Bali over the new year was one major fatty holiday. Based on recommendations from those who’ve been there before, we hopped from one restaurant to the next, gorged on good food and drinks, and got drunk on the holiday spirit.
My first time in Bali was with my family, and I was pretty underwhelmed. Besides the stunning views of the stepped rice terraces and cliffs of Uluwatu, I thought Bali was overpriced and overcrowded. I wouldn’t have stepped foot on the island again if not for the promise of side splitting laughing fits that always came whenever I’m with my friends.
We managed to get a slot at the 5-bedroom Villa Rajapala in Seminyak from Dec 28 to Jan 1 for about AUD2000 in September, and we all jumped on the opportunity to spend NYE there.
Our first stop was Potato Head. The sprawling open-concept bar/dining area faced the sea, but because MIA was performing the following day, her stage blocked 90% of the view. Thankfully that was compensated by another beautiful view — the gorgeous crowd lazing around the day beds by the pool in their skimpy outfits.
We dived straight into our holiday mood by splurging on food (try the french fries with garlic and cheese dips, the wagyu meatballs spaghetti) and drinks (I loved the tequila fruit punch), and soaked up the atmosphere by perving at half-naked bodies and camwhoring.
We then had our first dinner in Bali at Mama San, which had elegant fusion interiors and pretty good dishes. For mains, I would recommend the kang kong vegetable dish as it was tasty without being too oily, as well as the lemongrass chicken and green curry. But the creme brulee there was the winner for me. The custard had the perfect consistency, and it wasn’t too sweet.
The first day ended with some club hopping fuelled by free entries to gay clubs (the Bali Joe stretch) and cheap drinks (SGD7 a martini). After the gay partying we headed to Mint, which had a ridiculous cover charge. So we popped by the bar opposite it instead. It’s called Mantra, and I was pleasantly surprised by how UK-like it felt with its laid back crowd and grungy boho interiors. But they had this over-experimental musician who was making terrible scratching noises with his electronic guitar and miscellaneous gadgets, so we left before finishing our drinks. It was that bad.
Day 2 saw us scooting off to Naughty Nuri’s for some sinful BBQ pork ribs. We were unfortunate enough to get stopped by the traffic police along the way because of our lack of helmets, but we managed to bargain the fines down.
We headed towards the Kuta/Legian area after that, and was greeted by the most terrifying traffic jam. All the vehicles came to a crawl at the main road, and many bikers took to the side walk to bypass the bottleneck. It was a hair-pulling journey in the taxi, so we eased our trauma with a round of pampering massage and mani/pedicures.
Metis was in line for dinner plans, and although it was the “poshest” stop in our itinerary, it was surprisingly affordable. But because we ordered a fuck load and a bottle of red, the bill came up to about IDR7 million for the 9 of us. And because it was one of those restaurants where every single dish was impressive, I’m going to list down the items we had and which anyone going there should try. If it’s a small group and there’s not much sharing you can do, be sure to get their foie gras and lava cake, which were both equally heavenly.
- Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi
- Trio of Tartare
- Les Escargots
- Traditional French Onion Soup
- Legendary Pan Seared Hot Foie Gras
- Grilled Scallops and Pan Seared Hot Foie Gras
- Rabbit Leg and Sauté Macaroni Pasta with Foie Gras
- Moulard Duck Leg Confit
- Grilled Australian Lamb Rack
- Grilled Australian Black Angus Ribeye Steak
- Le Moelleux (lava cake)
On Day 3, we hit up Made’s Warung for lunch (I only liked the chicken satay there but some of my friends loved the mixed vegetables and Nasi Campur), did some shopping around the Seminyak, and then headed towards Rock Bar in hope of getting a table there to watch the sun go down.
We arrived at Ayana Resort (where Rock bar is located) at around 5, and there was already a long, long queue to get into Rock Bar. We were told that the place is already filled, so we decided to have dinner along Jimabaran Bay nearby first (had fresh and scrumptious prawns, fish, and sotong at Juking restaurant but the crabs were a disappointment), and then return to Rock Bar after that for a drink.
Our last full day in Bali fell on New Year’s eve, and we decided to wind things down by spending the day at the villa. And this is what happens when you put us together, Big Brother style.