Australia's hottest new dining suburb is Seminyak. Well, at least our chefs are flocking to Bali in record numbers to join the island's thriving restaurant scene. Jane and Geoff Lindsay opened Saigon Street in June, a "street-style" incarnation of their Melbourne Vietnamese eatery, Dandelion. "Dandelion is more focused on the imperial food of Hue, more like royal cuisine," Geoff says. "Our Bali model is more like the bia hoi menus of Hanoi."
The MoVida crew is on its way, too, with co-owner Andy McMahon revealing he's opening in the Potato Head Beach Club complex in Seminyak later this year. Maurice Terzini hopes to have Da Maria, a tropical offshoot of his Bondi pizza venue, Da Orazio, open by December. He has been travelling to Bali for "decades", and says he's seen it change from a party island to an international dining destination. "It's exciting times," he says. "I'm also fortunate that my business partner, Adrian Reed, owns one of the busiest and best Mexican bars and restaurants on the island, Motel Mexicola."
The Lindsays, too, are frequent visitors to Bali, so when they were approached by Aki Kotzamichalis, one of the original partners of landmark beach bar Ku De Ta, they "jumped at it", Geoff says. For the MoVida team, the decision is based on a desire to expand the brand internationally. "We have partnered up with Potato Head," McMahon says, "because we like what they do."
Sydney-based restaurateur Robert Marchetti, who has been running the food and beverage offer at the Seminyak's Double-Six hotel for the past three years, believes Australian chefs have always been attracted to Bali, and he's a strong advocate for the island's dining scene. "I've eaten quite a bit through LA, Australia, and Asia, and I think that the restaurants in Bali stand the test of time against anything."
Saigon Street, Jalan Petitenget 77X, Badung, Bali, Indonesia, +62 361 897 4007