Sarong Group opens steampunk-inspired Som Chai Bar & Restaurant in Seminyak (Bali)

Aussie visitors to restaurants like Mama San and Sarong already know what Bali’s renowned Sarong Group are capable of. So it should come as no surprised that the hospitality group’s latest venture is one of the island’s most anticipated openings of 2017. The restaurant, titled Som Chai, is a sophisticated Thai-influenced fine diner carved into a grand cavern with a distinctive bar set to host many nights out with a roster of live DJs spinning every week – as is expected of Bali’s famously festive late-night scene.

Thai cuisine has been interpreted through the scope of locally sourced ingredients, re-imagining the regional cuisine of Thailand with an open-minded menu that is said to recall the ancient era of the first Kings of Siam. Helmed by Will Meyrick, the menu makes full use of produce from local farmers as well as from his own established produce farm used in dishes cooked with wood fire stoves, charcoal fire grills and clay cooking pots for precise flavour profiles. There’s also a strict dedication to using home made ferments, fish sauces and shrimp pastes, highlighting the same attention to detail which has seen the group’s other restaurants rise to the top of lists from both locals and tourists.

The steampunk-inspired interiors of Som Chai are prefaced by a glowing golden door and sit under high ceilings, complemented by design elements that make use of brown marble, dark wood, brass, black lace, smoked glass and strong upholstery used through the various interconnected spaces. A line of large arched mirrors opposite a soft fern wall define the restaurant’s dramatic outdoor area, drawing on the energy of an old grand ballroom while full-height dividers and an enlarged rattan waved pattern separating the dining booths.

A wine room sits above the bar in the main dining area, able to be seen through an illuminated window which displays various wines which are accessible via Victorian bar trolleys which should be a hit for those hitting the restaurant for an extended drinking session. Those particular clientele will want to make full use of the nouveau-retro alchemy found on the bar menu, which features cocktails infused with various botanicals, herbs and liquors. Then you’ve got plenty of artisan beers, classic mixed drinks and signature street-food bites to help guests through the night.

Som Chai

Address: Jl. Raya Kerobokan No.86A, Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
Contact: +62 878-8866-1945


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.