WHERE:

hellobali Guide to Bali - - ISLAND NIGHTLIFE -

Hu’u Bar ( Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak)

WHAT:

Named after a famed surf spot near Sum­bawa, this Seminyak strong­hold has passed more than a decade en­ter­tain­ing tens of thou­sands (in­clud­ing more than the oc­ca­sional Hol­ly­wood celeb) with some of the is­land’s hippest par­ties. DJs from around the globe dole out ev­ery­thing from disco to dub­step, and the restau­rant serves up a de­cent fare of western stan­dards.

WHERE:

Mama San (Jalan Raya Ker­obokan, Ker­obokan)

WHAT:

The mas­ter­minds be­hind the de­lec­ta­ble Sarong restau­rant have trans­formed a tinny ware­house into a spec­tac­u­lar homage to the Shang­hai madam that of­fers up the best cui­sine of East and South­east Asia. Fully en­closed and air con­di­tioned, its pa­trons can break with the heat and wash down their del­i­cate dishes with stun­ning sig­na­ture cock­tails like the Mai Tai Ta­mar­illo or Pas­sion­fruit Mint Bellini.

WHERE:

La Favela (Jalan Lak­samana Oberoi, Seminyak)

WHAT:

A Seminyak new­comer (never mind the moniker; the place is abun­dant with posh style) takes home the gold for best de­sign: bedecked with a trea­sure trove of arte­facts—

hand­picked an­tiques and re­pur­posed ef­fects that con­jure up a fu­sion of en­chanted gar­den and South Amer­i­can bor­del— La Favela spe­cial­izes in del­i­cate ta­pas, hand­crafted cock­tails, and chic themed par­ties.

WHERE:

Man­shed, Sa­nur ( Jalan Tir­tanadi II, Sa­nur)

WHAT:

When the co-founder of the an­nual Sa­nur Auto Fes­ti­val de­cided to trans­form his garage and store­house into Sa­nur’s new­est hang­out, the re­sult could only be a trib­ute to con­sum­mate mas­culin­ity. Re­stored clas­sic cars and mo­tor­cy­cles are proudly dis­played through­out and ta­bles and chairs, dé­cor, and even the bar it­self have been con­structed us­ing a hodge­podge of re­cy­cled auto and bike parts. Beers are ex­cep­tion­ally cheap and company, com­fort­ably lo­cal.

WHERE:

Betel­nut (Jalan Raya Ubud)

WHAT:

For those in the mood for a lit­tle cul­ture with your cock­tail, drop in on the im­pec­ca­bly de­signed Betel­nut. Savour a sig­na­ture wheat­grass mo­jito while en­joy­ing a range of in­tel­lec­tual fare, from the monthly Pecha Kucha talk se­ries to film screen­ings and guest lec­tures on Ba­li­nese art and spir­i­tu­al­ity. The aca­demics make way for the play­ers dur­ing the venue’s fre­quent live mu­sic events: Betel­nut has hosted such lo­cal leg­ends as rock­ers Nav­ic­ula, folk­sters Di­a­log Dini Hari, and jazz man Yuri Ma­hatma.

WHERE:

Café Ha­vana (Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud)

WHAT:

A fairly new craze in Bali, salsa heats the dance floors from Kuta to Ubud, en­liven­ing a faith­ful fol­low­ing of dancers in this sul­try, trop­i­cal cli­mate. Yet no place is hot­ter than Ubud’s best dance spot and Bali’s salsa cen­tral. A stel­lar house salsa band and beck­on­ing wait­er­scum-dance part­ners lead even the hope­lessly un­co­or­di­nated grace­fully across the dance floor. Dancers recharge with ex­quis­ite Cuban fare and tan­ta­liz­ing mo­ji­tos.

WHERE:

Potato Head Beach Club ( Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak)

WHAT:

A tow­er­ing, el­lip­ti­cal par­ti­tion of 18th cen­tury teak shut­ters col­lected from across In­done­sia veils one of Bali’s hottest beach­front venues. While the vig­i­lant se­cu­rity and over­priced menu de­ter the masses, Po­ta­toHead con­tin­ues to en­tice a size­able and rea­son­ably chic clien­tele with its spec­tac­u­lar ocean vista and con­certs fea­tur­ing in­ter­na­tional megas­tars, from MGMT and Snoop Lion to John Legend. Three dis­tinc­tive restau­rants are housed on the sprawl­ing premises, of­fer­ing up ev­ery­thing from In­done­sian home cook­ing to French fine din­ing, and the gen­er­ous pool beck­ons the beach babes for a moon­lit dip.

WHERE:

La Plan­cha (Me­sari Beach, Le­gian)

WHAT:

Bali’s 1980s beach­side warung bar ex­pe­ri­ence was re­vi­tal­ized when La Plan­cha opened. Of

course, the founders stepped it up a notch. They stocked their two-storey shack with plenty of fine liquor and cold beer, rolled in a de­cent sound sys­tem to host some of the best lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional bands and DJs, and scat­tered mul­ti­coloured bean­bags and beach um­brel­las along their sand-cov­ered front lawn to en­tice their clien­tele to en­joy a scin­til­lat­ing view of the Hol­ly­wood-wor­thy waves for which Bali is known.

WHERE:

Kopi Kul­tur (Jalan Sun­set Road, Kuta)

WHAT:

For those ab­stain­ing from spir­its and keen for a cup of “java” and bit of latenight in­tel­lec­tual de­bate, the re­cently re­lo­cated Kopi Kul­tur, tucked in the rear of the Lit­tle Tree Build­ing, of­fers a high­brow al­ter­na­tive to south­ern Bali’s in­tem­per­ate scenes. Fea­tur­ing po­etry slams, late night jam ses­sions, and work­shops and pre­sen­ta­tions on en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial projects in Bali, Kopi Kul­tur is meet­ing ground for many of Bali’s im­pas­sioned artists and ac­tivists. Night owls are most wel­come.

WHERE:

Casablanca (Jalan Danau Tam­blin­gan, Sa­nur)

WHAT:

At­tract­ing droves of can­tan­ker­ous ex­pats, sun­burned week­endtrip­pers, and lo­cals trolling for trou­ble, Casablanca’s no­to­ri­ety owes largely to its Fri­day free-flow beer hour. Sa­nur’s red headed stepchild is one of the loud­est joints in this oth­er­wise rather sleepy sea­side ham­let, with live mu­sic on the menu ev­ery night of the week. Cock­tails are poured with a gen­er­ous hand and ser­vice is ami­able, if not ex­pe­di­tious.

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