All posts by Adam

Great Cafes in Taipei

Best Cafes in Taipei: I Tried Them All!

“Taipei has one of the best cafe scenes in Asia”, was how a friend of mine put it when I asked him how good the cafes are in the Taiwanese capital. So when I arrived there, I dove straight into trying to unearth the best cafes in Taipei. And I reckon I found some really good ones. Check em out.

Kiosk

What a fantastic place to come for a great coffee and little snack… perhaps even lunch. A good range of single origin coffees as well a house blend for the milky drinks.

My cappuccino (NT$150) was one of my favourite in Taipei and I think it must be one of the best in Taipei. Silky smooth milk, great temperature and nice flavour.Kiosk Taipei Best CoffeeThe toasted sandwiches come with a range of toppings and we got the grilled cheese with sautéed mushroom as well as the spicy sausage meat with roasted red pepper. Both were really good and worth the NT$180/190 price tag.Kiosk Taipei SandwichIt’s a modern fitout with a couple of communal tables and a bunch of tiny tables for two. When I was there there were a bunch of people working on laptops, so the staff mustn’t care too much if people are taking up this space by working instead of eating.

I love this place! Go here.

(Google Maps Location)

Dawn Surf & Co. Cafe

I love this cafe. It has a really relaxed laid back vibe, with a few soft chairs, a few work benches and a longish bar for sipping your coffee at.Dawn Surf & Co Cafe Taipei frontI tried a cappuccino (NT$140) and it was my favourite yet in Taipei. Pretty strong, smoothly textured milk and good temperature. Susan had a steamed milk green tea (NT$150) which she also enjoyed.Dawn Surf & Co Cafe Taipei insideThey also serve food here, but to be honest none of it appealed to me. But I saw other people snacking on toasted sandwiches etc and they looked quite nice.

A top cafe in Taipei.

(Google Maps Location)

Double L Patisserie

When I arrived here in the pouring rain, I desperately wanted this tiny pastry shop in the suburbs to be worth the effort of coming here. And I was not disappointed.Double L Patisserie cakesThe English speaking cashier explained all the cakes and drinks and I ended up ordering a caramel cake of some sort and a strawberry and cream tart. For drinks we ordered a latte and a matcha milky drink.

All up the price was NT$600 which is expensive, but I was OK with the price because what we ate was so good.

The strawberry tart had a hard base that initially I hated. But the flavour was so good that I ended up actually liking that biscuity base a lot. A winning tart.Double L Patisserie cakesThe caramel cake was dense and again I initially didn’t like it. But the caramel was so perfect and chewy that I immediately changed my mind – I love this cake.

This is a fantastic little patisserie for coffee and cake.

(Google Maps Location)

???? (Cafe LakuLaku)

This coffee is shop is awesome and sells some of the best coffee from around the world including some COE beans. I tried a cappuccino (NT$140) and it was the best I’ve had in Taiwan so far. Susan had a pot of tea for NT$180 and it was also good. But so expensive!Cafe Laku Laku Taipei coffee Moving onto the cakes, we grabbed a matcha cake and chocolate cake which came to NT$280 together so I’m assuming NT$140 each. Both were excellent and worth trekking out here to get.Cafe Laku Laku Taipei cakesWifi here is fast and tables are perfect for setting up a laptop and getting a bit of work done. This place is definitely worth a visit.

(Google Maps Location)

Coffee Lab

Coffee Lab is a cute and cozy coffee shop in a laneway just across from the creative park. I had high hopes for this place because of all the different sorts of single origin coffees on offer. But the cappuccino I had was not really up to international standard.Coffee Lab Taipei cat It was certainly not as good as many I would get in Indonesia and miles off what I get in good Australian coffee shops. It also took about 20 minutes for them to prepare my coffee. That’s not to say the coffee was bad! It was good. Just not as good as I had expected.Coffee Lab Taipei frontBut they do have a big cat who is fun to play with and Susan’s Honey Lemon drink was nice. Both drinks came to NT$285. Worth a visit if you’re at the nearby creative park.

(Google Maps Location)

Woolloomoolloo

This cafe named after an inner-Sydney suburb immediately caught my attention with its catchy name. I tried the Xinyi branch and arrived during peak hour – it’s incredibly popular! Standard Aussie style breakfasts such as sandwiches, sausage rolls and big brekkies. We tried the big brekky (NT$320), cappuccino (NT$130) and mocha (NT$150) and were impressed by the mocha, but the cappuccino was weak and served in a Latte glass – a poor cappuccino. All prices had an additional 10% tax added at the end.Woolloomooloo Cafe Tapei breakfastSecondly, the big brekky was a disappointment. Unsalted scrambled eggs, hard roasted tomatoes, but tasty baked beans. It really needs to better than this.Woolloomooloo Cafe Taipei InteriorThe prices here are sky high and among the highest we’ve experienced anywhere, particularly for the coffee. Also, the menu is a little old-fashioned compared to what we might find in Australia or even Bangkok when looking at the very latest cafes. Still, a decent choice with reasonable food and a good vibe. They accept credit card and have wifi.

(Google Maps Location)

So there you have it. My recommendations for some fantastic cafes in Taipei. I did try a few other cafes, but I didn’t think they were worth mentioning here because they weren’t up to scratch.

Taipei really is a great city for cafe hopping. Let us know in the comments which your favourite cafes in Taipei are!

how to get from Taipei to Taichung

How to Get From Taipei to Taichung

There are a number of different ways to get from Taipei to Taichung and the most popular way to undertake the 170km journey is by train. But which train you catch largely depends on how much time you’ve got and what your budget is.

food in taichung
Fantastic Food Awaits in Taichung

There are 3 types of trains servicing this route:

  • High-speed rail departing from Taipei Main Station and arriving at Taichung HSR Station (which is a short local train ride outside the centre) (timetable);
  • Express train departing from Taipei Main Station and arriving at Taichung Main Station (timetable); and
  • Local train departing from Taipei Main Station and arriving at Taichung Main Station (timetable).

Costs of these trains varies greatly, but at the time of writing, the tickets were as follows:

  • High-speed Rail = NT$700 (US$23) (possible to get a 35% discount if booked in advance)
  • Express = NT$375 (US$12.50)
  • Local = NT$241 (US$8)

Travel time for each train between Taipei and Taichung is:

  • High-speed Rail = 47 minutes
  • Express = 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Local = up to 4 hours depending on how many stops

I chose to take the local train and it was perfectly OK and modern. It actually goes quite fast, but it stops at a lot of stations making the journey drag a bit. But if you have time and you want to save money, the local train is the way to go.

I’ve also used the high-speed rail for my journey from Taichung to Kaohsiung and I highly recommend taking a fast train at some point in your journey in Taiwan. It’s awesome, fast and still cheap by world standards!

Tickets for all services can be bought on the spot before departure, but be aware that weekends and public holidays can be busy, so I would always try and buy my train tickets in advance from the station if possible. You can either do this at a vending machine or a person at the counter. Almost all stations had a good enough level of English to service my needs, so don’t worry about the language barrier.

great coffee in Taichung
They even have great coffee in Taichung – definitely worth going there from Taipei

Travelling by train in Taiwan is a wonderful way to get around and it’s definitely the way to go when travelling between Taipei and Taichung. Any questions, let me know in the comments!

Where I stayed in Taichung

Because I was travelling on a budget, I chose a cheap place to stay called Fly Inn Hostel. Cheap, clean, private bathroom, central. It certainly did the job for me — it’s not even really a hostel. I paid US$30 per night on booking.com — check current prices here!

Cathay Pacific A350

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class – Is this the New Standard in Business Class?

We recently flew from Jakarta to Nagoya via Hong Kong and Nagoya to Bangkok via Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific business class and it really was excellent. But one of these 4 legs was on an Airbus A350 and we think it deserves its own review.

Route

Hong Kong to Bangkok – CX701Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Cabin 1-2-1

Flight Time

2h 37m

Seating Configuration

1-2-1 with lay flat beds – every seat has aisle access

Boarding

Boarding was quick due to the dedicated business class boarding lane. Staff were courteous and we were seated very quickly.

Food

Food in Cathay Pacific Business Class is predictably good and plentiful. When you compare it to economy, you just never want to eat economy food again.

I started with a salad, Thai Green Chicken Curry and finished with blueberry Haagen-Daaz ice cream. I’d been stuffing my face in the business class lounge immediately prior to boarding, so this was more than enough food. Especially because it’s just supposed to be a refreshment rather than a full meal.

Seat

The seat in the Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class is excellent. Because the business class cabin only has 4 seats across, each seat has so so much room. The seats lie flat and I easily don’t touch the end of the bed and I’m about 182cm tall. Even tall people will be comfortable.Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Lie Flat Bed

There are lots of different storage lockers in the seat for storage of hand bags and gadgets. I didn’t realise how convenient this would be until I start stashing all my junk in the empty cabinets everywhere.

Entertainment

The TV is MASSIVE. It has a large range of channels, music and games as well as 3 live TV channels. I really loved being able to watch BBC world and CNN live on board the flight.Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Seat

The controller for the TV is excellent and has its very own ultra sharp LCD screen on it which is useful if you like playing games on the controller rather than the TV.Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Controls

Connectivity

One of the great things about this aircraft is its connectivity. There is wifi available at a very reasonable price and it is fast. Most of the time it was as fast as 4G for me, so I could use Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with no problem whatsoever.

Prices are quite reasonable compared what we’ve seen on some other carriers:

1h – $9.95

Entire flight – $12.95

$12.95 for an entire flight is an incredible deal especially because data usage seems to be unlimited.

The other thing you are supposed to be able to do is use your normal mobile phone coverage and pay roaming charges through your own provider. I tried to get this to work, but my strong suspicion is that Telkomsel in Indonesia doesn’t have that sort of agreement. If you have a SIM card from a big provider in the US or Europe, I could imagine this working really well. The only problem would be if you have to pay exorbitant roaming charges or not – some people do, some don’t.

Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Cabin
Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class Cabin

Toilets

This is actually one of my favourite aspects of the plane and I don’t know why. But these toilets are very cool. They come with a window which is great in and of itself. But this window lets in amazing amounts of light. And with this light, it makes the toilet looks bigger, cleaner and just better.

The amenities in the bathroom are all quality and the mirror is huge. Space seems bigger than previous business class toilets, but it could be just the natural light.

Note: this appeared to be in the front of the cabin only as the ones in the middle of business class seemed to have a baby change table instead of window.

Verdict

The business class cabin on the Cathay A350 is excellent. Very comfortable, well-connected and perhaps the new standard for business class cabins. Awesome.

Taipei Main Station Airport Station

How to get from Taipei Airport to Taipei City Centre (incl. New Train!)

There are a number of ways of getting from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to the city centre with a range of prices. Your choice of transport is going to depend on your budget and the time you arrive at the airport as not all options operate 24 hours. I found this out the hard way when arriving at midnight.Taipei Airport to Taipei City Route Map

Cab

Cab is the quickest and easiest way to get from Taipei Airport to the city centre. You’re looking at a fare of around NT$1200 (US$40/€35) and a travel time of 45 minutes from the terminal to your hotel door. Note that the taxi will charge what’s on the meter, plus 50%, plus tolls. That’s why the price ends up being so expensive.

Train

The train from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to Taiwan City Centre has just started operation! This makes life much easier than in the past. Just hop on the train from the main terminal and it will whisk you away to Taipei Main Station in 35 minutes! From Taipei Main Station, you can then hop on the citywide MRT system in the direction of your accommodation. Either that or catch a cab. Whatever you do, it’s going to be far cheaper and only slightly slower than catching a cab all the way from the airport itself.Taipei Airport Train Inside

Frustratingly, this train service does not operate 24 hours. This means if you’re arriving late or departing early, you simply cannot use this service. In other words, many flights arrive and depart at hours outside of the hours of operation of the Taipei Airport Train.

  • Departing Taiwan Main Station: 06:00 – 23:00
  • Departing Taiwan Airport: 06:05 – 23:35
  • Price of the Taipei Airport Train is NT$160.

Taipei Airport Train Ticket MachinesBus

Bus is the cheapest way of getting from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to Taipei city centre, but it does come with drawbacks. First of all, you need to figure out which bus number to catch. This will depend on where you want to be dropped off.

If you want to be dropped off near Taipei 101, catch CitiAir Bus 1960. Last bus is at 1:05am and if you’re lucky it will depart 10 minutes late like it did for me. Cost is NT$145 (US$4.74/€4.46). Timetable here -> http://www.taiwanbus.tw/information.aspx?Lang=En&Line=3471

If you want to be dropped off around the Taipei Main Railway Station, take bus 1961 or 1819. Last 1961 bus is at 1am and 1819 runs 24 hours. Cost of 1961 is NT$90 (US$2.94/€2.77) and cost of 1819 is NT$125 (US$4.08/€3.85). Timetable for 1961 is here -> http://www.taiwanbus.tw/information.aspx?Lang=En&Line=3463. Time table for 1819 is here -> http://www.taiwanbus.tw/information.aspx?Lang=En&Line=4645

There are a range of other buses that you could choose, but disregard them! Why? Because they just serve to confuse you. The buses I have listed cover all your options. If you arrive after 1am and want to get into the city by bus, catch the 24 hour 1819 bus to Taiwan Main Station. From there you can catch a cab or walk to your hotel.

Most people are going to catch the train between Taipei Taoyuan Airport and the city centre because it’s easy and relatively cheap. The bus is becoming less and less relevant as time goes by, but if you have a late arrival, it’s still going to be useful. And cabs are really only for people who are comfortable paying top dollar for the ultimate in convenience.

Whichever mode you use, I’d love to hear your feedback so I can keep my advice up to date!

 

Babi Guling Pak Malen

Babi Guling Pak Malen, Seminyak, Bali: A Great Place for Babi Guling in Seminyak

When in Bali, you absolutely have to try babi guling, the famous Balinese BBQ pork dish. But sometimes it’s difficult to find one close to where you’re staying. Babi Guling Pak Malen is not only close to Seminyak, it’s also super tasty.

I got a standard portion of Babi Guling and a fresh orange juice and the total of the bill came to Rp55.000.

The portion of pork is small. Really small. Especially when you compare it to many other places in Bali. So while the value for money is quite low here, the taste is great.

The crackling was super crispy with just a thin layer of fat, the scratchings were sinful and tasty, the sate spicy and tender and the flesh itself oh so moist.Babi Guling Pak Malen BaliI got my lawar medium spicy, but it nearly blew my head off. Soo spicy, but oh so delicious.

I think the orange juice I got with the babi guling was a perfect accompaniment. Fresh and icy cold, it went down a treat in the hot warung atmosphere.

And that brings us to the next point. The warung itself has no character. It’s hot. It’s often busy. And it’s really just functional. You come here, eat your pork, and leave. That’s it!

I really like this place because it’s well located on Sunset Road, the pork is really tasty and service is quick. The perfect place for babi guling when in Seminyak.

Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen
Jalan Sunset No.5, Seminyak
Babi Guling: Rp40.000
Orange Juice: Rp15.000

Ippolito Specialty Coffee in Bali

Ippolito Specialty Coffee, Seminyak, Bali: Great Coffee and a Free Pool!

We arrived at Ippolito Specialty Coffee expecting the place to be packed like so many other good coffee shops in Seminyak. But what we saw was a place so empty that we thought it was closed when we arrived.

It’s one of the enduring paradoxes of Indonesian cafes. You can be good, but you’re not necessarily going to be popular and I see that a lot in Bandung.Cappuccino at Ippolito Specialty CoffeeA range of food and drinks is served here as well as fantastic coffee. I tried a cappuccino which in my opinion is as good as just about anywhere in Seminyak.

Although we haven’t tried the food, it does come recommended and the menu does look quite tempting.Interior Ippolito CoffeeThe building itself is very instagrammable. Lots of brick, wood, great furniture and walls filled with bottles of wine.

Outside you’ll find the pool area. THE POOL AREA! This area is free for customers of the cafe. So if you want somewhere to swim and eat, but don’t want to pay for a beach club, we think this is the next best thing.Free Swimming Pool at IppolitoThe pool is a thing of beauty and if you don’t get a good instagram shot here, you’re not trying!

We really like this cafe. It does have a bit of a restaurant feel and that’s probably what puts most people off. But don’t be put off. It’s perfectly fine to come here, grab a coffee and set up your laptop. And besides, the wifi is fast!

Ippolito Specialty Coffee
Jalan Lebak Sari, Petitenget, Seminyak
Opening Hours: 07:00 – 23:00
Cappuccino: Rp39.000++
Swimming Pool: FREE

Corner House Seminyak

Corner House, Seminyak, Bali: Like a Phoenix Rising from the Ashes

In this very spot used to be a cafe called Corner Store — it burnt down a few years back. But like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Corner House makes an appearance and it’s very good.

Polished concrete floors, chipped white tiles on the walls reminiscent of an old butcher’s shop and a shaded outdoor area all combine to make this one of the better looking places in Seminyak.Coffee at Corner HouseCoffee here is by Revolver, so you know it’s going to be good. And I can confirm that the coffee does indeed live up to expectations.

The menu is quite extensive and I felt that I would be happy ordering any one of the items on it. In the end I got a ham and cheese toastie. And it was no more and no less than I expected. Lots of cheese, sufficient amounts of leg ham and a few bits of red onion. Definitely tasty and just what I needed for a snack.Ham and cheese Toastie at Corner HouseWifi here is fast and I was consistently getting 20mbit up and down, so it’s a good place to come if you need to do some data intensive stuff.

Interestingly, it wasn’t particularly busy when I was there. I put that down to there being so much competition these days.

Down this end of Seminyak, there seems to be fewer and fewer good cafes and this one certainly stands head and shoulder above the rest. The next really awesome place is probably down at Sisterfields or Revolver.

All in all a really good cafe on the Seminyak scene.

Corner House
Jalan Kayu Ayu (Laksamana) 10A, Seminyak
www.cornerhousebali.com
Opening Hours: setiap hari 07:00 – 23:00
Cappuccino: Rp34.500
Toastie: Rp57.500

Menu at Crate Cafe Canggu

Crate Cafe, Batu Bolong, Bali: Too Cool for School or Am I Just Old?

Located in the up and coming area near Pantai Batu Bolong, Crate Cafe is a “too cool for school” cafe serving up a wide range of breakfast and brunch options such as bowls and toasts. Maybe I’m just old because I just don’t get it.

The cafe is bare in appearance with lots of concrete, white tiles and exposed steel beams. It’s a half-built building made into something modern and trendy.Crate Cafe CangguI have to mention the seats. They are crap. Really crap. The concrete benches are too tall and your legs just dangle without any support.

Customers here are your typical tattooed westerners riding big motorbikes, wearing oversized headphones and carrying 5 pounds of attitude. They’re not my people, but this crowd will suit some.Coffee at Crate CafeFood is all cheap by Bali standards with the maximum price being Rp50.000. And it’s a good selection of food too with lots of muesli, bowls, toast and omelettes on the menu.

My French toast was quite good, but far from perfect. Firstly, they’re using strawberries and we all know that strawberries in in Indonesia are hit and miss — usually miss. Today they were sour and pale. Why can’t they used fresh seasonal fruit such as mango, jackfruit, dragonfruit and papaya?French Toast with fruit CrateAdditionally, the egg wash didn’t soak into the bread at all and this made the bread very dry on the inside. The French toast comes in different configurations and both I tried were ok, but I don’t need to try them again.

I really hope I picked the wrong dishes because I want to like this place. But based on what I experienced, I can’t really recommend it.French Toast bacon at CrateSo what’s the verdict? Not bad, but not great either. If you can put up with some of the cheeky crowd and can manage to pick the right dish, you will probably like what’s on offer here.

Crate Cafe
Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No.64, Canggu
Opening Hours: daily 07:00 – 15:00
Instagram: @cratecafe
Drinks: Rp25.000 – Rp35.000
Food: Rp40.000 – Rp50.000

12 Best Cafes in Seminyak: All of them are Fantastic!

During a recent trip to Bali, I decided to search for the best cafes in Seminyak by trying as many of the good ones as I could. I scoured blogs for recommendations, tripadvisor for advice and apps like foursquare for the low down. I even checked out tripcanvas and found that the recommendations were awful as the writers hadn’t even visited the places they were recommending. The information I found was a real mixed bag!

So after trying all of these cafes out personally, I came up with my list of the best cafes in the Seminyak area. I actually went a little further afield to Canggu and the road to Batu Bolong to make sure I got all the coffee shops and cafes covered.

So without further ado, here is my version of the best cafes in Seminyak.

Sisterfields

Pancake at Sisterfields BaliLocation: Jalan Kayu Cendana 7, Seminyak

Sisterfields wins the title of my favourite cafe in Seminyak. Easily. I didn’t want this to be the case when I first visited. Why? Because it was so busy and I had to line up to get inside. I didn’t want such a super popular place to be awesome. But it is. The crowds have chosen this cafe as their favourite and I agree with them.

All the dishes I’ve had here except one have been awesome. Really amazing. The coffee is also very good and I love the cups it’s served in. Service is attentive despite the crowds. It’s just between Seminyak Square and Grocer & Grind. Go here.

Baby Revolver

Coffee at Baby RevolverLocation: Jalan Kayu Aya / Gang 51, Seminyak

This is actually a fantastic cafe located on Jalan Petitenget. The coffee is awesome, the location itself is tiny and the staff are friendly. It’s the sort of place you come to down a quick coffee on your morning walk/run around Seminyak.

It’s not a place to come with a big group or if you’re after a proper meal. A biscuits and pastries is all you’ll find here.

Milk & Madu

Coffee at Milk and MaduLocation: Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa No.52, Tibubeneng, Kuta Utara

Milk & Madu is a bit out of Seminyak in Canggu, but it’s worth a trip if you want great food, good coffee and a relaxing semi-outdoor environment. What’s more, there’s a large grass area for kids to play on and because the pavilion is open-sided, people don’t get so annoyed with kids shouting and running amok.

Get here and back with an Uber. Even though there is a local taxi mafia in place, you can get around this if you’re a stealth uber rider.

The Fat Turtle

Red Velvet Pancakes Fat TurtleLocation: Jalan Petitenget 886A, Seminyak

The Fat Turtle is another Jalan Petitenget number. Before entering, I was a bit worried it was going to be hopeless. But the food here was good (good range of standard cafe fare & the red velvet pancakes were delicious) as was the coffee and it was consistently full with customers. It’s not going to win any awards for best cafe, but I reckon it’s pretty damn good.

What I really like about it is that it’s unpretentious. Good food without the attitude of many other places around Seminyak and Canggu. This place will appeal to a lot of people.

Pison

Drinks at Pison CoffeeLocation: Jalan Petitenget 8A, Seminyak

I love the name of this coffee shop/cafe. I especially like saying it in an Indonesian accent. Makes me feel like an Aussie. The name aside, the cafe really does a fantastic job of the food it delivers. I thought the burger was a good one and the coffees I had here were all very good. One time when I visited, it got a little crowded for my liking. But at other times it was quite quiet… I guess it depends on the time of day and the time of year you visit.

It’s located up the Canggu end of Seminyak, but still well within the Seminyak area. You can walk here easily from Seminyak Square if you enjoy walking. Otherwise jump in a bluebird and paying about 7000 rupes.

Sea Circus

Location: Jalan Kayu Aya 22, Seminyak

If you’ve been to Seminyak before, you’ve almost certainly been to Sea Circus before. It was one of the earlier trendy cafes and ever since this time they have been bang on with food and coffee. The cafe feels like a mythical beach shack that exists only in people’s dreams and that’s not a bad thing.

Staff are pretty good and their menu seems to have maintained its modern feel over the past 7 or so years. In fact, this place remains one of my go to places because it’s so central to everything in Seminyak. 10 minute walk from Seminyak square down a couple of alleys.

Peloton Super Shop

Smoothie Bowl Bikers BowlLocation: Jalan Raya Pantai Berawa no. 46, Canggu

If you’re vegan, this is probably the best place in the world for you. Located right out in the Canggu area, you must visit this vegan cafe. Lots of soy products, no real milk, no meat lots of bowls. You know the deal. I wasn’t so enamoured with the place because I had my heart set on an bacon & egg roll, but I get it. I get that this cafe is heaven for vegans.

And even if you’re not vegan and just don’t fancy meat or dairy, this place is a winner. A seriously good cafe on the Bali scene.

Nook

Ricefield view Nook UmalasLocation: Jalan Umalas 1, Gang Nook 1, Kerobokan

A lot of you already know about Nook. It was all the rage back in 2011/12 when it opened because it had these great ricefield views and it was fairly low key. If you haven’t been there in a few years, don’t go back. It’s been expanded enormously and the ricefield has started to be built over.

But I’ve still included it on my list of best Seminyak cafes because if you haven’t been here yet, you might just love this place! The food is still good as is the coffee. It’s just that it doesn’t have the same feel for me as it did years ago, but without that comparison, it’s still a decent cafe in Seminyak. Even though it’s technically just outside of Seminyak in either Kerobokan or Umalas, depending on who you speak to.

Grain Cafe

Steak Sandwich Grain CafeLocation: Jalan Seminyak 16B, Seminyak

Grain Cafe is a good place to come for coffee and a bite to eat. It has the feel of a cafe in Inner Western Sydney circa 2010. And that’s not a terrible thing. It just means that the food and coffee is good, the fitout is not ultra-modern and it’s not a place to be snapping Instagrams.

But if you’re not into the world of Instagram, ultra modern cafes and all the fuss that goes along with them, you’re going to love Grain. Good cafe food at the Legian end of Seminyak, just north of Double Six and not far from the Haven.

Crate Cafe

Crate Cafe CangguLocation: Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong No.64, Canggu

I’m torn with Crate Cafe. It was packed when I was there and people seemed to love it. I’d already read a few rave reviews. But the food I was dished up was sub-par. And the fitout was trying to be cool by being minimalist, but it didn’t work for me. I felt like an old man when the backs of my thighs started aching as they were dangling off the super high concrete bench.

Coffee was good, crowd age average about 22, favourite past time = surfing. Try it out if you’re on your way to Batu Bolong. Maybe not worth a visit if you’re basing yourself in central Seminyak. But then again, it might also depend on how old you are.

Corner House

Location: Jalan Kayu Ayu (Laksamana) 10A, Seminyak

There used to be a cafe here back in the day which was ultra modern for the time. Tuckshop/Corner Store burned down years ago and Corner House rose from its ashes. Corner House is much more modern, has much nice food and is just a fantastic cafe on the Seminyak scene.

I was surprised that it wasn’t so busy, but maybe because the centre of Seminyak now seems to be closer towards Kerobokan rather than this end which closer to Sunset Road.

Ippolito Specialty Coffee

Location: Jalan Lebak Sari, Petitenget, Seminyak

This is an odd spot. I understand why there was only one other customer when I was there. It looks like a wine bar crossed with a hotel. But the coffee here is very good, the lounges are relaxing to chill out on and the free pool out the back is awesome. Bring your bikini and towel because you might just want to take a dip after you’ve polished off your coffee.

Maybe not either. If you’re into coffee or just want to try as many different coffee shops as possible in Seminyak, come here. It’s weird, but it’s good.

So there you have it. My version of the best cafes in Seminyak right now. Of course new places open up and old places close. But I reckon this is going to be a good list at least for a few years to come. Let me know what your favourite Seminyak cafe is!

Grain Cafe Seminyak Bali

Grain Cafe, Seminyak, Bali: Aussie Cafe in the Heart of Seminyak

Most of the good cafes these days are either in the far end or Seminyak towards Canggu or in Canggu itself. Grain is an exception as it’s located at the Legian end of Seminyak.

Many of the cafes in Bali are ultra modern and perhaps too over the top modern for some people. If you’re not into the really modern cafes, but still appreciate great food and drink, Grain is for you.Lower Floor Grain CafeLocated not far from Jalan Double Six, it’s quite close to hotels such as The Haven which will be convenient for most people.

We tried pasta and a steak sandwich and both were quite good, but nothing out of this world. In other words, we’d be happy to come here for a meal again, but don’t expect something which is going to blow your mind. And that’s ok. Comfort food done well.Steak Sandwich Grain CafeCoffee here has a good reputation and our friend had a cappuccino which he said was a good one. It certainly looked good!Coffee at Grain CafeThe fitout of the cafe is quite modern and enjoyable to sit in while you surf the wifi. And the wifi is very fast at 25mbit both upload and download.Upper Floor Grain CafeSo what’s our overall view? An enjoyable place for breakfast lunch or dinner in a pleasant environment. Centrally located and fast wifi. Worth a try.

Grain
Jalan Seminyak 16B, Seminyak
(0361) 730 528
www.grainbali.com
Instagram: @grainbali
Opening Hours: 07:30 – 22:00
Steak Sandwich: Rp95.000++
Spaghetti asparagus: Rp78.000++
Smoothies: Rp39.000++
Cappuccino: Rp30.000++