If you want to glam it up a bit during your stay in Bali, then Seminyak is the place to do it. There are a number of kitschy eateries and fine dining restaurants in Seminyak offering everything from Mexican to Argentinian. But if you’re looking to eat local, there’s a wealth of possibility on your doorstep too- just veer off the main streets and explore a bit or ask those who know best, the locals, for recommendations. You won’t regret it. Two of our most memorable meals in Bali were from small warungs in Seminyak. So without further ado our picks for the best restaurants in Seminyak:
Must Eat Number 1
Babi Guling Spesial at Pak Malen
Babi guling is one of those dishes you have to try when you’re in Bali, whole pigs are stuffed with a mixture of herbs and spices and then spit-roasted. This has been on the list ever since we watched Anthony Bourdain devour a plate at Ibu Oka in Ubud. We alway try and sample babi guling in each town we visit, one can never have enough suckling pig! Pak Malen is one of our favourites. It’s a small local joint where people jostle for seats and the line for takeaway snakes out the door.
The babi guling spesial is the thing to order here. A small bowl of soup arrives together with a mound of rice and a plate filled with all things pig- slices of meat, crackling, a tendon puff, pork sate and crunchy gorengan (pork tossed in flour and then deep-fried). The plate of piggy goodness is often accompanied by sambal and a smattering of veges- usually a salad consisting of beans and coconut.
The soup, whilst watery has a great depth of flavour and it packs a punch in the spice department so be on your guard! Ours contained a small spare rib and a couple of chopped spring onions.
Each item on the plate is memorable- the crackling is crisp, the gorengan are bite sized and have the right amount of chew without being jaw-breaking, the sambal is sensational and coupled with the tender meat and white rice makes for a mouthwatering bite.
Whilst some might complain that it’s a miserly serve, we always leave feeling satisfied and full. Besides, there’s always second lunch to fit in isn’t there?! Definitely one of THE places to eat in Seminyak.
Good to know:
Babi guling sepsial 20,000IDR (approx $2AUD/$1.70USD)
Jl. Sunset Road No.5
Telephone: 0361 745 2968
Open 10:00am to 3:00pm (but get there early as they sell out quickly).
Must Eat Number 2
Roti at Warung Bunana
Warung Bunana is staffed by young blokes who spend their days slapping dough onto a stainless steel bench and creating every roti imaginable under the sun for their insatiable customers. This place is packed from opening til close and there’s no question why. The roti are damn good. In fact so is their frothy teh tarik which is sweet and creamy yet also manages to be refreshing. Eat it for breakfast, lunch or tea, stuff it with ingredients to create martabak, dip it in curry sauce or have it drizzled with condensed milk- you can do so much with roti and when it’s crafted as well as Warung Bunana’s, it’s addictive.
We’ve sampled the garlic roti, cinnamon roti and roti susu (drizzled with condensed milk). Flaky, crispy, non-oily and piping hot. We’ve never enjoyed roti as much as the ones we had at Warung Bunana.
P.S Fellas, pop next door to Roots Barbershop and get a haircut or shave if you have time and if the queue isn’t eight men deep. TBS had both accompanied by a relaxing facial massage and it set him back a mighty $7.50AUD/$6USD).
Good to know:
Teh tarik 10,000IDR (approx $1AUD/$0.85USD)
Roti garlic (large) 18,000IDR (approx $1.80AUD/$1.50USD)
Roti susu (small) 6,000IDR (approx $0.60AUD/$0.50USD)
Roti cinnamon (small) 7,500IDR (approx $0.75AUD/$0.65USD)
Jl. Sunset Road No.28
Telephone: 0361 2726383
Must Eat Number 3
Cocktails and dinner at Mamasan
If you’re keen to put on your glad rags, do so for Mamasan. Comparisons with Chin Chin in Melbourne are numerous so our expectations on our first visit were relatively high. The cocktails are a no brainer here- the coconut mojito will knock your socks off and their espresso martini won’t have you stopping at one.
We’ve sampled a range of dishes including snapper dumplings, the chicken and prawn eggnet, the massaman chicken curry, a salmon and green mango salad and caramelised beef short rib. The most memorable bites were the steamed snapper dumplings with chilli and black bean oil which were delicate but intensely flavoured and the crispy salmon and green mango salad- the salmon was melt in the mouth and the tart, fresh green mango lingered on the palate. The other dishes though weren’t outstanding and none had us clamoring for second helpings. On the whole, we’ve found the food good but not spectacular.
A change from street food is necessary sometimes, even if it is just to make you appreciate the flavours you can experience from local food and for that, you could do much worse than Mamasan. The perfect way to enjoy this institution in our opinion is to whip upstairs to the bar, settle down to enjoy their cocktail list and order some small bites from the menu if you get peckish. Seriously, the best cocktails in Seminyak.
Good to know:
Cocktails are in the 110,000IDR range
Sparkling water 35,000IDR
Snapper dumplings 68,000IDR
Salmon and green mango salad 135,000IDR
Massaman chicken curry 150,000IDR
Dengdeng Balado caramelised beef short rib 175,000IDR
Roti canai 15,000IDR
Jasmine rice 15,000IDR
Our meal cost approximately $125AUD/$110USD (including 4 cocktails, tax and service).
Jl. Raya Kerobokan
Reservations can be made online and are recommended.
Must Eat Number 4
Breakfast at Revolver Espresso
Revolver does the best coffee in Seminyak, hands down. Situated down a little lane on Jalan Kayu Aya (opposite the Bali Clinic) this cafe is where those in the know come to break their fast. These guys roast and blend their coffee in Bali and use organic produce where possible. The staff are friendly, the place is always packed and the food is tasty.
We ate breakfast and lunch here a couple of times with the breakfast dishes coming out on top. The Goodfellas- a pancake stack served with blueberries, ice-cream and maple syrup is one for the sweet lovers. The pancakes are fluffy and the serve is big enough to fill you up but small enough to leave room for lunch (very important). The Pistolette features poached eggs on crispy polenta, kalamata olives, pesto, watercress and a lemon dressing. It’s fresh and light, the polenta making a nice change from the usual toast. The breakfast panini a bacon, egg, mayo and mozzarella toastie is also a winner. And if there’s one thing on the menu you must have, it’s the Billy the Kid shake- banana, dates and peanut butter. Heaven.
If you’ve had enough nasi campur to last you a lifetime then come here to get your fix of espresso and poached eggs.
Good to know:
Piccolo 27,000IDR (approx $2.70AUD/$2.00USD)
Billy the kid shake 35,000IDR (approx $3.50AUD/$3USD)
Pistolette 55,000IDR (approx $5.50AUD/$4.50USD)
Goodfellas 55,000IRD (approx $5.50 AUD/$4.50USD)
Jl. Kayu Aya/Gang 51
Open 7 days, 8:00am to 5:00pm
Must Eat Number 5
Balinese classics at Warung Eny’s
If you want to try some Balinese classics without venturing too far, then Warung Eny should hit the spot. Doubling as a cooking school, Warung Eny covers all the bases, from cap cay, bebek betutu (Balinese duck) to babi guling (suckling pig). Note that some of these traditional dishes cost a lot more than the local joints outside of Seminyak but that’s the price you pay for the location and having all the dishes available under one roof.
On our visit we eat Lawar Bali a salad of chopped Balinese vegetables and sliced baby coconut which is vibrant and fresh. Ayam betutu- chicken cooked in a claypot, is tender and the creamy sauce is perfect for dolloping on rice. The mie goreng is very good too, topped with an egg the noodles are bouncy, the vegetables crisp and the sauce contains a hint of spice.
The staff are super friendly and eager to please and the food authentic and fresh. Don’t be fooled by appearances, this warung is worth a visit.
Good to know:
Young coconut 50,000IDR (approx $0.50AUD/$0.30USD)
Mie goreng 35,000IDR (approx $3.50AUD/$2.50USD)
Lawar Bali 45,000IDR (approx $4.50AUD/$3.50USD)
Ayam Betutu 55,000IDR (approx $5.50AUD/$4USD)
Jl. Petitenget, No. 97
Telephone:+62 (0)361 736 892
Open 7 days, 8:00am to 10:00pm
Must Eat Number 6
Nasi Campur at Warung Aneka Rasa
Walk into Warung Aneka Rasa and you’ll be blown away by the sheer choice of dishes available to you. What do you do? Grab a plate, pile it with rice and then proceed to load up as many dishes as you possibly can- there’s tempe, corn fritters, creamy beef rendang, tiny crispy fish for crunch, jukut urap (mixed vegetable salad), spicy eggplant, chicken done a million ways, the list goes on. Dollop some sambal on the side, pay up (it’ll cost you a couple of dollars) and sit and watch the busy Seminyak traffic go by. This is perfect breakfast food- the flavours and spice are sure to wake you up. One of the best nasi campur in Seminyak!
Good to know:
Cheap as chips, a full plate should cost between $2-$4AUD/USD
Warung Aneka Rasa
Jl. Lasmana/Kayu Aya
Open for breakfast and lunch
Must Eat Number 7
Argentinian at Barbacoa
One of the best meals we’ve ever had in Seminyak was at Barbacoa. This restaurant worships meat and has the asado pits to prove it. The staff are gracious, interested and keen to please, the atmosphere is lively and the food is delicious.
On our visit we snack on some chicken winglets which are sweet and tender. A pulled pork slider with pickled red onion, aioli and tomato is rich, juicy and has great depth of flavour. The meltingly tender spare ribs with a chipotle and agave glaze are meaty and contain a touch of zing from the chipotle. And the chargrilled baby squid with grilled fennel, oregano and lime is smoky but fresh. Perhaps the most memorable dish of all though is the garden salad. Romaine lettuce, slightly bitter rounds of radish, sweet kernels of juicy corn and sharp bursts of jalapeño- it’s sensational.
To finish, we dip our spoons into a silky Creme Catalan which has been topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The toffee shell is cracked to reveal the smooth custard. The ice-cream is probably unnecessary but there aren’t any complaints from either of us.
Dive into Barbacoa’s cocktail list too whilst you’re here- their frozen margarita’s are legendary and gigantic and their smoking GT features chipotle infused gin- it’s addictive.
Good to know:
Cocktails 105,000IDR (approx $10.50AUD/$8USD)
Pork slider 45,000IDR (approx $4.50AUD/$3.50USD)
Winglets 65,000 (approx $6.50AUD/$5USD)
Pork spare ribs 190,000IDR (approx $19AUD/$15USD)
Squid 110,000IDR (approx $11AUD/$9USD)
Garden salad 50,000IDR (approx $5AUD/$3.50USD)
Creme Catalan 60,000IDR (approx $6AUD/$5USD)
Jl. Petitenget No.14
Open 7 days, 12:00pm to midnight
Reservations can be made online.
Note: If you are eating in local joints, you’d be hard pressed to spend more than $10AUD/$8USD for two people if you’re not drinking. If you’re on the beers then a long neck Bintang will set you back about $3.50AUD/$3USD. If you’re eating at restaurants geared towards the foreign crowd then expect to pay 10% tax and roughly between 5%-8% service on top of your bill.
No matter where you’re travelling to we always recommend you have travel insurance. We use and love World Nomads. The great thing about them is that you can purchase travel insurance while you’re already travelling!
We hope this Seminyak guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist!
Looking for more? Check out our Top 3 Must Eats in Jimbaran, Must Eats in Ubud and the Chasing a Plate’s Guide to Bali for tips on things to do, where to stay and where to eat.
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