The fine dining scene in Bali is incredibly diverse with everything from traditional Indonesian food made with the best local ingredients, to high-end Modern European food from talented chefs. Here are my top ten best restaurants in Bali for food, setting and atmosphere.
1. Mozaic Restaurant, Ubud
Mozaic Restaurant has been trail-blazing the fine-dining scene in Indonesia ever since chef Chris Salans opened it in 2001. Born in America and raised in France, Chris trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, working in top restaurants in both France and the USA, before settling in Bali.
Set in a tropical garden, we were immediately hit by the wow-factor and romance of this beautiful restaurant. A platter of local ingredients was placed on our table and the waiter explained how the chef combines local ingredients with Western techniques to create their flavoursome dishes. What followed this introduction was a rather exquisite multi-course menu which was also an adventure through Bali itself.
It’s really no wonder that Mozaic placed in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards 2013, holds a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence and has been ranked No.5 in the Miele Guide of Asia’s best restaurants in 2013.
The food here was great, but it was the setting that made this place truly special! Mozaic also have a cookery school which I wish I’d had a chance to try!
2. Cascades Restaurant, Ubud
With its gorgeous thatched roof and view over the Valley of the Kings, Cascades Restaurant at Viceroy Bali is the height of Balinese beauty. Not only is it simply stunning, the award-winning restaurant is known to be one of the best in Bali as Chef Nic Vanderbeeken innovatively combines European dishes with Asian flavours.
The a la carte menu is made up of both European and Indonesian dishes and there is also the option of a European or Indonesian degustation menu. I can honestly say Cascades was the only restaurant in Bali where the quality of Western food matched the Eastern as we generally found most Western menus disappointing during our stay. It’s clear why, as the restaurant is managed and owned by an Australian family who are totally dedicated to sourcing the finest produce from around the world.
3. Il Ristorante at The Bulgari Resort Bali, Uluwatu
For somewhere super romantic with fantastic food, I’d definitely recommend Il Ristorante at The Bulgari Resort Bali. Dark wood, fresh flowers and a stunning water feature set the scene for a menu of elegant Italian food and with only thirty-six seats the restaurant is intimate and elegant.
High quality ingredients imported from Italy are combined with local produce so that native Italian chef, Nicola Russo, can create dishes of the highest quality.
Seriously get the seafood pasta, you won’t regret it!
4. Cuca Flavor, Jimbaran
I was a little put off by the sparse decor of Cuca Flavor but my mind was soon changed as soon as I tried the food. The restaurant really does focus on high quality food rather than luxurious surroundings and the small portions and tapas style menu mean that you can try a bit of everything from the menu divided into vegetables, meat and fish.
Every single ingredient is sourced in Indonesia and the restaurant owners support local farmers and producers.
Though the concept is simple, the food is not and expect innovation creations from Chef Kevin Cherkas who has worked in some of the world’s best restaurants included three Michelin star Arzak in San Sebastian and the famous El Bulli in Roses.
5. Sandy Beach Club, Nusa Lembongan
It may require a short boat trip but trust me you won’t regret heading out for lunch at rustic seaside restaurant, Sandy Beach Club on the island of Nusa Lembongan. You’ll be dining with your feet practically in the sand with a view of the ocean.
Don’t expect haute cuisine but sample hearty spring rolls, fresh seafood, burgers, curry and barbecue.
6. The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu
Some of the best Indonesia food that we tried was at our hotel’s restaurant, The Warung at Alila Villas Uluwatu
There’s focus on delicious regional cuisine such a mixed satés, nasi goreng and sambel be tongkel as well as set menus that allow a journey through Indonesia with traditional feasts through different regions.
The cliff top location and views of the Indian Ocean are pretty spectacular too!
If you’re going to the Warung for dinner head to the iconic Sunset Cabana for a few cocktails and an uninterrupted panorama.
7. Sundara at Four Seasons Jimbaran
We absolutely loved Sundara, the beautiful beach club at our hotel, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay. Pretty much right on the beach with an infinity pool, restaurant, bar and open terrace it was perfect for anytime of day.
We tucked into a menu of modern Asian food served tapas style for dinner with the ambient lighting of a beautiful fire pit but best of all is the brunch.
The signature Bali Sunday Brunch allows for six hours of relaxed nibbling on a selection of small plates and the option of unlimited bubbly, cocktails or soft drinks.
Highlights are the fresh seafood and of course the desserts! You don’t have to be staying in the hotel to come for the brunch and you can hire a day bed in order to enjoy beach, pool and cocktails to the full.
8. Sarong, Seminyak
One of our absolute favourite restaurants in Bali was Sarong in Seminyak. A busy restaurant with modern Asian decor and a fun and funky vibe. You can sit inside the buzzy dining room or enjoy the balmy evening in the garden or outdoor space.
Scottish-born Chef and Restauranteur Will Meyrick was inspired by Asian street food during his travels and decided to set up his restaurant in beautiful Bali. The food is as exquisite as the setting, with dishes from across the South East Asian region from Southern India to Indonesia.
We didn’t get to try it but Will Meyrick’s other restaurant in Bali, but Mama San also came highly recommended to us. The setting at Mama San is more casual but the food is the same spicy Asian flavours that the award-winning chef has become known for.
9. Potato Head, Seminyak
I didn’t try the food at Potato Head but on the basis of the drinks alone I’d highly recommend a visit to Potato Head in Seminyak. The name maybe a little strange but the vibe at Potato Head is absolutely unbeatable, with a beach front location housing three restaurants, two bars and an infinity pool, it’s the perfect all day location.
Famous DJ and musicians will entertain you as you enjoy international cuisine, top-notch cocktails and views of the Indian ocean! I loved Potato Head and declared it my favourite bar after about five minutes, so I guarantee you’ll love it too.
10. Locavore, Ubud
I don’t usually recommend restaurants that I’ve never been to but as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants I can confidently recommend Locavore. Chefs Ray Adriansyah and EelKe Plasmeijer are dedicated to local ingredients, as the name of the restaurant suggests. The restaurant maintains close relationships with farmers and fisherman in order to use the freshest produce that is ethically obtained and sustainable. Diner’s can choose between the regular menu of contemporary European food or opt for the vegetarian Herbivore menu.
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These are my ten best restaurants in Bali. Have you been to Bali? What’s your favourite restaurant there?