By Jenny Hewett
Dec 1, 2019
IN 2019, OUR FAVORITE PLACES in Asia shot up with a legion of luxury hotels, while drinking and dining spots gave us fresh takes on traditional cuisines, sustainable menus and creative cocktails.
BEST NEW RESTAURANTS IN INDONESIA 2019
This modern Cantonese globetrotter might have originated in London, but it doesn’t turn its nose up at local ingredients. The Michelin-starred restaurant’s 11th outpost opened on the 25th floor of Jakarta’s Alila SCBD this year, where yum cha and à la carte meals are served in glossy interiors among stretching skyscrapers. Alongside signature bites, produce from local markets provides the anchor for eats such as the stellar Indonesian mutiara lobster with glass noodles.
hakkasan.com; menus from Rp788,000, vegetarian from Rp498,000.
Uni Bali, Canggu
Courtesy of Uni (3)
It’s not everywhere you can order French chablis by the glass in Canggu. A joint effort between the Mexicola Group, former Urchin chef Steven Skelly, and libation-literate Nicolas Lento, this newcomer offers a casual culinary affair that’s as much about drinking as it is eating. Choose from two tasting menus, where Japanese-inspired creations— such as barramundi with calamari, mushroom and bone sauce—are enjoyed with beverage pairings of teas, cocktails, natural wines and sake.
uni-restaurant.com; mains from Rp370,000.
Born and raised in North Sumatra, William Salim is the head chef and owner behind this innovative Modern Australasian concept on Batu Bolong. With years working in fine diners in Australia under his belt, William has honed his craft into an edible art and his all-day menu is designed to stir the five senses. Don’t miss the Asian pulled-pork Benedict and brunch ramen with 62-degrees egg and pickled daikon.
sensoriumbali.co.id; mains from Rp100,000.
BEST NEW HOTELS IN INDONESIA 2019
The Apurva Kempinski, Nusa Dua
There’s plenty of competition in Bali’s resort-laden Nusa Dua, but this striking new 475-room oasis has had no trouble standing out. Inspired by the island’s subak rice terraces, the hotel cascades from the cliff top down to the Indian Ocean, with modern Balinese accents of natural stone and glistening waterways enhancing its tranquil vibe.
kempinski.com; doubles from Rp2,869,200.
Potato Head Studios, Seminyak
Ending 2019 on a high note, the final piece of the Desa Potato Head puzzle opens this month. Nestled among the village, the floating ring is lifted by reinforcements and houses 168 guest rooms and a sunset bar. The studios are artfully appointed with furniture made from recycled plastic and sustainable materials, designed by British designers Max Lamb and Faye Toogood, and handcrafted by Balinese artisans using age-old techniques.
katamama.com/desa-potato-head; doubles from Rp2,500,000.
BEST NEW BEACH CLUB IN INDONESIA 2019
Café del Mar, Batu Belig
The shoreline of Batu Belig is sleepy no more. With its iconic all-white façade, lagoon-like pool, cabanas, extensive cocktail list, throbbing tunes and swim-up bar, this renowned Ibiza import is going Balearic in Bali’s Canggu. Hosting a line-up of international DJs and artists, the Med-inspired venue has all manner of lounging setups, including four deluxe private suites for serious strutting, plus a menu of refreshing dishes—you know you want ceviche, fritto misto and Balinese apple pie with ice cream.