Bold, fresh and inventive, Bali's dining scene is progressing at pace. From seafood served among the rice fields to tricked-up street food, these are 11 of the best.
Rice-field vistas can be a rare find in Seminyak, which makes this tranquil seafood fine-diner somewhat of a novelty. Overlooking a sea of green, this stylish sanctuary is lined with giant terracotta pots and Balinese umbrellas. Its delicate handling of local produce, sourced every morning from the fishermen at Jimbaran, is as spot-on as the sunsets.
Jalan Petitenget 21
Happy Chappy, Seminyak
Home to hip Chinese chow in the heart of Seminyak, there's nothing clichéd about this buzzing banquet hall. Dim sum is wheeled out every Sunday between 11am and 3pm, with crab soup dumplings, melt-in-your-mouth Peking duck steamed buns and a designated Bloody Mary cart all carving up the carpet.
Jalan Beraban 62
The prominent Melbourne tapas export gets a tropical makeover with an open-air setting inside Seminyak's Katamama hotel. The tasting menu is startlingly affordable. A bevy of Basque-inspired share plates shuffle for the spotlight, but it's the signature artisan anchovy, topped with smoked tomato sorbet and served on a crouton sliver, that warrants applause.
Katamama, Jalan Petitenget 51B
Pica South American Kitchen, Ubud
Warm service and killer South American cuisine has turned this cosy Peruvian eatery into one of Ubud's finest. Chilean-born chef and owner Cristian Encina and his wife Monica have put their heart and soul into this elegant spot and it pours out in every plate, from the ceviche mixto to the confit pork belly with chorizo crumble and red wine apple purée.
Eat&Drink at The Slow, Canggu
Few places can shimmy their way through breakfast, lunch and dinner, but this all-day Canggu hangout is one of them. Breakfast bucks the trend with mung bean dahl, buratta tartine and potion-like juice extractions. At night, the venue takes an ambient turn, with dim lighting and playful cocktails.
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong 97
One Eyed Jack, Canggu
Streaming manga from an old box TV in the bathroom, this Japanese izakaya and sake bar in Canggu can't help but be cool. Headed by a Nobu-trained chef, the kitchen has mastered modern Japanese with crowd-pleasing crispy soft-shell crab sliders and eggplant-avocado tacos with red onion, chill and coriander.
Jalan Pantai Berawa C89
A Seminyak institution with a fierce cocktail selection (try the Red Lotus with limoncello, ginger beer and raspberry popcorn), chef Will Meyrick's refined spin on Asian street food is like nothing you've ever eaten. From stuffed tandoori squid to truffle pork-jowl naan, this spot could do with its own frequent flyer program.
Jalan Petitenget 9X
The Savage Kitchen, Canggu
The fit are never far from this healthy cafe and coffee spot in the centre of Canggu. As well as make-your-own combos of protein, salads and sides, they do a mean poached eggs on gluten-free pumpkin bread and serve nitro coffee and crispy bacon Bloody Marys for those who like to live a little.
Plaza Club, Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa
Mrs Sippy, Seminyak
A new Bali outpost of the popular Double Bay restaurant and bar boasts an enormous outdoor saltwater pool with a diving platform, several bars and plenty of poolside seating and daybeds. Much like the Sydney original, Mrs Sippy is all about fun, serving up a menu of fruit-centric cocktails and an abbreviated list of wine and beer in pool-party surrounds. To eat, there's a neat range of dishes designed to share such as salads and dips. More substantial pub-style meals include burgers and fish and chips; the wood-fired grill and pizzaiolo direct from Italy also make for flavourful seafood and pizza options.
Jalan Taman Ganesha, Gang Gagak 8
Poke Poke, Canggu
Little more than a hole in the wall, this low-key spot churns out fresh Hawaiian poke to salty Canggu slickers. The perfect post-surf refuel, marinated raw tuna is mixed with salad, brown rice, mango edamame and dried coconut on the spot. Order Malaysian-style roti canai in the adjoining eatery while you wait.
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong 58
Da Maria, Seminyak
Home to one of Bali's most impressive interiors, Bondi Iceberg's sister restaurant (from Sydney chef Maurice Terzini), is a slice of Italy's Amalfi Coast in Seminyak. The summery pastel blue, white and yellow theme and Campari cocktails draw beautiful people in droves. Look out for the Neapolitan-style pizzas, porchetta and seafood off the grill – as well as an inspired cocktail list including liqueurs made in-house.
Jalan Petitenget 170
Top image: Happy Chappy