In a nutshell we ate very well in Bali. It was great not to have to cook at all. Our breakfasts were included as part of the hotel accommodation and in the first hotel we stayed in it was more varied than the second hotel with the mix of western and Asian food but by the end I was sick of trying to decide what to have. Generally I had an omelette from the egg station, some toast and something else like a pancake or a danish. So I ate a lot more for breakfasts than I usually do when at home. Unfortunately the coffee was awful and apparently the tea was weak in both our hotels.
One morning I was standing at the toaster and two pieces came out that looked just like what I’d put in and when I asked a person nearby if they were his he got quite defensive about the fact that they were his and that there was plenty of food to go around you know. Ok, I was just making an observation, not trying to get into a fight or anything.
Because we ate such big breakfasts we usually didn’t eat much for lunch or had quite a late lunch and then by dinner time we were ready to indulge again at a nearby restaurant. We had dinner one night at the hotel which was included in our package and it wasn’t very nice at all. It was a seafood buffet and the fish at these buffet’s was mostly overdone and not very tasty. Also, one of our party got Bali belly from a seafood salad he ate which was really unfortunate especially as it was on the last day and we had a 1am flight the next morning to come back home.
There were a couple of standout meals. One was in a restaurant opposite our hotel in Tuban. We chose some fresh seafood from out the front and they cooked it on the grill before serving it to us. I had prawns, The Surfer had the best snapper I’ve ever tasted which would have been enough to feed two people and my friend had chili crab. It was absolutely delicious.
The other standout meal was a Bumbu Bali near Nusa Dua. In retrospect we should have had the kids babysat so we could really enjoy the feast, the taste, the smells, the dancing and everything. But we didn’t. We still managed to enjoy ourselves once the kids settled down a bit. I liked that everytime a group walked in there would be a sing-song greeting ‘selamat malam’ which means good evening. While we were eating the music and dancing started which kept the kids occupied a bit too.
The image at the top of this post was JJ’s and L’s food. By the time ours came I was ready to devour it, not take photos of it. It was so delicious and I’m glad we ate here towards the end of our stay because it would have tainted our experiences at other places. The meal was probably the most expensive we had in Bali but one that was definitely worth it. The photo above are the chefs at Bumbu Bali who aren’t hidden away in a kitchen.
At restaurants I expected to have more Indonesian food choices but most restaurants tried to cater for all types of tastes so there’d be pizza, pasta etc, ie more western food. This was a bit disappointing although we did go to an Italian restaurant in our hotel where the food was absolutely delicious. I hadn’t been expecting that.
What I really really liked about eating out in Bali was the service. Because there were essentially two groups of us we could split the bill. That is one family ordered on one bill and we’d order on the other. We got used to saying right at the beginning that we were ordering for bill 1 and they were ordering for bill 2. It made paying at the end of the meal so much easier and because we were away for two weeks it saved us having to worry about meal IOUs. We already had to do that for transport and a couple of times when it got confusing I was able to organise the money so it all worked out. Usually money handling confounds me but I left my travel companions confounded a couple of times about what had just happened. I jokingly said I should become a money exchanger because some of them have quite dodgy practises (not that mine were).
Most restaurants also had a kids menu and this was my favourite looking meal out of all of them. Guess who it is.
Now I can’t have a food post in a foreign land without mentioning what happens to it at the other end. Don’t worry, I won’t go into graphic descriptions of Bali Belly. I didn’t get this at all. In fact it was the opposite. I’m usually very regular and to not be regular was a bit distressing and quite uncomfortable. I ended up buying a box of green tea bags because green tea helps me but even that didn’t really work. Towards the end of the two weeks I feel like I hardly ate at all because I felt so constantly full and that was really annoying. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m all back to normal again, and my stomach’s come down to it’s normal size.
Apologies for ending on a more of a non-food note for this post but it’s all gotta end up somewhere!