Seminyak restaurants are one of the real pleasures of visiting Bali, Indonesia. There is outstanding value for money to be had in Bali restaurants generally, with a selection of cuisines from all around the world at incredible prices, but for a lot of frequent visitors to Bali and Bali ex-pats, restaurants in Seminyak are especially noteworthy. It’s one of the lesser-known Bali tips that the guidebooks don’t emphasize enough, in my opinion.
There’s a simple reason for the high quality of Bali restaurants, and it becomes clear the more you speak to restaurant owners here. “I came for a visit and I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want to leave…” Naturally visitors who are in the restaurant business back home consider starting restaurants in Bali. I’ve always thought that there was a restaurant brain drain coming from around the world to Bali, and I don’t think I’ve ever considered changing my status from ‘customer’ to restaurant ‘owner’ here. The competition is way too fierce for amateurs, and that is confirmed with every wonderful plate of Italian, Greek, French, Moroccan, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Bali vegetarian food, as well as cuisines from a dozen regions all over the Indonesian archipelago.
In 2006 a nice guy named Mark came from Malaysia to Bali with a dream: Malaysian food was underrepresented in Bali, and Mark wanted to share his mother’s inspired Malaysian Chinese dishes with Bali, and the world. Delicious Onion was the name of the dream, inspired by Mark’s mother’s signature onion garnish, a relish of spectacularly deep richness, and life’s magical layers. As critical as it was to get the food right, Mark also aspired to create a space that was equal parts comfortable and homey, as well as a great place to meet friends for some drinks on a night out, or even hold a special event.
Between the stellar food, friendly staff and Mark’s charisma and positive attitude, Delicious Onion in Bali took off. Curious newcomers became regulars and friends. Mark made it look easy, in a place where success does not come easily to restaurants. The dream could not be contained by the original Delicious Onion location on Jalan Legian in Seminyak, and in 2009 Mark moved to a much larger space on Jalan Drupadi, off Jalan Dyanapura in Seminyak.
There’s the new Chandu bar complimenting the restaurant area nicely, and one now has the option of dining under the stars, with laid-back seating on comfy low couches. There are comedy nights, movie nights, art exhibits and Mark is even receptive to ideas patrons might have for events. During the day, the Onion is a relaxed lunch spot with a lots of work also getting done via the blazingly fast free internet.
Where to begin with the food? The blue marlin/coconut/kafir lime ceviche is sublime, as is the spicy basil minced pork. Try authentic Malaysian Nasi Lemak, or Hainan chicken. The butterfish in ginger/white wine sauce over spinach is popular, and so is the grilled 5-spice and honeyed pork ribs. If you have any room left, do not leave without trying the super double chocolate brownie with coconut cream and ice cream, served in a martini glass, just because as Mark explains: “everything tastes better in a martini glass!” Full bar, great coffee, and try the iced ginger tea with pandan on a hot day: so refreshing!
Delicious Onion, Jalan Drupadi, Seminyak, off Jalan Dyanapura, right next to Harmony Hotel. +6281337894243 (081337894243 if you are in Bali)
(prices in Indonesian rupiah, which at the time of this article is about 9,500 to US$1)
If you’re already in Bali why not come by and say hi to Mark and the gang at the Delicious Onion? And, if you’re not in Bali at the moment, be sure to put Delicious Onion at the top of your list of Seminyak restaurants that you don’t want to miss on your next visit!