Friday, December 30, 2011

Bali eats ~ From here to there

From Canggu - Ubud - Gianyar

Our journey from the villa to Ubud, for some shopping at Sukawati market before finally arriving at Gianyar, where Bali Safari & Marine Park is.

After shopping, it was already past noon so we asked the tour driver to bring us to a restaurant around that area, which serves Halal/Muslim food. He nodded his head furiously and replied that there's one ahead.

We repeated, "Makanan yg Halal, ya?" Again, he nodded his head.

When we finally arrived at the restaurant and saw the numerous dogs at the premise, the Hindu sculptures plus altar... Well, we knew that he either got our request wrong or that he brought us to this tourist-trap on purpose (to earn commission).

Went in anyway and after browsing through the menu, we played it safe and ordered strictly seafood items.

They only got down to preparing our food when we actually made the order so it was a pretty loong wait. Meanwhile, we take in the gorgeous view surrounding the restaurant.

Swimming pool

Customers dining at the restaurant are entitled to utilise the swimming pool. Was very much tempted, seeing how it was so hot, despite us being high on the mountainous region.

With a great view

This is what I love about Ubud. The remarkable views of paddy fields all around. And the endless blue sky.

Tuna pizza

They baked the pizza in a wood-fire clay oven and it took ages! Even our simple order of french fries took some time to arrive.

Seafood pizza

Honestly speaking, these thin-crust pizza barely filled our tummies.

Rapuan Cili - Restoran & Swimming Pool
Jln. Raya Mas - Ubud - Bali (Br Tarakan)

From Gianyar-Kelungkung

After checking out of Mara River Lodge the next day, my BiL brought us to Klungkung to check out the museum since it's close to Gianyar.

The museum in Klungkung

A temple within the museum grounds

Honestly, after the museum visit, we ended up pretty hungry and asked the tour driver to bring us to a Halal or a 'Muslim' eating place (as they're usually labelled). This driver was much more reliable and made the effort to drive through the streets in search of such an eating place.

He told us that most people who came over from the neighbouring Muslim-majority Lombok usually reside in Klungkung and it might be easier to search for Muslim eateries there.

There were quite a handful of Halal ones. However, they're really just small, street-side 'warungs' that may not accommodate us all and the driver was worried that the lack of hygiene may affect us (with kids and all). He finally resorted going to the bus terminal to ask around.

However, we saw a restaurant with a 'Muslim' label in the distance and strode over, disregarding its location or hygiene, whatsoever.

We're hungry and we only want our bellies filled. Halal food, of course.

Simple fare

You can count the number of dishes available, with your ten fingers. Most of the dishes had the familiar reddish tint, indicating the use of chilli.

My MiL was aghast to see the proprietor actually scooping the food WITH HIS HANDS, onto our plate. She, being keen on hygiene and all (maybe this was what got the driver worried). I tried to appease her, saying that this might be the culture here and we can't expect all to be the same everywhere else.

I can see that scene somewhat affected her appetite.

My plate

When I see and finally taste the food, I can only say that it taste somewhat familiar, although the presentation was somewhat different.

The crispy, 'sambal tempe' with peanuts. Spicy, shredded beef. Spicy, shredded chicken. Simple stir-fried mix-veggies. There's also fried chicken quarters. And that dollop of 'sambal terasi' was spicy or what??! I even tried to mix with sweet soy sauce but it didn't alleviate the heat one bit. My tongue was on fire!!

I conclude that this could be an eatery managed by on of those Lombok migrants. People from these region are really keen on their chili in their cooking.

From Klungkung-Kintamani-Ubud-Canggu

Very much affected by the heat at Gianyar & Klungkung, I requested that we make a detour up the mountains to take in the sights and feel a little bit of cool air.

As our (good) luck would have it, it drizzled a bit during our journey to Kintamani. Not only does that make for cooler temperatures, it also help to clear the air so we can have a much clearer view and absorb fully, the grandeur of Mt. Batur (where AQUA bottled water comes from). Thankfully, there were no fog or mist to hinder our view.

Mount Batur

Small warung at Kintamani

Tired from the long journey, we thought of taking a short break and enjoy the views from up there. Since it rained a wee bit, we decide to seek refuge in a roadside' warung', for some snack & coffee.

Coffee with a view

There's Bali coffee (cheaper) and Kintamani coffee (more premium price). The latter is supposedly grounded Arabica beans.

Pisang goreng

We thought of sharing some 'pisang goreng' (banana fritters) for some tea-time snack. Disappointedly so, unlike those in Singapore & Malaysia, the banana fritters here were hardly crispy. Limp, very limp.

We're just glad they came piping hot so we finished these in no time, slurped down our coffee; paid up and continued with our journey through the pristine streets of Ubud before heading back to our much missed villa, Umah Pesisi.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bali eats ~ Fast Food

When in doubt about what food will be suitable for Halal consumption when in Bali, you can always turn to fast food as a safe choice. Brands like McD, KFC, Pizza Hut & A&W are generally Halal-certified (certificate on display).


We ate at A&W for 2 days straight. That 1st night, we dined at the branch inside Discovery Shopping Mall (Centro) in Kuta.

It was a 'proper' restaurant with a large premise and the food were served with proper cutlery. Most importantly, the much adored Root Beer Float came served in their trademark large, chilled glass mugs.

For lunch the day after, we went to the branch at Matahari Mall. It's was at a corner and space was a lil' tight. Food came served in paper containers, like your regular fast-food outlet.

Why A&W, you ask? Heck, I don't know myself. Maybe because we don't have it here so I guess we kinda miss eating there??


Rice seem to be a must in every Indonesian fast-food outlet. They actually scoop the piping hot rice into these paper sheets and wrap it like a burger.


A hit with the kids in my family. We ordered a platter of fried chicken to share, eaten with rice and this vegetable (carrots, tomato & corn) soup with its bits of chicken meat.

Fish burger

By the 2nd day, I got tired of the chicken-rice-soup combo and ordered this for myself.

Sandwich or burger, it's two of the same thing. Meat squished between two buns with veggies & mayo. Came piping hot and nicely secure in this package. A little frustrating for the very hungry me, I'd say.

Root beer float

Root beer with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on a very hot day??

ANYTIME, baby. Anytime (though I really miss those chilled glass mugs, here).


My hubby's side of the family really love their fried chicken-rice-soup combo. Had the same thing here. Maybe, they'll even order something similar in McD.


Very interesting side.

Also known as 'perkedel'. I wish I can recall just what exactly is the name listed for this item on the menu. High chance it's Potato Croquette.

Talk about localising the menu, to suit the local tastebuds...

Given the fact that they don't really lack manpower & space here (for dishwashing), the food is actually served on proper porcelain plates. They even give us a whole plate when we ask for something to put the chili sauce in. :P

Yakiniku Rice

My order. I can't help ordering something that's wholly different from what I'm accustomed to.

Battered chicken fillet with 'Yakiniku' sauce. Served with garden salad & rice.

Kolonel's Katsu

"..with real Okonomiyaki sauce.." (as quoted from the poster).

Bread-crumbed chicken fillet topped with the above-mentioned sauce. Served with rice & side salad.

Ok, what's this deal with all these Japanese fusion stuff, huh?


Check out their menu HERE.

PS: The KFC there seem to tie up with some music company to sell CD singles of popular artistes. I can't resist getting a set that also includes the CD promo and got myself some Agnes Monica's music. :)))

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bali ~ Eats @ Umah Pesisi

Umah Pesisi, the villa we stayed in while in Bali, is fully serviced by:
(as quoted from their website)

"...One full-time cook - Trained in the preparation of both local and international cuisine. A menu is provided, and the cook will do all the market shopping.."

Breakfast is ready!


Breads, alongside with both French & local butter. Strawberry, blueberry & pineapple jam.

Breakfast cereals provided were Corn Flakes. We also bought some Koko Crunch for the kids. Milk was provided. Default beverage was orange juice.


In one platter were carbs like slices of wholemeal & white bread, croissant & danish.

Fried rice

Indonesian breakfast is available by request. Comes with an additional cost.

On the 1st morning, we had Nasi Goreng (fried rice). On the 2nd, we were served Mie Goreng. Fried egg noodles (the wavy, yellow type that look no different from your instant noodles). Of course, we specially requested for there to be NO meat included, so it's just veggies and egg.

Taste alright, although I wish that it could have a bit of spice. However, I understand that he's accustomed to cooking for Caucasians who usually can't take much chili heat. Either that or he took into consideration, the kids we had with us.

Fruits platter

Always served at every meal, no matter breakfast or lunch.

Lunch ~ (by request - with additional charges).

A menu was provided, and the cook will do all the market shopping when we specifically request for a meal to be prepared.

Our request, once again is simple. No meats. Just seafood. We didn't really ask for any specific dish. So, when he was cooking up a storm for lunch on late that morning, it got us wondering, what he had prepared.

Us mommies were having our spa treatments in our rooms (Balinese massage + cream bath) and we can smell the aroma of the cooked food wafting in from the kitchen (the villa's has an open concept, after all). Hungrehh!

Sambal matah

Raw Shallot & Lemongrass 'Sambal'. A trademark condiment when eating local dishes in Bali. Especially when it involves seafood.

Then again, calling this a 'sambal' would have been too overrated. There's hardly any chili in here. Then again the reason could be similar as the one for the 'Nasi Goreng' above.

Bread-crumbed squid fritters

A hit with the kids. The squid were a tad chewy at some parts but it's mostly good. Comes accompanied with thousand-island dipping sauce.

Balinese salad/mixed vegetables

Long beans and white cabbage, blanched and mixed with spiced grated-coconut and toppped with fried shallots. Reminds me a lot like the Javanese 'urap', except that the coconut was more moist and sweet.

A very common vegetable dish with Balinese 'Nasi Campur' (with rice with mixed dishes).

Pan-fried tuna

Fresh tuna pieces that was marinated prior to being pan-fried & grilled. It's amazing how something so simple taste sooo good! I love those charred bits! Goes really well with the 'sambal matah'.

Tom Yum Goong

This caught me by surprise. I mean, a Thai dish in Bali?? Even if it's meant to accommodate the (usually) stereotypical taste-buds of the Caucasians, this is a tad too much, ain't it?

Thankfully, this was was well-executed. Very refreshing taste and surprisingly, not spicy (despite the reddish tint). Plus the fresh prawns and mushrooms easily lend some sweetness to this dish they're cooked in. Nice!

My plate

Pisang goreng

A nice end to a very fulfilling meal. A bit of warning though: the banana fritters her aren't crispy at all. Had it elsewhere and it was the same. Maybe it's their way of preparing it.

So don't go around expecting to hear/feel some crunch when biting into one, when you're there. Don't say I didn't warn you...

So there. My meals in that huge villa.

You can take a look at their available menu HERE.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bali Safari & Marine Park - Fun Zone

Oopsie-daisy. How can I even even miss this out?

After seeing pictures of this place on the directory, I got soo excited that I wore the fully-covered swimwear during my 1st day plying around the safari. It was in anticipation of this water park that seemed like such a great idea, during that scorching hot day.

Well, the 1st day come and go, yet we did not even encounter the water park. Dejected, I brought my son for a swim in the common pool instead. :(

On to the 2nd day. We actually ventured to the other unexplored areas in the park. By then, we have all forgotten about it.

In the very last lap of our adventure in the safari, some 15mins or so before our transportation arrive to bring us back to Canggu, we came to an obscure corner in the park called, "Fun Zone".

We walked in further and saw THIS:


Why didn't we discover this much earlier? Especially the day before??!

The two days there had been especially hot so can you imagine how great it could have been, splashing around here! Imagine the fun the kids (ok, and adults) could have had??

Needless to say, I left the place totally miffed. :-/

PS: I eventually went to their website and checked out the interactive map. That place seemed to have even more fun activities going on during their heydays.

Now, it come off as more… muted. That Fun Zone definitely had seen better days…

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bali Safari & Marine Park

The safari experience

Staff in a ranger garb, driving us in an open jeep.


The bird. Not the country.

One of those that I mentioned previously. The one that roamed the lawns around our 'huts'.

Tram ride

At the rate that it's enclosed and air-conditioned; it's better off being called a 'bus'. Took the guided tour around the grounds of the safari.

...Also a safe way to meet & greet them tigers and lions.

Orang Utan

The animal that shares 96% of our genetic makeup. That's how SIMILAR we are.


Very entertaining creature. A soon as we pass, it started to swing on the rope and tried its best to impress.

Sun bear

Or is it Asian bear? I know one of them is also known as the 'honey-bear' because of it's affinity for that liquid gold.

And no, it's doesn't look at all like 'Pooh'.


Rawr! Malayan tigers, I think.


Ok, did I get that spelling right...? Are there supposed to be 3 or 4 'p'?


The tram has to enter a enclosure with automatic gates for this. Opened as we enter and closed behind us as we leave. I guess they're still much feared.

Unlike the tiger's den, which only has a moat around it.

African Red buffaloes??



Despite those spikes, I think that they're still pretty cute.

Then again, I might have mistaken them for hedgehogs...

Komodo Dragon

The largest living species of lizard. And boy, it's huge!


Loves to nestle itself between the leaves and branches. A more common term will be 'draping' itself on the branch of a tree. Seeing how the body goes all limp as it hangs itself like an exotic rag.


We caught them in a pretty odd position. A school of them, all awkwardly still and facing one direction, as if praying.

I won't fault you if you think that they've been frozen in the tank.

We missed out on their feeding display. Would love to see for myself, how they actually eat (pretty ferocious, I heard).

Location of the Bengal Tiger enclosure

Pretty grand, huh? Suited for a maharaja. Very apt for this majestic animal!

White Bengal Tiger

His Royal Highness was having his bath when I duly came by to visit.

My apologies, your majesty.

White Bengal Tiger

In all his regal glory.

Since this is my favourite animal amongst all, it deserve to have 2 pics posted. :)))

Camel ride

My 2 year-old boy surprised me when he ran to the camels, expecting a ride. I had a feeling he remembered the camels that he saw at Paradise Country in Brisbane.

And a ride, he got. Thanks to his uncle who accompanied him.

Elephant show

Elephant show

Caught the elephant show on the 1st day. Reminds me a lot like the sketches we had back in school, what with the safari staff play-acting and all... And those elephants sure can act as well!

The sketch was to highlight and promote the conservation of elephant habitats. Also to show the misconceptions mostly associated with wild elephants. Very interesting.

Animal show

Caught this the next morning. Only held once a day. Another educational shows showcasing animals, from the small domestic one to the medium-sized range.

Bali Agung

That statue is not just ANY elephant. That was supposed to be Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity related to success. And given the massive size, that's actually the tallest statue of Ganesha in Bali.

That's a big deal in this majority-Hindu land.

And that cavernous compartment also acts as the entrance to the massive theatre for the Bali Agung show. My BiL had really wanted to catch the show, which showcases a grand cultural performance featuring 180 dancers & performers. Pretty similar to much hyped 'Fantasea' in Phuket.

The theater is located right smack within the grounds of Bali Safari and since we stayed there, we're entitled to a discount on the tickets.

However, I stood my ground and think of the reality. We have 4 children; 2 of whom were not interested and the even smaller 2 who don't give a damn at all. Tickets aren't cheap and I don't wan't to risk having them creating a ruckus during the show because it's over 2 hrs long. We all know how toddlers are, with regards to their attention span.

So we gave that show a miss, checked-out on time and head for Klungkung, Kintamani & Ubud instead.

Next up: Bali food entries - finally!