Tucked away in Petitenget at the Seminyak area of Bali, Potato Head Beach Club is a lifestyle destination that enjoys a large following of fans who are drawn to the quirky sophisticated architecture, chill ambience, great (hipster) music and intriguing restaurants (there’s the Potato Head Beach Club restaurant and bar and Asian restaurant, Lilin). And yes, the cocktails are pretty darn exotic, I must say.
People watching is a breeze at Potato Head Beach Club
Beach-front day beds at Potato Head Beach Club
This DJ dude has quite the view of bikini-ed babes
A photo of one of the delicious starters we had
Staying in Seminyak made getting there so easy. By foot, we’d take a 45 minute stroll along the small road lined with boutiques, restaurants, and cafes on both sides towards Petitenget. When we didn’t feel like exploring, we arranged for transport at around 30,000 to 40,000 rupiah (approximately $3 – 4) and took a five minute drive there instead.
We loved the famous Potato Head Beach Club so much that we went twice during our weekend getaway to Bali. The first time, we headed there after securing a reservation for dinner (a must for dinner or risk queuing for hours to get in) and had the opportunity to enjoy the sun setting on the horizon. The second time was a quick lunch time affair before we checked out of our hotel, Ize Seminyak, and flew home. Both times, I remember being wowed by the thoughtful service, the beautiful view of the beach front with the fierce waves slamming onto the shore, and the delicious food.
Catching the sunset at Potato Head Beach Club
Seriously, we were at a beach bum’s heaven. Like, move over, Ku De Ta! I’ll be honest, we didn’t even visit Ku De Ta. We thought of checking it out but the moment we saw the throngs of people and how lacking in personal space that place had, we made a snap decision to give it a miss.
One of the great things about Potato Head Beach Club is the crowd control and reservations system. While this means that impromptu walk-in visits are risky and you might not get a seat unless you waited for at least two hours, on the plus side, it also means that the club and restaurants will not likely be overcrowded and “bursting from the seams” with people. All my friends know that I absolutely HATE to queue. I do not get the allure and I do not have the sheer determination to stand in line for hours just to have a meal. It’s not quite my cup of tea or type of holiday activity I am okay with. So when we headed over on whim while exploring Petitenget and found out that reservations were required or we had to take a stab at standing in line, all I had to say was a firm no to that! (Ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Mismatched 18th century teak shutters which lend Potato Head a strange eclectic charm
Admiring the calming scene of crashing waves from the infinity pool
Potato Head Beach Club resembles a modern-day Coliseum and the eclectic mix of multi-coloured mismatched 18th century teak shutters, which were sourced from across the Indonesian archipelago, is both arresting and iconic. The mastermind behind this work-of-art is acclaimed Indonesian architect, Andra Matin.
The interior of Potato Head is so homely, comfortable, charming with it’s unique blend of vintage and culture. Actually, the Potato Head bar on the ground floor is designed with vintage mid century furniture straight from the owners’ personal collection.
Rattan woven chairs accompany dark wood tables
Teak shutters seem to envelope the entire complex, creating a modern day coliseum
Perfect splashes of colour
What’s really cool about Potato Head is it’s laid back atmosphere. Lazing around is so natural and encouraged. Even with a two hour dining time limit, there was no rush to finish our meal – time was more than sufficient. It has a great system that just works. You dine for up to two hours in the dining area of either Potato Head Beach Club Restaurant and Bar or Lilin, and you get a chance to get on the waitlist while you eat. Following that, once an available daybed is free, the staff will check to see if you’re interested to take advantage of the open daybed and enjoy your drinks by the infinity pool overlooking the beachfront. Just perfect.
Alternatively, if by the end of meal time, no daybeds are available, you can sip cocktails by the lounge area and continue being on the waitlist.
Dining space at the bistro
Potato Head Beach Club Lounge
In my travels so far, what really strikes me is if any of the places I visit can set me at ease and have me completely enveloped in its hospitality. The best memories (unforgettable, awesome memories) and amazing photos are all captured in restaurants, cafes, attractions, that manage to do exactly that: create a magically different world from one that the guest is accustomed to and sneak in so subtly a touch of hospitality that gets them comfortable and “settled down” the moment they step into the establishment. These places are also usually very photogenic. I’m definitely not overselling when I say Potato Head Beach Club is one of those places.
It’s not just the way the place looks of course… which by the way is so visually appealing, it is out of this world! The really stand out star quality Potato Head has is just that je ne sais quoi and intimate way of taking the reservations, welcoming you into the bar, restaurant or even to the daybeds. There is never a moment where you are left lost. Everything is as it should be, everything is structured so that you’ll feel like you know how everything should be and so you can wander around knowing everything is well taken care of.
A portrait of Loo while we wait patiently for our food
GT looking pensive – probably in need of his dose of protein, pronto!
Definitely couldn’t wait to try the food out after reading all about Potato Head
An extremely photogenic berry margarita waiting to be sipped
Loo is nuts for coconuts
One-pager food menu
An extremely detailed illustrated menu of cocktails
The food menu isn’t a sprawling few pages, but the cocktail menu is. That will tell you basically all you need to know about what works at Potato Head. GT was very happy with his low (or was it no) sugar caipirinha, I tested out a couple of “girly looking” cocktails and Loo went nuts for er… fresh coconuts. It’s a case of what can I have and being accosted by so many choices, you’ll start sticking to the safe ones. Good news for the indecisive people out there, the cocktail menu also details every ingredient that makes up the happy drinks. So you know, maybe that should help!
It’s not rocket science when it comes to ordering food. It’s basically a tight menu that covers beef, fish, chicken and pork options – something for everyone. So far, most of the dishes we had at the Potato Head were flavoursome comfort food. It’s nothing out-of-this-world, but the taste is great and the presentation is beautiful.
Blue Swimmer Crab Cakes (90,000 rupiah)
Wagyu Beef Burger (145,000 rupiah)
Chef’s Salad (110,000 rupiah)
Baked Tasmanian Salmon served with Quinoa, Lemon Puree, Baby Beet and Lavendar (195,000 rupiah)
Crispy Skin Chicken with Roasted Pumpkin, Sage and Balsamic Juice (130,000 rupiah)
Pan Roasted Barramundi with delicious Chorizos, Cauliflower Puree and Haricot Vert (150,000 rupiah)
Australian Beef Tenderloin (300,000 rupiah)
Citrus Tiramisu (60,000 rupiah)
Valrhona Chocolate Mousse with Sea Salt Caramel and Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream (70,000 rupiah)
Pandan Creme Brûlée with Nougatine Ice Cream (60,000 rupiah)
Potato Head Beach Club is a satisfying place to dine at and (most importantly) admire the beach hunks and babes who are most likely lounging by and in the pool in between cocktail and alkie breaks. It’s a place to be seen, so you’ll find quite a few head turners (un)dressed to impress! Even so, it is not the least bit pretentious at all despite it’s humongous success as a celebrated beach club in Bali. Servers and hostesses are not snarky and are in fact very polite even though they have to deal with countless of diners every single day non-stop.
I like this place very much. The vibe of Potato Head Beach Club is just right and you should really take some time to include this in your itinerary if you’re visiting beautiful Bali anytime.
Potato Head Beach Club
Jalan Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali 83061, Indonesia
Open daily from 11:00am to 2:00am.
Reservations are highly encouraged.