La dolce vita is a pretty good way to describe life in Bali, but even more so when you’re indulging in authentic Italian cuisine made by born-and-bred Italian chefs who have brought their family recipes straight from the motherland. From homemade pastas and pizzas to fresh Mediterranean style seafood dishes, gnocchi, risotto, panna cotta and Limoncello, these Italian eateries are some of the best that Bali has to offer.
Located right on the sands of Seminyak beach, this huge open and airy two-storey restaurant serves up Mediterranean dishes that focus heavily on fresh seafood like prawns, calamari, snapper and crab. They also do divine desserts like panna cotta and limoncello souffle, as well as a killer brunch that packs in the crowds every weekend. Just be sure to book a seat, as ‘La Looch’ fills up quickly for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Reservations: +62 361 730838 | Jalan Kayu Aya, Petitenget Beach, Seminyak, Bali
Brought to us by renowned restaurateur Robert Marchetti, one of Australia’s F&B kingpins, Seminyak Italian is the perfect fit for the buzzing Double Six Luxury Hotel. The decor is classy and cool with long be-cushioned booths and wooden tables on the deck overlooking the Indian Ocean. The menu reads like a crash course in all your favourite Italian dishes like thinly sliced air-dried beef carpaccio, cheesy homemade spinach lasagna, and creamy tiramisu, plus a wine list with bottles sourced from all corners of Italy.
If you’re up the hill in Ubud and want some seriously good rustic Italian cuisine, make your way to Uma Cucina, located in the stylish Uma by COMO resort. The culinary team here uses a combination of fresh local produce and high-quality ingredients flown in straight from Italy to create handmade dishes like wood-fired pizzas with ultra-thin crusts and an array of gourmet toppings, grilled meats, and fresh pasta made that day with vibrant sauces. Be sure to try one of their Flora and Spice cocktails, but be warned—they definitely pack a punch.
Jamie’s Italian Bali
Bali has been attracting world-class chefs for decades now, but none so as eminent as the Naked Chef himself. Jamie’s Italian is celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s first foray into Indonesia, and so far his new spot on Jalan Pantai Kuta is garnering rave reviews. If you’re going with a group, the shared platters like the Cured Meats Plank and Crab and Avocado Bruschetta are the way to go. However, you’ll also want to try the Truffle Risotto and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, as well as the artisan pizzas and thick juicy steaks.
The space is what grabs you first at Zibiru, and homey little spot just off the main drag in Seminyak. Whitewashed wood adorns the exterior, while inside, exposed brick and carved wooden doors and furniture add a warm touch, and the garden courtyard abounds with lush tropical plants. Fresh out of the oven focaccia arrives at the table first, followed by milky housemade burrata, thinly sliced Italian meats, and al dente pasta smothered in a rich meaty lamb ragu. Visit the attached gourmet market, La Bottega, for take-away paninis, cheeses, wines and fresh sauces.
Trattoria Cucina Italiana
Since setting up shop in 2002 as the second restaurant to open on the now famous ‘Eat Street’ of Oberoi, Trattoria has exploded in popularity. You can now find no less than six Trattoria restaurants in Bali alone, as well as venues in Jakarta, Lombok, Sumatra, Singapore and Malaysia. Each venue serves up Trattoria’s famous thin-crust pizzas, antipasti, homemade pasta and desserts made with fine local and imported ingredients.
Fast becoming Ubud’s own hip and happening Eat Street, Jalan Goutama is home to an array of restaurants serving world class cuisine, and one of the most sought after is Dolce Arancia. The space may be small, but the crisp air-conditioning, elegant decor and no-smoking rule make it a chic spot for an intimate Italian feast. Start with a martini or a glass of Chianti or Brunello, and then indulge in classic dishes like the Insalata Caprese, Spaghetti al Vongole, or Saltimbocca alla Romana, all made with fresh ingredients, housemade sauces and premium olive oil.
Ultimo Italian Restaurant
Long-time Seminyak favourite, Ultimo, makes for a great place to impress a date or feast with family and friends. The atmosphere is sophisticated yet relaxed with al fresco seating in the garden or at intimate tables in the cool air-conditioned interior. Start with fresh oysters in wine sauce or the salmon carpaccio before moving on to heartier offerings like the homemade chicken ravioli, saltimbocca alla Romana or roasted lamb leg. Wash it all down with a bottle of reasonably priced house wine and follow up with a smooth cappuccino and tiramisu.
Ask any local or expat where to find the best pizza on the island, and they’re more than likely to point you in the direction of Massimo in Sanur. Here Chef Massimo Sacco brings his southern Italian flair to classic dishes like golden fried calamari, gnocchi with gorgonzola, oven-baked snapper and thin-crust wood oven fired pizzas. Be sure to leave room for dessert, as there are over 30 enticing flavours of homemade gelato at the counter out front.