Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
It was so unusual that I didn’t make any plan traveling Indonesia for the long weekend. Suddenly an email came in, we got invited for a trip to Bali! Hooray! Since Mumun had been to Bali recently and the invitation was only for one person, we decided that I (Vira) went to see what more is there was in Kuta and Sanur.
A series of activities were planned out and most of them were gonna be done in Kuta, Seminyak, Legian and Sanur. Wait, what? Yup. The areas that I myself wouldn’t normally pick when traveling Bali since they’re so crowded and the traffic jams sometimes reminded me of Jakarta. But in terms of activities, looked like it was gonna be fun! Plus, I was going with a number of travel bloggers and food bloggers. I was eager just to get to know them!
(I decided to divide the story into two entries, this one that you’re reading and this one)
Rip Curl School of Surf
The water was too flat to have a surfing lesson, so we took a basic lesson on how to windsurf, SUP, kayak, and dive. I love love love love it!Rip Curl School of Surf At Sanur Beach Hotel – Jl. Danau Tamblingan 33, Respati, Sanur, Bali +62 361 287749, http://www.ripcurlschoolofsurf.com/
A nice 3 star hotel located in Kuta that will make sure you “be berry and be happy” throughout your stay.
Prices start from IDR 430,000 / night, published rate.Jl. Dewi Sri 1 no. 16, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 3007070, +62 361 3007171 email@example.com, http://www.theberryhotels.com
Bale Udang Mang Engking
“Udang” means shrimp and that’s exactly what they served us in abundance, along with fish, vegetable and mouthwatering desserts. Delicious, it was!Jalan Nakula 88 (Sunset Road), Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia Ph: +62 361 8822000, +62 361 8947007 firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.baleudang.com/
Suka Suka Restaurant at Kokonut Suites
Mango salad, pumpkin soup, grilled chicken mushroom and fried banana with plum sugar. Hungry much? 😉Jalan Petitenget 88, Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 4735933 email@example.com, http://www.kokonutsuites.com/dining
Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk
A signature dish of Bali, served with super spicy chili in the non-AC restaurant. Don’t be fooled by the rather scary icon on the restaurant sign.Jalan Raya Tuban 87 B, Kuta, Bali +62 361 761978
*The trip was a complimentary from Avilla Hospitality Management and all opinions are our own.
I thought Rip Curl was no more than surf gear brand until I first found out about their surfing classes from Adventurous Kate’s blog about a year ago. It’s been Mumun’s long time dream to take a surfing lesson. Ironically, I was the one who got the brief introductory session in Sanur. But she shouldn’t envy me much because I didn’t get to have a surfing lesson, though I did have mucho fun learning other stuff. Check out how the lessons went here .
I consider myself lucky to have a free introduction to these classes, especially after I found out the rates. It’s quite costly for me, though it’s probably normal for water sports. Well, you might know better than me. Here’s the price list I took from the reception desk at Rip Curl School of Surf in Sanur.
Barbecue sessions are available, I think, upon request. They also have it regularly in the weekends. Freshly caught fish, hot dogs and hot spicy chili dishes were served after our classes of windsurfing, kayaking, SUP and scuba diving. Munching on the delicious treats with our butts snug on beanbags and hearing the ocean sound in the background, it was one ideal way to wrap up a school session 🙂
I would recommend this activity as an alternative to the usual hangout. You can even take classes with your folks and young nephews or nieces. For security, they’ll have you fill in forms upon signing up that includes information such as any injuries you’ve had, any physical disabilities, etc, and will advice you if they think you don’t fit the requirements to take classes.The one in Sanur is located at: Sanur Beach Hotel Jl. Danau Tamblingan 33, Respati, Sanur, Bali Phone: +62 361 287749 http://www.ripcurlschoolofsurf.com/
The food fiesta on this blissful trip started off with a dinner at Bale Udang Mang Engking in Kuta. “Udang” means shrimp and shrimp is what we got. Two whole baskets crammed with shrimps were served on our tables. Boiled, honey grilled, fried, oh fudge, I had to calm myself down from excitement, as I am keen on eating shrimps. Out of all, the boiled shrimp was my favorite in this menu called Hurang Ageung cos it was so fresh and the taste of the sweet savory meat itself dominated as I chewed. Now THAT’s what call blissful!
Trivia fact: Hurang Ageung used to be served to customer’s tables with musical entourage. But the dish has been high on demand, they stopped the escort music since.
Bale Udang Mang Engking has sooo many shrimp menu other than Hurang Ageung, like coconut shrimp soup, sweet and sour, salted-egg shrimp, and the list goes on. But it wouldn’t be wise to stuff too much cholesterol on our plates, so we also had other menu such as mortar chili carp (gurame sambel cobek), honey grilled carp (gurame bakar madu) and karedok (Sundanese veggie salad with spicy peanut chunky sauce). *licking fingers*
That’s not all, folks! Two kinds of dessert ended our dinner. First, the fried rolled tape (read: tah-pay) and cheese or tape goreng gulung keju (tape or tapai = fermented cassava). Tape has never really been my favorite, but the other guys seemed to love it. Next, fried banana with caramel sauce and shredded cheese plus (literally) cherry on top. I don’t think I’ve met any Indonesian who doesn’t like fried banana (unless they’re using unripe banana), so why don’t you have a go while you’re traveling Indonesia 🙂
The ambience of the restaurant was really nice, too. Bamboo gazebos were built around a lake. At night, lights from the gazebos were reflected on the lake. We were welcomed by Balinese gamelan in the lobby, which sort of dissolved into Sundanese gamelan music as we walked through the path to our appointed gazebo. It’s a romantic place for couples as it is a perfect place for family dinner. Just watch your kids, don’t let them come near the lake without supervision.
Prices per portion:
Hurang Ageung IDR 350,000, Gurame bumbu cobek IDR 69,000, Gurame bakar madu IDR 75,000, desserts IDR 16,000 – 22,000.Bale Udang Mang Engking Jalan Nakula 88 (Sunset Road), Denpasar, Bali +62 361 8822000, +62 361 8947007 firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.baleudang.com/
After an introduction to Balinese traditions and a quick showing of some of the suites, lunch was served at Suka Suka Restaurant, still in the Kokonut Suites property. The 4-course meal we had started with mango salad. The mango was sweet and the veggies was fresh. Next, pumpkin soup. It was a bit bland at first, but then savory after a few slurps, and getting saltier toward the last scoop. I liked it, though.
A portion of grilled chicken mushroom stuffed with spinach and cheese was served next. Yes! I love chicken! It was served with rice, boiled broccoli and carrots. I was enjoying my meal when another fellow blogger Dalih showed me how to make the food even yummier. He took the dill leaves, which I thought was just a garnish, scraped the spiky leaves off the stems, mixed them with the chicken. I did the same and oh! He was right! It was yummier! Err.. I’m not sure how to describe the taste that it added cos I kinda forgot, but I think it was a bit sweet.
The meal ended with fried banana. Yes, again. See, I told you, Indonesians love fried banana so much, it appears almost in every meal we had on this trip with slightly different variations. This time the fried banana was served with palm sugar powder, shredded cheese and…get this.. vanilla ice cream! Yum! Sweet savory, hot and cold, all in one plate. Ouch, can’t have this too often or else Imma have to call the dentist >.<
Though located in the hotel, Suka Suka Restaurant is open for public as well as the hotel guests. However, if you come in groups, they’d recommend you to make reservations.Jalan Petitenget 88, Kerobokan, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 4735933 email@example.com, http://www.kokonutsuites.com/dining
This famous yet humble restaurant serves chicken (ayam) betutu as their main menu. Ayam betutu is chicken steamed or roasted with spices and seasoning, and sometimes they use duck instead of chicken. It is a cooking originated from several areas of Bali but you can find it elsewhere when traveling Indonesia, in Jakarta for instance. Out of all, it looks like the one from Gilimanuk, the northwest part of Bali, is the most famous kind.
This Gilimanuk badass chicken is cooked with so many ingredients such as shallot, garlic, pepper, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, shrimp paste, among others. Whoa, Indonesia IS opulent with spices, no wonder we were ‘raided’ by the Europeans centuries ago because of that. However, I could hardly taste the distinct flavors of these ingredients since overall it tasted sooooo spicy!! Have you seen me eating rica-rica and swearing in Manado? Well, ayam betutu wasn’t as spicy, but I was so close to swearing again! If you’re used to western food your whole life, I suggest you prepare a bottle of hot water (it’s the best neutralizer for spiciness, trust me) or don’t try the betutu at all. Unless you wanna make a scene. They also have other menu, like fried chicken, fish, and vegetables. But of course it wouldn’t be the same if you didn’t try the betutu dish 😛
The restaurant itself isn’t something I would call cozy. You’ll be sitting on wooden chairs, it’s got no AC and when you have super spicy food in the super hot sunny Bali afternoon, well, there will be sweat. But it’s so famous that the both times I went there it’s always busy with people coming in and go, eating and probably swearing 😛
It’s easy to spot Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk restaurant. Just look for the sign with a painted face, which many people think scary, and the hair tied up high resembling a chicken’s comb. I heard that it’s symbolizing a character from some traditional story or something like that. And one more peculiar thing about the sign is that it says “Direktur”, which means “Director”. Is the guy with the painted face really the director of the whole Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk restaurant chain?? If somebody knows the answer, please do confirm with me, I’m very curious 😀Ayam Betutu Gilimanuk Jalan Raya Tuban 87 B, Kuta, Bali +62 361 761978
“Be berry, be happy”. Stay at Berry Hotel, and you’ll be happy. I guess that’s what they meant by the slogan. The crisp white 3-star hotel with purple accent is located just a little bit off the the Sunset Road, Kuta. Location wise, I’m not too impressed because it wasn’t near any beach. Well, nothing on a walking distance. But it’s near many other things like restaurants, shops and ATMs.
I shared a room with Jenni at the Ory Berry room, the most basic out of their 3 types of rooms. It’s got twin beds, an LCD TV, AC, in-room slippers, a safe, a bathroom with hot and cold shower, toiletries and all the basics. The only thing it’s missing was a fridge. I realized that when I was going to keep some dessert for the next day. I thought a fridge was a standard in all 3-star hotels, is it not?
All the rooms, except the ones on the 1st floor, have balcony with swimming pool view. With free in-room wi-fi connection, it’s nice to be able to update things online at the balcony while checking out the abs on that neighbor. If you’re not a morning person, you better make sure the curtain’s pulled tight so as not to cast any sun ray in between your eyelids.
Breakfast is served on the 2nd floor. It’s all yummy but nothing really special except the fried banana with palm sugar dessert. Mmh, it was sweet with a bit of savory taste, but it’s mostly special to me because I rarely have fried banana with palm sugar, as simple as that 😛
As I am not a club person, I chose to have a swim at night with fellow blogger Bowo and the travel photographer Barry. A casual talk about traveling, blogging and marriage(!!) was brought up in between lapses. The water was warm even though we were swimming until midnight, it was so nice! I would’ve swam longer if only I had my goggles on this trip! Urgh!
Prices start from IDR 430,000 / night, published rate.Berry Hotel Jl. Dewi Sri 1 no. 16, Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. Ph: +62 361 3007070, +62 361 3007171 firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.theberryhotels.com
The tickets were purchased a few weeks prior to the trip, costing about IDR 720,000 for the Sriwijaya Air and the Citilink ticket more or less the same.
I rarely take Sriwijaya Air, and I just realized on my flight to Bali that they have a pretty nice aircraft, compared to others of the similar price range, like Batavia Air. Both flights were – thankfully – on time, aside from Sriwijaya’s that was rescheduled an hour late, but the good thing is they had notified us a few days pre departure.