Lilin at Potato Head Beach Club

Bali has a few famous places readily recognised as ‘institutions’ and Potato Head Beach Club is one of them. Set back from the sands of Seminyak, overlooking the ocean and a prime spot from which to view the sunset, Potato Head comprises three beautifully designed restaurants surrounding an impressive infinity pool with swim up bar.

The choice of restaurants at Potato Head range from the chandelier decked out Tapping Shoes with French cuisine, the international Potato Head Bistro where I’m told there’s a particularly good smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel on the menu, and Lilin, the Asian arm of the beach club. Tables are long and communal, the restaurant covered but without walls, allowing patrons to enjoy an al fresco experience – which in Bali could just as easily be dining in the middle of a tropical rain storm as the baking sun.

At lunch Lilin is focused on sharing plates with classic Asian flavours and plenty of spice. We each chose two sharing dishes plus the chilli crab with steamed buns and were left impressed by all that we sampled, although not for the faint hearted if you’re someone who doesn’t really enjoy their food spicy. The food was bold and rich in flavour, particular favourites included spicy shredded chicken with fresh kafir lime leaves and baby aubergine with shallots and chilli. However the real star of the show was the chilli crab with steamed buns, which was a relative bargain for the equivalent of around £15.

Undoubtedly one of my favourite parts of dining at Lilin  is their sangria menu, which uses inventive and locally sourced ingredients. There are six different concoctions, from Lemongrass and Mango Sangria made with white wine and amaretto, to the ‘Zen’ – blush rose with melon liqueur and pomegranate. We sampled two or three and all were just as more-ish as they sounded on the menu, whilst the Prohibition Iced Tea my friend had was novel in its presentation in a teapot with dry ice and suitably potent for a drink reminiscent of the 1920s, complete with vodka injected oranges.

Even if you don’t fancy dining at Potato Head and instead simply go for the pool and the cocktails, you must go. As is the case with any beach club worth its salt, the drinks menu is not only a work of art (literally, it’s hand illustrated) but each cocktail reads like miniature poem. You will unfailingly see the espresso martinis being passed out of the bars en masse, and with good reason too – these are among the best espresso martinis I’ve ever had – and I’ve had a fair amount. Ok, a lot. I’ve had a lot. What’s more, each is served with a homemade chocolate chip cookie.

Lounge beds by the pool are available, though you may need to go on a waiting list for the privilege. There is a minimum spend requirement, and though I cannot recall how much, it’s not too hefty, all things considered. This sort of place in Ibiza or Marbella would set you back a lot more.

There are a few nights in which Potato Head hosts DJs and from evening until the early hours a big party ensues, and on the flip side there are nights that are distinctly chilled in comparison, so time it right and do your research beforehand if one or the other is favourable. Either way, Potato Head remains a definitive must do in Bali.

Jl. Petitenget No.51B, Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 83061, Indonesia

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