Sunday, June 23, 2013

Eating in Bali Part 1

One thing that I was most looking forward to whilst in Bali was not only the hot weather and cheap shopping, but the food. Gaffa and I planned most of our travels around what's best to eat, so it was no surprise that we would be gaining weight on this trip! Lol.

In Sydney we'd only eaten at a few Indonesian restaurants, mainly Ayam Goreng 99 in Kingsford. Enjoying the grilled chicken and satay sticks with copious amounts of ketchup manis and chilli sauce was just the beginning of our love affair with Indo food.

The first night we ate out at a warung - which is a name for a small family shop , cafe or restaurant. You'll see a lot of warungs around Bali, where you can gurantee there'll be good cheap local food. Made's Warung in Seminyak is not your typical hole in the wall joint, but has grown so much that it's expanded to a larger restaurant with a live band. The a la carte menu has a variety of Asian and European food, with the traditional Indonesian and Balinese dishes.

Gaffa and I shared a Nasi Campur Special and some juicy chargrilled sate skewers. The nasi capur provided a good mix of food and Gaffa was so hungry he ordered a Nasi Goreng for himself! First night in Bali also called for a Bintang beer tower to share between the table. Surprisingly the beer is not too bad. Easy to drink with a light taste.

The night before the wedding we had dinner out at Bumbu Bali #2 in Nusa Dua. Close to our hotel so we could get an early night's sleep before our 4am wake up call. Bumbu Bali also do cooking classes which I've heard are great, so check it out if you've got a spare day in the area.

There were too many people for the table that Ms. Tjak had booked so 8 of us sat on a separate table. Gaffa and I were joined by The Banker, her boyfriend, Spot, Coco, Ms. Tjak's friend, Bus Boy and one of Rave's groomsman, Leprechaun. 6 of us couldn't decide what do have so we opted for the set menu of Balinese Rijsttafel. Rijsttafel is a Dutch word meaning rice table, to describe the Indonesian cuisine always being served in the centre of the table in comparison to European cuisine where dishes are plated up individually.

The set menu consisted of a soup as starter, clear chicken soup with shallots. The main dishes came out on a platter for 3. We had a small taster of Sambel be Tongkol: tuna salad, Sate Bali, Ayam, Lilit: pork, chicken, seafood sate, Ayam Pelalah: shredded chicken with chilki and tomato,  Tum Bebek: minced duck in banana leaf, Be Celeng Base Manis: pork in sweet soy sauce, Be Sampi Mebase Bali: braised beef in coconut milk, Kambing Mekuah; lamb stew with cardamom, Ikan Bakar: grilled fish fillet, Pesan be Pasih: diced fish grilled in banana leaf, Lawar dan Sayur: vegetable dishes that change daily, and steamed plain rice and coconut rice. WOW! All of them were delicious.

Dessert consisted of a selection of Balinese cakes, black rice pudding,  glutinous rice flour dumplings in palm sugar sauce and seasonal Balinese fruits. Topped off with some cocktails, to gurantee us a good night's sleep after our mega feast at Bumbu Bali! Prices are a above average in terms of Bali standards; but for the quality and service it's definitely a no brainer.

Ok, one more food story to conclude Part 1. A local warung for lunch, proof you can eat for less than $2 a meal in Bali. Just look out for where the locals eat, or wander down a side street or back alley way. Ayam goreng - fried chicken with fried rice. We went to a local warung with such a large group of people, that they ran out of chicken and had to get some more; killing them there and then in the kitchen. If you enjoyed your meal though, give the local restaurateurs a tip, it'll leave a smile on their dial all day. What we might think is nothing is a lot to them considering you only paid $2 for your meal... 

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