Saturday, July 23, 2011

23 July 2011 - Badminton-less day

Second week that he went without badminton. And that would mean more time for food. Woke up at noon and tried to make brunch with whatever was in the kitchen. Eggs and oyster mushrooms.

Poached eggs in a pan shallowly filled with water. Refrigerated eggs are probably easier to work with, the room temperature eggs he used created a lot of "driftaways". Browned the bite-sized mushrooms with salt and butter in a frying pan.

After all that, he decided he should reward himself with an iced 7-up + lime drink.

One thing he hates about going without the badminton game is that time would usually be spent in malls, which would mean shopping and food. So, they visited Din Tai Fung on this day for some dim sum...

Fried pork cutlet $6.80++. Well-marinated and succulent as always.

Perhaps cutting against the grain helped a little.

Soon after, the beef noodles was served ($10++). Quality's still like the last time they had it, chunks of tender beef and tendons, smooth and springy noodles, and the tasty soup almost had them fighting over the single serving again.

Third to arrive was the basket of 10 pork dumplings (xiao long bao), $9.00++. Yummy little dumplings bursting with delicious soup stock.
(picture seems to be missing)

Lastly (maybe not), was another basket of 10 shrimp and pork dumplings (siew mai), $13.50++. The waiter had to stack this on-top of the xiao long bao basket, and the people at the next table stared for a good few seconds. In awe, in admiration or in disgust at the voracious appetite, he would never know. He didn't like this one that much. The prawns weren't sweet or crunchy, and the top part of the skin wrapping the prawns was too thick. However, the base of pork filling was fine, probably the same stuff as the pork dumpling above.

Was waiting for their refill of tea when he spotted the promotion for DBS card members. 15% off basket of 4 chilli crab dumplings, usual price $6. Looked interesting, so he placed an order for that. Despite the long waiting time, it didn't disappoint. The base was made up of minced pork, and the rest were chilli crab meat, spicy with a tinge of sweetness. Thumbs up to this.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

20 July 2011 - Toasted enoki ham roll for night snack

The remaining ham seemed to be mocking him from the chiller section. The mind's saying no, but the body's moving on its own.

Brought the ham out and found 5 slices in all.
Used one packet of enoki mushroms he had bought earlier on, 3 packets for $1.10.
Chopped an inch off the end and rinsed the mushrooms for a bit.
Divided the mushroom clump into smaller portions and wrapped them up with the ham.
Toasted them open-end down for 6 minutes before flipping over to toast for another 3 minutes.

Love the convenience of a toaster oven.

Nitrates from the ham flavoured the mushrooms, didn't need any additional salt.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

17 July 2011 - Toasted egg for supper

Toasted each side of the ham for around a minute.
Placed ham on aluminum foil (to catch any overflowing egg) before setting into a small bowl.
Poured egg onto the ham-bowl and sprinkled some black pepper.
Toasted the pairing for 6 minutes.

The egg's surface turned out rubbery, while the insides were still runny. The egg tasted fine as the ham had imparted its salty flavour. Any tips on how else to make this?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

01 July 2011 - Finale of Bali trip

Breakfast came on time at 8am at their lovely garden terrace. Birds chirping, butterflies fluttering, morning sun providing a sliver of warmth lifted spirits. Nasi Goreng for her, Mie Goreng for him. He found it too oily and sweet, did not enjoy this as much as the one whipped up at Nefatari.

Checked out and went touring at 9am. Visited Pura Taman Ayun and Tanah Lot for some sightseeing.

Statue at the entrance of Pura Taman Ayun. Entrance fee was 3,000rp per person.

Note for ladies entering Pura Taman Ayun...

The merus

Pura Tanah Lot - entrance to the temple is viable only at low tide. Entrance fee was 10,000rp per person. There was a relatively cheap market in the area., with tee shirts going for 10,000rp up.

Crash happy waves, spotting the people on the cliff will tell you how high the waves crashed.

A more violent one captured.

After all that sun, they headed to Krisna in hope of getting some souvenirs. Huge store, but couldn't find anything suitable. She bought a "love bali" tee shirt though.

Grabbed a quick lunch at the cafe just outside the store. Finally got to order sate lilit, but this was cold and not grilled on lemongrass sticks. Still nice anyway, tasted like "otak" back home. 10,000rp for 8 sticks.

Rice with self picked sides of fried shrimp, vegetables and some crispy anchovies. 20,000rp. Sounded cheap until I saw the menu on the board. See next picture.

Could have been overcharged, since that stall actually offered sets which include several sides and drinks, the most expensive being 20,000rp. Coincidentally, the lady who served him is looking at the camera from behind the glass. Also bought a chilled bottle of 1.5L mineral water at 6,000rp for the rest of the journey. Prior to that, they had finished a similar bottle had for 3,500rp from a convenience shop.

Carried on with their journey to Uluwatu's Padang Padang beach. Drove up and down many steep slopes before reaching the destination. And guess what? More steep slopes. You have to climb down many steps before reaching the beautiful beach. Saw more people on the beach than suggested online.

View of the cliff and Mount Agung (?) in the distance.

A better view of the clouds surrounding Mount Agung (?).

Enjoyed themselves so much with checking out the amazing marine life in the reefs that they overshot the allocated time. The climb back up was very taxing, got some muscle aches after that.

The driver told them they only had 20 minutes for their last stop at Pura Luhur Uluwatu, costing 15,000 per person.

Got some BBQ corn with savoury kecap manis (soy sauce?) from the motorcycle stall just outside Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Yummy stuff, especially when they were tired and hungry again. He has some corn in the fridge and is thinking of making some right now.

Some tourist bought the corn just to offer to the monkeys. This one apparently enjoyed it a lot too, taking big mouthfuls.

A monkey drinking from a bottle it uncapped. Yes, it knew how to unscrew the cap of the bottle.

If you ever visit, please be careful of the mischievous monkeys. The driver told them not to wear spectacles, shades, hats or have anything in your hands. This particular monkey snatched a Japanese tourist's shades, only to drop it onto the ground after being offered food.

This little one perched stealthily and ready to grab this Caucasian lady's hat. She got away after he warned her about the threat. However, she was quickly surrounded by more monkeys because she had food in her hands. A local walked towards the monkeys with his arms raised and they all scampered off.

And then, it was time to say goodbye. Not that smoothly though, got jammed for an hour or so before reaching the airport. Here's food on the return flight...tata, Bali.

30 June 2011 - To Tunjung Mas Bungalows and the long stroll

After a three night stay at Nefatari, it was time to move hotels. Reluctant as they were, they didn't have much of a choice, since Nefatari had been fully booked. Let's view some breakfast pictures from the final day at Nefatari.

Omelette, sausage and bacon.

Bubur Ayam, arranged slightly differently from the previous.

Mie Goreng again for him

The final morning spread at Nefatari. Their watermelon juice was good, sweet and pulpy, a regular with their meals.

Ayu processed their check-out and the bill came to USD440 for lodging package, 350,000rp for the 2 hour spa and 188,000rp for Bebek Betutu dinner with Bintang and watermelon juice. Gede ferried us and a Caucasian lady who wanted to head to Starbucks. Our destination? Tunjung Mas Bungalows, lodging for the final night of the trip.

Finally reached Tunjung Mas Bungalows.

While processing their check-in at Tunjung Mas Bungalows, they were served with fruit juice. Cool and refreshing.

Her contribution in brighter colors.

They did not engage the driver as they did not know what time they would be done with checking in. The driver did not seem keen on the half-day (2pm-7pm) job either. His worries were unfounded though, as the check-in was a breeze. After a rest, they prepared to go explore the area and visit Ubud market again. Komang kindly provided a photocopy of the area map, and it was a reassuring asset. It would prove to be a very long walk...traced in red.

Monkeyed around at the batik store just outside Tunjung Mas before turning right of the hotel, heading north on Hanoman. Lots of shops and restaurants, they also passed by Bebek Bengil, but it was too early to eat. After what seemed like hours, they finally reached Dewi Sita. By this time, they were already hungry and stopped by Warung Kacu.

Ordered Nasi Campur, Soto Ayam and Sate Babi, all for 45,000rp. Affordable, but would it be good?

6 sticks of Sate Babi for 15,000rp. The sauce is more savoury as compared to the sweet peanut sauce used back at home.

Nasi Campur for just 20,000rp. Consisted of one stick of pork sate, half an egg, some fried chicken and fried anchovies.

Soto Ayam for him, 10,000rp. More soupy than the version he knows, but contained a generous serving of shredded chicken.

Continued on the journey to Ubud market, and it was lucky that they closed at 5pm. Spared him the agony of nagivating the maze. On the return route, they took the Jalan Monkey Forest route, and encountered some screeching monkeys fighting and running across their paths in the dark. When they finally got to Jalan Raya Pengosekan, their stomachs started to complain. Browsed the restaurants for sate lilit, but couldn't find any. They ended up venturing further south and checked into the relatively empty Warung Ubud.

Got the platform seating right beside the road. The restaurant had really dim lighting and tea light candles on the table.

Beef Stroganoff for her, cost 32,000rp plus tax. Lighting was insufficient and it was difficult to focus. Sorry about the pictures.

BBQ pork ribs for him, 35,000rp plus tax.

The fulfilling meal marked the last dinner in Bali.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

29 June 2011 - Kintamani tour

Did he say that he liked the breakfast Mie Goreng at Nefatari?

Nasi Goreng, a savoury breakfast for her.

Met up with the driver and headed to Kintamani to view Mount Batur and Lake Batur. Sadly, it rained and the area was all clouded. Never got a proper opportunity to capture the sights.

Still full from breakfast, they decided against opting for buffet lunch that was catered for tourists. Such restaurants seem to provide good views of Mount Batur in good weather though.

They just continued walking along the street, fending off the touts while trying to take pictures. Saw some sort of viewing gallery with less people, and spotted a Bakso Mie stall. The fruit seller from the stall beside hounded them as they approached, even as they tried their best to refuse her politely. While having their Bakso Mie and swatting countless flies, the fruit seller returned and pushed a peeled rambutan into their faces before leaving. The mistake here was eating that one fruit. Almost magically, the tout popped up with a small bag of fruits and tried to charge 40,000 rp. Reminded of the advice he was given, be firm, smile and walk away. Not giving up, the tout slashed the price to 10,000 rp, but they were not interested at all, and left her cursing away.

10,000rp for Bakso Mie, probably tourist price as they saw 5,000rp Bakso Mie in warungs along the way. Their driver maintained that 10,000rp was the same price the locals paid though. This was a salty soup with some chicken meat balls, crackers and a few strands of mung bean vermicelli.

Left for a coffee farm visit, and was brought to Abian Sari Agro Wisata. Coffee Luwak was available for 50,000rp a cup as shown in the menu. Other samplers were free. Spent 70,000rp on a box of dried Rosella, as he didn't know what else to get for his parents.

Cuppa Coffee Luwak in the middle, surrounded by the samplers.

Her artsy perspective.

The napping luwak, which partially digests the coffee beans for the coffee product. Yeah, retrieved from its excretion.

Excreted coffee seeds.

Unripe coffee fruit are green, while ripe ones are red. Apparently, the luwak even knows which of the ripe ones taste good.

The cleaned luwak coffee seeds are roasted for about an hour before pounded into powder.

Coffee powder, roasted coffee seeds and unprocessed coffee seeds.

Cocoa fruit.

Cocoa seeds.

Headed back to Nefatari for another massage at 5pm and to have Bebek Betutu (smoked duck) for dinner at 7pm. The massage ended at 6pm and left them hungry. Dialed reception and they kindly sent them some complimentary afternoon tea even though it was evening. Such great service, don't you think so?

Fast forward to the dinner setting in the villa. One whole smoked duck accompanied by a serving of Urab.

Urab of spiced chopped beans. Balances out the yummy duck meat.

Star of the dinner - Bebek Betutu. Never knew duck meat could be so tender. He has had braised duck, roasted duck but those had dry and tough meat. This smoked duck was so tender they left only the head and buttocks untouched. Could it be the genus of duck? Liked the unique seasoning and also did not detect any gaminess. Paid 150,000rp nett and they felt that it was worth every rupiah.

Another of her contribution. He's grateful that there's another photographer on the trip to provide other perspectives and also to provide backup for shots that he may have missed.