Bali’s New Kids on the Block

March 2016 – Bali’s continued proliferation of new restaurants & bars amazed us on our recent trip to Bali in January 2016. In the 15 months since our previous visit, we had some “heavy lifting” to do on our short time schedule, to sample as many of these new (and “newish”) kids on the block as we could in the Seminyak/Petitenget area and in Ubud.

While many of the new places come from a pedigree of previously successful ventures such as Mamasan, La Lucciola, Ku de Ta and Mozaic, we also noticed a trend in new restaurants that have moved towards a contemporary presentation of traditional local & Indonesian flavours.

Here’s our list of what is worth checking out and the dishes that we enjoyed in Seminyak & Ubud:


Republik 45Modern Indonesian
Jalan Raya Kerobokan No.86A, Seminyak

 Opened about 14 months ago, the unassuming entrance to Republik 45, on the now traffic jammed Jalan Raya Kerobokan, belies the chic soaring ceiling and atrium-style dining room beyond. Chef Ketut Udiana trained with Mozaic’s chef Chris Salans and presents his own modern interpretations of Balinese and Indonesian dishes.


Saigon StreetVietnamese
Jalan Petitenget No.77X, Seminyak

Opened in mid-2015, Saigon Street is the brainchild of Aki Kotzamichalis, one of the co-founders of Ku De Ta, with a menu of classic and regional Vietnamese dishes created by Executive Chef Geoff Lindsay of Melbourne’s Dandelion restaurant. The spring rolls weren’t quite as good as what we enjoy in Vietnam, but the other dishes were very authentic in flavour.


Tiger PalmMalaysian
Seminyak Village, Jalan Kayu Jati No.8, Seminyak

Opened only 4 months ago in December 2015, most things that Will Meyrick and his Sarong Group  of restaurants do are usually wildly successful. Tiger Palm is no exception. Although its location, at the entrance to Seminyak’s newest shopping “mall”, isn’t the most appealing spot, the Nonya and Peranakan inspired Malaysian cuisine certainly makes up for it. We went for lunch and absolutely loved the following dishes.


BambuModern Indonesian
Jalan Petitenget No.198, Petitenget

From the team behind one of Seminyak’s most successful and oldest restaurants, La Lucciola, this is their fine dining Indonesian restaurant, Bambu. Although opened in 2014, this was the first opportunity we had to check out Bambu. The food is beautifully presented with a menu inspired by various parts of Indonesia in all of its spicy glory.


Hank’s Pizza & LiquorPizza & Drinks
Jalan Kayu Aya No.27, Seminyak

Opened in December 2014, Hank’s Pizza & Liquor is the “moonlighting” enterprise set up by Ben Cross, Executive Chef of Ku De Ta, and a few of his Australian and NZ chef friends. It’s a very relaxed rock’n’roll themed and soundtracked pizza joint that makes an excellent thin crust pizza, each named after rock’n’roll icons including Bowie, Dylan, Lennon, Hendrix, Sid and Morrison.


Kilo Kitchen International Fusion
Jalan Drupadi No.22, Seminyak
Opened in September 2014, this is the first overseas venture of Kilo Singapore’s uber-cool portfolio of lifestyle bar/restaurants. Located on Jalan Drupadi,, Kilo’s incredible minimalist architecture of concrete, marble, and glass creates an oasis of calm just a stone’s through from Seminyak’s main drag. Executive Chef Manel Valero’s menu is fusion of textures and flavours influenced from Southeast Asia, Italy, South America, Japan & Korea.


Hujan Locale – Indonesian/South East Asian Archipelago
Jalan Sri Wedari No.5, Ubud

Another excellent restaurant within the Will Meyrick stables, Hujan Locale’s main food focus is traditional dishes from across the Indonesian Archipelago, but it also cooks up an amazing “long pizza” – I can never go past a good pizza. The menu embraces the “farm to plate” philosophy using the best of local ingredients sourced from local farmers. The restaurant has a cool, tropical, colonial charm about it, with tables on the second floor overlooking a beautiful Balinese compound and its family temple.


Pesantian Warung & VillaBalinese
Banjar Pesalakan, Desa Pejeng Kangin Ubud

Located a short 10 minute drive outside of Ubud, in the village of Pesalakan, is Pesantian Warung which was opened in July 2015. We have known Chef Santika for many years, during his time as Executive Chef at Alila Manggis in East Bali, and we were excited to find out that he had now opened his own villa accommodation, restaurant and cooking school. We left it to Santika to order for us and had one of the best traditional Balinese feasts of the trip. Well worth checking out for a lunch (call before heading out) or to do a private cooking class.


Blanco par MandifModern Indonesian
Jalan Raya Tjampuhan, Museum Blanco Complex

Blanco par Mandif

Following the success of his Teatro restaurant in Seminyak since 2012, Chef Mandif M Warokka, one of Bali’s most celebrated chefs, opened Blanco par Mandif on the grounds of Ubud’s famous Blanco Museum in 2015. Chef Mandif’s degustation menus offer a culinary journey of Michelin-inspired modern Indonesian cuisine with menus starting from around $AUD100, with a Cocktail Pairing option also available. It might not be for everyone, but if you like to be challenged with your dining, this is worth checking out, not only for the innovation & creativity of Chef Mandif’s creations, but also for the unique open kitchen experience and architecture of the restaurant.


Spices by Chris Salans – Indonesian Tapas
Jalan Raya Ubud No.23, Ubud

Opened in mid-2015, Chris Salans, of Ubud’s famous fine-dining restaurant Mozaic, has opened this relaxed, casual, all-day dining concept which is fantastic. The menu leans toward shared-plate dining with dishes that focus on seasonal Balinese & Indonesian ingredients and flavours. Definitely worth checking out!


Seminyak Accommodation

Alila Seminyak
Jalan Taman Ganesha No.9, Petitenget

Alila Ocean Suite 600x450Another new kid on the block when it comes to accommodation is Alila Seminyak, situated beachside between La Lucciola and Potato Head. Opened in mid-2015, the hotel is conveniently located to be able to walk to most of the restaurants that we visited above. We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean Suite room which literally sit overlooking the beach with uninterrupted views to the sea. I don’t think there are any other hotel rooms closer to the beach & sea anywhere along the Seminyak/Petitenget stretch, so if you are looking for privacy they might not be for you, but the Garden Suites might do.

Ubud Accommodation

Villa Kalisat
Jalan Raya Pejeng Kawan, Pejeng 80571


Villa-Kalisat-Pool 600x400

Villa Kalisat Spa 600x400

Our Ubud accommodation – Villa Kalisat – is a “new” kid on the block as it’s new owners, Bene & Kim, took it over in mid-2015. Villa Kalisat, located a short 10 minute drive outside of Ubud, is a beautifully secluded oasis of calm perched on a hillside cliff overlooking rainforest, rice fields and the Petanu River gorge below. Each of its 7 rooms have been stunningly decorated by Bene, who has an amazing eye for design, homewares and objets d’art.

Bene was one of our first cooking school clients and when she told us about her new venture in Ubud, we couldn’t wait to visit it. As the villa is situated on the cliff, there are a number of steps to get to each of the rooms, so it may not be suited to anyone who might find stairs difficult. If you are looking for somewhere to chill out and relax for a few days, we can highly recommend staying at Villa Kalisat. Our room – the Waterfall Room – was situated furthest away from the restaurant/reception area, and was super relaxing and beautifully appointed.


Please don’t hesitate in contacting us at with any questions or comments, and we will be happy to reply to your request!