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Friday, November 29, 2013

Swan Valley: Sandalford Wineries, Margaret River Chocolate Co., House of Honey & Orange Grover

Swan Valley tends to be a convenience I overlook but more frequently misjudge.  For me, the Swan Valley hype never quite kicked off but in my last visit I attempted re-kindle my fondness for this place beyond Alfred’s Kitchen.  Sandalford Wineries was my first stop for some spectacular wines.  Driving in to the vineyard, the lush surrounding and manicured grass gave us a great impression that money is well worth spent here.  From the grand entry to the restaurant, everything was so perfectly put together.  No wonder this place was highly recommended on the web.  Definitely returning for lunch or dinner one day :)!
Moving on. Clearly expressed by my preference to avoid bitter foods like medicines of any sort, bitter gourd, most alcohols, coffee and so forth, bitterness has never quite been my thing.  Tell me its an acquired taste and I tell you that you are a masochist :)!  But that did not stop me from buying a few bottles of sweet wine back.  I bought two bottles that day, one was a 2010 Sandalford Botrytis Semillon and the other was a 2010 Sandalford Sweet Red.  I have opened the Semillon and all I can say is that it was very sweet.  The sales person that sold me the Semillon had asked me to take note of all the fruity notes like pineapples and apricot when I drank the bottle.  However, when I had a glass at home all I could taste was sweetness.  Big time sweetness. So much for trying to learn about wines =.=!  Maybe next time haha.
The part of my Swan Valley tour is what most tourists will think about when they look back at their trip to Swan Valley. The Margaret River Chocolate Company!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Needless to say, they re not the only ones.  Coming here today, I was as happy as the kids were.  While I am obviously 25 years too young, I did not had the luxury of having my lips and fingers stained with chocolates  xD!  Nonetheless, I had at least 5 spoons of their so-called tasters!  Massive sugar overload that followed with the purchase of a White Chocolate Strawberry Truffle.  It was so yums!  The white chocolate was smooth, milky and very creamy.  To finish it was a strawberry cream that was mildly sweet with good acidity that prevented it from becoming cloying!  I have to say that the chocolates at the Margaret River Chocolate Co. are really delicious.
While XL and Yv bought some chocolates as souvenirs for family and friends, they were particularly baffled by the absence of a “taster pack”.  A chocolate pack that allows your guest, recipients or even yourself to enjoy all three types of chocolates.  As I had spoon after spoon, I developed a fondness for all three flavors.  The white one which everyone says is not a chocolate for the lack of cocoa, was creamy, sweet and very indulgent.  Meanwhile, the milk chocolate was similar but very chocolaty without losing its creaminess.  But at the end of the day, it was the dark chocolate that I suspect will be the reason for my size to double.  Being the least sweet of the lot, it was something I can eat handful after handful!  But no concerns for me as I did not buy any.  Would definitely have bought a taster pack if there was one :(!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext up was the Golden Grover Citrus Farm just 25 minutes away from the chocolate factory.   Hidden amongst the barren hills lie a plot of greenery that produces spectacular citrus fruits.   How would I know?  Well, I have had people buy me some oranges and juices from here last year and least to say, they were spectacular.  Sweet, juicy and citrusy!  Sadly, I have no accompanying pictures as the ones that I have bought from this trip now resides in my tummy :)!  To be honest, not sad at all ahaha!  One of the best things is that when you are here, you know exactly which sort of Navel oranges you get with the expert help of the owners.  Definitely worth coming if you have a day in the valley.  Also available are grapefruits, mandarins, lemons and all products derived from them ;)!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
On the way back, we dropped by our final destination for the day, the House of Honey.  If you are looking for lotions, honey, lip balms and all sorts of goodies which uses honey, definitely drop by!  The House of Honey prides themselves for using quality honey which boasts to have high total activity (good bacteria and enzymes) due to their practice of not using any heat during the treatment process.  Which means all the good stuff stays untouched when bottled!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
So tempted but so shy.  Damn adulthood.  But I’d doubt that my head would fit in there anyway.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Inside is an impressive bee hive encased in a glass display.  Quiet freak to see their living conditions in there.  But amazing at the same time.  Thanks to this little fellas, we have honey :)!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
And with honey, we can have delicious food.  If you happen to be here early mid morning or in the evening, do not forget to grab a bite at the Sticky Spoon Café located in the House of Honey.   At the Sticky Spoon Café , you can choose from a scrumptious spread of cakes, bread, cookies or scones to go along with you favourite cuppa.  If you happen to need lunch, they also have a selection of savory bites made to order.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
For us folks that day, we need not look further than the scones and tea set at $7 bucks each.  Crumbly on the outside with a moist buttery inside, you will definitely like the ones here.   Everything a scone should be.  But if you had asked me whether these scones were the best, I would definitely prefer freshly baked homemade ones where it comes out piping hot and very soft.  Rest is a bit under a few kitchen towels, and it hardens on the outside.  Just perfect that way.  But when you are too lazy to do something fancy (do not forget making your own jam and whipping the cream!), a scone at the House of Honey will do.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScone Pic #1
The scones were served with a side of honey, cream and jam.  All of which went well with the scone.  Out of the lot, nothing beats the good old jam and cream.  I ended up using the honey to sweeten my tea instead of the usual sugar.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScone Pic #2
OH! And before you leave the Sticky Spoon Café, do not forget to buy a scoop of ice cream.  Lovely flavors, all honey inspired.  The Honey Macadamia was top notch without the unnecessary sweetness from the one made by Connoisseur.  Creamy, and fragrant with macadamia bits! :)
Its such a windy Friday today.  Definitely could do with some scones and hot tea right now lol.  But to all my readers, have a pleasant weekend and a good Friday.  If you wake up bored tomorrow and feel like doing something, take a few hours off your day to visit the Swan Valley.  Not the most interesting place on earth but there is definitely something for everyone.  For the more adventurous, you can even go paintballing or laser tag.  Regardless of whichever route you choose to go on, definitely get some chocolate.  It’s a MUST.
The Sticky Spoon Cafe on Urbanspoon Margaret River Chocolate Co. Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bites: Contemporary Japanese at Bonsai Restaurant, Northbridge

Establishing itself as one of the pioneers of Contemporary Japanese food,  Bonsai has always gotten my fancy for a place that keeps your buds interested without punching a hole in the wallet.  True enough, the banquet which saw us have 10 appetizers and a main each only cost $49 bucks and with the Entertainment Book, you can get a further 25% discount.  Hospitality never strays too far their practice as the supervisor, a cool looking bald-headed guy ensured that our no-prawn and no-crab dietary requirements were met.  Water was always brought to the table and the waitresses despite serving a massive crowd of people never failed to put up a smile.

The night started with our favourite Chicken Salad topped with crisp wanton skins.  Delicious chicken and as mentioned before, can salad even be that tasty?  Mind boggling.  We also had a substantial Beef Tataki well drenched in the citrus ponzu that suited the palate before moving on to a refreshing Salmon Sashimi Bites.  A delicious salmon tartare dressed with aioli on a mildly bitter-ish witloaf.  Good balance of flavors and textures with a refreshing bite.  Then comes the lovely Salmon Aburi Nigiri.  Another table favourite.  I have always loved my oily fish on a charcoal grill or blowtorched a little bit.   The oils when heated gives out that delicious smoky smell and the protein becomes buttery.   Topped with a in-house miso, booms!Bonsai 1Pic (clockwise): Boys be Boys, Crispy Chicken Salad with Wanton Skins,  Tempura Baby Squid, Salmon Aburi Nigiri, Salmon Sashimi Bites

For most parts, our crabs and prawn dishes were swapped into a squid dish.  Deep-fried in a spicy batter or a tempura one, they were exceptionally moorish.  Even XL who tends to stray from squid had a bite and found that they were actually really tasty! 

Pick (clockwise):  Teri-Steak, Pork Belly Kakuni, 2-Style Fried Chicken, Teriyaki Toothfish,  Yv and the Boys, Spicy Cuttlefish, and Jimmy with the girls (middle)Bonsai 2The mains made no less of a good impression than the appetizers.  If anything felt lackluster at all, it was probably the chicken Katsu/Kaarage combo which felt a little underwhelming after having all the deep fried goodies during the appetizer!  However, for one down, we had three joys.  For instance, the beef teriyaki is a classic favourite still resisting the change of time.  Since my first visit to Bonsai a few years back, this yummy steak in a garlicky butter teriyaki sauce have impressed.  It still does really as Jim who repetitively mentioned throughout the night “This sauce is so good.  I wonder how they make it”.  Then we have the toothfish which was cooked to perfection.  Another stunner with the skin still mildly crisp when it first reach the table.   Lastly, the pork belly kakuni!  A delightful soy sauce pork that when accompanied by rice, felt like a match in heaven.  While it could do with more time in the cooker, nobody was complaining.

The meal at Bonsai was no less satisfying than the meal we had there last year or earlier this year.  Its flavors, presentation, and service did not fail us that night.  Seems like an exaggeration but when you realize how little $50 buys you in Perth, you tend to be more than satisfied.  If there was any regrets at all that night, it was probably the missing chocolate cake that Yv, Nee, XL and I love so much.  Perhaps better luck next time? :)


The Bonsai Restaurant & Cafe Lounge on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Noodles for Books by Perth Room to Read Chapter

I rarely do promotional posts as well as accept invites, not because I hate to go, but rather where the invitation end up.  Junk Mail.  Looking through my mail, I recently received an email from Tam Le of Perth Room to Read Chapter.    Room to Read helps children to pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and world.  To do this, the organization focuses on literacy and gender equality. 


In December, Perth Room to Read Chapter will be raising funds through a dinner called Noodles for Books on Thursday the 5th of December at Mama Tran in the city of Perth, for children's education in the developing countries.  They will be raising funds to invest in creating local language children's books in Vietnam. One of the greatest challenges to early adoption of the habit of reading is a lack of high-quality, age-appropriate children's books in the local language. Room to Read responded by providing training to local authors and writers to write age-appropriate books that is visually appealing and culturally relevant and distribute thousands of copies to schools and libraries in Vietnam.   The organization is requesting support from the local Perth community to assist us in reaching our goal.imageI strongly encourage my dear readers and Perthians to take part in this good cause.  It will be a great night out and you will meet lots of people who have a passion for books, education and food.  Not to mention, there will be some great prizes as well as silent auction items including cooking classes with Lawless Cooking School and a signed (with a personal message) copy of Pauline Nguyen's book, Secrets of the Red Lantern. But you know what,  nothing else beats the last inclusion of your $50 bill, GOOD KARMA.   If you are keen to help, you can get your tickets from  .




Room to Read ( is a registered charity in Australia which raises funds to help invest in local communities in Asia and Africa by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.

Bites: Choux Café @ Swanbourne

While I have lived in Nedlands for 4 years, I have never quite strayed from Hampden Road and Broadway.   Missing out on so many hidden gems in the Western Suburbs really did leave me with a little regret.  Especially when my colleagues and friends tell me of all the yummy food in the area.  Better late then never, I managed to try out the offerings of a popular patisseries in the area.  If you are looking for a brunch places with great cakes and pastries, look no further!  At Choux Café in Swanbourne, they only use pure butter and not those sub-par margarines.  Without a doubt, the use of quality ingredient is reflected in their products.

Fotor1123181852We had a few things including chocolate cakes, sandwich and drinks! Absolutely fabulous!  Delicious ganache with a layer of caramel at the top.  Super decadent especially if you are a chocolate fan.  In between its layers is a crisp one which gave it a Ferrero Rocher bite.  Great praline flavors! With the chocolate coated cake, there was more balance with a mild bitterness keeping the sweetness at bay.  All in all,  everything at the Choux Café was pretty good.  Not to mention if you opt for a mug of hot choc at $5.20, you get a super large one! Probably the largest cup I have seen in a long while.


If you live in the area, it would almost be impossible that you would not know Choux Café.  Apparently its something like La Galette de France.  A household name.  So if you are ever in the suburb and looking around for a hangout spot, definitely try out Choux Café. 



Choux Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 18, 2013

Bali Trip 2013: Nasi Campur at Warung Sulawesi, Seminyak

My final eating place just before we headed off to the airport was Warung Sulawesi. This was another Balinese dining place found through Hendra’s resourcefulness.  Hidden behind other restaurants on the main road, one cannot really tell that an eatery resides behind the walls.  But through keen tongues and by word of mouth, this café is no newcomer.  On a closer study, it seems like Westerners residing permanently in Bali love this place.  I can see why.  With plants everywhere and a retro fit to the place, it looked simple yet substantial.   The food etiquette here is simple.  Stroll along the bain-marie, pick the things you want and by the end of it, you receive a tag with the price on it.  Should you need more, rock up the counter and just add on before grabbing another price tag.











Grilled chicken, soy bean curd and a fried chicken

It was the final meal of the trip and no one was holding back.  I for starters picked 5 dishes at a cost of $R32,000.  All of which reminded me of classic Indonesian favorites from Perth, just that they were prepared one notch higher in their home ground.  The Ayam Panggang or grilled chicken was full of flavor from the marinade and spices.  More importantly, it was tender unlike its deep fried counter part that came rock hard with a whiff of turmeric.    The Tofu Kecap Manis was another stunning dish which almost everyone had.  Full of rich flavor from the deep caramelization of the sauce giving it it a sticky-sweet consistency that was extremely addictive.  Simple but yummy.PB050682I also ordered a vegetable stir fry and the Telur Belado.  Telur Belado is an Indonesian egg dish that is pretty much hard-boiled that is deep fried and tossed in a sweet chili sauce.  At first I was shocked when I bit into something extremely spicy and started to blame the egg.  But it was not long before I realized that it was my cabbage stir-fry with what I initially thought was chopped up beans and spring onions but were actually green chilies.  Almost died there!

  PB050689The concept of Nasi Campur is very much like the Chinese’s Economy Mixed Rice.  There is something for everyone.  Regardless of whether you are a vegetarian, or a bodybuilder trying to bulk up, the Nasi Campur is simply fantastic.  On my plate today there was literally every single flavor except bitterness.  It was sweet, sour and salty with a good hint of chili.  Together, they are form amazing alchemy.  Mixed all together, just a few or simply enjoy each by themself.  Whatever you chose, it was ensured satisfaction.  So in the end, what really mattered was the Warung’s ability to deliver delicious dishes for selection.  At Warung Sulawesi, that was exactly what they did and the Nasi Campur selection was every bit flavorful.  Was this a posh, squeaky clean place that will fit into everyone’s good book? I doubt so!  Despite its lush garden, the random mix and match furniture was old and the whole place was rather run down.  But in the eating world of Bali, it was clear that if you are not fine dining, you will be in Warungs like this.   For me,  a curious eater, I could not bother much and found it to be rather substantial as mentioned earlier.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Bali Trip: Babi Guling at Warung Pak Dobiel, Nusa Dua

Bali is perhaps the little city of hangovers.  The first was a post-wedding celebration and the other, a food coma.  It was going to be my last day in Bali and it was not going to end without a bang!  Jumping out of the bed and into our driver’s car, it was time for breakfast.  On the menu today was Babi Guling.  What more symbolic of Bali than the Babi Guling? Lovely spit roasted pork cooked for hours over charcoal before being chopped up and serve on a bed of rice with spicy sambal, the tastiest fried long beans and seasoned condiments.  While the most popular one on the island is Ibu Oka who claims to spit roast their hog for over 5 hours, it is ultimately the 3 hour version at Pak Dobiel that has won Mei’s hearty.   Very much like her husband Hendra.  Maybe he was spit roasted for 3 hours too lol jkjkjk.   Many people have arrived at a love it or hate it conclusion about this dish.  And believe it or not, it all broils down to the crackling.  Some have it perfectly done while others lament at a chewy, almost rubber like crackling. In fact, my friend who has been to Ibu Oka despised the fact that not only were they served a horrible crackling each, but a super hard and over-cooked meat as well.  This in many ways had me kept my fingers crossed hoping to get the better of the lot at Warung Pak Dobiel.
Warung Pak Dobiel is no looker or a fancy restaurant.  It is just a roadside Warung where locals come and enjoy a quick bite to kick start their day!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe usual suspect on standby to fight the high humidity!  Teh Botol for the win!  Just a little advice when eating here.  The soup served is not complementary but rather a surcharge on top of whatever price you pay.  Its taste was decent like a “soto”  but nothing worth raving about.  If I were you, I would definitely keep my stomach for the lovely rice that was about to hit the table.PB050673
When the rice arrive on our table, it looked simply delicious.   All the lovely condiments on top of the rice graced by a few shards of lovely crackling and a pinch of salt.  Just by looking, it was a no brainer why this dish gets so many mentions around the island!  After taking a photo, I proceeded to mixing everything up.  The beans, the sambal, the pork and all the other condiments.  It was just so tasty.  Spicy, salty, sour with little bits of crunchiness from the crackling!  Yums!  The pork here was really nice. It was tender and well-seasoned.  More importantly, I did not suffer from the same fate other have.  My crackling was crunchy, lardy and all the good things you want from the skin.  Each shard was joy to chew and the meat was substantially tender.   When Hendra ordered this for me, it was a $R30,000 serve with no innards.  But believe it or not, this was nowhere near enough for my round belly.  Funnily, even Hendra who was thin as stick needed a second helping.
PB050674The satay was only OK in my opinion.  Carefully arranged meat and lards looked great but did not deliver an orgasmic blow.  Coming from Malaysia, I expected more fragrant spices to serenade that beautiful stick of meat. But enough said, this meal of Babi Guling was still every bit satisfying.  A continuation of great food from Jimbaran and oh did I mention we had Nasi Pedas from Ibu  Andika for supper the night before?  No pictures as we were in the pool and had the Nasi Pedas delivered to the deck!  But many thanks to the beautiful wedding organizer!  Just a little warning if any of you ever order the Nasi Pedas, the Satan’s chili paste is extremely spicy.  Surely to send you to the toilet many days after eating it!
While I might have never have tasted the famous Babi Guling from Ibu Oka in this trip, I feel little or in fact no envy at all.  My meal here today at Pak Dobiel was more satisfying than I could have asked for.  Just yesterday I asked Andrew over Korean Barbecue whether he would have liked a serve of Babi Guling, he simply nodded and said that he could do with a Nasi Pedas too.  Damn these holiday hangovers!!!!!!  Anyway folks, there you have it.  Pak Dobiel is definitely a place worth going to if you plan a trip to Bali!  More importantly, I have to bless my fortunate visit to this Warung which was a success!

Warung Babi Guling Sari Dewi Bp. Dobiel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bali Trip: Menega Seafood at Jimbaran (High Resolution Post–Test)

As the night draws close and the Warungs pull their door’s shut, a new night life begins.  From faraway, Jimbaran looks like a town on fire as smoke bellows from behind the distant hills.  But coming in through the main entrance of this seafood town, it was clear that we were in for some seafood heaven with large aquariums and seafood signs clearly displayed everywhere.    Dusk at Jimbaran with a film of smoke from all the seafood restaurants lined along the ocean strip :P!PB030610While we would have loved to sit outside, it was fully book.  Nevertheless, it actually looks pretty nice on the inside especially with the dining tables so near the shore.  As the night comes, the sky takes on shades of pink and purple.  A sight to behold.  But trust me, any clothes you wear to Jimbaran will stink until washed with warm soap water.  It was just madness when it comes to the smoke! Oh and it rained while we where eating so… hahaha lucky that we were seated inside!!

 The etiquette in ordering food in Jimbaran is simple.  If you are with a local, seek out what you want but keep you lips tightly sealed.  Lets the locals do the ordering, bargaining and paying.  But if you happen to be alone as a tourist, your safest bet would to be to order a set menu and be contented.  Luckily enough, the new bride Mei is no pushover when it comes to bargaining.    Lucky Hendra :P!

Here are some of the food we ordered that night before my hands became too sticky to use the camera after all the peeling and eating!
PB030637 I am not sure if they do it any other way but the sauce they used for the seafood is just exquisite.  Despite being grilled, its flesh was still succulently sweet with a mild spiciness from the sauce.  One of the secrets they used is that the fuel for the grilled was not charcoal but rather the husk of a coconut.  Its aroma in the seafood was just phenomenal.  If only it was not such a bad pollutant!

The lobster is something of a luxury but not what I think is representative of great seafood.  But if you crave for it and must have it, you are best to order it with the set meal for two at $R 430,000.  It comes with a lobster, fish, prawns, squid, clams, rice and drinks.PB030638The lobster was probably in realms of 600-900 grams at most.  A substantial size for two but as this was not the highlight of the meal, there was still some left after going round the table.   While it was OK, I wondered why the lobster does not work the same as most seafood!  That is, the smaller it is, the sweeter its flesh should be.  It just was not so obvious after all the grilling and basting!  Hmmm??

Along with the set were a few grilled squid.  Mediocre at best.  I would have liked my squid deep fried.  But the ability of the cooks at Menega Café in maintaining the flesh tender and succulent should not be left unappreciated.  The grilled squid was not chewy like rubber.PB030640
But the winner of the night were the clams!  Highly recommended by Mei, the clams were grilled like the rest of the seafood but its flavors were just sensational.PB030641While grilled in a similar way, the basting used for the clams differed from the prawns.  Instead of being mildly spicy and sweet, the one on the clams felt a tad more buttery and garlicky.  It was total love as soon as it touched my tongue.  In fact, I was just going at it with the steamed rice. Everyone at the table were in love with it.  Me probably more than most but hey!?  Clams!! Nom nom nom!

Aside from the food on top, we also had the fish from the set menu and some crabs to top it all.  The crabs were not the biggest but it was of a substantial size.  Reminds me of the lower-end Malaysian mud crabs.  A bit tedious to eat but there is still great reward for the hardworking!  The fish was in my opinion the underperformer of the lot.  It was rather bland and despite using all avenues to spruce it up, I was still unable to make it yummy.  I added the sambal, I had the sweeter thai-style sauce but nothing felt workable on the fish.  I gave up.

At the end of the night we had ordered  2 set menus, 5kg of clams, 3kg of prawns, 2 crabs, 20+ drinks and the bill came up to $R 3,000,000 for 10 people.  It was a pretty decent price especially if you are from Australia.  Nevertheless, I know many Malaysians who can find seafood for a better price in Malaysia.   I agree to that but one simply cannot re-create the flavors and grilling techniques used at Jimbaran.  It might not have been the best ever, but it was easily, in a league of its own.  Just thinking of the prawns and clam has got me drooling!  Cheers to a good meal at Jimbaran.

Menega Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bali Trip: The Infamous Ribs of Naughty Nuri’s and a KFC Breakfast

It’s dark, smoky and located just along the road,  you can be assured that if comfort is your thing then you best be somewhere else.  But if you have a keen tongue for Ribs and an alcoholic adventure, please take a seat.  But for the rest of you who insist on not missing out, feel free to go to its younger sister called Nuri’s  in Batu Belig, Seminyak.  It might be much closer than the original Warung in Ubud, but in terms of taste, I’d prefer the former.  So, what about this little eatery has got Anthony Bourdain raving about it?

Easily, the Smoky Pork Ribs $R90,000 is where I will start.  Cooked to perfection, the meat fell off the bone effortlessly and I had no problems eating it.  No overly chewy bits that agitates the pleasurable moment.  Simply sublime.  When it comes to the sauce, it was full of flavor. You have sweet, salty and need I even mention, the great smoky flavors of a traditional charcoal grill.  For an unsuspecting eatery like this, simply outstanding if not for its already over-mentioned existence.

Sorry about the picture lol.  It was dark as hell in the venue. Also, while the chicken is basted with the same sauce I strong suggest AGAINST the chicken.   It was simply dry and tasteless on the inside.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe lady diligently flips the ribs on their smoky grill :)! 

Last but not the least, I find their Lychee Martini $R110,000  worth mentioning.  Putting their catchy performance at the new Nuri’s restaurant which involves the continuous chanting of “Shake! Shake! Shake! Shake!” aside, it was simply delicious.  The initial bitterness of the alcohol was complemented by a strong lychee after taste in each sip.  If not for my breath which was still burping of cognac and whiskey from the partying before, I would have been a happy drinker despite my continuous protest against drinking :)!  If you ever happen to take a trip down to Ubud, definitely consider stopping by Naughty Nuri’s.

Oh and I realized I forgot to mention about having KFC earlier that morning!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis was called the KFC Bento and it was yums :)!  Little popcorn chicken and rice topped with spicy sauce.
Naughty Nuri's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Bali Trip: Crispy Duck @ Bebek Tepi Sawah

After an awesome wedding and a night of partying, we were finally on our journey to Bali’s food district, Ubud.  While our first destination was meant to be the infamous Babi Guling at Ibu Oka’s, the venue’s closure due to the sacred festival Kekuningan means we went on to our second destination which was Bebek Tepi Sawah.   In terms of popularity, Bebek Tepi Sawah was less popular compared to Bebek Bengil, but our driver tells us that the cockiness of Bengil has caused it to lose its crown among the locals.  Anyways, if sitting on the floor amongst the paddy fields to experience the traditional dining ways of the Balinese people is your thing, this is the place to be.  With an option to seat on the floor in your choice of pergolas located strategically around the paddy field, this was a good experience.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Paddy Fields

Bebek Tepi Sawah Menu and my thirst quencher for the sweltering heat, Teh Botol!

While they have a list of food they are popular for, I could not stray away for their Balinese special, the Balinese Crispy Duck R92,000 ! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter an hour’s drive to Ubud, I was famished.  I have to admit, that I felt extremely tempted to start without a photo but I held back!  Served crispy to the bone, it was a pleasant surprise to find out how delicious the humble duck can be.  The duck was almost entirely edible except for the bones along the thigh and the wing.  It was not hard to see why this dish is extremely popular.  It was simple and the flesh was tasty despite having minimal seasoning.  Its side of curried beans were no less a decent bite and it complemented the dish well.  Then comes the next best part, the condiments of three spicy sauces.

While I have no specific names for them, I knew they varied in spiciness and acidity.  Great stuff that accompanied the duck.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The one on the left was probably the spiciest.  Just layers and layers of chili.  Red, green and all those in between.  Definitely for the brave.  The one on the right had shallots which gave it a sweeter touch.  But my favourite of all was the sambal pictured below.   In terms of spiciest it was probably in the middle?  But it was just perfectly seasoned. 

A meal in Indonesia is not complete without a serve of Gado Gado for R50,000 :)!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATopped with crispy Emping chips, fresh vegetables, sprouts, bean curd and tempeh, it was funny how refreshing something coated with peanut sauce can be.   But if you eat each individually, you’d be thrown by the bitterness of the Emping chips or perhaps the blandness of the bean curd.  Together, each element simply worked well with one another.

Great meal to start the day.  Despite feeling touristy from the entrance due to its immaculate presentation, Indonesian diners which formed a majority of the diners assured me that the experience at Bebek Tepi Sawah was authentic.  This raises a question, how do people here afford the prices I pay?  My bill here worked out to be around $A15 which definitely was not cheapest in town.  But combining ambience, service, food and the friends that were here with me on that day, I nothing to complain about.  It was by all means a stellar meal which won due to its simplicity.  Next stop: Naughty Nuri’s!!

Bebek Tepi Sawah Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato