well our amazing 10 days in bali has come to an end, as i write this i am back sitting at my desk at home and the tastes, smells and sights are already starting to gently fade!
i havent posted any pics of merrick’s amazing javanese house this trip so above you can see the external walls, the house is more than 200 years old and needed about 10 coats of paint removed as part of the restoration. the floorboards are up to 12” wide and the roof joists are all fitted together with secret joints.
the koi in the pond are about 14 years old and HUGE!
merrick will rent out his house for longer term stays and kai is desperate for us to stay there next time, not because of the amazing house, nor the 10,000 DVD’s or the 4m pet python, nor the home theatre cave with bed that you can swim into like a cave from the pool, or the beautiful kitchen. Nope, none of those things, its the full size snooker table that has won him over!
one of our all time favourite meals in bali is the chicken satay with lontong that is sold by street vendors from their little carts with a portable char grill on them. the lontong is a sort of compressed rice cake made by steaming rice inside a banana leaf roll. I had spotted a cart not too far from the villa, so for our last dinner before going to catch the plane i walked up and got the ubiquitous plastic bag of sate ayam lontong,
inside is revealed the superior brown paper package with rubber band, and that opens out to present the yummy dish in all its glory, tiny chook kebabs char grilled, in spicy satay sauce, with slices of lontong. in a word, scrumptious! Oh, and about $1.20!
so we leave the beautiful isle of bali, and its warm, loving, helpful people, perfect climate and some of the very best food in the world - whether its the cheapest street food or dishes from one of the many world class restaurants here. terima kasih, sampai jumpa!
last night was our last full night in bali and we all headed off to mamasans for dinner, its the new ‘in’ spot to eat and it didnt disappoint!
from the website,
The dream has always been to open a place that is more than just a restaurant” says Will Meyrick, who is the brainchild behind Bali’s success story Sarong restaurant. “An environment where people can feel comfortable to eat, try their hand at cooking or just lounge in a bar. Basically, not needing to leave the space until home time, whatever that time is. Mama San is for anyone who appreciates to lounge in style and eat quality food without it being too expensive.
lemon basil mojito with sugar cane stirrer
The team wanted to create a unique space to complement the sister restaurant Sarong rather than be in competition with it. A large “gudang” or warehouse as it is known in English has been converted into a two level retro-vintage restaurant, cooking school and bar.
soft shell crab & Roasted Peking duck with steamed choy sum & red bean sauce
the dishes were extraordinary, in design construction and flavour, the service was flawless - i dropped a chopstick and i swear before it hit the floor a waiter swooped in, picked it up and offered me a replacement one!
La lot Vietnamese grilled mince pork belly wrapped in betel leaves with nouc cham
we ordered just from the ‘asian bites’ and salads menu, which was a good choice, we got to taste so many flavours without overeating,
the otherdishes were,
Thai fish cakes with sweet chilli sauce & pickled cucumber,
Kachooris with yellow dahl coriander & mustard seeds served with duo of mint & tamarind chutneys
Snapper salad with Asian celery leek ginger coriander deep fried garlic with garlic oil dressing
Grilled Thai beef salad with cherry tomato mint coriander cucumber lemongrass peanuts & nahm jihm dressing
Stir fried asian greens.
after such restraint with the menu we decided we were entitled to savour the dessert menu, so we moved to the upstairs lounge and finished off with these treats,
chai tea caramel with cashew nut icecream
creme brûlée with affogato
a wonderful night out and a memorable way to remember our shared holiday with john & tomo
if you want to see more of mamasans, here is their website, http://mamasanbali.com
well its been a busy couple of days, monday we took the kids to waterbom for hana’s birthday, as always it was a long day full of water slides and excitement, the kids were exhaustamted at the end of it, we went to dinner at a japanese restaurant in seminyak called maya sayang afterwards and it was great having tomo choose a beautiful range of delicious dishes.
yesterday we went up to the house where jeremy and leesi live, i should have taken some photos - its an amazing sprawling series of houses and spaces built around a huge pool, one of the upstairs bedrooms even has a slide into the pool! leesi’s parents live there as do her sister and brother and they all have work spaces for their businesses and it was a real little community!
we went to the local beach with jeremy and leesi, after a swim and a beer we went to la finca, a local spanish restaurant that has just opened and had a wonderful meal of tapas.
today has been a day of R&R, just back from a surf and swim at the beach and heading out for our last dinner out here - to mamasans which we have been trying to get into all week!
beau is sally’s cousin, he is a man of many talents and lived for many years in LA and is now mainly based in bali working at several business ventures and also working as one of bali’s premium DJ’s.
yesterday he came over to the villa and we had a lovely afternoon catching up and shooting the breeze, lubricated with a few bintangs and a couple of stiff hendrick’s gins. he invited us down to hear him play at the rock bar - rated consistently as one of the worlds top 10 bars.
(tomo & john enjoying a pre dinner drink at sardine)
first we decided to have dinner at one of our old favourites, sardine, so we organised a baby sitter and headed up there for dinner, beau arrived with an interesting friend, jason - an american, ex pro line backer who shares his time between berlin and bali, and we proceeded to taste the delights of Pascale & Pika’s wonderful restaurant.
(jason’s funghi ravioli)
(john & tomo’s grilled snapper)
(my scallops and ravioli)
i have skipped the entrees & desserts to avoid over exposure to food porn by my readers!
about 11pm we left sardine and our driver took us down to the bottom end of jimbaran bay to the incredible hotel ayana and its star attraction - the rock bar.
it took about half an hour to get there and we were all wondering if we should just have gone to bed - until we got there! WOW! what a mind blowing experience, the 2km trip from the hotel security gate through the gardens to the lobby, the 500m climb down through statues, carvings, acres of marble, swimming pools etc to the chair lift that takes you down the cliff face onto the open top rock bar.
it certainly deserves its top 10 rating, although I am sure our presence raised its rating several notches up the list.
here is the website if you have been living in a cave somewhere and didnt know this is the spot where all the really cool people hang out,
john & sal being really cool with beau up in the trees and the rocks in the background spinning the toones.
today has been a lazy day, its hannah’s 6th birthday so she has been the party girl today, while we nurse sleep deprivation aggravated hangovers and dont feel so really cool today.
sal & i also caught up with our friend aimee after discovering she was also in bali at the moment so she popped over for lunch gossip and the obligatory bintang.
time for a nanna nap & then a massage according to sal, i think i will just have to crack another bintang!
we arranged to meet jeremy & leesi at a mexican restaurant called lacalaca in seminyak, it came highly recommended from friends of ours, chelsea & joe, who live in ios, greece. they had been in bali recently so i asked them for an update of the best new places to eat.
it was very funky and the food was good, we ordered a ridiculous amount though and had to give the last two dishes to other tables because we were absolutely full as a goog.
jeremy rang later in the day to say he was playing with some friends at the japanese restaurant just round the corner from us, ryoshi, so despite feeling more like an early night, sal and I dragged ourselves up there, while john & tomoko stayed at the villa and looked after the kids.
wayin, with whom we have become friends came along too, he does the airport pickups from the airport for the villa and has a business restoring motorbikes and cars. he had just finished an amazing 1974 VW combi and is working on a ‘65 vespa scooter.
anyway, the music was massive, the drinks were slippery and a good night was had by all!
i am sure most would consider i should be certified and locked up for travelling with a 1950’s italian lever coffee machine, in my defence i only bought 3 pairs of shorts and 3 shirts.
none the less i am very happy with the setup, the lever machine matched with the lido manual grinder is extracting luscious shots from a bag of freshly roasted sulawesi toraja beans.
they are lighter roasted than i would prefer and the flavour is therefore the espresso is biased a little towards the acid and a little less caramel than is my preference.
we are also using a milk frother suggested by mum & bob, its one of those ones that look like a little french press, we warm in the microwave and then a few pumps of the plunger and bob’s your cross dressing aunty.
the rob brandt cups are porcelain, miniature copies of the old enamel camping pannekins, chipped enamel as well! they are perfect for a shot out of the caravel with a dash of milk.
best i break up the coffee obsession, so here is a pic of us enjoying makan pagi.
and a view over kai & joe of the pool,
tonite was dinner at the junction, a great and funky little restaurant we discovered last time we were in bali, its in seminyak.
we had a superb meal, even better than i remembered it, lots of interesting seafood, a tuna tartare, exotic ocean salad, calamari fritti, white fish salad, fish meuniere and several other things i have forgotten!
i failed to take any pics of the dishes but here is a consolation pic of the dessert I had, a warm orange crepe souffle caramelised.
after 3 years we are back in bali again, staying at the villa naga maya - where we first stayed 7 years ago! the villas are owned by an american, merrick and he has a beautiful 100 year old javanese house he moved here and then built 2 stunning villas.
we also spent a couple of days in darwin with our dear friends neil & denise in their beautiful troppo designed house, and had a lovely birthday dinner for sal at the sailing club with neil & denise, ex-goveites jersey and maryanne, our old mate phil o’brien and elisa - a friend of phil’s from france that stayed with us recently.
we have come to bali with out friends from home, tomoko and john and their 2 kids joe and hana. so we each have a villa and we are settled in very nicely.
sal’s cousin, beau, who lives in LA and bali for 3 months a year, working as a DJ, is here at the moment so we will catch up with him and he is playing on saturday night so we will be out busting a few moves!
our friends jeremy and leesi are also here at the moment and we will be catching up for lunch tomorrow.
i bought the trusty old caravel so we can enjoy espresso in the mornings!
Our last night in Bali, and a horse and cart ride back to the hotel.
Kai enjoying a mint gelato!