Seminyak is a haven for foodies and one post about its diverse and unique dining scene surely doesn’t do it justice. That’s why, I’ll be taking you on an all-inclusive tour of the must-visit spots and original beach bars where you can watch magical sunsets like these…
Ku De Ta Bali isn’t my kind of place to be honest. I visited the popular venue just before sunset and I thought for a second that I was back in Dubai at some expat hangout like Barasti! There were a lot of groups and couples drinking by the pool. They were waiting for the sunset to take pictures with their phones or professional cameras. The vibes were the opposite of classy and sophisticated. You could say the Japanese restaurant/bar attracted a touristy crowd and has become very mainstream.
Having said that, all of the appetizers that I tried were very tasty and of great quality. I managed to take stunning sunset shots from my beachfront seat and the service was OK to say the least. Would I recommend this spot? I think if you’re not too picky with your surroundings and don’t mind a lot of noise and loud music, then give it a go. But if you’re looking for somewhere quiet with a civilized and sophisticated feel, then this is not the place to go.
WooBar at the W Bali is another highly touristy and tacky hangout that I didn’t really like. The crowd was a combination of pretentious hotel guests, hyperactive tourists who were obsessed with taking pictures with the ‘W’ pillar at the front of the beach bar and arrogant visitors who are there to people-watch! I was there to explore the place and add it to my list of Seminyak beach bars. However, I don’t think it’s the ideal place to relax or even have a good drink by the ocean. The hotel is too commercial and attracts a mostly young crowd (20-somethings who think they are hip and cool because they’re at the W!). Definitely not my kind of beach bar.
If you’re looking for a laid-back rooftop bar with live music and decent Asian dishes, then you should check out MoonLite Kitchen and Bar at Anantara Seminyak. I decided to go there after I visited another spot which had very cheap and tacky vibes.
Luckily, the concierge guy at the hotel where I was staying told me about this place when I was asking about directions for my original spot. The venue has two separate sections: a restaurant one and a bar area. The seating at the bar is very formal. I felt awkward sitting at a table by myself since this was more of a lounge. The food and drinks were excellent and the live cover band were good as well. I had a lovely evening at MoonLite Kitchen and Bar and I would definitely consider going back when in Seminyak.
The crowd was mainly residents and locals, apart from very few tourists. I think this was a huge plus for me, as I tend to enjoy more authentic places than commercial ones. The only thing that was missing was comfortable lounge chairs or sofas in the rooftop area. Apart from that, the place is worth a visit.
I had the chance to visit Metis Bali despite the hotel’s concierge describing it as a romantic place for couples. Basically, I read about it online and on the hotel’s restaurant recommendations’ list. I felt that the classy concept matches my style. Especially since the setting involved a spacious garden and a high-end dining experience. But after I was warned by the Legian Hotel staff member that this was a place mostly visited by couples, I changed plans and removed Metis Lounge from my bucket list. Until I met a lovely jewellery designer who happened to be friends with the Metis Gallery Director, Henya Mekki.
Sadly though, I only made a brief tour around the place during the day. Therefore, I can’t comment about the food or the bar ambiance. But I can assure you that it’s where the trendy Bali residents hang out since my new friend is a frequent guest and told me about the buzzing party vibes there and how it’s one of her all-time favorite weekend spots. She actually told me about a lot of cool local spots that I plan to check out on my next Seminyak visit.
Another Seminyak beach dining post which I thought was highly over-rated was the fine dining Italian concept La Lucciola. Despite the various recommendations from everyone to dine at this spot, I was honestly disappointed when I had an early dinner here at around sunset. The service was rushed and to me, the restaurant was operating more like a factory. Their main goal was to get in as many guests in and out to make as much profit as they could in one day! It was too obvious by the way the supervisor and the waiters acted and communicated with guests.
The food might have tasted better if I could see it, as it was too dark when I ate my dinner there right after the sun set on the facing Seminyak beach. It’s definitely a great spot to take good sunset pictures, since it’s a two-floor venue. But I wouldn’t go back at night, just to have a better dining experience and be able to see my expensive dishes!
For a more laid-back, casual setting, head to La Laguna during the day and stay to catch the sunset – when it’s not raining. I went there on a Saturday. The place was packed with local families spending quality time together on a weekend. That’s until it started to rain and everyone rushed to the indoor area. The venue occupies a very big outdoor space and is home to a number of artistically-inspired huts. It’s the kind of place you go to for a taste of the real Balinese culture and lifestyle.
From all of the classy restaurants and hip beach bars that I’ve visited during my ten-day Seminyak stay, my favorite has to be Alila Seminyak‘s trendy and happening beach bar. In fact, I loved Alila’s beach bar vibes so much, that I decided that this is where I want to stay on my next trip to the magical island. I didn’t discover this spot with my own research or with the hotel’s restaurant and bar guide. It was my new jewellery designer friend who told me about it. The bar has ocean-front comfortable seating, good vibes and an even better DJ playing lounge music. A haven for chilling out by the pool with friends and catching up over drinks and nibbles.
In the next post, I let you in on another great Seminyak secret: the island’s top day spa. Stay tuned!