Do you like fine food whether French or Mediterranean? Do you like when it’s served by polished waitstaff and under glittering chandeliers? How about a stunning view from a high place as you dine?
Also read: 7 extraordinary fine dining places in Bali
Well, no more bad Dr Seuss inspired poetry/non-poetry. I’ll get down to the real meat of the article (or should I say the lobster? the foie gras?).
The sushi of this piece is 8 affordable fine dining restaurants, which were specially chosen for their wow-factor, and also for their affordable prices.
You can get a meal at every restaurant on this list for less than $25 per pax! So bring a date, and have a simply fantastic time.
Note: All prices below are subject to 10% government tax with 7.5% service charge unless otherwise stated.
1. Jemme Dining: Luxurious lighting, fabulous food, blindingly bright bling
Founded by a London-based jewellery designer, Jemme is as blingy as you’d expect it to be. The lights are low and romantic, the furniture is velvet, the ambience glamorous, and chandeliers drip from the ceilings.
If that weren’t enough, it’s connected to a jewellery store, so after you’ve eaten and admired the lighting – you can buy some bling for your neck and hand.
Photo via: aline-aline-aline.blogspot.com
Herbs and vegetables at Jemme are organically farmed in Bali to ensure maximum goodness. In spite of this focus on bringing you the best herbs and vegetables, Jemme’s real emphasis is on red meat and seafood.
Get the calamari with green mango salad on the side; lobster and prawn bisque perfectly finished with brandy; steak and chips; and macadamia and apple spring rolls with berry compote.
In addition to the indoor dining area, you can also choose to eat on the patio where you can enjoy the weather and get closer to the adjacent paddy field.
Photos via: BaliGo2. Bridges: Food to die for, wine to die for, view to die for
This one is for wine connoisseurs, or for people who like their French food with an Asian twist, or simply want to eat in an unusual place.
The bridge leading to Bridges
Photo via Bridges Bali
Bridges houses Ubud’s only wine bar, and its wine store, aptly named DIVINE, has a vast collection for you to choose from.
Photo via: Bridges Bali
But Bridges is likely to leave an impression even before you step into the cellars. Located by a ravine, you can hear the sound of the river rushing by as you eat.
And if that isn’t good enough for you, you can choose from many different settings within the restaurant. There’s a bistro terrace, coffee and tea parlour, as well as a cocktail lounge. Spread over 7 levels, the settings all overlook the river.
Photo via: Julie In Bali
The barramundi on a bed of roasted red peppers stuffed with mixed vegetables and dressed in coconut sauce goes well with a Riesling sauvignon blanc.
Go with the chicken Ballantine, which has Asian influences (lemongrass, Thai spices, cardamom etc). We personally like the seared lamb starter, duck and apple and tamarillo crumble.
Photo via: Face Made Up, Crackle White, TTE travels
3. Metis: Fine French Foie Gras and more!
At Metis, you’ll get the best Bali has to offer in terms of French fine dining, in addition to a swoon-worthy romantic location.
Photo via: I Dream Of Bali
Metis has a superb view of paddy fields and its magic begins its work before you even take a seat for dinner – with a whimsical path leading into the restaurant through pretty gardens with large lotus ponds.
Photo via: Rosanna Faraci
Foie gras enthusiasts will love Metis for this reason alone: it has a fantastic foie gras centric menu. Foie gras terrine, crispy foie gras, yellow fin tuna sushi roll and pan seared foie gras. We’d carry on but we don’t want your keyboard to get wet.
Photo via: P Base, Lady Iron Chef, I Dream Of Bali
Before and after your meal, you can hang out at the al fresco lounge. Live DJs play sets nightly, and there’s a retractable roof to maintain maximum fun even if the weather gets unpredictable.
Photo via: Lady Iron Chef
4. Kajin: An intimate hideaway, complete with Japanese food
Izakaya dining is all the rage now. Why not get it in Bali too?
In addition to the usual sushi and sashimi, be sure to try the cured fish dishes, which are cured in-house. Kajin has a wide selection of sake and wine, and will have something to suit every taste.
Speaking of taste, we recommend the seafood tartare cocktail and beef tataki.
Just stepping into Kajin will put you in the mood. The area above the bar glows under the light of numerous yellow hanging lightbulbs. And its interior is like a treasure box with lacquered wood.
Photos via: Kajin Bali
5. Soleil: Come for the Greek architecture, stay for the Mediterranean food
Located in The Mulia, Soleil is surrounded by Greek architecture which gives the whole place a very omnipotent feel – not inappropriate since Bali is the island of the Gods.
Soleil’s waitstaff are unobtrusive yet friendly and personalized, remembering your name as they exchange an empty plate for a full one without you quite noticing.
But it could also be because you’re distracted by the gorgeous view of the beach as well as the amazing Mediterranean food.
Photo via: The Bali Daily, Gastronomy Aficionado, Asia Dreams, Lyon and Mia
6. Mamasan: Asian street food, not walkers
Despite being located in a converted warehouse, Mamasan is more glamorous than grungy.
Photo via: The Style Junkies
A mix of 1920s Shanghai and British colonial style elements in this establishment will transport you back to the days – where smoking indoors was allowed and no ever EVER left the house in flip flops.
Photo via: The Style Junkies
Essentially two concepts in one, Mamasan’s first floor is a restaurant, while its upper level is a lounge area, with vintage leather armchairs and chandeliers that whisper gentlemen’s club.
Photo via: Lady Iron Chef, Asia Bars
Founded by the chef behind Sarong, Will Meyrick, Mamasan specializes in a variety of Asian street food given an upscale twist.
When you pay a visit you’ll be able to bite into succulent lamb and pumpkin potstickers; crispy pork hock and roast duck noodles that are definitely not like the usual kind you get at the local hawker centre.
Photo via: Lady Iron Chef, Tan and Brown, The Lux Traveler.
7. Urchin: Spike your appetite with super seafood
Urchin is fittingly named – the restaurant resembles the beach mansion of a person with impeccable taste. The wood, stone, concrete materials and metal art installations bring to mind a super villain’s lair.
Make that a super villain with impeccable taste buds and an appetite for seafood, to be ultra-precise.
You can never be quite sure what you’ll get until you arrive at Urchin. And especially important, Chef Steven Kelly highlights the best of Balinese produce.
This is done through Urchin’s practice of buying the freshest and best ingredients at the local markets daily, and prepping them well to showcase their characteristics.
With it’s fully exposed show kitchen you can watch your food being prepared. Maybe you’ll even take home some cooking tips and tricks too!
Photo via: Urchin Bali
8. A magical 100-candle dinner special – Swept Away
Let’s bring it back to basics with this informal and fresh experience. A beautiful wooden deck by the riverside creates a relaxing and tranquil dining area at the heart of the Samaya Resort.
Photo via: Samaya ubud
Feel your stresses melt away as the soothing babble of the river washes over you. The tall palms and lush vegetation will truly make it feel like you are in a world of your own.
Whether you visit for a cold beer or light lunch, you simply must try the Asian Tapas. These delicious little morsels set the scene for the rest of tasty and adventurous menu.
Photo via: lovesteps2you, nadiayustina, howard and bec
Only as dusk falls will you realize how easy the day slips by as you relax in the cool river breeze. Time to leave? No way, order another cocktail and take a look at the dinner menu!
Photo via: The Samaya
Swept Away comes alive in the evening with the 100-candle dinner service. The river transforms as 100 gently flickering candles are lit and create a truly special ambiance.
Photo via: Beatrice Priccila Benly
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the decking and the comfortable lounge furniture. Swept Away serves a varied, ambitious and totally eclectic menu suitable for all tastes.
Sit back, unwind and let your worries get Swept Away.
9. Nice Nice Rice – Terracotta Restaurant
Get away from the bustle of Ubud town and settle yourself in an expanse of emerald rice fields at the beautiful Terracotta Restaurant.
Photo via: nomnombali
Rice is a crucial Balinese commodity, so being able to see these active paddy fields is an experience in itself. Watch the fields in various stages of growth and harvest yourself a grand view with the majestic Palms fringing the edges.
Photo via: flickaT, Wilson S
The restaurant is housed in a traditional open sided Bale – with the breeze and sounds of nature drifting across the restaurant adding to the already peaceful environment.
The authentic Indonesian cuisine at Terracotta is all beautifully presented and full of mouth-watering flavours.
Photo via: Richlift, Alfreddo n, Nomnombali
Enjoy a romantic meal on the terrace as the sun sets across the fields, and feel at one with the nature around you. The Romantic Dinner set menu is a perfect way to spend the evening with a loved one.
Alternatively, why not try a romantic breakfast? Enjoy freshly prepared food and tropical juices as the sun rises over the fields. Watch the workers begin their day in the paddy fields and appreciate how hard the Balinese locals work.
It’s amazing to know that the rice on your plate came from those little rice plants! And for some reason, eating rice whilst surrounded by paddy fields makes it taste extra delicious.
10. The Moonlit Paradise – Indus Restaurant
Indus is the little sister of the well known Casa Luna Restaurant, but the panoramic views and fantastic menu mean that Indus is now famous in it’s own right.
Photo via: Valerie
Sit on the balcony for breathtaking views of the Tjampuhan river and surrounding valley. If you are really lucky, on a clear day you may even get to see the majestic Mount Agung rising above the clouds in the distance.
Photo via: Sophie
Once a month the full moon makes a spectacular appearance and bathes the Indus balcony in dripping moonlight.
A perfect opportunity for an intimate three-course ‘full moon lovers’ menu on the terrace – making it a truly memorable spot for couples to hold special events like moonlit proposals or anniversary dinners.
Photo via: Valerie
Every evening, as the sun drops behind the valley, Indus comes alive with fabulous twilight cocktails (5-7pm). Enjoy a cheeky cocktail at the end of a busy day, or a cold beer to begin a long and relaxing evening.
An extensive menu of primarily Indonesian fare provides something for every taste. And a special nod has to be given to the desserts at Indus – the coconut crème caramel is a little slice of heaven.
Photo via: byjanetdeneefe, Cynthia Hardy, Tenina-Holder
For special occasions, why not pre-order a cake from the onsite Honeymoon bakery. You will be spoilt for choice!
11. A fiery Indonesian romance – Merah Putih
Dining in Merah Putih is about celebrating Indonesian food especially in its communal and convivial sense. Simplified by the owner, the menu is divided into 2 sections: traditional and modern.
Photo via: ftorales, irenezhora
Whether you are into the non-fussed traditional Indonesian menu or enjoying a sample of innovative culinary creations in its modern menu, chances are you’ll be in awe of this unbelievably grand and artistic restaurant.
Photo via: mpcbali, villvincent, jessicapriati
A gorgeous dining space, with sky-high ceilings and penetrating sunlight through its glass walls, the classy ambiance fills the restaurant hall with a glamorous atmosphere.
Photo via: mpcbali
Merah Putih is not just unlike any other place you’ve ever been in, its beauty is almost unreal.
Photo via: sisi soh
Special mention: Teatro Gastroteque: Theatrical dramatic food
If molecular gastronomy doesn’t sound unique enough to you, how about Asian-French fusion molecular cooking?
Photos via Teatro Gastroteque
That’s sure to arouse even the most jaded of gourmands!
And if you’re a jaded gourmand, or maybe just a gourmand, you probably know who Mandif Warokka is. Named Bali’s best chef in 2011, he’s a celebrity in the fine dining world.
If you haven’t heard of him, what better education than to book an appointment at Teatro Gastroteque and sample his craft yourself?