar that’s notching up all the chatter at the moment, since Daniel Medcalf of Sydney’s Icebergs and The Dolphin fame, joined as executive chef. Foodies are flocking there, but also those seeking a bit of Canggu chill – because The Slow is all laid-back sophistication.

And a taste-test of the menu, you can have Sri Lankan-style vego curry for under AUD$10 and a caramelised half-chicken for less than AUD$15. If you’re just dropping by for the quintessential Bali grazing, there are small sharing plates galore from AUD$3-$10.

The Slow Kitchen + Bar, Jalan Batu Bolong 97, Canggu. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, diner and late-night drinks.

The Slow Kitchen and Bar in Canggu.


Grill’d Burgers, Seminyak, just opened

Grill’d, the Aussie burger chain that aims to stand for so much more than just putting yummy protein in bread rolls (with or without gluten, of course), has just opened its first restaurant off Aussie shores, in Bali.

An air-conditioned oasis overlooking the bustle of Seminyak Square, the new restaurant (decor described as “casual but refined”) features all the favourites off the Aussie menu – but they will be rolling out some unique dishes to reflect its Balinese location.

At the core of this new Grill’d is the chain’s commitment to sustainability and using locally sourced ingredients.

“Bali is the perfect destination to expand the Grill’d brand internationally,” says Grill’d Group managing director and founder Simon Crowe. “It has a great service culture, a strong, well-trained hospitality workforce, and hard-working farmers who are growing some seriously good produce.”

He adds that Grill’d will also continue it’s commitment to supporting local communities. “Every month our Bali restaurant will share Rp2,500,000 (about AUD$260) with three different local groups. We’re looking forward to making a real difference to the people and businesses that support us.”

Grill’d Bali, Jalan Kayu Jati no 3X, Petitenget Beach, Seminyak. Open daily from 10am-2am.

Grill’d has just opened in Bali’s trendy Seminyak.


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