Fois gras trilogy, Metis

Beyond the rice paddies and the beaches, Seminyak is the heart of Bali’s dining scene – and whether it’s organic, local or international, you’ll find fine cuisine for all tastes. 

Seminyak’s streets are pumping with a cosmopolitan array of chefs and restaurateurs, dishing up everything from Aussie steaks to Balinese crispy duck and Jimbaran Bay seafood, and offering up a potpourri of produce that’s never languished on a supermarket shelf.

If you can’t say Petitenget before you hit town, you’ll learn quickly enough. Jalan is the Indonesian word for “street”, and Jalan Petitenget is home to some of the island’s top tables.

Coconut rhumballa, Chandi

It’s also the name of a newcomer to the restaurant scene. When we meet, Petitenget‘s executive chef Simon Blaby is eating slow-braised pork belly with confit green-apple puree, shredded cabbage salad and sweet potato puree. “It’s a true homage to great local produce. Balinese pork is second to none,” says Simon, who hails from Queensland’s much-loved Spirit House.

If you’re out to impress, earmark a date at Metis, which opened in 2009 amid the rice paddies and lily-filled water gardens. French chef Nicolas Tourneville serves French Mediterranean cuisine, including a dedicated foie gras menu.

Looking for a Zen-like, Ubud vibe? Neighbouring Sardine has also tapped in to the rice-paddy gastronomical scene. If you’re obsessed with sustainable seafood, hand-plucked herbs and knowing where your onions came from (the mountain village of Bedugul), book a table for what fourth-generation Burgundy chef-restaurateur Pascal Chevillot describes as cuisine du solei1 (“food of the sun”) and sample the gourmet fare from the kitchen, run by Californian Michael Shaheen.

Funky MamaSan

If sand isn’t your thing, slip on some stilettos and trip upstairs to the rootop of Anantara Hotel to find SOS Supper Club, which mixes fine dining, lounging and clubbing.

Local seafoodies gravitate towards the Sunday brunches at W Hotel’s Starfish Bloo by Mauritian-born, Australian-bred chef Kevin Chung, and gleefully feast on the snapper dumplings of MamaSan, helmed by chef Will Meyrick of Sydney’s Longrain fame.

Head to Chandi for its New York take on local cuisine. With lounges facing the crushingly busy Jalan Laksmana it’s also an unsurpassed people-watching locale. “The clientele in Seminyak is a great mix of glamour meets health nut,” says chef-owner Agung Nugroho.

“The clientele in Seminyak is a great mix of glamour meets health nut.”

The glitzy alternative for local cuisine is Jakartan newbie Potato Head Beach Club, which is givinglong-timer Ku De Ta a run for its money with a kids’ pool and the sexiness of a swim-up bar balanced by its fine-dining restaurant, Tapping Shoes.

Overlooking the rice paddies at Metis

Its less formal pan-Asian tapas bar, Lilin, has communal tables overlooking the Indian Ocean, but chances are you’ll have eyes only for the catfish with red chilli sambal or the locally beloved buntut samba1bajak (braised oxtail with traditional chilli sambal).

“Bali is attracting great international chefs who still wish to dream and bend the rules more than you could in a Western kitchen,” says Petitenget’s Blaby, of Seminyak’s embarrassment of dining riches. “It’s magical, not logical.”

PETITENGET Jln Petitenget 40, tel, .+62 3614733054,
POTATO HEAD BEACH CLUB Jln Petitenget, tel: 62361 473 7979,
SARDINE Jln Petitenget 21, tel: +62 361 843 6111,
ANANTARA SOS SUPPER CLUB Jln Dhyana Pura,tel, 62361 737773,
W HOTEL Jln Petitenget, tel:.+62 361 473 8106,
BIKU Jln Raya Petitenget 888, tel, +62 361 857 0888,
CHANDI Jln Laksmana 72, tel: +62 361 731 060,
LA LUCCIOLA Jln Petitenget, tel:.+62 361 730 838
MAMASAN Jln Raya Kerobokan 135, tel, +62 361 730436,
METIS Jln Petitenget 6, tel: +62 3614737888,

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Source: Belinda Jackson, Jetstar magazine