Ultimo – Italian Cuisine in the Vibrant Seminyak Bali (with an Interesting Outdoor Terrace!)

Written by Katherine

October 19, 2022
Last Updated on February 29, 2024

Ultimo has been around forever in Seminyak, Bali. But it was only during the last trip that we decided to try out their pasta. And that was when we realised how good their pasta was. No wonder it has been around for so long! So for this trip, we decided that we MUST visit the restaurant itself. Now, off we go~! ☆ミ(o*・ω・)ノ

A Little Backstory on Our Experience with Ultimo Bali

I don’t know how long Ultimo has been in Seminyak Bali. But it has been around since the first time we were in Seminyak in 2014. Interestingly, we were always so close to Ultimo, but we have NEVER ONCE thought of stepping into the restaurant. It’s probably due to the crowd or we were just plain lazy (more of the latter I think (´・ᴗ・ ` )).

Anyway, our private villa was located just right along Ultimo for our last trip to Bali, and we decided to give it a try~! We still didn’t dine in there but opted to order through GoJek instead. Haha! (´• ω •`) And we were so blown away by its Aglio Olio! It was just plain Aglio Olio with no extra ingredients, and it tasted SO GOOD.

The pasta that we used to have from Ultimo in Seminyak Bali before its move and renovation

Do you know how many restaurants out there actually can never get such a simple dish right? It was always either too “soupy” or not garlicky enough. There was always something wrong. But Ultimo got everything just right! So when it was time for us to head back to Bali this time, I decided that we MUST visit Ultimo.

Post-Pandemic Changes to Ultimo in Seminyak Bali

Ultimo was previously located near the alley of the private villa where we were staying. I never follow its social accounts, but the restaurant has taken over the space formerly owned by Char Char Bar & Grill. It might be a decision made to reduce the cost of operation in the once-bustling Seminyak during the pandemic. There were no updates on Char Char Bar & Grill’s social accounts, so that is just an assumption I made. ┐(‘~`;)┌

Image Credit: Google Map

With the change in location, it seems like the restaurant has also taken the chance to revamp its menu as well. It no longer has the affordable plain Aglio Olio we had! (ノД`) The pasta dish is still on the menu, but now it comes with a choice of premium ingredients. The menu also seems to be pricier now as well. (-ω-、)

Ultimo, Italian Food and People-watching in Seminyak Bali

We wanted to have the affordable Aglio Olio for lunch via Grab/GoJek, but since it is more expensive now, we decided to try other restaurants. But sadly, none of them hits the mark. As I said, they were generally not garlicky enough or not enough umami. I wouldn’t say that they are not delicious, but they just are not the ones that we prefer. Why oh why is such a simple dish so tough to hit our mark? (つω`。)

The aglio olio that we ordered from some other restaurants in Seminyak Bali

Reservations Needed or Queue! (´-ω-`)

Anyway, our plan was then to visit Ultimo for dinner on our first night in Seminyak, Bali. We didn’t even think that reservations were needed since Seminyak is still kind of quiet. Well, we somehow tried to make a dinner reservation, but it was fully booked almost every day! w(°o°)w Hubs even tried calling in because we were wondering if it was a system error, but NOPE, it was really fully booked! The staff asked if we wanted a later slot instead (around 9 PM) and told us that we could try queuing instead if we wanted an earlier slot. ٩(× ×)۶

Not sure what was the opening hours in the past but Ultimo is only open at 4 PM. So we decided to make a reservation for 4 PM the next day instead since the 4 PM – 6 PM slot seems to be always available. Guess not a lot of people want to have their late lunch or their early dinner. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Let’s Be Exhibit A and B Today!

Those who have been to Seminyak and seen Char Char Bar & Grill will know that they have an interesting outdoor dining area. It is basically an open terrace space for people-watching. And in the meantime, people would be watching YOU as well. ∑d(°∀°d)

We found this concept to be rather unique, though it feels weird to be seen so openly. Haha! It was our wish to dine at Char Char Bar & Grill for this reason. Luckily, it was taken over by Ultimo, and we could have the chance to be “exhibits” of Ultimo for the evening! ~ヾ(・ω・)

The exterior and a view from our seats at the outdoor terrace at Ultimo in Seminyak Bali

Lost while Finding the Main Entrance to Ultimo Bali

Anyway, when we arrived at 4 PM, we were kind of lost about where is the main entrance. Haha! You see, there was a door just behind where the menu was. There was also no staff outside, so we thought the door was the main entrance. But it was pitch black inside! So we thought the restaurant wasn’t open yet. (◎ ◎)ゞ

We thought that the restaurant was not ready yet since they opened at 4 PM. We decided to drop by Guardian, just right beside the restaurant, to wait it out a bit. When we were back, the inside of the door still looked dark! And that’s when we realised we should probably head up the slope beside it, which seems to be the main entrance. (⁀ᗢ⁀) OMG, I cannot believe that we got “lost” finding its entrance, considering the place isn’t big. Haha!

Directions to the main entrance at Ultimo, Seminyak Bali
Image Credit: Google Map

Anyway, there was a handful of people dining in the main hall while we were the only ones on the terrace~! Feels as if we have the whole place to ourselves. (๑˃ᴗ˂)ﻭ The thing about outdoor dining in Bali is the crazy humidity and heat. We kind of have enough of this in Singapore, so we usually prefer dining indoors. But we got lucky this time. What was supposed to be a blazing hot period in Bali (in July) ended up having some rainy and cloudy weather instead. So it was good that we had this kind of weather for outdoor dining.╰(*´︶`*)╯

A photo of my husband and the complimentary breadsticks before our food was served

What We Ate at Ultimo, Seminyak Bali

We obviously ordered the Aglio Olio since that was the main reason we wanted to dine at Ultimo. Haha! As mentioned, we have a choice of premium ingredients to go along with the pasta. We could choose salmon, king prawn, lobster, US Platinum Angus tenderloin cab or imported premium pancetta copatta bacon. The cost is 155K IDR, regardless of which ingredient we choose. You could say it was well worth the price, though it would still be good if they had just the plain Aglio Olio. Oh well, inflations everywhere. (x_x)⌒☆

Besides the pasta, we also ordered the Calamari Fritti. Do note that the terrace area is only available for light meals and beverages since the table is rather small. We already have an issue fitting a plate of pasta and calamari on the table. (´・ᴗ・ ` ) So if you want to have a proper meal, it would be better to dine in the main hall before moving to the terrace for drinks if seats are available. ( ´ ω ` )

Our calamari and aglio olio at Ultimo, Seminyak Bali

The calamari was pretty normal, while the Aglio Olio remains the best Aglio Olio we have tried in Seminyak. It’s not like we have tried a lot, but it seems like Ultimo’s Aglio Olio is still the winner, based on our personal preference. The pasta was al dente and garlicky enough. And since we opted for the king prawn, the umami of the prawns helped to elevate the taste. High score for this Aglio Olio! ٩(。•́‿•̀。)۶

People-Watching while being Watched

We also ordered drinks to go along with our meal so that we could chill with them while people-watching. As compared to two years ago, the Seminyak main street is obviously much quieter. This was back in July so by now, it might already be more crowded.

Once in a while, there would be a light breeze blowing. It was such great weather for us to sit back and relax. And ever so often, people would walk by and look at us. It was kind of weird at the start, but once we got used to it, it was just us, our food and our drinks with the perfect weather to chill in. ( ˘⌣˘)♡(˘⌣˘ )

Ultimo, Yay or Nay to Visit in Seminyak Bali?

To be very, very honest, I don’t really know what REAL authentic Italian food tastes like, but I think the food, in general, was quite good at Ultimo. Since we didn’t try a lot of dishes, I can only say that Aglio Olio passed our test based on our personal preferences. So we would definitely visit Ultimo again when for our next trip to Bali. But in consideration of the pricier menu, I am not sure that it is all worth it to dine here.

However, I do highly recommend chilling in the terrace area. Back in the Char Char Bar & Grill days, the terrace would always be crowded with people at night, chilling with their drinks and snacks. It is a rather unique experience and a really good place for people-watching, as long as you are not bothered by the hot and humid weather. (´・ᴗ・ ` )

Information about Ultimo

ULTIMO

⏰ Opening Hours: 4 PM – 10 PM
☎️ Phone Number: +62 361-738720
📒 Menu

You can find out more about Ultimo here:
🔎 Website | Facebook | Instagram

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