SoulBytes is a wholly unique, holistic, soul-nourishing coffee roaster and bakery located in the heart of Seminyak, Bali, specialising in excellent coffee and delicious, contemporary Australian café-style food. Alongside innovative and original dishes made with the freshest, locally sourced produce and our own specialty-grade coffee blend roasted in-house, SoulBytes serves reminders to connect with others and to lead rich and meaningful lives. In keeping with pop philosopher Alain de Botton’s “School of Life” principles, their aim is to create a space where, not only the tummy, but also mind and soul are nourished, so that customers leave the café enriched, better people than when they came.
This philosophical, humanitarian goal is achieved in various ways. In a pledge to be more than just a café, to nourish the soul as well as satisfy the taste buds, SoulBytes has filled its beautiful café space with soulful, often interactive reminders to connect with others, show kindness, and lead rich, examined lives, in a hustle-bustle world, dominated by technology, where such vital human imperatives are often overlooked. There’s a “hug spot” on the floor, where, if two people are standing on it, they hug.
A copper bust of Socrates, the father of modern philosophy, greets the customer as they walk in, and they can choose to rub his bald head to gain a touch of his wisdom. With every coffee is served an inspiring quote by one of history’s great writers, to inspire customers to re-evaluate their choices and live richly and meaningfully. Along with food, are served “SoulCards”; cards with thought-provoking questions, such as “Have you achieved your purpose in life?” and “How could you describe your essence with one word?”, designed to make customers question their thoughts and behaviours, and improve the quality of their lives and levels of happiness. Through SoulBytes’ coffee charity scheme, a percentage of every standard coffee sold is donated to charity, so their customers are given the opportunity to contribute to others’ happiness and spread kindness.
SoulBytes’ food philosophy is to serve original and creative recipes, tantalising both to the eyes and to the taste buds, made with the freshest and highest-quality ingredients and, above all, with passion, compassion and love. They create dishes that are a synthesis of the existing and the new, taking contemporary Australian café cuisine and adding unique touches to create delicious and highly innovative culinary novelties. The all day breakfast features all the classics such as Breakfast Bruschetta, Eggs Benedict and Mushroom Truffled Eggs and adds locally inspired dishes such as Organic Vego Fried Rice Nasi Goreng, whilst the delicious Soul Pancakes and restorative Soul Juices add a little celestial healing. For lunch there is a selection of Soul Burgers, with offerings like the Rock of Sisyphus, Australian beef patty, tomato relish, lettuce, pickle, onion jam and cheddar cheese and the range of super healthy Soul Salads.
“At SoulBytes, we are committed to cooking with the healthiest recipes and ingredients, preparing meals that satisfy appetites and nourish guests physically and mentally,” said owner Ilario Colli. “The SoulBytes team believe in minimizing the negative impact our species makes on the environment and our fellow living creatures, so all our products are prepared in full respect of ecologically sound principles.”
Coffee is a fundamental and defining part of the SoulBytes experience, where good coffee making is an art, and the barista’s work is like that of a skilled artist. The baristas are highly trained and competent, well versed in coffee-related matters and bursting with a passion for their craft. SoulBytes has their own house blend, roasted on-premises in an especially installed roasting lab replete with a state-of-the-art Probat roaster; an inimitable blend using 3 – 4 single origins, each contributing to the overall flavour and unique character. In support of the region’s excellent coffee bean industry, the blends use various Indonesian beans, including those from Flores, Java and Sumatra. Among the highlights of the coffee menu is a selection of unique and creative signature coffee drinks.
SoulBytes’ extraordinary and unique interior is designed by Caroline Usher of Ushers by Design, the same genius responsible for decking out Mamasan, Salazon, and Shanghai Baby. At the helm of the SoulBytes kitchen are Head Chef Agus Hariadi and Ilario Colli.
One of Bali’s brightest stars, Chef Argus brings his international and local experience and craftsmanship to SoulBytes. Along with his superb talent in the kitchen, he is passionate about creating the freshest, most memorable dishes that are visually stunning, taste incredible and have his guests leaving satisfied and happy in mind and body. The driving engine behind SoulBytes’ philosophical and humanitarian goals is Ilario Colli. A former composer and classical musician, as well as full-time writer currently working on his first novel, Ilario is uniquely positioned, as a creative, to inject soul and passion into the SoulBytes project on a conceptual level. His passion for philosophy and literature and belief in the importance of Alain de Botton’s work on the School of Life, coalesce with Agus’ extraordinary culinary talents to generate a café experience unlike any previously seen in Bali
“SoulBytes is a café aiming, not only to serve the highest-quality food and coffee, but also (and perhaps even more importantly) to enrich people’s lives, providing them with guidance, and reminding them of the importance to be kind and compassionate, and connect with others,” said Ilario Colli.