Let’s face it – sometimes the design of a restaurant or bar seems just as important as the food or drink served there. Especially in today’s visual age of obsessive Instagram-Pinterest-Facebook-use, our surroundings are pressured to push the envelope at all times. Design-wise, the Bali beauties below are sure to impress, so amateur design-junkie in you can get snap-happy or just soak in the scene. Oh, we almost forgot – they’re pretty awesome food-wise, too!
Designed with a careful balance between sustainability, function and appearance, Merah Putih’s high-ceilinged dining room is a demonstration of local talent and craftsmanship. The family-style Indonesian restaurant sits up to 140 people underneath striking sculptural glass columns, and almost every element of this space serves an eco-minded purpose. The abstract columns capture rainwater and funnel it down through UV filters for later use, and the space’s glass walls are solar filtered to let light in (to feed the tropical trees that inhabit the space) but keep the Bali heat out, lowering interior cooling costs and energy use. To eat, expect both inventive and modern Indonesian fare served with sharing in mind.
The idea at Mama San is to provide a space where guests can feel comfortable whether looking for a full meal, a drink, a cooking lesson or simply a good lounge, and style is of the utmost importance when it comes to every detail. The expansive downstairs room of the converted warehouse pays homage to 1920s colonial Shanghai – guests eat carefully composed pan-Asian meals on marble mah-jong tables and relax in traditional leather Chesterfield arm chairs. An upstairs space evokes a bourgeois gentleman’s club (to match the restaurant’s name which refers to the “madam of authority” in Asian gentleman’s clubs) with more leather seating and statement chandeliers, and offers a menu of dumplings and drinks.
This vintage café and restaurant is quite obviously run by a pair of interior designers. Zohra Boukhari and her partner Blaise have collected antiques from all over the Indonesian archipelago, and their personal collection is on display here at Balique and the duo’s other restaurant, Bistrot. The space’s open-style roof is a nod towards traditional Indonesian design as are the cooling hand-baked tiles underfoot, and Zohra’s trademark obsession with hanging lantern lighting shines through. Balique is open for all day dining and serves an international menu to cater to Bali’s diverse tourist crowd.
In a hotel that’s equally eye-candied out, Fire restaurant at the W Retreat is a place of pure visual pleasure and a clear tribute to the Balinese fire-themed Kecak dance. The flame-hued glass chandelier in the center of the dining room is a clear focal point, while orange and red accents continue down into Fire’s design-chic chairs and tropical floral displays. Iridescent black marble tile accent walls subtly reflect the surrounding bursts of colour and take influence from the black and white checkered Poleng cloths worn during religious ceremonies.
With 360-degree views of both the Uluwatu Hills and the Indian Ocean as competition, the creators of the Unique Rooftop Bar at the Rimba resort in Jimbaran had a huge task ahead of them when it came to designing a space that demands attention. But demand attention it does. With a pool club atmosphere by day and a relaxed cocktail party vibe at night, Unique’s multi-level seating allows all guests to enjoy unrestricted views at all times. The space is designed around a central bar and is characterized by the use of dark hardwoods and mirrors that bring the view in. Retro decor and bench seating enforces the venue’s laid-back attitude.
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