After three decades in the industry, restaurateur Maurice Terzini shows no signs of slowing down. The Sydney dining giant behind Bondi Beach’s twin anchors Icebergs and Da Orazio Pizza and Surry Hills’ Dophin Hotel (among others) still finds time to oversee his own fashion label, Ten Pieces with partner and fashion designer Lucy Hinckfuss.

His touch isn’t just limited to Australia, either: in 2016 Terzini opened the adored Italian eatery Da Maria in Bali’s thriving Seminyak beach area. Though he has since left that restaurant he remains one of the most visible and respected voices in Sydney’s dining scene, so you couldn’t do much better than Terzini for tips on where to eat while in Bali.

“I find it’s such a quick-changing landscape … there is always something new,” he says. Below are five of his hand-picked favourites, which show off the island’s time-honoured cuisine and its fresh seafood and produce.

Sangsaka
A modern take on traditional Indonesian recipes, Sangsaka is a definite must for anyone passing through Kerobokan. It’s also “a personal favourite” for Terzini, who describes it as “just simple food cooked well.” That said, Sangsaka’s plates are bursting with colours, layers and harmonised flavours. Highlights include the roasted octopus with smoked potato and fennel, and the chargrilled scallop with pork cheek and sambal roa. But save room for dessert and cocktails, too. If it all seems too delicious to choose just a few dishes, the tasting menu is an ideal way to navigate that wealth of temptations.

Jalan Pangkung Sari No. 100 Kerobokan, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung

Kaum – Potato Head
Named after the Indonesian word for “tribe”, Kaum is an authentic celebration of traditional local ingredients and cooking. Housed on the second floor of the popular Potato Head Beach Club, which has world-class DJs as well as the lush Katamama resort, the restaurant leans into fresh, often oven-roasted seafood, whether it’s spiced garlic-butter mud crab or aromatic honey-glazed clams with chives and basil. “These boys know how to deliver incredible product,” says Terzini. “Excellent, region-specific Indonesian food.” He also singles out the “very unusual drinks”, from a local take on the Bloody Mary to lemongrass-infused gin and a variety of fruity embellishment.

Jalan Petitenget No 51B, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung.

Da Maria
Yes, this is the critically acclaimed restaurant that Terzini himself opened in 2016, though he’s since sold his part in it. “Steven Skelly is still one of my favourite Italian chefs in Bali,” he says. Situated in hopping Petitenget, Da Maria is a welcome mid-century throwback excelling at Neapolitan-inspired pizzas, grilled seafood, house-made pasta and other enduring Italian classics. A perfect example of the retro focus is the snapper carpaccio, a dish invented in 1950. But De Maria isn’t stuck in the past; DJs take over after 10pm on weekends. “Watch the restaurant become one of Bali’s best club nights,” says Terzini, adding the kids are well looked after during earlier dining hours.

Jalan Petitenget No 170, Kerobokan Kelod, Kec. Kuta Utara, Kota Denpasar

Oberoi
Beachfront dining surrounded by 15 acres of gardens? Yes please. This idyllic beach resort also offers plenty of feasting options, thanks to an in-house bar, cafe and restaurant, all with a breezy open-air vibe. Grab breakfast or lunch at Frangipani for a taste of local greens and seafood plus at least eight traditional Indonesian dishes. For dinner, invest in the multi-course tasting menu at Kura Kura and then unwind after with drinks (and even late-night snacks) at Kayu Bar, including local and classic cocktails. “The service is old-school and the bar is a hidden secret,” Terzini says. “And the gardens are still my favourite in Bali.”

Seminyak Beach, Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Kuta

The Slow
Since opening in late 2016, The Slow has become hip shorthand for Bali’s new wave of creatives. Founded by George and Cisco Gorrow, the project combines fashion, food, art, accommodation, music and much more, all with a serene curatorial touch. “No one does cool like George Gorrow,” says Terzini, citing The Slow’s art gallery and overall space: “Beautiful, simply executed rooms.” After you’ve experienced the work of chef Robbin Holmgren, from hand-rolled ravioli and garlic miso cabbage to many inventive sharing dishes, abscond to the rooftop bar, where London mixologist Maya Jaworska has designed a wowing cocktail menu alongside local wines and craft beer.

Pantai Batu Bolong Street No 97, Canggu, North Kuta, Badung Regency

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