Thursday, 6 June 2013

June 2012 - Bali Day 9 - The Gurgles.......

Bali Day 9 - The Gurgles.......

Our last real full day in Bali dawned hot and sunny, and "windy" for poor Litsa. She still has got a bit of a squirelly belly from whatever demon spawn food she had last night.

We asked the lovely staff here for poached eggs this morning, and some toast, something nice and plain, but for the first time on the trip, the eggs dissapointed us, being quite hard and rubbery. Andrew, missing his opportunity to eat his Milo Cereal already had the look on his face of a man planning a second breakfast on the streets of Seminyak.

Because of Litsas stomach, which had started gurgling again after she had eaten, we decided to hang out in the Villa for a while.

The Villa we have been staying in all week is Villa Kupu Kupu which is part of the Villa Bugis group. Location for us on our first trip here was very important. This is in a primo spot just off JL Laksmana. Its a lovely 2 bedroom villa with a pool, and is part of a row of about 6 villas. We got to have a look inside Villa BIMA, which is right down the end, around another 100m away from ours. That one is stunning, with an upstairs master, and 2 poolside rooms making 3 bedrooms in total. It has a much more kid friendly pool too, with bench seating in the edge of the pool where you could easily sit drinking Bintangs all day. Kupu Kupu I would say is the oldest of the row of Villas. Its quite stunning, but the signs of age do show. The ladder for the edge of the pool has obviously broken off and hasnt been replaced, making the first steep very deep, hence the needs for our pool toys. The aircon in our bedroom, doesnt quite keep up with the other one, and there is an ant problem in the kitchen at times. Little things like the wood needing revarnishing, and a couple of the pool light surrounds having dead bulbs could easily be rectified, but so far havent. There is also a slight plumbing smell in our bathroom. Not sure why, but it is noticeable. We'd definetly stay with the Bugis group again, but would probably opt for one of the newer villas, and just bring a 3rd couple along. Actually the way its shaping up, we have have to get 2 villas side by side. There is good interest from other friends for a return trip. I would also be more confident in trying other locations now we know how to get around, and where everything is. Its been a great trip to get the lay of the land.

Back to our day........

I headed off to Warung Laundry on Laksmana to drop off a bunch of dirty laundry for pickup around 5pm. Total for a huge bag was AUS$6.20. Much cheaper than any other Asian country I have visited.

Litsa felt well enough to go have another spa treatment a but later in the morning. I sat around the pool and read for a while and had a couple of beers to settle my own stomach (well thats my excuse, and I am sticking too it). Kathrine went back to bed for a while, and Andrew hung around the villa as well.

As lunchtime approached, I set off to get Litsa and then we hopped in a cab to got back to TACO BEACH GRILL. I am not usually one to revisit places to eat on a first trip to a new destination. I am always keen to get out and try new places. I'd been dissapointed that I hadnt really had a chance to try what I wanted on the last visit. It had been too busy, and they had run out of too many ingredients. When we walked in, Bob greeted us again, and sat us at a table at the front. He then mentioned he was working on a new Margarita recipe, taking into account the flavour of the very small local limes. He asked if i'd like to try one ? OF COURSE !! i've always been a fan of a good tequila and lime based cocktail, so whilst he took off home to get the goodies to make it, we ordered. We asked for the guacamole again, even though the first night, the serving had been very small (it was still quite cheap). This time, it came in a much bigger bowl. When Bob came back, I questioned why there had been a difference, he looked very puzzled, and said, thats the size we always serve here, what did you get last time ? I showed him one of the small bowls that hold the delicious salsas he makes. Hmmmmm there definetly had been a mistake on the last visit. He then mentioned the night we came in was the 2nd busiest day/night that they had since the place opened. Looking around and listening to the conversations with other patrons, you could tell that EVERYONE was a repeat customer. Word is out people, this place is HOT right now, I would get there quickly before he has to move to a bigger place ! While we were there, he had seating and tables delivered for at least another 8 people.

My beef burrito was a triumph. The handmade tortillas are great, and the filling of shredded beef, beans, rice, avocado, sour cream and a smattering of hot sauce was a great combo. The plate had a side of more rice and more refried beans topped with melted Mozarella. More than enough for lunch. Litsa had the Texas BBQ Burrito, which had the same elements, but the beef was drizzled with an amazingly smokey BBQ sauce of Bobs own recipe. I can imagine it lathered over pork ribs too ! She was loving every minute, even though her stomach was still not 100%

I had the deep fried apple taquito to finish. Another dish they had run out of previously, its Bobs unique homage to the Macdonalds apple pie...... but simply 2000% BETTER. A great way to end the meal.

All up inc the $4 Margarita, a Bintang, bottle of water, it came to just on AUS$25. You also have to remember that during the meal, there are between 5-7 salsa plates assembled on the table as well. I think this is outstanding value for the quality of the food.

Andrew had requested I pick him up another T-shirt from the shop beside Taco Beach Grill, so once that was done, Litsa and I cabbed it back to the villa for an afternoons Nanna Nap.

Andrew and Kathrine had chosen Ku De Ta as their lunch spot. They snared a daybed down on the beach side and ordered a couple of stunning cocktails to start their afternoon. Lunch for them was a Lamb based pizza, which after seeing the photos, made me drool. Nice thin crisp base lathered in toppings that were flavourful and in good quantity. It was an AUS$20 pizza, but as Kathrine said, at $10 a head for a filling lunch of that quality, she was very happy based on the location and ambience of the venue. She also suggested we have our next Bali Sunday Session there instead of Potato Head. For the record.... they too don't sell jugs of fruit punch for $6.90, but they do have slightly cheaper prices than PH.

None of us stirred from our beds till close to 5.30pm. We all showered and spruced up and started having a pre dinner wine around the lovely fish pond. I had booked Chandi, a local fancy eatery for a 7.30pm sitting. They had been quite insistent we be there on time, as an 8pm booking couldnt be accomodated. I figured they would be full tonight as there seems to be a lot more Aussies looking fresh off the planes around the area, and all of the villas in our section are also full.

We arrived and were seated inside near the bar. Chandi is a stunning venue. Someone has spent megabucks on the place. The decore is very modern Bali, with an amazingly lit mural behind the bar. A courtyard with a large water feature is beatifully lit, and the whole ambience, though maybe not as good as the beachside places like La Lucciola etc, makes you feel very much at home. The service, as we have come to expect was simply brilliant. The staff were knowledgable, attentive, without being over the top. Their menu is extensive, and there is something for everybody on it. Its very cosmpolitan, and even the most finicky eater will find something to suit.

We chose the appetiser tasting platter for 2, and 4 extra mixed signature sate sticks to share between the 4 of us. The tasting platter held around 10 tasty morsels which was more than enough for the 4 of us to get a mouthful of each. I can't remember all of the dishes on there, but they were all great. A standout was the spiced watermelon soup shot we all got as well. I simply loved that, so refreshing, and yet, the heat was great as well. We had 2 types of beef Sate, a Lamb sate and an Octopus. These came on a long platter with lashings of tasty peanut sauce. These were much bigger than what we had been used to so far, and were all simply delicious.

Starters finished, and all of us with a slightly full belly, the mains were brought out a short time later. Litsa opted for a medium rare Harvery tenderloin of beef served on a hot rock. This came with a side of mashed potato laced with parsely, and also some wilted spinach. The meat was sensational. Around 200GM it was not a big serve, but after a Bintang and the entrees, she struggled to finish it. Her cost was AUS$21 and it was as good as any $40 steak we had eaten at home in places that were not as nice. Kathrine had the crispy pork belly. This came in a bowl sitting in a delicious broth. At only $9.50 a serving, she said that it couldnt be beaten for flavour and value. Andrew had a large serving of the beef sate, and he was also impressed with the food and value. I chose a medium rare rib fillet. at AUS$24, I have to say, I expected more. It came out Blue, very rare, and I did have to send it back for a quick flash on the grill. We've been used to buying some great Wagyu eye fillet at superbutcher back home for around $6 a steak. I think the ones we cook ourselves are actually better, and has less fatty gristle on them. I struggled to finish the meat as I was already quite full. A mental note was made to forgo starters next time. My steak was seasoned nicely, but didnt quite hit the mark, and was around what I would have expected to pay at home. Shame as it will be my last big meal here. I would definetly go back to Chandi, but simply choose something else. You also might want to note that Chandi did not allow smoking inside then restaurant, and they had an area of chairs setup on the balcony close to the road for smokers. This I found a nice touch, as basically all of the restaurants so far allow smoking at the tables.

We picked up a DVD from the shop across the road, and retired to the Villa to finish the wine collection off and relax in front of the TV. This is the first time we have really put it on whilst we have been here. I really havent missed it at all. I fell asleep in front of the movie and when Litsa prodded me, I headed to bed.

I am writing this on our last morning. Transportation is organised for 8.30pm tonight for our 10.50pm flight via Darwin. The 3 hour layover at 3am is something we all have been dreading. Its no good getting pessimistic yet, we still have a whole day to go. More spa treatments planned, some last minute makeup and clothes shopping at Carrefour and Bali Brasco, and a last sit around the lovely pool.............That will be our day.

This will probably be the last update for this trip. I do intend on trying to get some of the photos up somewhere when I can, so keep your eyes out here as I will link them for all to see.

I really appreciate the feedback I have been getting on the blog, and am happy to answer all or any questions you may have about our adventures. I hope I ve given you a little insight on the joys of Bali, and why we are now gagging to get back here.

Cheers Wayne

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