Opening to the public on December 15th, 2021, Mar Bali aims to serve honest, locally-sourced seafood in a way that honors the sea and its bounty. Located at Jl. Pemelisan Agung No.24, Tibubeneng, in central Berawa, Canggu,the Portuguese restaurant and lounge allows customers to choose the way their food is prepared, whether boiled, grilled, or sautéed, while providing a selection of excellent sides and dipping sauces.
Mar Bali’s founders feel that the lack of coastal Portuguese cuisine in Bali represents a gap in the market for simple seafood, made well. Unlike other styles of seafood, the Portuguese style of preparation uses seawater to match the level of saltiness in the food with the salinity of the ocean. By using seawater as the cooking liquid, Mar Bali’s dishes retain the essence of the ocean and bring the flavor of the sea to the customer’s palette.
At Mar Bali, the seafood remains the star of the experience. Whether fish or shellfish, the flavors of the base protein are allowed to shine through three simple condiments– garlic, lemon, and olive oil. This deceptively simple trifecta of ingredients provides bright, fully-rounded notes that compliment the freshness of the catch. After the food is prepared, guests can expect an international assortment of dipping sauces prepared by the foreign-led, Balinese-staffed kitchen team; ranging from authentic Balinese sambal matah to Mediterranean lemon-butter-garlic sauce.
Freshness is a fixture of the Mar Bali experience. By virtue of directly sourcing larger catches from spearfishermen and keeping a live tank for smaller seafood, the restaurant is able to support local fishing communities. Sustainable fishing practices are also part of Mar Bali’s policies– only lobsters above 250 grams, prawns above 75 grams, shrimps above 25 grams, and fish above 10kg are allowed onto the menu.
As local fishermen depend heavily on seasonal tides, the kitchen team at Mar Bali is able to honor what nature provides year-round while ensuring a unique and affordable sea-to-table experience for their customers.
Diners will be able to enjoy Oyster 5K and Cocktails 50K everyday at 4-7PM by the pool while accompanied with sunset tunes by resident DJs. The Coral Bar, a bar at the center of the venue with a built-in coral aquarium underneath, will be the crown jewel of Mar Bali and a symbol of connection between the restaurant and the sea.
The Mar Bali team hopes that the restaurant will serve not only as a fixture of the Canggu seafood scene but also as an opportunity to lift up local fishermen and workers. The team believes that Bali has suffered enough due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and hopes to eventually open more restaurants and provide further employment opportunities in Bali.