Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Seminyak is a vicinity in South Bali, a little north to the more famous and crowded Kuta Beach. It’s within close distance to surfing beaches and the airport, but is known to be a more upscale option to Kuta Beach. Over these years, as tourism has grown more lavishly in Bali, restaurants in Seminyak have also been growing amongst other places like the spas, yoga places and hotels. In my two brief visits last year, I had the chance to have delish meals in several restaurants in Seminyak and around, each with its own concept and uniqueness. And by “around”, I mean areas like Petitenget, Kerobokan, all very nearby to Seminyak.
If you’re building a Mexican restaurant in Bali, build one to the max! There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in Seminyak lately, but I think nothing came close to extravagance of Motel Mexicola. To someone who has only seen Mexico in pictures and movies like me, Motel Mexicola is giving the make-belief chance as if I was really in Mexico. The colorful and decorative furniture, building, even altar of nobody in particular (but looks awfully lot like Snoop Dogg) that welcomes your arrival, set in a hot sunny area, truly embody the Mexico I have in mind. Cynics sneer at this restaurant, saying that it’s become a location only to take selfies and brag on Instagram. I’m not sure they’ve even been there though.. LOL.
I wasn’t familiar with Mexican food except those served (and modified) in Taco Bell. So ordering the food was pretty challenging. Fortunately, we loved all the food we had, like quesadillas, tacos, churros, and… darn, I forgot what else! The overall taste, as I remember it, was savory except the churros. Well, here are some of them.Motel Mexicola Jalan Kayujati 9X, Petitenget; email@example.com ; +62361 736688 Opens from around 10 or 11 AM until, if I’m not mistaken, midnight. Food prices range from about IDR 30,000 – 200,000 per portion, exclude 15% tax.
It is the very place that introduced me to churros in my trip to Bali with the foodies two years ago. Last year I came back because I couldn’t get over the delicious crunchy yet soft-on-the-inside churros, and I wanted Mumun and my friend Budi Iskandar taste it, too. (And they loved the churros, too! Yeay!)
Similar to what I had in Motel Mexicola, here we also had tacos and quesadillas, other than the beverages, which names I forgot! Honestly, I don’t remember how they tasted, but I remember liking everything on our table! Aside to Mexican, they have a wide range of food, like seafood, salad, baguette, pasta, steak and many more.
I gotta admit, I wasn’t only drawn to Sea Circus because of the food and beverage. Out of so many other restaurants in Seminyak I’ve seen, I think this is the only one with cute circus painting on the facade. And that counts for something!
Based on my experiences, coming here without reservation in meal times could really make finding a table challenging!
Prices range from IDR 35,000 – 150,000 for food, and a lot more for the wine and cocktails.Sea Circus Jalan Kayu Aya (Oberoi Rd) no. 22, Seminyak; +62361 738667 They open from 8 a.m. to 10.30 p.m., cocktails are available until 1 a.m.
Similar to my initial awareness of Rock Bar in Jimbaran, I came to know about Biku from the hype among Jakarta people. I wasn’t interested to pay a visit until, again, my trip with the foodies. It was my first time eating and finding out about pavlova, but was more amazed with Jenni’s explanation of the Lapsang Souchong tea more than I was with the pavlova that was too sweet for my liking.
On my next visit with my sister and brother-in-law, we had pad thai salad with chicken, nasi campur (rice with various dishes), and potato skins. Now these savory dishes make me want to come back to Biku again someday!
There is also a small book corner and souvenir shop within the restaurant. They’ve got some pretty cool postcards with drawings on Balinese cultural elements, like the temples and such. I got them for about IDR 20,000 each. Pricey, but well-illustrated.
Though I heard about Biku from my Indonesian friends, it seemed to be one of the restaurants in Seminyak with a lot of international visitors as well.
They open 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. daily.
Food prices range from IDR 25,000 – 68,000 per portion. Other than cocktails and wine, the drinks cost from IDR 5,000 – 60,000.Biku Jalan Raya Petitenget 888; +62361 8570888
I am a meat lover with a bit of curiosity of how life is on the other side, the vegetarian life. So I dragged Mumun along to Earth Cafe, a restaurant recommended by our friend Jaka, who isn’t a vegetarian but tries hard to live organically.
The menu includes granola, noodle, sandwiches, to hummus and other Mediterranean menu, as well as Indonesia’s very own tempe (soybean cake). We had dishes with a lot of bean sprouts. Mumun likes veggies more than I do, so it was predicted that she enjoyed Earth Café’s food more than I did.
Earth Cafe is located on the street teeming with restaurants in Seminyak that offer various delicacies. Being one of only a few vegetarian and organic café, I don’t think they need to worry about competition. They also have a store within the restaurant (or is it a restaurant within the store?) that sells organic products, from rice to soaps.
The Earth Market is open from 7.30 a.m. – 10.30 p.m. Not so sure about the cafe.
Food prices range from IDR 25,000 – 120,000 per portion, while the drinks are from IDR 16,000 to 40,000.Earth Café Jalan Lasmana no. 99, Oberoi, Seminyak; +62361 736645
We chose Petitenget restaurant randomly, just out of hunger and it looked cozy enough for a lunch in a super sunny day. Northwest to Seminyak, Petitenget is now looking a lot like Seminyak with many restaurants and hotels having started to sprout. We were there with Budi and his Californian friends who were in Bali on vacay – as they would say it because nobody has time for ‘vacation’!
There really isn’t anything unique about this restaurant, but I like the dominantly white interior combined with other neutrals like gray, black and a bit of wood or brown accents, that’s even applied on the floor tiles.
The food was sophisticatedly served on white plates and they all tasted good! Mine was the pan seared red snapper fillet, which tastes as yummy as it looks.
Open from 7 a.m. – 10.30 p.m.
Prices of food range from IDR 25,000 – 215,000, excl. 15% tax and credit card charge of 2%.Petitenget Jalan Petitenget 40X, Seminyak; +62361 4733054
* * *
There’s an endless list of restaurants in Seminyak and around, but these are five of them that I tried quite recently. To be honest, I can’t pick just one to be my most recommended one because each one has its pluses. But if I were to be back and pick one out of these restaurants in Seminyak to dine in again, I would probably pick.. umm.. let’s see.. probably Motel Mexicola. Because I like the food, the ambiance is just too cute and laid-back, and it’d probably be nice to hang there at night for a drink or two.
What are your favorite restaurants in Seminyak?
Or do you prefer to eat out somewhere else in Bali?
Please tell us, because we like to try places we’ve never been before.
Error: No connected account.
Please go to the Instagram Feed settings page to connect an account.