La dolce vita in Bali

Photography: Prue Ruscoe, additional food shots courtesy Da Maria

Restaurateur Maurice Terzini has channelled 1960s Caprese style in a tropical setting with his first international venture, Da Maria, in the Bali hotspot of Petitenget. 

Pizze at Da Maria.

"In the 1980s Bali was a party island, but it's evolved as an increasingly sophisticated, serious culinary destination, and I'm ready to be part of that growth," says Terzini, whose Australian portfolio includes Icebergs Dining Room & Bar and Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta in Bondi.

Maurice Terzini at Da Maria.

A crowd of more than 800 guests attended the restaurant's opening events last week. Designed by Carl Pickering, of Rome-based Lazzarini Pickering Architects, Da Maria's cool blue and white palette and geometric styling was inspired by 1960s courtyard restaurants of the Amalfi Coast, and the work of legendary Italian designer GiĆ² Ponti. Three tiled fountains sit beneath chandeliers and a ceiling - dubbed by Pickering as "Bali's Sistine Chapel" - hand-painted with Ponti-inspired motifs and studded with skylights. 

Wood-grilled king prawns with chilli, black olive and mint. 

The restaurant, on busy Petitenget street, is part osteria, part pizzeria and bar. Terzini and chef Steven Skelly, formerly of Sydney's Pier restaurant and Urchin in Bali, have created a modern, regional Italian menu focusing on simple, classic flavours and locally sourced produce - "flavours my parents would recognise, but food they wouldn't cook," says Terzini. Expect porchetta, wood-grilled seafood, fresh pasta and Neapolitan-inspired pizzas made with a dough base fermented for 24 hours and baked in lava-stone ovens. Da Maria's hub is the front bar, mixing house-made liqueurs and Campari-based blends. After 10pm the mood shifts to late-night pizza, drinking and dancing, with live DJs appearing nightly, spinning "house music for holiday people".

Open daily 5pm-2am, Sunday brunch 11am-3pm. Da Maria, 170 Jalan Petitenget, Petitenget, Bali, +62 822 377 33099, damariabali.com







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