Bali Asian Cuisine bringing Pan-Asian food to Duluth

Bali Asian Cuisine owner and chef Nevi Mariadi stands in front of her Lincoln Park restaurant bar.

A restaurant featuring Indonesian food and an array of other Asian fare will open in Lincoln Park as early as September. Bali Asian Cuisine will serve up fresh and flavorful food, according to chef and owner Nevi Mariadi.

“I think Duluth needs more flavor,” said Mariadi, who is originally from Indonesia. “I think I have that to bring to the table. I think it will be a great addition.”

She is eager to introduce food from her home country. Bali Asian Cuisine will also offer a range of other Asian menu items, such as rice and poke bowls, ramen, phở and sushi.

The new business is located at 1931 W. Superior St. in a corner spot next to the Spice & Tea Exchange in the Lincoln Park Craft District. Both spaces were formerly occupied by JS Print Group. The company still owns the building but outgrew it and moved to the Central Hillside last year.

Mariadi lived in Colorado for 22 years before moving to Duluth in 2021. While there, she operated a restaurant with her sister in Basalt, a small mountain town near Aspen. Mariadi’s partner is originally from Bemidji and has family in Duluth. When the couple initially visited the area, they noticed there weren’t many options for authentic Asian food.

In this lack of diversity, Mariadi saw an opportunity. “I think Duluth is ready,” she said. “I meet people and people are just excited with something new instead of just Chinese-American food.”

Mariadi stands with wood from a former bowling lane, which will be repurposed at her restaurant.

The restaurant will have vegetarian options and menu offerings unique to Duluth. Popular Indonesian dishes will be available, including rendang (savory, slow-cooked meat braised in coconut milk), sate ayam (marinated, skewered chicken grilled and smothered in homemade peanut sauce) and kare ayam (golden-hued chicken curry with a thick broth flavored with a blend of ginger, galangal and lemongrass). The restaurant will contract with Bix Produce Company out of the Twin Cities to source some of the harder-to-find specialty ingredients needed for the menu, such as galangal.

Renovations to the space began last October and are nearing completion. Wood from former Country Lanes North bowling lanes is being creatively repurposed into custom tables. Wood that previously served as flooring for JS Print Group and other previous users of the new restaurant space is being converted into shelving.

The restaurant will seat 85 people. It will include a few outdoor tables as well as bar seating and a sushi counter.

Bali was originally slated to open in early 2023. Mariadi doesn’t have a target date in mind but has a goal of opening in September and is currently hiring employees. “It’s been a long journey … We are excited that we are almost there,” she said.

Bali Asian Cuisine is located at 1931 W. Superior St. next to the Spice & Tea Exchange.

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