Bali restaurant review – Sardine

Quality, value, authenticity – for all the family

By Matthew Bates
Subscribe to
Sardine restaurant in Bali

Sardine restaurant in Bali


Sardine is a great restaurant and the first of seven I ventured to in October 2011 on my family holiday in Bali. We chose an evening as the sun setting over the prized rich paddies was highly recommended.

Sardine is located in Petitenget, close to Seminyak. Seminyak remains a popular tourist area with 5 star resorts and restaurants scattered around each corner and is certainly a level above the Kuta experience.

The main restaurant is an open bamboo structure which suits the rice paddy surroundings and also houses a cocktail bar. The rice paddies are attended to daily by local farmers; an authentic view.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by friendly staff who escorted us to the outside lounges for pre-dinner drinks whilst watching the sun go down.

I wanted to try some local beers and was recommended the Storm Brewing range (a local Bali Brewery) and sampled the "Storm Pale Ale" – a lighter-style pale ale, not as refined as the Coopers equivalent. It was an all-round drinkable beer, especially in the warm climate of Bali, mild in flavour and easy to drink.

The menu was fresh, light and full of choice and well matched to the surroundings. As a nice touch, each menu was dated and had the booking name printed on it. The menu is updated daily to coincide with fresh produce arrivals.

For entrée there was a wonderful mix of meat, seafood and vegetarian options to meet all my group's needs including my three-year-old nephew. Some of the delicious options were crab and rockfish bisque, sea perch and snapper sashimi, sautéed calamari, pork belly, hearts of palm and vine-ripe tomato salad.

As a fan of delicate, yet full-flavoured delights, I sampled the Yellow Fin Tuna Carpaccio with a daikon remoulade which was superbly prepared and presented. I liked the fact that each portion was a generous size; this helped with replenishing energy from the daytime activities!

The wine list was comprehensive yet not overbearing like some restaurants in Australia which have page after page of options. I loved the range on offer for both red and white wine. There were wines from around the world from countries such as California, Italy, France, Australia, Chile and Argentina.

Wine is quite expensive in Bali compared to bottleshop prices in Sydney but the range is a lot broader. It was great to see the much coveted Vintage 2002 Dom Perignon on offer as well as the 2006 Chateau Villa Bel-Air from Bordeaux or for the white fans, a 2008 Domaine Laroche Chablis.

On a reasonable budget given my extended family of seven, we settled on the 2009 Argento Chardonnay from Mendoza, Argentina. It had broad appeal, was fresh, light in citrus and fruit, lightly oaked and a great example of its type plus easy to drink on this balmy evening.

The main menu was a wonderful list of tasty options: Pan Seared Diver Scallops, Grilled Lobster over Coffee Firewood, Asian Black Pepper Spring Chicken, Bebek Betutu (Balinese Peking Duck!)  and much more.

I could not personally go past trying the Grilled 'whole' Jimbaran Style Fish with Sambal Matah served with white rice and local organic vegetables. It was beautifully presented, perfectly cooked and seasoned and I was impressed with the delicate spices and flavour of the local fish.

A good serving of vegetables and small portion of rice were, in my opinion, the right balance for the dish – some Balinese restaurants overdo the rice to fill up the plate as a cheaper alternative but this certainly wasn't the case here.

One thing I noticed at Sardine was the friendly and attentive staff – always present but certainly not overbearing. My young nephew can be challenging at times in a restaurant but the staff ensured he was always occupied and served promptly.

Being a Saturday night, the restaurant was full, however it was not noisy and conversation was easy with local background music at a pleasing volume and suited to the open-air feel of the surroundings. Sardine also ticked another of my favourites – plenty of space between tables to allow some privacy whilst dining.

It was a fantastic evening and on the cheaper scale of up-market Seminyak restaurants at approximately $A440.00 for the entire bill. I will not hesitate to go back to Sardine on my next Bali adventure!


Matthew Bates is a subscriber based in NSW, who loves food, wine and travel! This is the first of a series of reviews from his recent Bali holiday.



  • Indonesia - all (ID)

Our Recommendations

To see our recommendations, ratings and reviews you must be a logged-in subscriber.

To subscribe please enter your email address in the "Subscribe Now - it's Free" box on the right and click the "Join" button, or fill in this form >

November 08th, 2011
Subscribe today - it's free
Subscribe Button

Subscribe now - for news and reviews, our newsletter (optional), to join our forums, and more.

Enter your email address and click the Subscribe button. We respect your privacy.

Log in

Enter your username...

Enter your password...

Log In Button

Forgotten your password?


Kerry's corner - your free benefits


Premium listing