Posts Tagged ‘chicken satay’

FOOD TRIPPING IN BALI

Mention Bali and food in one breath and the flavourful nasi campur that lights up the palate come to mind. But iconic local dish aside, restaurants abound in and out of Sanur that makes food tripping in Bali a very delectable experience. It is also an advantage to have a gal-pal who has had her ear on the ground when it comes to the culinary delights around the island.

Sanur is replete with myriad dining choices, but my culinary adventure always started each day with breakfast at La Tartine, the restaurant where guests of French-owned Hotel Puri Tempo Doeloe troop to from 7 am to 10 am. One’s choice of breakfast set comes with fruit salad, orange juice, and black coffee or tea. A creature of habit, my choice was always scrambled egg with fried tomatoes and herbs partnered with a thin pancake from the other sets of bacon and egg, scrambled egg with grilled cheese, tartine of the day, and nasi goreng (fried rice) or mie goreng (fried noodles). Each breakfast set is prepared on the spot with the right amount of oil and spices, and absolutely basking in freshness. For a mid-day repast of Italian, gal-pal Eta swears by the nonpareil menu of Massimo – Italian Restaurant on Jalan Danau Tamblingan. This more-than-a-decade old eatery sees nights teeming with diners already seated or waiting for their table. The first time we got there we had 40 minutes before we could get ours, so we had gelato (the cannoli is good) first and walked around the area. The gelato counter at the entrance is similarly swarmed by diners. The special dish that night was paccheri in salmon tomato sauce in which the creaminess of the sauce was a beautiful melding of cream and tomato sauce that zigzagged on the palate, urging me to finish the dish to the last tube pasta. Meanwhile, Eta’s favourite spaghetti carbonara was equally bursting with flavour. On our next visit I went for the classic mushroom fettuccine while she went out of her comfort zone and had spaghetti aglio olio.

La Tartine breakfast

Breakfast of scrambled egg at La Tartine, Sanur

pasta from Massimo

Paccheri with salmon tomato sauce from Massimo

Spaghetti aglio olio at Massimo

Spaghetti aglio olio at Massimo

Massimo gelato

gelato by Massimo

Another dinner excursion in Sanur led us to Kuu Izakaya Dining located also along Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Eta and I were in the mood for Japanese and took our chances when we spotted this one. Kuu was a serendipitous find: strong, palate-tickling flavours; food served on elegant glazed earthenware; refreshing Mango Tango and Apple Cinnamon drinks; Zen-like ambiance; and gracious servers. We had a feast: tempura ebi (crunchy and not oily), tori teriyaki (succulent and not salty), dragon maki (creative dragon rendition with the shrimp head), and chawan mushi (bouncy egg custard).

dining al fresco of Kuu

Dining al fresco at Kuu

Dragon maki

Dragon maki for two

Chawan mushi 2

Piping hot chawan mushi

Kuu

Kuu drinks

L-R: Apple Cinnamon and Mango Tango

Going beyond Sanur, it was Cafe Lotus on Jalan Raya Ubud for lunch. It is another iconic dining establishment on the island that beckons the guests because of its location and view. Located between Ubud Palace and Museum Puri Lukisan, and adjacent to a Starbucks, the sittings near the entrance are fantastic. They offer a majestic view of one of Ubud’s main temples, Pura Tama Kemudra Saraswati, which is the stage for the nightly performances of traditional dances. The temple lies beyond another pull-factor of the restaurant: an enormous lotus pond with ancient kamboja (or magnolia) trees joined by the newly added by orchids standing regally against the alluring blue skies. My chicken satay were not scrawny slivers of grilled chicken, but succulent chunks that almost melted in your mouth while Eta’s breaded chicken was not oily or thickly wrapped in bread crumbs. Sadly, service was less than welcoming – the server that greeted us was crabby.

Chicken satay at Cafe Lotus

Chicken satay by Cafe Lotus

view from Cafe Lotus

View as you dine at Cafe Lotus

Venturing into Kuta, we went American for lunch at Hard Rock Cafe on Jalan Pantai Kuta, which is just opposite the famed, crowded Kuta beach. Ironic as it may seem, I had the duck breast which wasn’t a disappointment. The slices of duck breast were juicy and the kailan crunchy. Adding a zing to the noontime meal was having chicken wings with tangy barbecue sauce for appetizer. Meanwhile, Eta’s fish and chips were a good choice – succulent fish that wasn’t thickly coated in batter or swimming in oil.

fish and chips from Hard Rock Cafe

duck breast from Hard Rock Cafe

Tangy Chicken wings

Food tripping in Bali is a gastronomic experience with the myriad restaurants ready for the picking. The choices are endless with each new day promising a palate-tickling, tummy-satisfying culinary journey.

COSY NOOK

It has become a routine of some sort particularly after having worked on my legs with my personal trainer. Going home would have been my next move but my legs had a mind of its own. They would straight away head to this new cosy nook I discovered. Literally next Helio fitness centre at Bekasi Cyber Park, past the row of restaurants starting with Domino’s Pizza and ending with McDonald’s- or you might want to cut through the parking lot – is the newly built Aston Imperial Hotel and Conference Centre. On the left of its entrance is the lobby lounge, its comfortable sofa-like chairs surrounding either a square or circle tables, that has provided me with a quiet spot to get lost in my head. A corner near the counter is the spot I’ve selected to plonk down on the chair to collect my thoughts and rest my fatigued legs.

cappuccino and chicken sandwich

iced cappuccino and chicken sandwich from the lobby lounge of Aston Imperial in Bekasi

The view is hardly picturesque from my cosy nook, albeit it’s nowhere near the undulating rice crops against the lush foliage of Bali or the rolls of waves rushing to the shore and dissipating into traces of white foam, they offer a chance to observe the denizens of Bekasi. Zooming through the intersection on an ojek – motorcycle for hire – or their own Fortuner or Avanza, I wonder at their stories: Where are they heading to? How did their day start – on a good note or not? Are they happy with their lives? Do they like their jobs? Do they like living in Bekasi? I let those questions sashay through my mind which, thankfully, overwhelm the other wretched thoughts pressing consistently and heavily on my heart and soul for a few moments.

20170309_181711

20170325_123520

juicy chicken satay and lontong

Prompted out of my silent musings by hunger pangs, the menu at the lobby lounge – an extension of the Imperial Coffeeshop on the second floor – is a cornucopia of savoury, filling dishes from local to international dishes that would satisfy any gastronome. The chicken sandwich on wheat bread served with French fries is a light repast that goes well with either a drinking jar of iced cappuccino or freshly blended pineapple juice. When feeling particularly ravenous, I opt for the 10-piece chicken satay with lontong (or rice cake) and sweet-spicy peanut sauce. The servings for both orders are huge so I end up packing them to go and having them again while marking papers. Meanwhile, dessert was a special treat following a post-yoga class with my gal-pal, Theresia. We were extremely famished and after completing our meal we had a sweet coup de grace of three scoops of ice cream – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.

20170309_192910

ice cream – a sweet ending to a meal

Finding a cosy nook is like finding a needle in a haystack in the midst of the urban jungle where everything is packed with people. But lady luck seems to have noticed that I needed a respite from my heavy heart and led me to a cosy nook, a corner that lets me recover from my workout sessions and to stay the continual assault of the low-spirited thoughts.