If you love the frantic pace of Bali – the endless shopping, abundant bars and the chaotic energy that seems to thrive here – you will want to devour Seminyak’s ‘Eat Street’.
Also known as 'Jalan Laksman' and 'Jalan Oberloi', this thriving hotspot is Bali at its boisterous best. With wall-to-wall blue taxis and scooter riders flashing toothy smiles and clogging up the busy streets, this central hub is a hive of activity that never seems to stop.
Each time I visit Eat Street there is a new shop or restaurant to explore and they are continually evolving, always getting better.
Here are a few of my favourite Eat Street haunts.
My favourite breakfast spot is Sisterfields, just off Eat Street at the Seminyak Square end (Jl. Kayu Cendana No.7, Seminyak). This bright and fresh cafe has a modern, almost Australian feel to it with symmetrical white-and-grey tiled floor and colourful seating.
They have a nice healthy-size menu serving everything from acai berry bowls and gluten-free muesli to pancakes, brioche French toast, Turkish eggs, burritos, short ribs and, of course, the big breakfast.
I usually opt for the Eggs Benedict and a side dish of their famous mouth-watering polenta fries with truffle aioli and Parmesan, accompanied by a freshly-squeezed orange, tangerine and lime juice.
Lunch Or Dinner
For lunch or dinner try The Bistrot (Jl. Kayu Aya No.117, Seminyak). This rustic eatery oozes sophistication with splashes of French charm.
Go for the delicious pulled pork burger with fries or tantalize your taste buds with to-die-for glazed pork ribs. The nasi goreng is pretty good too, as is the salt and pepper calamari.
A great people watching spot is the Char Char Bar and Grill (Oberoi, Jl. Kayu Aya, Seminyak). Here you can sit high above the pulsating energy of Eat Street on tiered, stadium-style seating.
You can spend a good hour or so watching scooters whiz past weaving through the endless traffic and hot, sweaty holidaymakers trudging past.
The drinks are more expensive here, but it’s worth the stop. There is also a modern air-conditioned bistro-style restaurant that serves up tasty burgers, steaks and fine Asian fare.
And for those who can’t resist a glass of bubbly there is even a champagne bar, Red Carpet Champagne Bar (Jl Laksmana 42c, Seminyak).
A glass of Veuve Clicquot will set you back $15, which is still a lot cheaper than you can get it in Australia. Their menu lists about 100 different champagnes.
All the old favourites are there: Moet, Cristal, Krug, Ruinart and Dom Perignon and there is also an extensive cocktail list. The staff is decked out in red bellhop uniforms, which adds a bit of pizzazz.
More Bali holiday inspiration
New Zealand chef Dean Keddell – owner of Ginger Moon – is re-creating a buzz locally with his take on some traditional Indonesian dishes. Expect fresh, tantalizing food that treats your taste buds to myriad local flavours.
We ordered the chicken curry spring rolls and weren’t disappointed. The half-moon steamed buns babi guling (suckling pig) were a pleasurable explosion of flavour.
For mains we selected the flying fish (crispy wok-fried fish) with peanut salad and sambal, along with the soy and BBQ beef rib with sweet corn, lime and peanut salsa. Go on an empty stomach, as the servings are quite generous.
If you like to shop (or just crave air conditioning), Eat Street is the place for you. Boutiques, homeware, art and jewellery stores line this hectic shopping strip.
There is also a cute local clothes market at Seminyak Square worth a browse (expect to pay a few more dollars here for a dress than the Kuta markets).
I purchased a few keepsakes from Toko Emporium (Jl Oberoi No 1, Seminyak), which has a nice eclectic selection of fashion, homewares and art. For inexpensive silver jewellery, pop into Kapal Laut (Jl. Raya Seminyak 60).
Everyone needs a cool pair of thongs in Bali and you will find wall-to-wall coloured thongs at Flipper.
Bali is well known for its countless spas and massage joints and there are quite a few to be found on Eat Street. However, one of the new hot places for guys springing up all over Bali are the fantastic barbershops offering haircuts, shaves, hot towels and chair massages.
Give The Headmost Barber Shop a go and you won’t be disappointed. Located just off Eat Street at Sunset Road Street 27X (near the Trans Hotel), you can get the whole shebang for under $15 and come out feeling like a new man.