Craving Italian dining in Bali

The island’s ever-evolving international dining scene has seen huge growth in recent years, and one particular type of cuisine to emerge as one of Bali’s favourites is Italian. Many Italian chefs play their trade on the island, serving up authentic flavours from home without a frozen pizza or pre-bought packet of pasta in sight. Some of the reputed favourite Italian restaurants make their reputations on outstanding wine lists, while others go beyond Tuscan or Roman cuisine altogether and acquaint diners with the culinary traditions from Italy’s further flung regions. Experience only the finest spots when you want to experience Italian dining in Bali, and expect to find classy and sophisticated Italian food as delectable as it can be.

Pizza

This is an Italian origin dish which was born in south of Italy. Back in the old days, pizza was only a flat, round base of dough baked into wood fired ovens, seasoned with garlic with a topping of tomato sauce and cheese, typically with added meat or vegetables. And that was it. But these days, pizza comes with a lot of style, taste, and even shape. Time has changed, and probably now is the time for the modern era of pizza. However, some restaurants in Bali are still keeping the authenticity of the origin pizza.

the westin - pregoIn Nusa Dua, there is nothing better than a plate of ‘pizza Margherita’ at Prego. Like a typical classic pizza-style, this restaurant is serving it with freshly mashed plum tomatoes, seasoned with salt, garlic, olive oil and fresh basil, with toppings fresh mozzarella cheese and a sprinkle of oregano. Meaning ‘you are welcome’ in Italian word, Prego has an intriguing space that will tempt any senses with its beautiful stylistic layout and a roomy colourful interior in mitigating tones with a somewhat laid back vibe. You will be cooled off by the sound of a soft ocean breeze while admiring the glistening tableware atop the pristine linen. Outside the building, an infinity pool is ready for your pleasure, partially shaded by tall and swaying palm trees. Apart from wood fire oven baked pizzas, this restaurant has excellent variety of food on offer with cold cuts, pasta, risotto, meat, seafood, cheese, and lip smacking deserts.

Salsa Verde at Grand Hyatt BaliStill in ITDC complex of Nusa Dua, Salsa Verde at Grand Hyatt Bali offers the same ambience overlooking the ocean wide. As for the pizza, while Prego is keeping the original taste, this restaurant is more about taking care of the local taste by serving ‘Indonesiana pizza’. Freshly prepared at an open kitchen using homemade dough and baked in wood fire oven, this pizza is made with minced beef rendang, shallots, and chili. The pizza is a nod to Indonesia’s rich and fragrant cuisine. Although serving Indonesian-style pizza, Salsa Verde keeps its flavour to the classic Italian style that will bring your culinary journey to a whole new level of satisfaction.

 

 

 

The Best BrewGoing south to Kuta, The Best Brew has announced their Wood Fired Pizza Making Class program. Dedicated to anyone who wants to learn how to make an authentic wood-fired pizza, you can expect to have step-by-step guidance from the pizza maker. From tossing a hunk of dough, plotting the topping, putting it to the wood fired oven to the revealing unique recipe of ingredients, you would master the art of baking wood fired pizzas in a day! Besides wood-fired pizzas, this restaurant at Four Points also dishes out items like big stick kebab, sausages, and other grab-and-go options. You can choose to eat selected poultry, pork, beef, or seafood, delicately marinated & flame grilled.

Seminyak caters the top Italian restaurants in Bali serving more than just standard pizzas. However, Warung Italia has gradually gained popularity with its simple yet humongous Italian menu. Located at the end of jalan Kunti, the pizza comes in a very good price. The crust is amazingly soft and thin since it is fresh and made on the spot. The list of pizzas is huge and you will find it difficult to choose since all are equally tasty but amusingly different in taste. You can also stack up your plate with fresh well-seasoned calamari, fragile arancini and salty slices of excellent prosciutto topping shapes of multi-hued melon, all-encompassing the star of the dish – an overflowing hill of startlingly crisp, creamy burrata cheddar, served on an energetic serving of mixed greens loaded with bits of pumpkin and sun-dried tomato.

da mariaDa Maria encompasses stunning Roman interiors with Balinese greenery of rubber trees, cacti and passion fruit vines spiralling down the walls. Locally crafted beautiful chandeliers that use simple festoon lighting reminiscent of 60’s Italian courtyard restaurants adorn the ceilings. The fountain is an Italian and Neapolitan icon, adding to the refreshing surroundings. Pizza is undoubtedly the signature style of this restaurant. With dough fermented for 24 hours and inspired by special Neapolitan artisan techniques, the pizzas are cooked in local, Naples inspired lava stone ovens. The Antica Margherita pizza is extremely popular here owing both to its history and explicit taste. Named after Queen Margherita, this pizza is carefully prepared using ingredients to match the three colours of the Italian national flag – green, white and red. It is topped with basil, mozzarella and tomato. The specialty here is the impressive Italian seasoning sprinkled on top.

Hank’s Pizza & Liquor Others Italian Restaurants may be focusing on their specialty, but Hank’s Pizza & Liquor is more about combining pizzas with great cocktails while keeping the Rock n Roll music alive. If Wednesday’s belongs to Classical Hip hop, Thursday’s offers entertaining Jukebox, and Friday’s presents live DJ set. On the menu, the pizza selection includes a wide variety with a favourite such as Dylan – combination of pork & fennel meatball with roasted chili oil, lemon, caramelized onion parmesan, and broccoli. Or you can try The Delightful Siouxsie, a mixture of king prawns, roasted peppers, capers mozzarella, and tomato Passata.

 

 

Ginger Moon Ginger Moon is a warm and welcoming restaurant on a bustling street of Seminyak. This restaurant may not be an Italian restaurant, but they do have pizzas come in unique way. The pizzas are thin, crispy and surprisingly, not round! A definite try out on the pizza menu is the ‘Lamb pizza’ which consists of slow cooked lamb shoulder, black beans, sweet & sour onions, goat cheese with a sip of the refreshing fruit daiquiri. They also offer Gluten free pizzas for those with an intolerance. The concept here is small portions with immense flavour and lots of variety to devour. Your food palette will be on a delicious journey.

Pasta

This is another main food of traditional Italian cuisine. Normally, pasta is a noodle that made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water or eggs and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked by boiling or baking. Italian Restaurants in Bali highlight custom-made pasta in an assortment of sauces. Pairing with imaginative flavours of pizzas cooked in a wood-smouldering stove, the whole menu on the table is loaded with enticing alternatives for those who are looking for an authentic Italian treat.

Seminyak Italian FoodA fantastic new addition to the vibrant Seminyak strip is Seminyak Italian Food, overlooking Double-Six Beach. This modern trattoria, which marries Italian classics with best of the season produce, has quickly risen to become one of the best in Seminyak. The restaurant dishes out the finest Italian preparations, from Calamari, Ravioli, Ricotta and Tiramisu. Enjoy the slow cooked lamb Ragu Fettuccine, grilled sea bass, minute steak, steamed spinach, Arancini and the delightful Bambini (small doughnuts with warm lemon custard and strawberry jam-delicious). The most recommended pasta here is the ‘Tortelli di Granchio’. The pasta is filled with handpicked crab meat, sauce of French butter, Chives and Confit of Tomatoes Passata which is an explosion of Italian flavours in your mouth.

Still in Seminyak, Ultimo Italian also serves a huge plate of mouth-watering Italian food. Decorated beautifully with fairy lights, this place is surely to get noticed, plus having the addition of daily live music performances. Boasting both high service and food quality, pasta stands out remarkably in the menu. Duck filled Ravioli, Linguini with prawns, Aglio olio pasta, seafood pasta with white wine sauce appease your taste buds. The ravioli pasta got curved around the seven-cheddar filling to look precisely like a treat wrapper. In any case, the dish is a great deal more than an adorable trick. The smooth pesto sauce and brilliant cherry tomatoes give an excellent stage to the delectable kaleidoscopic pasta.

Jamie's ItalianA must place to visit if you are strolling around Kuta Beach, Jamie’s Italian is rustic with a Jamie twist and features beautiful work by local artists. From the sunny street-facing terrace to the large bar and lively open kitchen, you cannot resist the aura of this place. If you have a large Italian appetite, then the variety of pasta here will match it. Some of the signature dishes are Prawn Linguine, which is garlicky prawns with fennel, tomatoes, chili, saffron, fish broth & lemony rocket. Or, Squid and Mussel Spaghetti Nero, a beautiful flash-fried squid & mussels with tender octopus, capers, chilli, anchovies and white wine tossed through in homemade nero spaghetti.

 

 

 

La Cucina at Discovery Kartika Plaza HotelLa Cucina at Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel, also known as Tastes of Italy, is a place to go for your favourite Italian delicacies. Seated on the ground floor, overlooking Kuta Beach and the hotel’s pool, experience the typical Italian fare in an al fresco besides pizza and pasta. La Cucina Restaurant also has three outdoor bales that provide privacy for a romantic candlelight dinner. The local and international chefs transform fresh and seasonal ingredients into delectable plates to feast upon. The showstopper here is the fresh pasta which tastes as good and comfortable like homemade pastas. Spaghetti with olive oil, garlic and hot peppers and Spinach Gnochi is such a treat for the taste buds, as well as The ‘Lasagna Rendang’ that is served to introduce Indonesian flavour.

 

Gelato

After the main course, here comes the dessert, Gelato, or you can say ice cream. But wait, there’s a big difference between Gelato and Ice Cream. While Ice Cream normally comes in heavier and richer texture, Gelato is softer, smoother, leaving a clean taste in your mouth. Bali hosts the best gelato which recommended to be eaten straight away in the store, as it is freshly made, held and served at the correct temperature.

Gaya Gelato Gaya Gelato is a clean establishment with a huge selection. This Place is actually a contemporary art Gallery. With Comfortable seating, impeccably cleanliness, fast and friendly service, and moderate pricing, it has become hugely popular. Using the wide variety of Indonesian fruits, they create recipe that reflect the culinary traditions of Bali. You can choose from the popular flavours like mint, aranciola, dark chocolate with orange, strawberry, coconut topped with fresh pistachios, salty caramel peanut butter and hazelnuts and mix two of the flavours in a cup. Quite a mouthful!!

 

Gelato SecretsA tiny, unassuming, quirky pink gelato cafe located along a busy street in Seminyak, Gelato Secrets offers delicious, wholesome and innovative gelatos. Some very interesting flavours offered here are Black Charcoal with Organic Sulawesi vanilla, organic raw chocolate and salted butter caramel. If you want to devour fruity flavours, go for the Strawberry and guava, pineapple and mint. The differentiating factor of Gelato secrets is that the natural fat from our gelato originates from fresh milk and cream and completely egg free. Not much seating area, so a good place to have Gelato if you are on the run.

 

 

 

Gusto Gelato & CaféA small and cosy café with a greens caped outdoor seating, Gusto Gelato & Café is the place to chill out. Always come out with new experimental flavour like Cinnamon, Avocado, Soursop, Dragon fruits, Tamarillo, Lemongrass, Kemangi, Spirulina, Ginger, Vanilla, Chocolate and Chili, they make gelato eating a memorable and fun experience. It proudly boasts of the fact that 70% of their produce is of Indonesian origin churned into perfection. Decently priced and unlimited tasting is one sure factor driving the customers crazily happy. This is truly the place for dessert fanatics.

Massimo in Sanur is an authentic Italian restaurant, located in the heart of Marina with a fantastic waterfront terrace. True to its name, the walls are covered with photos and paintings of the owner, Massimo. This is one of those classy venues where apart from eating sophisticated food, you get to enjoy the ambience as well. Massimo is a relaxed open-air bar, a gelateria, and a wood fired pizzeria facing the main street of Sanur.  A lot is on the menu here, but the Gelato is highly preferred for desserts. At Massimo, gelato is made from morning until evening. Italian nuts and banana, Rum Raisin and Pistachio, Chocolate and Pistachio, Coffee are some distinct flavours among the huge array of gelatos. In case you do not find your favourites flavour, the chefs promise to make you one the next time you visit them.

Mason GelatoIn Ubud, featuring more than fifteen selections of flavours, Mason Gelato comes in different sizes to meet any personal satisfactions. Used to be known as K’Dewatan Gelato, the gelato tastes so good and it reminds you of your family secret recipes back home. One of their specialties on our menu is Rum and Raisin Gelato, a rather ‘intimate’ of creamy blend and rich flavours.

 

 

This article is also published at NOW! Bali Magazine

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