Mama San Bali

Retro-Vintage Pan Asian Dining in North Seminyak

Mama San Kitchen, Bar & Lounge broke new ground in late 2010 with its introduction of a unique dining concept and an impressive cuisine that marries ingredients, techniques and presentation from East and West. The brainchild of a passionate chef behind the likewise successful fine dining restaurant Sarong on Seminyak’s Jalan Petitenget, Mama San sets itself apart from other local venues with its cool, subtly-lit and elegant interiors on two levels that feature a retro style harking back to colonial 1920s-era Shanghai.

Those with a penchant for an old-fashioned atmosphere will most likely fall in love with Mama San. The restaurant is slightly hidden at the end of Seminyak’s Sunset Road, near the halfway junction that separates Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Raya Kerobokan. Facing west (not very eye-catching for those coming in from the main streets) Mama San’s façade features full-length windows in the dining room, meaning natural light for its lunchtime patrons, but brings on a more subtle atmosphere at dinnertime with its low-key lighting scheme.

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An impressive bar sits at the centre of the double staircase leading up to the second floor, featuring raw timber panels that effectively give it its rustic impression. Moreover, behind the bar and under the staircase is a bare red brick-layered wall with two yellow-lit racks of wine bottles that frame a blackboard listing the labels. The dining hall features improvised marble-top mah-jong tables surrounded by walls with antique monochrome portraits of Southeast Asia. At the far end of the room is a striking signature ‘Mama San’ mural, an original hand-painted artwork of ‘the authoritative madam figure of the typical Asian gentlemen’s club’.

Upstairs, you will find an even more inviting lounge (a ‘rich gentlemen’s club’ atmosphere, rather), where stylish chandeliers cast soft light onto leather chairs and ottomans. A great loft space in which to bring along friends for chill-out gatherings and private parties, this cosy upper level features a cocktail bar serving a range of signature drinks, from evening until late. Mama San’s classics include the Moscow Mule of vodka, mint and homemade ginger beer; or the Prohibition Ice Tea – a modified screwdriver with egg white and sweet citrus.

The mouth-watering menu is a delightful stroll through the great cuisines of the Asian region. Founder and Chef Will Meyrick gained much of his travel experiences trying out the different street foods and exotic dishes throughout various regions and imbued his menu with them. You will find a bit of Burmese, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and local Indonesian hints. Enjoy the flavours of Vietnam through grilled minced pork belly wrapped in betel leaves with the sweet, sour, salty and spicy sauce of nouc cham; or sample a Thai delight with grilled Thai beef salad with cherry tomatoes, mint, Thai basils and a hot and sour dressing. Chow mein noodle with duck tofu, bean sprouts, bok choy Chinese cabbage, chilli and red capsicum is a great Oriental treat, while crispy confit pork hock with nahm jim sauce and Thai chilli and fish sauce of ‘prik nam pla’ is highly recommended.

Mama San Bali

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