A hungover Stephanie Mee nurses her soul at the always wholesome Mano Beach Club. Images: Lucky 8.
If there’s any better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than brunching by the beach, I don’t know what it is. There’s just something about the combination of indulgent food and drinks with ocean breezes and views that immediately puts you in relaxation mode. Plus, it’s a great hangover remedy, which is exactly what I needed on a recent Sunday after a few too many libations the night before.
With an equally hungover friend in tow, we set off to find something laid-back and unpretentious where we could linger leisurely over great food and maybe have a few hair-of-the-dog drinks. A spectacular setting was also a bonus, and we were thinking some chill music would soothe our sore heads. Mano Beach House was the perfect solution.
Set on a quiet stretch of Petitenget Beach, Mano Beach House has always been somewhat of a hidden gem. It’s close to all the action of Seminyak, yet far enough removed from the bustle that you almost forget that you’re in one of Bali’s busiest areas. Even the entranceway and building subtly blends into the beachy surroundings with natural, earth-toned materials.
Step inside and you find yourself in a brilliant bohemian styled space. Bleached wood and white stone abound and African-inspired artworks grace the walls of the open-sided dining room. A large patio has a plunge pool, beanbag chairs and sun shades made from thatch. While the sun loungers at the front look enticing, we make a beeline to the bamboo-covered deck that offers direct views of the sand and sea.
Throughout the week, Mano is open from breakfast until late and offers up a contemporary menu of international dishes made from premium local ingredients. However, on Sundays there is a special à la carte brunch menu that runs from 9am to 3pm and includes all sorts of enticing eats ranging from brekkie classics like eggs benny and avocado toast to fresh salads, burgers,
Add the Bottomless Drinks option to your brunch and you can enjoy unlimited alcoholic drinks for two hours. The select drinks include mimosas, spritzers, sangria, cold beers, glasses of bubbly and Bloody Marys. They also have a great cocktail menu if you decide not to do the Bottomless Drinks, but still feel like a bevvie or two.
We’re onboard with making our brunch boozy, so we start with a round of Bloody Marys that we can honestly say are some of the best we’ve had on the island. They come in tall glasses rimmed with cayenne pepper and salt and have the perfect ratios of ice to tomato juice, a healthy shot of vodka and dash of hot sauce. To top them off, each one gets a celery stick and a curl of crispy bacon.
The open-faced omelette is a solid choice if you’re in the mood for breakfast food. Big enough to share or fully sate one ravenous diner, the fluffy eggs are interspersed with chorizo, bacon, mushrooms, chunks of potato, and spinach. Parmesan cheese makes it melty and adds another layer of richness, and the grilled focaccia on the side is great for mopping up every last buttery bite.
We’re also huge fans of the Reuben toastie, which features sourdough bread filled with house made beef pastrami, tangy pickled cabbage and gooey Emmental cheese. It’s grilled like a panini and served with a dollop of garlic aioli. We pair ours with a side of the loaded fries, which are a tad gluttonous, but so worth it. The crispy fries are topped with pulled pork, spicy mayo and aioli. Definitely a good hangover helper.
Live music can often be hit or miss, but the musician who comes on while we’re dining plays easy-going tunes that are smooth, soulful and not so loud that we can’t have a conversation. It actually adds to the experience instead of distracting from the beachside ambiance. In between his sets, a DJ takes over with feel-good beats.
Mano Beach House is one of those places that suits all types from families with kiddos who want to splash in the ocean or pool, couples on a Sunday brunch date, or hungover writers looking to get sorted after a big night out. They have tons of space including an upper level with additional seating, which also makes it a great option for groups. Reservations are recommended for larger groups or those who want to grab primo sea-facing tables.