Just in end July, Y and I took a well-deserved (that’s what I always say) break to Bali, after having not been back there since 2009 when our buddies YL and SH got married. Talk about how time flies! To be honest, I am not crazy about the sun and beach, but was definitely looking for some zen-break and just lazing about doing nothing. I was pleasantly surprised this trip to find many things to see and eat just alone in the area of Seminyak (where we stayed during the full week) and nearby Canggu area too.
Hanging out at Seminyak Beach.
Bali is highly concentrated with many areas you can pick from to stay at ranging from casual hostels to private villas and brand name hotels & resorts. I think if you are like the rest of us who prefers to have a good mix of places to eat, shop and chill – Seminyak and Canggu are still the best areas to stay at. Other places like Ubud is very pretty and picturesque but it’s probably less buzzy in terms of shopping, drinking spots and all, and it’s a far way to get to Seminyak, considering how notorious Bali is for its traffic.
We had a large group this time travelling with us – adults and kids, which required a 9 Bedroom villa! It’s not that easy to find such a large one especially in central areas like Seminyak but lucky me I managed to find Villa Anam made up of 2 Villas – a 4 bedroom and a 6 bedroom which can be connected or separated according to the group size. I booked it through Villa Bali Luxury, and I like their promptness in replying and general customer service. They offered us the villa – 9 rooms (with 1 bedroom locked) at a rate of USD 15,274 for 7 nights, which wasn’t too bad for the peak season period.
Love the long pool at our villa.
The villa grounds were pretty spacious and given it was made of 2 Villas, it meant that we had double of kitchens, living room and dining room, plus even swimming pools, making it pretty good for our large group to spread out, especially in the mornings where we learnt yoga with Vonnie, our lovely yoga teacher. The 6 Bedroom Villa even has a roof top terrace on the top, where you can watch the sunset or just chill out there for drinks. The only complaint I would have is the in-house chef isn’t that great and our breakfast daily was not really good, but thank god for Sisterfields nearby which was my go to breakfast place!
Chilling out by the pool in front of my room.
Love the shark float!
EAT AND CHILL
I must say the food scene in Bali has improved by leaps from 2009 when I was last there, and I gotta share with you the round up of my favourites for eating and chilling, all located within or near enough to the Seminyak and Canggu area.
For Breakfast and Coffee
No one does it better than Sisterfields (Jalan Kayu Cendana No. 7, Seminyak, Kuta, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung; Open from 7 am to 10 pm) – hands down the best breakfast in Bali, which Y says reminds her totally of the Aussie style breakfast she used to get in Perth during her student days. The space is a large sprawling airy cafe, with pretty energetic staff and is always packed no doubt with tourists and locals who go there. Their all day menu is splashed with all the things anyone wants to eat from hearty salads for the health conscious to the signature Sisterfields Dirty Burger, my favourite ham and cheese toastie and breakfast favourites like the Breakfast Burrito and the Blueberry and Ricotta Pancake. And yes brownie points for the cleanliness of their toilets, which is constantly being cleaned.
Sisterfields doesn’t take reservations, but it doesn’t matter, you can always head next door to Expat Roaster to grab a cup of coffee and have their banana bread, while you wait. Strange thing is the coffee here taste better than in Sisterfields, which we concluded is because of the barista.
Signature Dirty Burger at Sisterfields.
Double cheese and ham toastie – at Sisterfields 🙂
Expat Coffee – my daily coffee fix!
Don’t forget the banana bread at Expat.
Walking around the narrow streets of Seminyak after Sisterfields.
Another great quaint place for robust good coffee is Revolver Coffee located in a alley off from Jalan Kayu Aya (Jl. Kayu Aya No.51, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung). It’s got a more industrial cool vibe and even has a retail shop selling some cool merchandise for kids and adults. I didn’t have a chance to try the food here, but heard it’s decent. The coffee disappeared fast before I remembered to take a shot, oops! And sidetrack – if you are looking for cute baby and kids clothing – you must check out Kidsagogo, my favourite shop located at Jl. Kayu Aya No.29, very near to Revolver. A pity I couldn’t find a dress to fit my round tum tum.
Revolver Coffee’s entrance
Fun neon signage in Revolver.
My favourite kids clothing shop – Kidsagogo!
For Local Eats – Warung Nikmat
Hands down the best Nasi Padang I have eaten ever! The selection here is just mind boggling, and you would be spoilt for choices. I like how the Nasi Padang in Bali has a lot of condiment toppings that you can add to the rice, which just adds more umami and texture to the entire meal. And plus they do takeaway too, which made it easy for us to pack for the whole group in the villa.
Located at Jl. Bakung Sari, Gg. Biduri No.6A, Badung, Kuta. About a 30 minutes drive from Seminyak.
Yumms, should we just buy all of them?
Note the entrance!
Feasting on our picks in the comfort of our villa.
For Local Eats that cater
Hog Wild (formerly Naughty Nuri’s) by Chef Bruno, has just the most amazing ribs and is a must for any carnivore lovers like me. And they do catering as well, which makes it a super convenient option if you just wanna relax in your villa and have some great local food. I would say only their babi guling fell short of what I ate years ago in Ubud, but overall it was a definitely a convenient option to have for a poolside party 🙂 Located at Jalan Batu Belig No.41, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Tel: +62 821 4516 3495
BBQ by Hog Wild
For nice dinners with great atmosphere
Moving on to my favourite places with great atmosphere and great food, here’s the run down.
La Lucciola Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak (next to Petitenget Temple) Tel: +62 (0) 361 730 838
What’s there not to like about this place which has one of the best views overlooking the Seminyak beach, no wonder it’s pretty much an icon along this stretch. This classy beachfront restaurant is definitely not the cheapest by Bali standards (we spent around S$125 per head including drinks) but the Italian food with Mediterranean influences, is pretty good and is a great place to enjoy with your family or to have a romantic dinner depending on which time of the day you arrive at. I like it best at dinner where we enjoyed the sunset before sitting downstairs in the beachside restaurant to enjoy ur dinner 🙂 Opens also for breakfast and lunch.
Enjoying the sunset in front of La Lucciola.
The inviting beachside front of La Lucciola.
Da Mario – Pizza meets Disco (Jalan Pettinenget no. 170, Tel: +62 361 302 1288, Reservations is advised.)
Contrary to the pizza x disco vibe we heard it is, it wasn’t when we arrived for dinner at 7 pm maybe cos we were there too early. The interiors have a tropical feel reminiscent of a 60s Italian courtyard with shades of blue and yellow dominating the space. It’s truly a modern osteria at it’s best and a gem in Bali. I am so glad I came here, seriously no complains about anything, pity the mood lighting was just a tad dark to really take good food photos, but that said, I gotta say that the Italian food was pretty spot on authentically good! All the pastas were so good and even the Naples Pizza was seriously so yummy, that I could have eaten the whole pizza on my own!
Bad lighting but amazing Italian food.
Seriously good Naples pizza at Da Mario.
The Slow Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong No.97, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Tel: +62 361 2099 000
Can’t wait for dinner!
Clean white minimalist walkway at The Slow.
So inviting Pool Suite.
Potato Head Seminyak, Jl. Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Tel: +62 361 4737 979
This place is practically an institution in Seminyak – for its concept, design, music, ambience and more! And yeah I feel shy to say this that it was my virgin trip to Potato Head, as it wasn’t open yet back in 2009 when I was last there. Well I gotta say, thanks to my wonderful friends AL and YW (my travelling buddies too on this trip) who are the partners of Potato Head in Hong Kong, I was lucky to enjoy some privileges too here heh heh. This included reserving a daybed to enjoy drinks, which is so impossible to book and even getting a room in their hotel next door – Katamama, just to use the shower facility after Y’s personal training in the hotel gym! I gotta say that was so super kind of the owner to extend this kind gesture to us! This explains why we and our friends were at Potato Head a lot in one week! I love the rooms at Katamama which is unbelievably huge and tastefully designed, and would love the stay here the next time for sure. You can also enjoy some refined Indonesian food at their upstairs restaurant Kaum, otherwise just chill like me at the daybed and enjoy some of their more international food selection downstairs at the Potato Head Restaurant.
Enjoy my photos of Potato Head below!
In front of Potato Head Bali’s iconic facade made up of tons of vintage wooden windows.
Getting a dip in the famous infinity pool at PTT.
Waiting for the sunset at our daybed.
Breezy, tropical, colorful vibe at PTT.
Gorgeous view of the pool from Kaum at night.
Yummy spread of Indonesian food at Kaum.
Thinking and lounging in Katamama’s room.
The spacious room balcony where I could do jumps for joy.
Old Man’s Jl. Pantai Batu Bolong, Kuta Utara, Canggu, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Tel: +62 361 8469 158
Well to be fair, this place in Canggu wouldn’t have been at first glance the place that I thought I would enjoy, after having been to Potato Head which feels way more chic, but I gotta say Old Man’s got it’s own charm. It’s more of a surfer vibe, giant beach hut, and is definitely super family and kid friendly, complete with ping pong table. I did have my doubts about the food, but again I was surprised at how tasty the tacos and chicken wings were, and even the coffee – wow, props to the guy making me my coffee, he was a hidden barista. I learnt not to judge too quickly with this place, and hence this made it in my list of places to go with super buzzy vibe.
Tucking into some tacos at Old Man’s.
Ping Pong at Old Man’s.
Mexicola Jalan Kayu Jati No. 9X, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Tel: +62 361 736 688
My dear friend AL brought the rest of us to this place not once but twice after dinner. It can be considered another party institution in Seminyak area, known for its super cheesy music – yes anything from Los Del Rio’s Macarena to Justin Bieber’s songs are all in one playlist, and I found myself dancing along to these songs. It’s amazing how buzzy and dancy the crowd there is at like 9 pm at night, and there’s no age limit here, anyone from kids to adults were all singing dancing along to the same tunes. The food here is pretty decent too I gotta say amidst all that tequila shots that we downed, I still managed to taste some pretty good tacos there. For laughs and memory, you could pick up a T-shirt or cap from their retail store near the main entrance.
Fun vibe at Mexicola.
It was a fun week long trip in Bali before going back to the grind, till next time! Also if you need a chauffeur to ferry you around, I have a great contact, just contact me on my email firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂
Dramatic sunset at Seminyak beach.