You could be in the palatial private home of some rich bitch in Sicily. Or perhaps in a spacious bar beside a cave in Positano. Or maybe a club nestled cliffside in Capri. But, no, where you are is in the heart of Bali. On Jalan Petitenget to be precise, at a venue called Da Maria: restaurant, lizard lounge, nightclub and fashion boutique all rolled into one.
Cocktails are cleverly concocted using local food favourites such as jackfruit and pandan, then fusing these with classic Italian elixirs such as Amaretto, Limoncello and (every Italian Mum’s favourite aperitif) Campari.
Owned by the clever people who brought you the mixed, mad and marvellous Motel Mexicola, Da Maria sees its décor and menu moving up a notch on the poshness barometer. And the fashionistas have followed suit, dressing to the nines on most nights, even on your more ‘casual’ Sundays.
Designed in minimal Osteria style, with key colour themes of azure blue, starburst yellow and pristine white, Australian restaurateur Maurice Terzini has done an impeccable job in keeping things posh, polished and appealing. Icebergs, Bondi, eat your heart out, indeed.
We visited on a Sunday night just before official dinner hours wound down and the disco lights heated up. Thankfully, we still managed to order delectable dishes off the menu such as the Calamari St Andreas doused in delicious black ink aioli, and the roasted mushroom bruschetta topped with ricotta, parmesan and confit of garlic. But if your main mission here is to people-watch and cocktail-sup, then ordering a simple Antica Margherita pizza should do the trick.
The food here, put simply, is superbo. Real Italian-like thanks to Da Maria’s chefs keeping the number of ingredients to a minimum (three is the suggested number in typical Italian kitchens) and ensuring the quality of ingredients are premium and locally sourced where possible.
Cocktails, too, are cleverly concocted using local food favourites such as jackfruit and pandan, then fusing these with classic Italian elixirs such as Amaretto, Limoncello and (every Italian Mum’s favourite aperitif) Campari. For the perfect drink to counteract the tropical heat, try the Bella Donna Daiquiri made with rum, Disaronno Amaretto and cinnamon.
With stunning interiors by Roman architects Lazzarini Pickering, Da Maria highlights the diversity of Italian culture, from its décor to its food, its selections of wines to the music its DJs spin. It’s no wonder the venue’s patrons dress far better here than they do at your average Seminyak day-club.
Speaking of fashion, this week Da Maria plays host to a parade by designer Mauricio Alpizar, whose new season collection is inspired by Sixties optical prints, which are sure to fit in perfectly with the bold, pared back design of this place.
Mauricio’s collection for Spring/Summer 2018/19 boasts bespoke illustrations of music legends who have passed but are always with us in spirit, including David Bowie, Prince, Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson.
The collection will take patrons through a journey of these legends’ greatest music, from the late 60s to the early 80s, each garment flowing in breathable fabric, emblazoned beautifully with iconic imagery.
If you happen to be in Bali this week and want to relax from otherwise tumultuous news and events, then do make your way to one of the region’s most awesome venues to witness some awe-inspiring designs. It’s a box you’ll be glad you ticked on this trip’s itinerary. Antonino Tati
Da Maria is situated at Jl. Petitenget No.170, Kerobokan Kelod, Bali, Indonesia.
Opening hours Lunch 12-3pm, Dinner 5-10pm, Late Night Pizza + Disco 10pm-2am. Visit www.damariabali.com for more information.
For tickets to the Da Maria Finestra X Mauricio Alpizar fashion event which is on this Thursday 9th August visit the Facebook page here or click on the image below.