Our love-hate relationship with Bali continued this trip, with our ideal idyllic villa getaway shared with our friends celebrating their anniversary turning into a three day battle with mosquitoes (and the holey mosquito net) before we retreated to a multi-storey hotel with fewer bugs.
Constant traffic jams on single-laned roads plied by mercenary cabbies whose reflex upon seeing us with kids in tow was to charge a prix fixe R50,000 (about $6) made for unpleasant afternoons. But watching the three children in our entourage charge at waves on Seminyak’s grey sanded beaches were the highlights along with some great food at some of the most beautiful beach club restaurants in the world. Coffee places in nooks of shops are also the norm along this stretch of south Bali, and you’d want to abandon the hotel breakfasts for a great espresso fueled brekkie.
Australian style. Great breakfasts with bread and pastries from Monsieur Spoon – whose owner broke fast with us and told us he made the best croissants in Asia. I have invited him to set up shop in Singapore. You can thank me when that happens.
GROCER & GRIND
Go for GG’s Breakfast Burrito. Only cos you’re on holiday and you can have a burrito for breakfast
Great coffee, but the food so so. My entrecôte and frites was so underdone they refunded me.
Best Indonesian fare ever. Puts Sanur and every other Indonesian outlet you’ve ever had in Singapore to shame.
Great seafood – try the fish pan grilled Indonesian style. And the marinated sardines are great too.
NAUGHTY NURI’S WARUNG
The Seminyak branch is slightly more comfortable than the Ubud original. The ribs and bebek goreng are still great, as are the killer martinis. Order one and the waiter does a dance.
POTATO HEAD BEACH CLUB
The place to be for Bali sunsets. Drinks are so so, but there’s a mean snack platter. Beautiful people gather here to watch the sunset and each other.
MOZAIC BEACH CLUB
Randall’s cousin chum siong with one of the chefs to make an exception and allow our kids to dine with us (for this, we are eternally grateful). Fantastic food with a great ambience.
COCOON BEACH CLUB
Another place we decided to go to after Melody thought it’d be great after the kids got to muck around at the beach – which was crazy crowded because it was Sunday (every Balinese boy and dog are on the beach playing football on Sunday). The appetizers were great but the mains, while still good, were a little underwhelming.
Our party gave this place a star just for the decor/architecture – I have never seen a restaurant like this. The kelas atas Indonesian fare was simply fabulous, and you won’t go wrong ordering everything on the menu – just bring more friends to eat with. Probably the only people to complain would be the staff, because the kitchen is inexplicably upstairs while all of the tables bar three are downstairs. You’d have to ace your shuttle run to work here.
Our tips for enjoying Bali: Eat at the above places, bring lots of bug repellent, sunscreen, and always tell the taxi driver, “meter please”.