Seminyak Italian Food

Seminyak Italian Food

Authentic Italian Has Arrived!



With such a solid reputation after only a few months of opening, naturally, we were keen to put Seminyak Italian Food’s already-impressive status to the test – not just because we really love Italian cuisine, but also because it’s pretty hard to find here on Bali. It turns out, the restaurant has done exactly what we’ve all been waiting for – it has brought authentic Italian nosh right to our tropical doorstep.


Il ristorante…


Seminyak Italian Food is the brainchild of Australian restaurateur, Robert Marchetti — the man behind Bondi’s famed munching holes Icebergs Dining Room and North Bondi Italian Food; the latter being the restaurant for which the Bali location is modelled upon. The basic idea is to serve up all the best things Italy has to offer: great food, great wine and a great ambience. We give it a tick on all three accounts.


The best way to describe the restaurant would be a modern trattoria. It is modern in the sense that it caters to the swanky Seminyak crowd, but at the same time, it’s perfectly Italian with all the particulars you expect from an authentic trattoria. Classic rich woods are jazzed up with funky geometric shapes; the iconic green, white and red stripes are subtly splattered throughout the restaurant’s stylish lounge area; and real Italian pastas are hung and dried in cutting-edge glass cases. It’s a potpourri of old-meets-new that is pulled off superbly.


But being a sunny afternoon in the midst of Bali’s high season, it’s outside on the dazzling wooden deck that we want to be. It looks out over the shimmering sands of Double Six Beach with the hotel’s glittering pool just a few metres below. Each table on the deck soaks up this gorgeous view, and the light sea breeze coming from the nearby water means mouthwatering wafts of freshly cooked Italian signatures keep us on our toes the whole lunch through.


La cucina…


As soon as a plate of plump and cheesy Arancini Balls arrives at the table, I know this is going to be a great meal. The breadcrumbed bites come moreishly stuffed with spinach and four different types of cheese. Gorgonzola, feta, parmesan and asiatico read like heaven, and somehow just a squeeze of zesty lemon makes each morsel even better than it sounds.


It’s simple touches like that squeeze of lemon that seem to really make a difference here. It’s not about fancy fads or show-off ingredients; it’s the little things that count. A crusty loaf of freshly baked bread here, an abundance of grated parmesan there – this is authentic Italian dining after all. Even the table setting ensures the dinner is totally carefree (just as an Italian feast should be) with a cutlery and condiment holder custom built into the tabletop.


Working our way through the appetisers and antipasto, a giant mound of Mozerella Burrata comes next (yes, more cheese), alongside the “Everything We Have” salumi platter of Italian cured meats; mortadella, salami, prosciutto and beef bresaola. The meats are taken straight from the restaurant’s own temperature-controlled salumi cabinet, where these humungous cuts are on display for all to drool over.


On to the main courses and for us, it’s all about the pasta. Neat little parcels of Tortelli di Granchio come filled with handpicked crab meat that is as juicy as its sauce of French butter, chives, fennel and confit tomatoes. A little heartier, the meaty Tortellini alla Panna is packed with the house-hung prosciutto, mortadella and veal, flavourfully finished with black truffle and sage parmesan.



I hardly recognise the Penne con Agrello when it arrives at the table. Rarely do lamb pastas throw in such giant chunks of glorious meat, both within the sauce and as an additional yummy topping. There’s no meagre shavings of dry mutton here, only the most tender hunks of succulent lamb shoulder, braised for six hours then whipped up into a velvety ragù with pancetta and rosemary.


Away from the pastas, the menu continues to wow with different meaty classics from all over Europe’s beloved boot. Milan’s Cotaletta Milanese cooks up a caveman style cutlet of milk-fed veal. It comes served on the bone and crumbed with parmesan and lemon breadcumbs – simply divine. Then there’s the famous Tuscan T-bone, the Bistecca Fiorentina made for two to share. A whopping 800g of grain-fed, Black Angus beef comes with a rustic salsa erbe and fat steak chips, fluffy on the inside.


It’s certainly a filling menu but saving space for dessert is a must. It goes without saying that the Tiramisu here is probably the best we’ve ever had outside of Italy, and what’s even cooler is it’s sliced directly at the table. A huge wedge of chocolate-coffee scrumptiousness is carved from an enormous round of the homemade original, although, if we could have dug our spoons straight into the whole version, we would have…


Last but certainly not least, the wine list at Seminyak Italian Food is particularly noteworthy. The never-ending collection is specially sourced from Italy, with the exception of three varieties from Marchetti’s own ‘Monocle’ brand made in NSW Australia. He teamed up with finalists from this year’s Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine’s “Winemaker of the Year Awards” to create a Shiraz, Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay – all of which are only available at Seminyak Italian Food.


Now that’s what we call a good Italian lunch…


Seminyak Italian Food’s 

Arancini Balls





For the Arancini

200g Aborio Rice

400ml Chicken Stock

80ml White Wine

40g Feta, grated

40g Grana Padano, grated

40g Asiatico, grated

20g Gorgonzola, grated

1/4 Large Onion (diced small)

5g Butter

20ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil






First Make the Braised Spinach:

1. Slice spinach across bunches in 1cm thick strips. Rinse thoroughly.

2. Blanch in salted boiling water for three minutes and plunge into ice water.

3. Drain well.

4. In a heavy based pot, sweat eshallots in butter till transparent. Add the drained spinach.

5. Bring mixture to heat and season.

6. Blend in processor and leave to cool.



For the Braised Spinach:

1 bunch English Spinach

1 1/2 Eshallots, sliced thinly longways

40g butter



For the Breadcrumbs:

A dusting of Seasoned Flour

1 Egg Wash (a few whole eggs, whisked)

1 bowl Fine Breadcrumbs

Then Make the Arancini:

1. Sweat down the onion with extra virgin oil, butter and seasoning until onions are transparent.

2. Add aborio rice and sweat gently, stirring constantly till rice appears slightly transparent.

3. Add white wine and reduce by two thirds.

4. Add chicken stock gradually, stirring regularly. Be careful not to overcook the rice.

5. When rice has reached the al dente stage, take off the heat and add grated cheese, adjust seasoning and add the puréed braised spinach.

6. Lay mix out on a flat tray and refrigerate immediately. After the mix has set in the fridge, roll the mix into squash-ball sized spheres.


Finally, Crumb and Cook:

1. Lightly dust the balls in the flour, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs.

2. Fry the Arancini at 180°C until golden brown on the outside and hot inside.

3. Serve hot with fresh lemon wedges on the side.

4. Enjoy!