With its blend of beachfront beauty, boutique shopping, luxury resorts, decadent dining and high concept bars and clubs, it’s no surprise that Seminyak still remains one of the hottest places in Bali.
For excursions in the surrounding area, go for a motorbike rental (prices start at 50,000 Rupiah/day, and it’s best to wear an helmet) or the frequently passing Blue Bird Taxis. Make sure your taxi says ‘Blue Bird Group’ on the windshield, as there are many imitators who insist on an inflated flat fee or use a souped-up meter that overcharges.
The nearby Double Six Beach is a happening spot that can be reached on foot from Hotel Indigo Bali – Seminayak Beach in ten minutes or by taxi and motorbike in just a few minutes. Mornings are the perfect time to visit if you like tranquility and fewer people.
Lunch at Tiger Palm at Seminyak Village
With lunchtime approaching, motor over to Seminyak Village, a shopping mall with a new restaurant called Tiger Palm that’s generating a lot of buzz. It’s the seventh restaurant in Asia opened by Will Meyrick, the culinary genius behind Sarong, also in Seminyak. Tiger Palm furthers his reputation and serves up contemporary Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Indian dishes.
Meyrick’s lifelong project has been to put Indonesian food on the world culinary map and at the forefront of Asian dining experiences. He has travelled extensively along the spice route from Indonesia to India, discovering indigenous styles and ingredients that influence his own creations.
Try the Indonesian rojak salad, the Siamese prawn curry, and the Malay signature teo chow duck rice and your culinary adventure will have covered a lot of ground. Tiger Palm makes a great lunch stop, bringing together the convenience of a shopping mall and surrounding street markets, and the opportunity to try the strong and diverse flavours of South East Asia’s rural heartlands all in one place.
Chill out in style at Potato Head Beach Club
Nothing quite beats a sunny afternoon at Potato Head beach club, the latest hotspot beach lounge in Seminyak. Arrive at least an hour before sunset for good seats with a great view. Approaching the venue from the street, it makes a stunning first impression with a front façade like a coliseum made out of vintage coloured window shutters and salvaged metal ventilator grates. The rounding passageway to the bar is a boutique arcade with curated shops and curious artworks.
The beach club itself feels like a luxury seaside resort with an infinity pool, daybeds, poolside bar, beachfront views and fine dining. The club is usually bustling with a young sophisticated mix of couples and groups on holiday. They come not only for the sunset views and ambience but an already renowned creative cocktail menu.
Each cocktail is crafted and named in house, served in its own designer glass. Try the Barong Zombie, a heady rum-based concoction with orange curaçao, cherry liqueur, a splash of absinthe and passion fruit that will loosen you up in minutes. With Bali as its flagship, Potato Head has since opened up three more locations in Singapore, Hong Kong and Jakarta.
Dinner at Mama San
Recently renovated, Mama San is a foodie’s dream on the Seminyak scene, another creation by Will Meyrick. This two-floor loft-style venue with dinner seating below and a cocktail lounge has a newly reworked interior that’s a feast for the eyes. High ceilings, dark wood and brick walls, vintage accents with Balinese decorations, artwork and photography make it an unforgettable dining experience for an international crowd.
Here Meyrick offers an eclectic modern Asian cuisine that combines street food inspired dishes from across South East Asia with gourmet artistry and classical touches. Try the crispy salmon with green mango, the red duck curry with lychee, or the many kinds of dim sum dumplings. Leave room for Meyrick’s celebrated desserts such as the pavlova crispy meringue or the deep fried ice cream. Upstairs, the cocktail lounge serves a creative list of elegant tapas and drinks, including Passionfruit Martini and a selection of Margaritas.
Time for clubbing at Jenja
Our next clubbing destination was Jenja, a recent addition to the Bali nightlife scene that offers one-stop evening entertainment with its restaurant, bar and club on two levels. Located at the arcade of the TS Suites on Jalan Nakula in Seminyak, Jenja reaches critical mass by midnight with a pumping Jakarta-style intensity.
The restaurant opens at 6pm and presents an inspired menu of exotic Asian and Middle Eastern dishes created by the winner of Top Chef Middle East 2012, the elegant Selma AbuAlia. The nightclub opens from 9pm Wednesday to Saturday. The club is managed by Michael Vanneque, son of expat nightlife mogul Daniel Vanneque, who opened the celebrated The Living Room restaurant in Seminyak in 2000.
Jenja has a spacious foyer with six chill-out lounge areas, a dance floor seething with energy, VIP sofas, and impressive décor aesthetics, with walls covered in a mosaic of hexagonal jade tiles. But the real attraction are the club-goers themselves, a youthful mix of expat and Indonesian socialites who don’t want the night to end.