Sunday, 19 July 2009

the road not taken...

at times the way foreward may diverge and while one may lie in shadow and appear to be held together by mere fragments of thread and the other lie in the light and be easy underfoot. we have to choose. and which one will we take? for me, the more precarious route will be the one to reveal in ourselves who we are, for we persevered where others might have given up and gone back, we faced our fears by passing through the darkest shadows and we trusted in the universe to hold our path together where others might have not believed.

as robert frost so eloquently writes in his poem The Road Not Taken...

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

warung litut...a breath of fresh air

Saturday 11th July 2009
warung litut opened about 5 months ago along my absolute favourite road in the whole of the kuta area...believe me, these days in kuta it is rare to find a road lined in entirety by ricefields, but this road has it and it also just happens to be the road i travel along every morning to go to work. so having passed this warung every day for almost 5 months i decided it was high time to give it a try and see what it was like. first things first...the wind and the view. the wind hits you like the coolest and most refreshing gulps of air you feel you have ever had in this crazy maze of life called kuta. it takes you by surprise. you're just not expecting it...and then you gaze out across the landscape and see the ricefields and realise..ah-ha...that's why. but seriously, there are not many places left in this area that can compete with the breeze and the view at this spot.

at this point i'm kinda feeling know what, they could serve me up dirt and rocks for lunch and i wouldn't really care because that wind...that just caressing my cheeks and hair get the idea.
anyway, i give in and order nasi goreng ala litut (fried rice) and it's good. a decent serving, a nice dollop of hot sambal on the side, crackers and a fried egg and hey, i'm good. it's a firm favourite with both locals and visitors alike on this island so you can't go wrong.

my friend orders cap cay (mixed stir-fried vegetables) and is served up a very healthy sized portion that she assures me she will not be able to finish, but does and enjoys it.

and then comes a kinda speciality at the warung...deep fried ice-cream, which i can't resist and when it is served up, it looks delightful...almost too adorable to eat. the base is white bread with ice-cream sandwiched in the middle, rolled in coconut and deep fried and another blob of ice-cream on top. i swear i want to share it...but just can't...this is all for me.

the visit is all in all a great success, the service is friendly and welcoming and the vibe is both chilled out and relaxed. you want to come back again and not just for that breath of fresh air.

Warung Litut, Jl. Mertasari, Kerobokan

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

relak one pempek corner...

Wednesday 8th July 2009
on the side of the road along jl. sesetan in denpasar is a delicious little warung that serves pempek. pempek is a delicacy from Palembang made of fish and sago. pempek is served together with a dark, rich sauce called cuka which is made of brown sugar, chilli, garlic vinegar and salt added to boiling water. there are many varieties of pempek as can be seen from the menu on offer at pempek corner...

and you gotta love those pictures...i mean if you've never eaten pempek before then this gives you a pretty good idea of what you are letting yourself in for. dishes ordered included rujak mie tahu, mie celor and pempek tahu and pempek kapal selam...

rujak mie tahu

mie celor

pempek kapal selam (foreground) and pempek tahu

the pempek is delicious, a fish cake with an egg in one and tofu in the other. it has a bit of a chewy consistency and you dip it in the cuka, which is tangy and sweet at the same time.

the mie celor is reminiscent of mee rebus, a rich gravy with noodles and seafood in it while the rujak mie tahu is eaten with the cuka and has that tangy taste.

this is a great spot to try some indonesian food for a very cheap price. of course, being in denpasar, the motorbikes stream by just steps from the warung but the food makes it worthwhile.

Pempek Corner
Jl. Raya Sesetan, Denpasar

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

way down south...

Tuesday 7th July 2009

way down south in bali is one of the sacred directional temples, pura luhur uluwatu. the temple itself is rather small but it is the location that makes this a stunning spot for anyone who loves a good view. perched atop a cliff, with beautiful blue ocean crashing below makes it truly breathtaking and more than worth the trip. entrance fee is a minimal Rp.3,000 and sash and sarong are provided if you are not appropriately covered. you can walk around the temple complex at your leisure and there are numerous spots that make for great photographs. there are a number of monkeys who have taken up residence and are known to be quite an annoyance but nothing a stick picked up along the route won't deter. i believe that sunset is one of the best times to go but when i was there about midday the sun was shining directly on the ocean and the blue, aquamarine, turquoise kaleidoscope of colour that appeared everytime a wave broke was really pretty amazing.

Monday, 6 July 2009

lazy lunches at warung batavia...

Monday 6th July 2009
a favourite place for lunch these days is at Warung Batavia. there are a few around but i like to go to the one just off Jl. Kunti II as it has a great selection of food on the menu and in the nasi campur buffet and i like the vibe, the staff and the furniture! Warung Batavia is different in that it serves Javanese food...and it's good. first things first...the drinks...served in giant mugs and you can't go wrong with an es jeruk which is a kinda orange juice served with ice, sweetened a little and just so refreshingly good that you have no problem polishing off the amount in the giant glassware.

then when it comes to the food, two favourites of mine are karedok and ketoprak.

karedok is a raw vegetable salad. it is made from cucumbers, bean sprouts, cabbage, legumes, thai basil, and eggplant and served with a spicy peanut sauce. at batavia you can request the sauce to be as spicy as you want and i like it hot, hot, hot!

ketoprak is another kind of raw vegetable salad but this one also has tofu, bean sprouts, bihun noodles and chopped up rice cakes in it. the sauce is slightly more peanut-y and again you can request how on fire you want your mouth (and stomach) to be when ordering.

both dishes are delicious and firm favourites of mine so that i specifically go there to eat them. you can actually see the guy make the dishes right in front of you and the ingredients are fresh and tasty.

this is a great little warung to hang out for a lazy lunch. you can sit and watch the world go by and yes it's a little more pricey than your average road side warung but worth every penny for the service, the food and the atmosphere. Not to be missed!

Warung Batavia,
Jl. Kunti II,

Sunday, 5 July 2009

the latest discovery...

Sunday 5th July 2009

headed off on another road trip yesterday and made the most amazing discovery...after a very bumpy, dusty ride down a long winding road...we reached a temple with a staircase...and as we descended the staircase, we caught glimpse upon glimpse through the trees of what would finally greet us when we reached the bottom of the descent...the most beautiful, peaceful beach i have ever had the luck to set foot on in bali. beautiful clear blue waters, white sand and best of all...hardly any people. it was a most welcome sight, especially after the walk down, which made my legs wobbly...but a dip in that crystal clear cool water was enough to ease away any pain. i believe there will be many return trips made to this spot...