Het Balihuisje (The Bali House) is Den Haag’s attempt to keep up with the 21st century version of urban chic. Het Balihuisje aspires to be more of a hub for creativity than a restaurant, cafe or bar–even though it’s all of those at once. After all, if your working life and social life are already on the more bohemian side, why merely go out for a cappuccino when you can have that cappuccino while ALSO listening to a friend (of a friend, of a friend) of the owner’s cousin’s roommate dropping beats from a secondhand turntable? And what if those coffee beans were sourced directly from that roommate’s best friend’s sister’s uncle’s Indonesian coffee plantation? And what if your goal isn’t just to be caffeinated but also to be inspired by all the hip people around you? Quick, let’s launch a start-up!
Yes, there is a risk when trying to be everything at once. But there is something to be said for the ambition of Het Balihuisje. The surrounding neighbourhood, the Zeeheldenkwartier, has a history of seediness in comparison with the rest of central Den Haag, and while a ‘concept cafe’ can mean just about anything these days, Het Balihuisje is a fun, relaxed tonic to the sometimes stuffy and stiff-lipped Haag social culture. Oh, and the saté is very good as well!