Bali is having a moment. Seminyak, in particular, is fast establishing itself as the new culinary and nightlife hotspot. Australian operators are increasingly opening up shop there, from Frank Camorra opening MoVida to Mrs Sippy opening Mrs Sippy Pool Club.
Tomorrow, Maurice Terzini (Icebergs) will join the club when he opens Da Maria, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Seminyak.
“I’ve been going to Bali for years, and wanting to do something for ages,” says Terzini.“It used to be more of a party island, but has become a nice balance, and now seemed the right time to set up.”
Despite its Indonesian setting, the restaurant’s main focus is Italian – inspired by the Amalfi Coast and the courtyard restaurants of Capri.
Terzini’s long-standing collaborator, Roman architecture studio Lazzarini Pickering, is responsible for the design. With a fresh blue-and-white colour scheme and bold geometric styling, it’s a modern interpretation of a classic courtyard restaurant. Pickering wanted to create a cool, fresh space with air-conditioning (a must-have in the intense heat) while also making it feel like a garden. Vines, Pantheon-inspired skylights, fountains and locally crafted chandeliers bedeck the walls.
“There’s a running strand through all my restaurants, with the brand telling the same story,” says Terzini. “But this restaurant has been particularly designed for Bali. It’s a really unique place, and architecturally really special too.”
The late-night restaurant’s focus is Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizza, made with 24-hour, naturally risen dough. Da Orazio-style, traditional Italian porchetta (whole local pig) has crossed the Indian Ocean, marinated in local herbs and slow-cooked over coals. Fresh seafood also dominates the menu, with light appetisers of snapper crudo with tomato, chilli and marjoram; and octopus with beans, red-wine vinegar and parsley. Fresh pasta is also available, and desserts feature a house speciality of watermelon served over ice with Campari, lime sherbet or chilli salt.
Expect Terzini’s classic cocktails such as the Number 8 with Campari and ruby grapefruit alongside natural wines.
The restaurant will be accompanied by a retail element: the “Ten Pieces” fashion label curated by Terzini, in collaboration with life partner Lucy Hinkfuss. The boutique will feature designs reflective of both the interior of Da Maria, and the Balinese lifestyle.
There will be live DJs every night after 10.30pm, with the first of their mixes available here.
JI Pettitegnet No. 170 Badung, Bali
Mon – Fri from 5pm.
Sunday brunch from 11am.
Find out which other Australians have taken their restaurants, bars and cafes overseas here.