Sleepy little Jimbaran is starting to look a little more hip. Not hip in the Canggu hipster, avocado toast-devouring, bearded bules cruising around on custom motorcycles sense, but more like the trendy Jakarta, stylized, modernized, integrated-concept malls sense.
Samasta, a new little “lifestyle village” aka next-level mall has opened up shop in Jimbaran on Jl. Wanagiri, just a short 100 meters from the beach. Touting itself as the new hub of Jimbaran, you’ve got your cool restaurants and bars, cafes, a salon and spa, an organic supermarket, and boutique shops, all integrated with the posh Movenpick Resort.
A new project of the Summarecon group, a Jakarta headquartered developer with projects throughout west Java, it’s no wonder we picked up a distinct Jakarta vibe when checking Samasta out this past weekend.
This place opening up in Bali probably wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were in Kuta or Seminyak where there are malls abound from Galeria to Beachwalk to Discovery to Seminyak Village and on. But in Jimbaran, where there’s pretty much just quiet ‘ol Jimbaran Corner and virtually no nightlife, this new open-air, integrated-concept shopping center offers a whole different scene in the family-friendly fishing village.
We LOVE Sereh Gourmet Supermarket. While Nirmala will always have a special place in our hearts for the everyday essentials like Indomie and cleaning products, Sereh’s produce, meats, and dairy sections, in particular, will have you converted. Prices are not astronomical (for Bali) and things are super fresh. Check out the hydroponic lettuce when shopping for greens and don’t miss their salad bar if you’re after a quick, light lunch.
Whether you’re in the mood in for fusion, Asian, or Western, you’ve got choices. With a range of about 15 restaurants, you can tell that Samasta’s trying to set itself apart as a foodie haven. Munch on some of Bali’s most famous pork ribs at Wahaha, get your Balinese home cooking at Basé Basé, and go for Spanish-style tapas at Barrels by Javanegra, pork burgers at Buns & Meat, Korean fusion at Chir Chir, and fish ’n chips at Fish & Co. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Korean desserts at Pat Bing Soo and gelato at Gaya.
Soon to join the lineup are Saigon Cafe and Saigon Delight, according to Samasta’s website.
We tried Wild Grass Bar & Grill, a fusion resto with a breezy, plant-filled open concept design. On the menu was seafood and meat dishes, salads, pastas, sandwiches, as well as a range of cocktails, mocktails, and coffee. FYI, if you’re a coffee snob, you’re best off going to one of Samasta’s specialty cafes for your beans instead. To paint a picture, the staff at Wild Grass asked us if we wanted our hazelnut frappuccino hot or cold… Food was solid enough though. The truffle mac & cheese had a rich and creamy sauce, not overly watery like so many cream sauces found in Indo. But, there was a weird bit of melted cheese with a velveeta-like texture hardened over the middle of the dish—could’ve done without that. Albeit it was small portion-wise, the tofu salad was light, fresh, and had a divine Asian sesame dressing drizzled on top. Tip: Instead of paying something around Rp 30k for a bottle of Equil (no Aqua served at this hip spot!) get the detox water–water infused with watermelon, orange slices, and mint for Rp 25k.
Above Eleven, a rooftop bar, is supposed to open soon and will hopefully boast a lovely view of the bay. Otherwise, many of the restaurants serve Bintang, cocktails, and select wines.
As far as cafes go, you’ve got Movenpick Cafe with Swiss artisan ice cream, chocolate, and coffee, NOH! by Pison specializing in pastries and breads, and Tanamera, brewing a rich variety of premium Indonesian single origin coffees.
What’s more Indonesian than oleh-oleh (souvenirs)? Krisna, one of Bali’s mega-sized souvenir stores has a little shop in Samasta and the vibe is much more chilled out than their gigantic outlets in Kuta that are always packed full of tourists. Selection is more limited at this Krisna, but prices seem to match the Kuta branches and the ambience is just so much nicer and less stressful.
A visit to Nails Story is on par with any trendy salon you could find in the “Big Durian” doing nail art. Choose from a menu of manis, pedis, and other spa treatments to pamper yourself with.
If you’ve got kids or have a very active imagination and love simulation games, then channel your inner agent Ethan Hunt and plan an outing to House of Trap. It’s an “escape room challenge” with different stories and levels of difficulty, where players are ‘locked’ in rooms and must solve a series of puzzles while a clock runs down 45 minutes. Groups of 4-12 people can play.
Samasta Lifestyle Village
Jl. Wanagiri, Jimbaran , Bali
Stay juicy. Like Coconuts Bali.