Bali June 2013 - HNR - Day 2, The worlds hottest chilli.
I am writing this, recounting yesterdays shenanigans with very puffy eyes, and I am very very tired. I have been sitting on the Loo most of the night, looking at the lovely architecture of Villa Madu here in Ubud...... but more on this LATER !
I was awake first yesterday, as per usual. I’d lay awake from about 5am local time and got out of bed around 6.30am. I took a few pictures of the Villa in the morning light, and had a good look around. The Villa is quite stunning. All open plan, with a much bigger kitchen than most, and large wide windows that open to let the outside inside on 2 levels. As I mentioned, there are 2 small bures on a lower level on the property, that a short walk down some steep steps. There is also a small observation deck that sits about 200 feet above the river/stream below. Obviously “Clean up Indonesia Day” has yet to happen as the rivulet is full of garbage at the moment.
As the rest of the party started stirring, Scotty got up and made use of the kitchen to make some eggs and toast. I wasnt sure if I had organised breakky at Madu (we dont have it included in Seminyak) so I figured it was fine. About 30 mins later, Nuri and the staff wandered in to .... you guessed it... make us breakfast ! With only 2 left to cook for, they were not overworked today. These guys here at the Villa are very attentive, they do an awesome job. My only whinge, and its very small, is that we are all quite private people, and would love for them to maybe give us a bit more time alone. The girls for instance, wanted to sunbake topless in the afternoon, and it was very hard feeling comfortable with staff wandering around. In saying that, the villa is kept in impeccable condition, and our beds were made pronto and towels changed twice a day.
The Villa. VILLA MADU
After food and coffee we decided to walk into Ubud centre. The villa is around 500 along a gang just off Ubud Main Road. Around another 800m from Monkey Forest road and the markets. As far as Ubud Villas go, this is about as central as it gets. Its still a struggle to walk in the heat, and I would suggest you getting a moped, or you will be relying on transport from the villa. They have a 6 seater van, thats like new, so its not too bad. The first stop was at a shop to get local sims. I set Litsa and I up with 3.5 gigs of Data and 20,000 IDR in calls (we use data mostly) for 200,000 IDR each. I think the sims are Simpati, the 3G is quite fast and we get good connection pretty much anywhere in Ubud.
By the time we had 4 sims going etc, a good 30 mins had passed. Off we go again and we made it to the big intersection in town to go look for Ibu Oka to make sure we get into the queue for Babi Guling when its ready. For your info, Ibu Oka on the street is undergoing renovations as of 3 days ago. You now have to walk 50m (Thats 50 Bali Metres - translates to 400m) up the road, turn right, and walk another 50m (400M) according the madly arm waving man looking for our business to the HOUSE... yup... Where they actually cook the pigs. They were not due to bring the meat out for a while, but after the walk, and trying to herd 8 people in one group, we all though STUFF IT, lets just sit there, wait and..... drink beer.
Karen riding the PIG !
We went out the back and saw 4 guys sitting turning the pigs over the wood. This was pretty cool to see. Last year, on our whirlwind trip, I only managed to see the tail end of the service of the pigs at the original outlet, and was worried that with my dodgy belly, the trip back to Seminyak would be fraught with danger. I watch a lot of travel and cooking shows, and I knew that this trip I simply had to stay in Ubud, and have a bathroom close by, just so I could say I travelled in the footsteps of the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern.
We were 2 beers in (each) when they started bringing the meat out. We chose a ‘Special’ and a meat and skin pack for each couple. That way you get a good mix of meat, crackle, rice and vegetables. Even though it was still early, a few people were wandering in to get takeout packs, lots of these were locals too. The meat was juicy and succulent. The crackle simply divine, the blood sausage, however, was simply just too hot with chillis to make it nice. I am sure the locals would love it, but it wasnt really to any of our taste. Whatever spices they stuff into the cavities etc, make the pig, just simply YUMMY. On the plate, alongside the crackle, we also discovered what we could only work out to be deep fried intestine. OK... I am a fan of all things weird to eat, but this.. was perhaps just a little too weird. Lots of sphincter humour ensued as the beers started to do their magic at 11am ! The table was pretty much full of empty plates an empty Bintangs, and the total bill for the meat was around $8 a couple and the beers were 250,000 rupiah. Sorry if I wander back and forth between Aussie $ and IDR, thats just the way my brain works. I will of course be updating the ‘Bintang Index’ at most locations, so you know whats cheap and whats not.
After a few obligatory photos of Karen riding one of the stone pigs, we headed off back to town. We stopped at the Palace for a quick look and then the girls and Hugo split towards the markets, and Scotty, Mick and I decided to go ‘exploring’. I knew that further along the Ubud Main road, past Starbucks, there was a restaurant called PAON. Scotty and Mick both love a god feed, so I wanted to show them the menu there, as a possible destination for dinner. We legged it off down the street, and shortly rocked up out the front. It took about 30 seconds of them seeing the ‘Seafood Grill’ for 2 people for 450,000 to convince them we had found a dinner spot. To kill some time, we then decided to walk back towards town and stop along the way scoping out the Bintang Index. Casa Luna had Binnies for 25K + tax just so you know. I am a big fan of the rehydrating power of this marvellous elixir, and it was working a treat as we ambled further back up the road towards the markets. Just on the way back, we found the rest sitting in a Gelato bar having an icecream. Litsa then decided she wanted a pedicure, so her and Karin wandered off and the rest of us settled into OOPS bar next door for their 24,000 Bintangs and a bite to eat.
We chose some Gyoza, Chicken Wings in sticky sauce, Vietnamese beef rolls and some Satay. All great and all cheap. I think the food bill was around $20 :)
Back to the Villa we go, as its now early arvo and we need a swim. Its hot and its humid today. The rain last night has made it a little more steamy than I remember last year. As we got to the turn, I saw MOJOS BURRITOS were open. Oh bugger it, in my never ending hunt for the best Pan Asian Mexican cuisine, I leave the rest to wander home, whilst I head in and order 2 beef tacos. When they arrived, they were the size of a Burrito each and loaded with toppings. I found them a tad too cheesy for my liking, but the Pico De gallo was great, and the beef, nicely seasoned. At $3.80 for 2, I wasnt going to whinge too much. I only managed to eat one and a half of them anyways. Mick, by this stage, had driven his scooter back down to save me the 400m walk back. I sat down, held on, and at mach one, we headed to the Villa.
On arrival, I found most of the party in the pool. But.. What the HELL WAS THAT NOISE ? It seems the neighbours of Villa Madu have taken it upon themselves to choose this week to clear some land of old wood native forest. The tree thats lying down is about as thick as a VW, and of course now needs chopping into smaller bits with the use of the worlds most of of tune CHAINSAW !! And it wasnt constant either. He’d run it for 3-4 minutes, then stop for up to 10 minutes. After all the food and beer, and with us due to have dinner at 6.30pm, I was well and truly due a Nanna Nap. Mick had spent some time standing on the wall between properties trying to bribe the guy with 200,000 to bugger off and leave us all alone for the afternoon. He wanted 600,000. UGH an impasse. I got in touch with the managers here and asked them what we could do. Adrienne the owner then tried to talk to the neighbours, but it was all a waste of time. The price for him to leave would now be 1 Million. We thought he’d stopped for a while, as I JUST managed to drop off to sleep, when BAM... chainsaw. OH hang on, thats me snoring.. NO.. BAM.. its the real chainsaw again.
Giving sleep up as a bad joke, we all gathered outside and started drinking. Adrienne came down and apologised profusely, and explained that if we paid the bribe, then the guy would just make it impossible for her in future. We agreed, and let it go. Nuri meanwhile had rustled up some Tempe and Satay for us to enjoy with the drinks around the pool.
PAON - Me on the left with the funky bum bag.
At 6.30, we headed off into town to PAON for dinner. Drinks ordered, we all agreed we would each get the 450,000 seafood grill for 2 which also included soups and desserts. The Thai Tom Yung soup seemed to be the most popular and half way through eating mine (that I found to be a little less spicy or sour than I like), Hugo pointed to the whole chillis in the soup, and said.. the infamous words... “ Wayne, those chillis are hot”.
I love spicy food. I love challenges, and I LOVE CHILLIS. They however, simply do not like me.
The chillis had ben placed into the soup whole, unbroken, and for good reason.
I picked the chilli up, took a bite, and said probably the most stupid thing that ever been uttered...
“ Hugo, you are kidding me, these are not hot”
He then said...
“ Eat the thing whole and chew on it”
So I did................................................
Oh dear. Oh DEAR GOD.... OH HELL... OH NO !
What ensued was perhaps the most intense 15 minute chilli hit of my life. Full body sweat, red face, tears, nose running like a water fall, me dabbing at my tongue with the cold hand towels, eating packets of sugar, drinking cold water, hot water, ice cubes..... IT JUST WOULDNT STOP !
And the whole time, I am thinking, this is it going in.... whats it going to be like later ?
The rest of the table was in hysterics, taking photos of me, short videos were being sent around the world to mates of mine who know how stupid I am etc etc. Thanks ladies and gents, I have a long memory.
The food platters then turned up just as I had settled enough to see straight again, and we all tucked into our, lobster, crab, prawns, squid, fish, satay, tuna and salad. The highlight was the Lobster and Prawns and the Crab. The whole thing suffered from being cooked in batches and was a little cold. As usual, the fish was overcooked. This is something we found last year as well. Overall though, the food was excellent and pretty good value considering the venue and location. I am sure we will find it cheaper later in the trip, but we were all happy we ate there. Desserts followed, along with a couple of 240,000 cleansing Bintangs to finish the meal.
The Water Palace in Ubud
We called Putu our security guard to come and get us, and after a quick look at the beautifully lit Ubud Water Palace we headed home. Home and a couple of drinks before bed, and we were all pretty shattered so straight to bed.
NOW.. this is where the day/night ends for everyone else. Me... not so much.
By 2am...it started.. and then every 30-40 mins, it continued. Its not Bali Belly, I know exactly what it is, its that bloody chilli ! So, here I am now, writing this, through bleary eyes, half asleep and...... ITS KARENS BIRTHDAY TODAY AND I HAVE ORGANISED STUFF !!!
They sell Red Bull here ??
And.... the chainsaw just started again