Fusion food is nothing new but if you insist on mixing up your cultures when it comes to culinary adventure, there are few places that do it as brilliantly as Bali.
One of our favourite venues, which inventively marries East and West, is situated in the bustling food-conscious district that is Badung, Bali.
Going by the decidedly kooky name (as is par for the course in contemporary Indonesia) of Mad Sparrow, here guests can feast on fine Japanese fare fused with western worth. That is, even the smallest morsel is packed with substantial punch and at way-friendly prices.
Mad Sparrow is the latest venue from devil-may-care hospitality and development company The MB Group.
A modern take on the Japanese izakaya (a small bar serving small, typically inexpensive, food and alcoholic drinks), Mad Sparrow specialises in yakitori dishes, with chicken being the main star, along with innovative signature skewers including wagyu ribeye and tsume shitake.
The menu also boasts a broad array of sushi rolls, each generously packed with freshly picked ingredients. Our favourites on the sushi menu include the chicken teriyaki roll, and super-spicy tuna.
If you think the menu here is broad in its cultural influences, you’ve got study the decor. Taking its cue from minimalist industrial interiors, the best has been made of a small, long space, with stamps of vintage Japanese culture emblazoning the walls, along with the modern touch of a row of hand-painted skateboards by local street artist Eka Mardiyasa.
The bar shelves are lined with all the usual suspects from the spirit world, but it’s the Japanese-inspired cocktails you’ll really want to try, or even just a ready-prepared Gekkeikan ‘sake by the flask’.
Mad Sparrow is the latest from devil-may-care hospitality and development company The MB (Midnight Brigade) Group. MB CEO Shah Dillon’s vision to disrupt the trend of fine dining restaurants and beach clubs along Petitenget is insistent and works well for a location where change is as important as clinging on to necessary heritage.
The MB Group also own the mad-capped nightcap venue, 40 Thieves, situated a stone’s throw away at No. 7 Jalan Petitenget.
Here, an old-school speakeasy-type venue, whose walls are lined with black’n’white images of New York in a more frivolous time (ie: the 1920s), allows for equal doses of comfort (lounge on huge opulently-stuffed armchairs) and nightclub fun (a DJ takes over the decks for several hours before and after midnight).
Flamboyant bar staff here offer craft cocktails featuring artisanal spirits and fresh juice mixers and the place always appears to be buzzing.
Because Mad Sparrow closes at 11pm on most nights, and midnight over the weekend, most of its patrons end up at Forty Thieves to steal more of that magical post-midnight Bali spirit.
Mad Sparrow is situated at Jalan Petitenget No. 114, Badung, Bali, and is open Sundays to Thursdays 5pm to 11pm, and Fridays to Saturdays 5pm to midnight. The venue is closed Mondays.
40 Thieves is situated at Jalan Petitenget No. 7, Badung, Bali, with various opening and closing hours.