Monday, February 27, 2012

Food in Ubud

I was looking forward to eating lots of Indonesian food everyday when I was in Bali, since I love Indonesian food.

Sadly, my appetite wasn't up to mark. (Although that didn't stop me from ordering Indonesian food every meal.. I just didn't manage to finish everything..)

Balinese food seems a little different from the Indonesian food that we know in Singapore. Balinese food seem to use a lot more fresh coconut meat and herbs, which I thought made it very distinct and different from the Indonesian food I know.

Ubud is not exactly a cuisine paradise but there are a few famous places that everyone else seem to say you have to visit in Ubud.

Top on the list is Ibu Oka.

Some say it's a must eat when you visit Ubud. Others hike across the island to visit this place. I could be prejudiced since I don't like pork anyway. But The Husband appreciates this meat and he thinks that the Chinese version of roasted suckling pig with the crackling on the skin is way better.

But to be fair, I think the roasted pork at Ibu Oka, with all the condiments on the side is very "Balinese" and is worth a try if you are in Ubud.

Another famous restaurant in Ubud is Bebek Bengil , aka the Dirty Duck Diner.

This is a beautiful and massive restaurant with a padi field right behind the restaurant. I thought the Bebek Bengil Crispy Duck was nice and crispy. It was a little on the dry side though and I think whilst the taste of the coconut oil makes it rather special, it isn't something that I really like in a crispy duck. But I did really like the chilli and onion condiments that came with the duck. An Indonesian friend tells me the barbeque pork ribs are also excellent, though we didn't order that.

We also tried a few other restaurants in Ubud - they were mostly pretty decent although not extremely memorable or special.

Ibu Oka
Jalan Tegal Sari No 2 Ubud
(Opposite the former Royal Palace - just ask if in doubt)
Be sure to go early as they apparently sell out by 2pm

Dirty Duck Diner
Padang Tegal - UbudTel: 62361 975 489
(It' not fair away from the Monkey Forest)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Villa Sarna, Ubud

Last week's trip to Bali was a very relaxing one for me.

To be honest, I wasn't looking terribly forward to it because the thought of having to travel again just having been home from a 12 hour flight the Sunday before didn't sound terribly appealing. And I still suffering from a bit of a jet lag on the day we took off to Bali.

And Villa Sarna didn't give me a good impression right from the start. The journey from the airport at Depansar took about an hour and a half. And then, whilst Villa Sarna was located right in the middle of nowhere, there was a very loud and irritating sound of someone cutting down trees nearby.

Exhausted from the travel as I was, I couldn't wait to get out of my room into the heart of Ubud village for lunch and to avoid that horrible noise.

But as dusk fell and we returned to Villa Sarna, it transformed into a most charming oasis. Apart from the sounds of crickets singing and toads croaking, it was really peaceful and quiet.

Each room in Villa Sarna is a little standalone hut. There weren't many rooms to begin with and ours was right in a corner of the premises. I slept really soundly that night and every night in Bali.

Our stay was not without its fair share of troubles though. We had the aircon dripping with water one morning . and then an army of ants carried a dead cockroach right by our door on another morning.. and we had no water in our room on our last night in Bali. And of course, throughout our stay, the tree cutting noises continued every morning and afternoon.

But the peaceful surroundings each evening, the wonderful breakfast every morning.. and the very friendly staff at Villa Sana made it impossible for me to like the place.

Villa Sarna is very pretty, with lots of lush greenery and very Balinese decor

The outdoor bed just outside our room. I love lying down on it

At dusk, the whole place becomes extremely peaceful and charming

Even the little plunge pool looked better in the evening

The breakfast was simple but good. I especially loved the homebaked donuts and fresh juices

This lily flowered on the day we were leaving. 
It's really beautiful, isn't it?

A Simple Fruity Salad

I don't have much of an appetite these days.

And today's weather is so hot I found it especially hard to think o something suitable to eat for lunch. So I made myself a refreshing, fruity salad for lunch.

This salad is really easy to make. I just mix the following ingredients together:
- A bowl of baby spinach leaves
- A few sweet Korean strawberries
- A handful of dried cranberries, raisins and nuts
- A few pinenuts
- A simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and maple syrup

Strawberries are high in vitamin C and full of antioxidants. These Korean strawberries that I bought from the supermarket are so sweet, I can eat the entire punnet at one go. They really help when I don't have much of an appetite.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm back!

I've been away for such a long time from my blog!

I was in London for 2 weeks and then back for a crazy few days.. and then it was off to Bali for a long weekend.

This week will be another crazy week at work, but I'd be posting more about my trips soon.

Dreamersloft kindly gave me a "Versatile Blogger Award" - big thanks to her for that.  I felt rather proud to have received it from a veteran blogger like Dreamersloft.

I'd like to pass on this award to 4 versatile blogger I know:

Blurting - for her heart warming posts on food, family, friends and Rusty!
Sinfonia - Sinfonia blogs about her beautiful garden, life in Tasmania, her handmade jewellery.. and not forgetting the occasional wise reflections about life and the economy
Petunia - for her posts on teaching children, Singapore politics... and what attracted me to her blog in the first place - gardening and tips for life (think low carb diets and simple delicious snacks)
Dianty Bites - I started following her blog fairly recently. Love the simple meals, her posts on her lovely daughter, and all the other random but useful pieces of information (like good books and helpful facial products)

Blog reading is such a part of my life now that being away from the internet induces withdrawal syndromes.. :)