Bali Food Guide: 4 Noteworthy Newcomers

A lunch spread at Kaum.

A lunch spread at Kaum.

1. Kaum Bali

Hot on the heels of its sister restaurant in Hong Kong, PTT Family has recently opened a branch on the island where it all began. True to its name—which translates into “clan” or “tribe”—Kaum celebrates the traditional cooking methods, ingredients, and craftsmanship of Indonesia’s indigenous communities. Regionally sourced products are deftly mixed with tropical spices, creating flavorful dishes that speak to the country’s diverse and deep-rooted heritage. Standouts include wok-fried noodles garnished with spices native to North Sumatra, soy sauce-marinated pork belly satay, and the beloved rujak buah in sorbet form. With Torajan wood carvings and Balinese teak dining tables, the space itself is a testament to Kaum’s heritage-focused philosophy. Downstairs, post-meal refreshment options abound at the famous Potato Head Beach Club, although creative drinks such as Kopi Martini—a mixture of Kettle One vodka, Mexican coffee liqueur, and espresso shots—and the chocolate arak and brandy-infused Araksander should convince the adventurous, culture-curious patron to linger.

Plaga tomato, basil cream, organic quinoa, and focaccia toast on a plate at Frestro.

Plaga tomato, basil cream, organic quinoa, and focaccia toast on a plate at Frestro.

2. Frestro

Frestro plates up modern Mediterranean cuisine with a farm-to-fork ethos and a strict additive-free policy. Homegrown produce lies at the heart of this new Seminyak establishment, which is why each dish—even the most decadent item on the menu—straddles the line between healthy and indulgent. Raw tuna and coffee wood-smoked quail are two signature dishes, while the scotch egg and acai bowl beckon early risers and brunch lovers. Mixologist Ayip Dzuhri is at the helm of the open-plan bar, stirring up everything from the usual suspects to a local interpretation of espresso martini. On the design front, the venue sheds much of the pretense one would expect from a gourmet restaurant: ceiling-suspended copper lights and eclectic pieces of furniture are complemented by timber flooring and indoor plants, creating a relaxed, dress code–free space with just the right amount of opulence.

3. Da Maria

The brainchild of Australian restaurateur Maurice Terzini, Da Maria brings a slice of Italy’s Amalfi Coast to the shores of Bali. Dishes here combine Neapolitan techniques with a modern take on classic flavors. Crowd-pleasers include slow-cooked Italian porchetta and spanner crab risotto, while lighter alternatives range from asparagus with anchovy butter to octopus and overnight beans in red wine vinegar. Pizza, however, remains the star of the show: each one is painstakingly made with bread fermented for 24 hours for maximum flavor. Design wise, architect Carl Pickering conceptualized a modest, garden-like fit-out, and his vision has certainly taken shape: with geometric tiles, locally made chandeliers, and a soothing palette of pastel colors, Da Maria evokes a 1960s Italian courtyard restaurant.

The chic interiors of Da Maria.

The chic interiors of Da Maria.

4. Betterment Tapas Bar

Betterment whips up a range of feel-good, fuss-free bites with a side of rustic surroundings on a quaint corner of buzzing Petitenget Street. From milk calamari to crispy octopus, tapas are given a contemporary spin, while beloved Indonesian classics have been reincarnated into dishes such as Balinese tuna pizza and rendang padang slider. Beverages are no less enticing, with options that include a subtle twist on Brazil’s national cocktail caipirinha, a hybrid of mojito and watermelon juice, and a concoction of Myer’s dark, orange, grenadine, and ginger that results in gorgeous gradations of dark blue and aqua. Much like the menu, the interior is stripped-back and restrained—think brick walls, exposed pipes, hanging light bulbs, and a gallery wall graced with framed black-and-white photos—luring patrons to stay and order another round.

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