Monday, November 21, 2011

a story of bali & a review of bebek betutu pak man

Ayam Betutu - Rp 20,000 per piece

Bali, the island of the Gods, or better known to you and you as that place where Elizabeth Gilbert (picture Julia Roberts) found the Love part (in the form of dreamy Javier Bardem) in the book/movie/extravaganza that is Eat, Pray, Love. I haven't actually read the book, but I did watch the movie because everyone else was talking about is so much.

My experiences in Bali these days have been more to do with the Eat part, rather than the Love. In saying that, I was fortunate enough, I've got to admit, that I was able to get married in this laid-back island few years back. So I guess there was a bit of Love. And I guess that's why I have such a soft spot for this paradise island.

My past visits to the island was always during peak time, it was not fun jostling with millions of other tourists trying to do the simplest thing like go to the supermarket and have lunch.

If I could make one suggestion, it would be to consider avoiding peak holiday period if you can manage it. Bali peak times are in June, July, December, January (when it feels more like a Western Australian city than an exotic island) and on Idul Fitri holidays (just about everyone in Indonesia, especially the Javanese people would be holidaying there). But then again the crowd could be part of the experience itself if you haven't been to a South-East Asian holiday island before.

This time around, I went during off-peak holiday period, and it was heavenly. I didn't have to bump shoulder-to-shoulder with everyone, traffic jams were kept to a minimum, the people were friendly (though the Balinese are a friendly bunch, regardless the season), and I got a good deal from my favourite five-star resort (Novotel Nusa Dua).

First thing that I did when we arrived at the airport is to charter a car and driver for the duration of our stay. There's a car hire agency located just to the left, as you come out of the arrival gate. The rate varies according to season and to whether you're a foreigner or not. But, I would say it's quite normal to pay about IDR 400,000 to IDR 700,000 for an 8-hour per day hire, including the fuel and the driver.

After we sort out the car, our next priority is lunch, preferably somewhere on the way to the hotel. This is when a Balinese driver comes handy, I mean nobody knows Bali like a Balinese, right? He suggested Bebek Pak Man, and he did well.

My stomach was a bit unsettled from the flight, but the sound of bebek (english: duck) got my saliva going straight away.

The restaurant is actually a sizeable place.

With typical Balinese decoration.

When we were there, there was no foreigner in sight. That's always a good sign of authenticity.

Bebek betutu with rice & vegies - Rp 65,000

I got this mouthwatering dish, literally. It was very very very spicy. I had to drool to cool my tongue down.

This bebek betutu dish consisted of a piece duck that was heavily marinated with a spicy Balinese spices. Its accompaniment was green beans topped with fried shallots and, of course, steamed rice. It was completed with two condiments, one was a simple crushed chillies sauce, another a famous Balinese condiment sambal matah.

You know you can actually make this beautiful Balinese dish from scratch, the recipe's here and here.

Nasi campur - Rp 10,000
My husband got the nasi campur (english: mixed rice). He hasn't had nasi campur for, like, ever. The nasi campur from this restaurant was filling with a very affordable price. It consisted of rice, a cucumber slice, peanuts, spices, a tuna mix and a side of vegetable soup, all for $2!

Ayam Betutu - Rp 20,000 per piece

But of course, he had to have a more substantial sort of protein. So, he got the ayam betutu: a piece of chicken with the Balinese spicy marinade.

Rumah Makan Ayam Betutu Pak Man
Jalan Kubu Anyar
Open 7 days 10am-11pm

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