Former marketing staff who follower her passion to culinary. She is the founder of theculina.com and now enjoying life as food writer, social media consultant, and stock trader. Favorite things include dark chocolate, spicy dishes, and camera.
Arrived in the early morning at Desa Visesa, this was going to be my last day at the village. I began my morning activities in the mud area.
“We’re going to do a morning yoga!”, said a middle aged man with Balinese accent.
It’s definitely not a modern yoga since the group wear all traditional attire. It’s not going to a ‘clean’ one either, we’re going to do it in a mud! This one sounds weird but mud yoga is a new-style of meditation and very popular nowadays in Ubud. The yoga started with a blessing from the instructor, each of the participant splashed by holy water that previously have been prayed along with the offerings and then down to the mud. It covered our feet quite high, almost touched my knee. Mud yoga definitely not an easy-peasy one, since our weight is double up with the heaviness of the mud. Began with meditation, the yoga continued to various challenging style required stability and serenity. Dare to try?
Done with the muddy exercise, I cleaned myself and started to explore the village. I’ve learnt about agriculture as well as traditional cooking previous day but throwing all I haven’t reached that customs and religious side I always curious in. Thus, I gave a self-task to discover this Balinese cultural heritage, me and people should’ve know.
Walking around, I stopped at a small hut beside a fish pond and got interested on two young men with their unusual activity. Each of them hold a chicken and looked like playing with them. My question was, is it part of culture?
“Mengecel, this is how we treat chicken in Bali every afternoon”, the young men answered the curiosity in my face even without I asked. He then explained that ‘chicken fighting’ or traditionally known as Tajen is a tradition that must be done in a religious ceremony called Tabuh Rah. During the fight, a blood must be dripped to ground as a symbol to purify the human greed. Chicken have to be treated well, so they would strong enough during the fight. The treatment were vary from petting to massaging the whole body — called as mengecel and usually done by the men in the village. Hm, interesting facts.
From the hut, I drifted to the spa and took a look at traditional hand-made of body masked. The therapist picked down the ingredients from their North farm and handed in traditionally blend the ingredients; such as turmeric, lemon grass, ginger, and herbs. I also quickly snapped their therapy room, they have two types; rooms with open air facing to the forest and those inside caves. Too bad, I didn’t have any time to indulge my-self for this treatment.
Go straight from the spa, they have small stairs down to Beji — a holy place for purification. Usually, Beji located inside a temple as a sacred garden completed with small pool with flowing springs in a row but Desa Visesa’s Beji sacred in a cave next to a low cliff. Hindu people preceded their prayers in Beji, asking for purity of heart and mind before do the main prayer at higher place, temple. Besides, they also take the holy water from the springs back home for drink, ceremony purposes, or even wash their body as it believed able to cure any disease.
As I’ve received the blessing at Beji, I straight down my destination to their main temple. A lady named Ms. Santika showed me how to set up offerings before praying to the God — this religious activity called as Mebanten. Mebanten regularly done by ladies in the household everyday. There are many types of it but commonly it acts as a way to express grateful for the food and fortune. If you go around Bali, you will find this offerings every where at the entrance door, beside the street, or even in the cashier of mini-mart. The offerings basically consist of different types of flowers, slices pandan, and incense.
I left the temple with a prayer that I could come back again with my loves one to this beautiful place. It remarked the end of my cultural journey at Desa Visesa. The two days activity was the best I had in Ubud so far and it was worth it to spend days in a row experiencing all the spot they have in the place. I guess they still have other interesting cultural activities that I missed, you can snap it out at their website to know the details and price 🙂
p.s. I found that recently Kura-Kura Bus has listed Desa Visesa as one of their stopover in Ubud so it will be easily for you to reach out!
Eating out is always on my mind. Everywhere I am, food is always be number one. I remember my first time arrived in Ubud, my checklist was to find a restaurant with rice-field view to dine with. For me it’s simple, the place doesn’t have to be hype nor popular, taste always be number one. But this time, I want it so bad to have a dine accompanied with rice paddies. It’s like an eating-life-goals that should be achieved at least once in a life. I finally ended with a choice of restarant in my tripadvisor and guess what? I went there and they didn’t have the ‘real’ rice-field as what imagining of. I mean, they did plant it but it’s for decoration purposes only. Too bad.
But guys, I have a good news for you. If you have the same goal like I do, I finally have one great place that qualify it all! From the taste, from the view, this is what I’m looking for in Ubud. Doesn’t it sound awesome?
Okay so this place called, Lesung Restaurant, it is a part of Desa Visesa a cultural destination located at North of Ubud. Owned by The Royal Ubud Family, this village was well-maintained and far from the hustle bustle. I dropped of to Lesung Restaurant for a lunch between my packed schedule of daily activities at the village. Read more my experience as villager at Desa Visesa in my previous blog post.
Rolling as the main restaurant of the resort, Lesung also open daily for walk-in guests who would like to experience a nature style of culinary. The best thing I had in this restaurant was, a picnic! Instead of sitting on the chair like any other common, I could sit at the edge of rice-field, enjoying the green view and fresh air. What I could hear was the sound of wind blowing through the paddies, very relaxing.
My enjoyment of this place goes way beyond when I found a traditional delight on their menu list. However, as a part of resort’s restaurant, they also serve international menu choices such as steak and sandwiches. I ended with mostly Indonesian food based on the recommendation from the chef. Not to wait for long, plates of appetizing food served and here what I had.
Opening up my dine, I took my fork to Chili Herb Octopus — grilled octopus in chili flakes, served with tamarind sauce, and salad. The colour and looks of the dish might not resembled an octopus but the taste was something I couldn’t complain. It was well marinated and cooked to perfection. The hero was the sauce, it looked like overwhelmed but it turned out enhancing the umami taste of octopus, made it even more tastier!
The second appetizer that took my heart at the first bite was Signature “Lesung” salad. The idea of using jicama other than fresh mango as the main ingredients was briliant, I could say. Thai chili dressing was sweet, not to spicy, and refreshing. What I like the most about this salad is definitely the seafood. Lesung’s Chef know really well how to cook seafood in a right way, none of them are over or less cooked.
desa visesa ubud bali
Nasi Goreng Kampung might sounds common but you’ve to taste it by yourself to define Lesung’s version is common or exceptional. Fact, one portion of fried rice has taken out 50% space of my tummy. It has a big portion and completed with not only pickle and sambal, but also skewers, fried shrimp, and traditional style of Indonesian fried chicken.
The only international dishes I ordered during the dine was one of main course, Beef Tenderloin Rossini. Cutting in, beautiful red center appeared nicely. Medium rare is how I like my steak done and they did it just right. Instead of potato pie, I prefer mash potatoes to be the staple accompanied the steak, but then it’s based on people’s preferences 🙂
A goodly refreshing dessert was all you wished for after the whole heavy meal and I met this Chocolate Hazelnut remarking my last plate at Lesung. Chocolate cake, hazelnut, and slices of fresh fruit was a serious killer, left me addicted til I ended with a clean plates.
The whole course I had at Lesung Restaurant was delightful and worth to walk back. The green view and relaxing sound of wind blowing through the paddies left a memorable companion of my dining experience. I was lucky to find this place during my Ubud exploration and it’s your turn to check it out! 🙂
Not a new one but has been a notable player in this past 5 years. Cosmic Diner Bali is opened up their new branch in Sanur. I’ve been going back and forth, wanted to stepped in to their branch in Sun Set Road but finally ended here at their brand new place — same menu, bigger space, and obviously more photogenic.
Like a time capsule, Cosmic Diner Bali is taking me back with a sights and sounds of the decade. Stepped in inside, eccentric red wall combined with black and white flooring defining a retro-looking. Music, too, is being used to invoke the 60s. Nostalgic play tunes like “Living on a Jet Plane” by John Denver (1969), “Moon River’ ” by Andy William (1961) and “My Girl” by The Temptations (1964) are the classic who bringing out greatest music of golden ages.
What is most intriguing about the place is people could experience having a dine inside that famous American streamliner train. Breaking the history, diner refer to small fast food American restaurant serving a quick dine. Built in a wagon, the trend slowly switch to streamliner train simply for it’s bigger space. This trend is still exist until now, even become those typically restaurant you could find at the side of road in America but definitely none in Indonesia (but we have warung, for sure). Inspired by this trend of dining, Cosmic Diner come with a thematically idea commercial itself as a place to quickly grab your meal. But the good looking place has also taking a heart and eyes of nowadays teens for their destination of chit-chatting and relax or what we called it as ‘nongkrong’. Pretty cool!
1960s also remarked the renaissance of robotic industrial. Going up to second floor, you’ll meet countless types of vintage robots with various color and shapes. At first, I have no idea why they put that robot display around but later I noticed a convincing reason for that –robots were the booming toys at the era. Where to get them on the place maybe a good question better than why and it blown my mind when the manager said that they flied and hunted for it to New York. It’s good to see some antiques.
Revealing the food, despite it’s Diner title, the restaurant not only serves typically fast food grab like sandwich, burger, nachos, and quesadilla but it also comes with heavy plates like pasta, steaks, and back ribs. Lists of the menu were so various and left you imagine the rest for your upcoming visit. I ended up with four delicious plates; Grilled Corn, Tagliatelle Lobster, Aunt Maria’s Burger, and Steak Fancy.
Two refreshment accompanied me while waiting for my meal, Rocky Road and Berrylicious was two of best beverages I’ve found. Rocky Road is one of the best selling milkshake — a blend of baileys gelato and kahlua coffee liquor served with toasted marshmallow on the straw. While Rocky Road comes with pack calories in shot, Berrylicious is healthier choices, combination of blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, acai, maple, and yogurt. But peps, ingredients labeled the price 😉
Plating was not main-stream, this was what I’m thinking of when my sharing bites arrived on the table. Taste was not that main-stream too, and this was what I can conclude after take a bite. Cosmic Diner’s version of grilled corn didn’t give that common and strong taste of BBQ sauce but let me to enjoy the rich taste of melted chipotle butter in sweet-smoky corn. The mild taste also accompanied with grana padano and popcorn, completed with sweet chili sour cream as sauce. I just wish that they could give more of sauce, so I can taste the sour-spicy in all my corn.
Coming up next, Steak Fancy — 180g grass-fed Australian tenderloin served with Shiraz reduction, truffle mashed potatoes, and glazed baby corn. Not to lie the name, well-plated looks was define the fancy. Steak was nice, it’s medium with pink through out and tender. Mashed potatoes was so smooth but the crunchy carrot need more caramelize.
Tagliatelle Lobster was taking my heart of overall dishes. The fettuccine was cooked in creamed tomato sauce and jimbaran bamboo lobster over with grated grana padano. Sourness of tomato didn’t overtaking the taste, as well as the cream. It’s balance with umami essence from the diced lobster. A bit more seasoning and it will be more perfect, but it’s so good already!
She’s looks kind but she’s not, just like her role in the fairy-tale. She’s the only reason why I decided to forget my dessert. Aunt Maria’s, should be blamed for making my tummy nearly comes to explosion. Cosmic Diner has a line of convincing choices of burger but one reason that make it all attractive, the wagyu patty. While Aunt Maria’s looked sexy for me since it double up with chorizo and went Mexican with jalapeno and chipotle mayo.
Traveling through the time, back to 60s, Cosmic Diner Bali has dragging out a hole in a wall concept for its restaurant, moving the real diner ambiance from New York to Bali. Sit inside the streamliner train, drown with the oldiest music, and dig in the delicious food — sounds good enough for a eating out plan this week? 🙂
COSMIC DINER BALI
SANUR ARCADE, SH-1 Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai, Sanur – Bali
SUNSET STAR, Corner of Sunset Road & Dewi Sri Kuta Bali
LIPPO MALL KUTA, LG-11, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Lingkaran Segara Kuta, Bali
Operational hours: Everyday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm
The sky was blue, sun shone bright. Sound of lively cock-a-doodle-doo and splashed of water was all I could heard, so deep into nature. It was a peaceful morning when I arrived at the newly destination in Northern Ubud, called Desa Visesa. I was going to spend two days in a row down as part of this village, doing all of daily activities that the locals done. I challenged my self to do so, part of me felt that it must be adventurous, something I’ve never done before. But, imagined that I’m going to dig into rice field, picking vegetables, even getting my morning yoga inside mud were something indescribable.
Fact that it wasn’t my first time visiting a ‘real’ village suddenly threw me back to past. Desa Visesa was an artificial village, so well-maintained without decreasing it’s sign of nature. The resort surrounded by hectares of rice-field and farm. My favourite view was Parma Culture area where the sea of rice paddies completed with clear blue sky, view of Balinese temple from distance, small fish pond and traditional hut so called ‘saung‘ was all you wished for a scenic gateway view in your life. It’s totally refresh your mind.
I started my day from the South, exploring the farm and picking up vegetables. A Balinese girl named Lupita accompanied me the whole way. Wearing Balinese traditional attire from head to toe, she hold a woven bamboo trey and introduced the varieties of vegetables they have on the farm, from red spinach, tomatoes, beans, eggplants, lemongrass and cabbage. The experience was real. My father used to have a small farm when I was a child and it was great to down back the memories, picked all the harvest.
Couple steps from the farm, a group of breeder were sitting beside small cowshed, enjoying their brunch and coffee. We went down greeting them and they said, they just finished ploughing up the rice field. It’s a routine activities couple times in months before planting in the rice. Yet, they didn’t use newly technology but keep in the tradition of using animal-power. A plough made of wood with attached stick hanged to the ox’s neck and as they get into the mud, the breeder will give a sign to drawn the plough. After this tiring activities, the ox will get hungry and seek something to eat. There I was a the moment, giving my time to feed the hungry ox.
Done exploring the farm and feeding, Lupita lead me to their traditional kitchen and restaurant, Warung Tani. When I said ‘traditional’, it really was. The kitchen was paved in ground. You won’t find any gas stoves or even an aluminium pan, instead a traditional setting of bone-fire with a clay pot and pan will be those who cook your dishes. Executive Chef Eka Arsana handed in three traditional Balinese dishes for short cooking course that afternoon, the famous Balinese skewers Sate Lilit, Indonesian traditional fish wrapped in banana leaf or known as Pepes Ikan, and traditional authentic Balinese dessert made from steamed pumpkin, Sumping Wuluh.
The main secret that lead to Balinese sensation in your dishes is nothing than Bumbu Base Genep or simply known as Balinese common seasoning. This authentic seasoning become the basic seasoning of all Balinese notable dishes from Ayam Betutu, Lawar, Urutan, til what we’re making at that time. Breaking down the recipes, the seasoning would need garlic, onion, chili, lemongrass, turmeric, ginger, galangal, nutmeg, cloves, shrimp paste, and other additional spices. All of those raw ingredients manually crushed down by using pestle and mortar into light paste which then sauteed to darker colour.
Mahi-mahi is the most well-used fish for Balinese cuisine and we’re using this fish as well for two of our dishes. For Sate Lilit, the ground mahi-mahi fish mixed in with Bumbu Base Genep and light seasoning before rolled into lemongrass as skewers. While Pepes Ikan needed two fillet of mahi-mahi, layered with the Bumbu Base Genep, slices tomatoes, and thai basil before wrapped with banana leaves. Two of them then traditional grilled with charcoal.
Waiting for the fish in grill, we moved to make Balinese side dishes and sweets. Essential Balinese side dish Sambal Matah were hardy dominant by onion, chili, and lemon grass. Other important herbs and spices needed to shape the taste were garlic, kaffir lime leaves, lime juice, shrimp paste, oil, and light seasoning. Aside Sambal Matah, the traditional salad popular across country called Urap also become one who accompanied our course. Steamed grated coconut mixed with Bumbu Base Bali was the key, it has to be tasteful and strong. Blanched in some of our harvest in the farm before, the fresh veges then mixed with steamed grated coconut and set aside.
Sumping Waluh was the only unfamiliar dish among all. I’m a bit out of the idea both for the shape and taste but it’s apparently quite easy to make. You’ll just need to heat coconut milk, mixed it up with rice flour, sugar, and grated pumpkin then viola, the dough is ready to be wrapped and steamed.
We didn’t noticed the time flies, two and a half hours has passed by for cooking course. Chef Eka handed in the presentation of all the plates and within five minutes I could already get the whole beautiful plates on my table, this was where the lunch began. Dig in the plates, smoky and authentic taste, with a view of organic farm ahead has become a remarkable lunch at the moment.
It’s around 3pm when I finished my lunch and back to the North. Sound of laughing and traditional Balinese instrument reverberated in the air. Sooner I found that rice-field in the North already fulled of people which mostly were part of the village.
“It’s our daily routines. We ended our office hour at 3pm to get our selves taken a part in Visesa’s cultural heritage. Male in charged for agriculture while female more to religious activities such as preparing the offerings, you’ll experience it tomorrow”, said Ms. Yanti who is the Public Relation manager of the village.
Cheerful and joy lighting up the friendly atmosphere, remarking my last activity that day. Even though I haven’t meet them before but culture has reunite us, I felt more then welcomed to Visesa’s family. Spoiler of the next day activities has been given and I’ve been thinking how interesting it would be all way home.
Best people live in Ubud, proverbs said. And it might be goes the same for food. Ubud is known as best place to find peace and enhance spiritual devotion. For me, it always be the best place to find what being called as conscious food. From comfort food to fine dine, all made based on a rule to feed up the soul — perched high up on deliciousness and healthiness. Thus, leaving Ubud never be complete without having a proper meal says super vegetarian bowl or organic raw food plates.
Kismet Restaurant and Lounge is one of those venerable restaurant player in the town, a project between two talented soul Chloe Carter and Mykah Sterling who destined to travel Ubud and meet one another. The name of the restaurant show it all, meaning unavoidable destiny or fate. Building dreams with pinch of belief and dust of hope, the spirited couple use their expertise in design and entrepreneur, turned an unknowable corner into something inconspicuous to put the eyes on.
The small but notable restaurant lies at the corner of Jalan South Goutama, not in the hustle bustle thus creating a relaxing vibes to make people comfortably eat, sit, and chill. The over all interior designed in simple industrial tone, dominated with minimalist black, white, and woody brown but still influenced by local sensibility. While the first floor built in more casual ambiance suits for working space and gathering up with company, the second floor which titled as lounge set up in fine tables, dedicated for those who want to have a serious dine.
The restaurant built up with detail attention to serve the customer with best experiences in whatever the occasions. Let’s say, the community sofas in the first floor — has become favourite spot for a troupe who want to have fun with their kismet friends. Another creative sight is the red lamps hanging above every table on the main dining area — an effective shortcut to call waiter without having to wave or shout. Free flow water, glass of welcoming drink, high speed wifi, friendly staff, and attentive services work as additional spices that make Kismet so much loved.
From a small kitchen to table, the restaurant aim to serve hearty food with everlasting taste to be remembered. The kitchen rules are simple — vegetarian is a must, taste have to be vibrant, refined style is allowed, and high quality ingredients is needed. Embed a global way to celebrate the dining, Kismet Restaurant and Lounge has a unique menu fly across countries. Handed in the book, Lasagna and Pappardelle from Italia were not only two of Kismet top dishes, it then followed by Thailand Phad Thai, Indian Tikka Massala, and Canadian Poutine. The eclectic food are basically comfort ones but re-invented in Kismet touch. The idea derived from the mix cultures of the founders and taste of nostalgic food that they never get to find in Bali. Started with Asian wave, I found my plates filled up with fresh greens of Broccoli and Green Beans. The greenly color clearly stated that the veges was cooked into perfection — buttery and crunchy was something predictable. Regular rave that always be loved hit on Big Salad Bowl with choices of Classic, Asian, or Dragon twist and additional two or five skewers companion. I got an Asian version bowl, blend of of 35% Korean, 35% Japan, 20% Indonesian, and 10% Kismet. It has mix of fresh veggies, kimchi, pickled ginger, seaweed, sesame seed, avocado, and complete vegan skewers. Peanut and ginger wasabi dressing also being present to revved up the flavor.
Departed to Italia, Polenta Lasagna was one worth to walk back. This Italian inspired dish used pan-fried polenta instead of usual pasta dough, creating that ‘crack’ sound when bitten. The lovely texture also assembly with eggplant and zucchini while buffalo mozzarella and pesto sauce double up the layer, enriched the taste side by side. Lasagna then presented with slightly tangy marinara sauce but still balance the over all taste.
Cheese, wine, and friends. Must be old to be good. Bringing up the dine to another level, Kismet heated up with classic French tradition of cheese and wine pairing. Kismet Cheese Board was a large plate for sharing– consist of imported cheese, spicy cashews, toasted crostini, balsamic reduction, mixed olives, tamarind jelly, slice apple and pear. The wine list is limited but never misdoubt the elegance, such as Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc 2016 from New Zealand.
Dessert innovation has overwhelmed the new look of Kismet sweets, giving much choices for sweet tooth. Able to choose favourite dessert at the display freezer, Chocolate Royal Dome was simply attract my attention at the first sight. The newly comer definitely won in terms of presentation compare to others. It’s tempting chocolate glaze was a prove of visual delicacy but wasn’t able to dig in and see what’s inside left the real taste questionable.
What Chloe and Mykah put on the line was not only business, but also passion and love. Kismet Restaurant and Lounge is a prove that different path could unavoidable meet in a point, called destiny. Embrace the unique flavor across the globe, the restaurant is where to go for spending time with your kismet or even meet your kismet, either friends, family, or couple. they believe different path could once meet in destiny.
Hm, what if this month I meet my kismet?
Don’t know but for sure I found hearty food that made my heart beating 💗
KISMET RESTAURANT AND LOUNGE KUTA BALI
#27X Jl South Goutama, Ubud, Gianyar, Indonesia 80571
Operational time: Breakfast 10.00-12.00, all day dining 12.00-22.45, until 23.30 available only drink and dessert
Bali didn’t only has beautiful beaches and landscapes to discover. Something not to be missed is definitely the authentic taste of local food that will make you dreaming day by day after leaving the island. The gift of nature, culture inherited by the locals, as well as the strong mores of Hindism has lead to create significant flavors that distinct the island from any where else in the country — yet it can be said as one of the exotic taste you would find in Indonesia. Island of God indeed is a right name to be given — for it’s beauty, for it’s culture, for it’s food.
It’s already my 5th month living here as part of this beautiful island but during this time I still can’t reach all of the region for it’s nature nor it’s culinary traditions. As if in Kuta, the notable dishes would be Babi Guling while the must to eat ones in Ubud is nothing than Nasi Ayam Kedawatan. There are uncountable of them, especially in the rural area with some even didn’t get noticed.
Bringing out culinary from different part of the island is likely arrange on a puzzle. Effort needed and only qualified cooks with strong traditional blood will do. And here is exactly what Waroeng Dadong, the newly opened restaurant in Kuta try to serve on their table.
Waroeng Dadong, the restaurant’s name sounds classic but it was not that simple to be given. Waroeng refers to Indonesian traditional restaurantwhile dadong derived from Balinese language means the old woman or grandmother. Combining two, the restaurant aimed to bring the best authentic Balinese recipes from the ancestors.
The effort not only being done with taste, but also with visual approach of the interior. Instead of having a dine inside a building, here I had a pleasant traditional ambiance while enjoying the warm wind blew up in an open air. Monochrome portraits hang on its bricks wall, showing bright smile of Balinese girl — somehow it took me back to rural memories of walking on the rice field in Ubud. In the middle of the restaurant, small fish pound leading to a God statue separated the room into two. Best part of the interior could only be seen after sunset. As the sun goes down, the casual ambiance turned into beautiful view of dozens traditional rattan lamps shone on the woody ceilings. It was truly nice.
Waroeng Dadong’s menu come with vary Balinese traditional starters, soup, tipat (rice cakes), bubuh (porridge), and other ala carte main courses. They also have a complete set menu for those who would like to experience different taste of Balinese side dish at once. Following the locals, their food made of varieties spices blend with fresh vegetable and choice of chicken, pork, or fish. However, vegetarian choices is also available. What made me lifting up my eyebrow was the price — not because expensive but it’s affordable enough compare with notable typical restaurant in Kuta area.
During the feast, I got introduced with some of Balinese cuisine that are unknown but surprisingly good enough to make me keep dig in. The exotic starters went to Lindung Sune Cekuh — Balinese fried eel mixed with special garlic and galangal sauce. This crispy eel taste so honest but successfully turned that person who was not a big fan of eel to get addicted (Read: me). The plate also accompanied by steamed vegetable mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut or traditionally called as urab. Other comfort starter that can bring up your appetite might be that famous Balinese Chicken which is essentially shredded grilled chicken with Balinese spices dressing.
Besides, bowls of signature Balinese soup also being served at Waroeng Dadong. There are only three soup options at present but just reading the ingredients left me licking my lips, Kuah Nangka Balung was one of them. Nothing can bet the rarely combination of young jack fruit and rich soup cooked with pork bone, agree?
I started my main courses with beautifully platted Nasi Tumpeng Dadong consist of Balinese style rice coned (with choice of white rice, yellow rice, or steamed rice), spicy shredded chicken, fried egg balado, satay plecing, tum babi, kacang saur, urutan, and urab. This plate cost a bit expensive compare to all but worth the big portion. The heroes went to it’s sate plecing, one of the best I had! Other interesting menu that definitely will walk me back is Rendang Babi. I owe my self for that.
When Nasi Campur Babi is too common for you, try out this Brengkes Babi, one of notable pork menu at Waroeng Dadong. This dish was a bit unique, made of chopped pork skin and belly then mixed with young coconut and Balinese spices sauce. It then wrapped with banana leaves and grilled. The texture was soft when I spooned it on but still I could taste the chewy belly and strong Balinese flavor. The plate accompanied with rice and Balinese lawar, mixed of vegetables, coconut, and minced meat in rich herbs and spices.
For not-that-heavy meal, bowl of porridge over with peanut sauce, shredded chicken, and urab called Bubuh Base Kacang might be the option. Take it with sambal to have it tastier. I just noticed that Bali has it’s own rice cakes dishes and it become my favourite as well during the visitation. Tipat Kuah simply was rice cakes over by turmeric chicken stock, sprinkled with fried shredded coconut and nuts. I recommend both of this dishes for breakfast since it come with lighter taste.
Closing the feast, these nostalgic sweets of Dadar Gulung and Lolon Dadong bring up the memories for having jajanan pasar so much. The plates also come with reasonable price with IDR 15.000 per portion. Taking a cup of Balinese coffee with the sweets couldn’t be more perfect to wrap up the afternoon.
Discovering authentic Balinese taste in one place frankly is what people needed when they come to Bali. With this concept, Waroeng Dadong differ itself as the pioneer to serve the exotic rural taste from the island. Nicely traditional inspired modern interior is another plus that bring out comfortable sitting while enjoying the meal. Located close to the Ngurahrai International airport, the restaurant might become a stopover as you arrived in Bali. Waroeng Dadong just open it’s door for the first time in this 14th January. Spirit to bring the best of local tradition is there, great food is there, and I am anticipated to see more of the greatest ahead!
WAROENG DADONG KUTA BALI
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai No.20, Tuban, Kuta Sel., Bali, 80361 (0361) 8476797
It was a dream come true, when I could reach Norway for my first country in Europe. I have no idea how I could go that far with sudden plan and less than 3 months preparation, including money and air fare ticket. It needed courage to convince my parent for my solo traveling, it required extra power to find money, and it spend double brain to prepare the trip while worked on my final thesis in my last year. But finally, hard works paid off. I departed from Jakarta to Oslo on February 2015.
Norway definitely is a country that always be missed. After I come back on March, the beauty of Norway still on my mind. Although it was hardly winter but there were so many things in Norway to be enjoyed and remembered. The ambiance, culture, people, all were totally different compared to Asia, especially Indonesia. I come to experience things that people describe as #YOLO (You Only Live Once) — the moment when you decided to experience something that might never happen to you again in future. Here are that #YOLO moments that I’ve experienced in Norway, things that made me hard to move on until now!
1. Hunting Northern Light, Aurora Borealis in Bodø
Traveling to Norway on winter is definitely means that you should go for The Northern Light hunt! Since the beginning, Aurora Borealis was on my MUST TO DO list above all. It’s very hard to predict this beautiful dancing light but I really gambled for everything to see it once in my life (hope to see it again!). In order to see it, I have to choose one of best city that have a good forcast to be passed by this light, the northest you go, the better. Best city among all is actually Tromsø but calculating all my budget and very little time, I could only reach Bodø.Thus, I put all of my hope for one night travel to that city.
It’s already evening when I arrived at Bodø and I got perfect spot up in the hill. Night comes as well as worries since the aurora wasn’t on schedule with the forecast. All I could see was a dark sky with bright moon. But at around 3.00am in the morning, the dancing green light was on the sky!
2. Passing Through Arctic Circle with Norland Railway (From Oslo to Bodø)
Limited budget lead me to take the famous Norland railway with 729km long way to travel in 17hours. I took a NSB train (the best train in town) from Oslo toBodø by paying 498 Norwegian Crone or around IDR 800.000. My suggestion is to buy it via online with payment using credit card and print the ticket out. Things that should be remember to get cheaper price is by book it at least 1 month before and claimed as student to get discount.
The journey was long and taking so much time. But as the train left the city, I started to think that this was best decision I’ve ever made because I could enjoy the stunning Norwegian scenery town to town! The most memorable scene was when the train conductor let the passengers know that we were going pass through Arctic Circle marked by the Arctic Circle Center. Dude, I passed the most northerly circles on the earth! Who can’t be more excited? (especially because I live at the other South circle). It felt like “yeeaaaaaaah!”
3. Living with local people and experience the Norwegian life
During my travel in Norway, I stayed with two host family not even in a hotel. I met one family in Bodø via couchsurfing while the other one in Trondheim handled by ISFiT committees. Both family treated me so well, even though we haven’t meet each other before. I got to experience the real Norwegian life with real Norwegian people, from living together in their house, eating what they eat, spending evening before bedtime in the family room, chit-chating like family, snacking and drinking wine, even having a short trip for holiday together. They’re amazing.
4. Staying at a Nordic vintage style house with incredible view
Both house where I stay was totally amazing. In Bodø I luckily stay at the top of the hill where I can clearly see the beauty of city from the top. The scenery from the house was stunning. City landscape with sea and snowy mountains welcomed me during the day while at night I had my dinner with beautiful scenery of full moon and city light. The house also designed very nice and very cozy, just like that vintage house in the movie! They even have a small working room at the third floor and I was imagining how productive I would be to write my blog at the desk facing to the city view. On the living room, they even turned on candles and fireplace, it was so romantic. Definitely a dream house to be. But too bad, I lost the photo on my broken Samsung phone! 🙁 I could only gave you the scenery, pardon.
While in Trondheim, I live in Spongdal around 40 minutes from the city center by bus, a house of family with three kids and a big cat named Tiger. I stayed with them quite long, for almost 2 weeks and really enjoyed every moment. Here is my room, located in the ground floor and it was very warm. See the window on the left side? If I opened it, I could touch the ground outside. Every evening, tiger will find his way to this window and singing out loud, clawing here and there — a sign for us to let him in.
5. Eating Norwegian waffle and brown cheese!
Waffle and cheese? Seriously?
I’m not kidding guys. This is a must, totally a must. I didn’t know what spell they did on the waffle but I and my friends who come from outside Norway has fallen in love deeply with that addicted Norwegian sweets. My host family during my 11 days staying at Trondheim cooked me this waffle on my first day at the house and I couldn’t be more proud to tell the others about that! It’s like winning a world record championship titled the first person who eat Norwegian waffle as arrived in Trondheim. And not to be forgotten is brown cheese! You can only find this cheese in Norwegian and tasted like heaven. Don’t forget to cut it by using Norwegian cheese peeler!
6. Enjoying Norwegian Student Life in Trondheim
Trondheim is well known as a student city in Norway. Once in two years, the universities in Trondheim will held ISFiT or International Student Festival in Trondheim — claimed as the biggest student festival in the world. And here I was, representing Indonesian for this event. During 11 day of the festival, we gathered everyday in what we called Hogwarts which is actually Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Oh gosh, is that university? For real? It’s just too beautiful to become ones.
Norwegian didn’t have big heavy meal for lunch, they usually only have typically sandwich or wrap. And it’s cold. And for that I was craving a warm proper food so much during the day. After our workshop, we had to canteen for dinner and thanks God food here was always delicious (although we couldn’t have another plates).
Evening means it’s time to gather at student hall or so called Samfundet. Every day there will be some activities inside the building, either usual group gathering, other public workshop, or even having fun with music, concert, and partying til drop. On Valentine’s night, I went to Marit Larsen concert at the hall and that was the best Valentine ever (since I was single at that time 😛 ). Don’t have any idea who’s Marit Larsen? How about that legend duo singer M2M? Yes, Marit Larsen is the blonde one and she is Norwegian!
7. Going on a short trip to Otnes, Norwegian style of vacation
It was a sudden plan, but the family took me to their vacation house in a small village called Otnes, 2 hours driving from Spongdal as if driving from Jakarta to Bogor. I think, it was a culture or pride for Norwegian to build another house for vacation out of the city, just like villas in Indonesia. Good thing was, there are no traffic jam AT ALL, even though that’s weekend! And when other places covered with snow and low temperature that even able to froze a lake, Otnes was definitely not. The sun bright warmly but yes it still windy and cold enough to made me use my winter jacket. The village was also so quite, you even cannot find people around. Google it and surprised! They only have around 300 population. Woha. Introvert people like me must be love this kinda place. This was the real vacation ever, it’s just like the village is yours. All that beautiful place is youuuuuurs.
Not to be doubt, the house also have incredible view with a Lomnessjøen lake right in front. Let me repeat, A LAKE. RIGHT IN FRONT. Amazing.
At behind, there was forest and a cattle house. I and the family feed the cattle at the back house and then went for a tracked to the forest. The air, the scenery, and all in Otnes was still natural. The lake was very clean where you could catch as many Norwegian Salmon as you can during summer. And the forest was highly conserved, even wild deer still going around here and there. Deer hunting was also scheduled in summer.
Remember that typical Western movie telling story about children building their own house in a tree? Well, the two brothers of Lyng family — Jorund and Vedgar made it happen for their base-camp. They build it on their own and pick the best location ever with a scenic view! These guys were so into nature.
8. Dining at Egon Tårnet, the spinning tower.
This is the hippest restaurant in Trondheim. Like every teens will visit this restaurants, just like Single Fin in Bali or Domicile in Surabaya. Egon Tårnet built on the top of a tower in circular platform. The two floor restaurant surrounded by big glasses wall with Trondheim city view from the top. What make it different from usual restaurant at the highest was because it’s spinning. Yeah, you didn’t get it wrong. The restaurant was spinning so you could enjoy the city view in 360 degree! For food, they provide both of ala carte and buffet menu. Try out their pizza, they’re delicious (and the cheapest one!).
9. Looking for gift? The answer will always be Norwegian Chocolate.
Norwegian chocolate was the best gift that I brought as gift for my family. Well, you have to keep it right to maintained the shape. It was not cheap either. I forgot the exact price but the biggest one reach around more than IDR 100.000. There were lots of brands you’ll have in the mart (every supermarket selling this!) but I recommended you to try out the Norwegian Oreo Chocolate. Is that sounds weird? Yes. Look but I am serious, the taste was the best ever!!! Oh, I just found that eBay selling it with cheaper price, you should check this out.
I am feeling so great for writing this article, throwing back in everything that I’ve done two years ago. It’s like re-writing a diary although it was a bit late. But I’ll make sure to post another stories of my Europe trip on the blog so stay tuned peps! 🙂
I was sitting on my table, under the sky lantern lamps hanging beautifully above my head. It was cloudy that afternoon where sun shone a bit calm through the roof top panel but not to left down the ambiance of the entire room. I simply come to conclusion that this restaurant is a lovely place, good match for lunch, dinner, or even just to take a sip of cocktail. It has a beautiful and modern interior that will make you comfortable to sit in a long time.
This is Batik Restaurant and Bar. Everything here is pleasant, just the way it is. But sooner I found there’re something more to tell. It’s way more than just beautiful. Something that people won’t notice at a glance.
THE ENCHANTED BATIK HOUSE: ALL ABOUT BATIK PHILOSOPHY
I didn’t put my attention in detail when finally I realized that everything made for Batik Restaurant Bar wasn’t just a piece of art, but also part of Indonesian traditional heritage.
Stepped inside the restaurant, a homey ambiance welcomed me warmly. The interior was clean, dominated with white and pastel color. Batik inspired ceilings was covering the light, turned the simple room into the opposite way — modern yet complex. What come to attract me the most was six hanging batik fabrics on the wall. Arranged from the fadest to the brightest, those fabrics showed the six main steps in making Batik Solo from applying wax to the dying bath.
Meanwhile, at the back of the house, three high mirrors stood so pretentious behind the bar. At glance, there’re nothing special to admire beside the size but if you look a bit closer, hundreds of golden brown patterns which separated the mirror side by side are actually Batik stamps — all handmade of copper strips, carefully cut, shaped and soldered. One stamp need approximately a month to be made. Just simply accumulate how much stamps you’ll find in the wall and how long the artisan took to make all of those pieces of art — the numbers will totally blown your mind.
Right beside the bar, you also will get to see some woods in a jar — not any usual woods for decoration purposes only but to show the inherited tradition of using natural raw materials for Batik coloring, such as Kayu Tegeran Solo and Kayu Sencang to derived both yellow and red color. These wood an only be found in certain parts of Indonesia.
Following stairway to second floor is likely going to discover the beauty of batik all around city in Indonesia. Each step showed various Batik patterns influenced by each region’s culture. Batik from Jogjakarta, for instance. The pattern seem to formed a kris which was the traditional weapon used by nobleman long time ago. This symbol is also identical with the power of Jogjakarta’s kingdom. While, Semarang has it’s own uniqueness with its pattern resembling tree upside down or popularly known as asem in Javanese language. This term also used as the origin to name the city, Semarang.
If the first floor emphasizing the art of Batik in traditional, second floor proof that Batik is magical things that can also be modernized. The monochrome side of the house showing painted girl in bluish batik gave artistically impression that so much way to describe. Other interesting side was the wall creation made from 1800 holes and filled with 180 canting, forming letter by letter to ‘love batik’ words.
The highlight went to two modern batik dresses display on the mannequin lady. Not just ordinary dresses, they were handmade creations by talented hand Ali Charisma — one of famous international fashion designer from Indonesia. His love for Indonesian batik worked like a spell, turned the traditional fabric to artistic modern dress with magnificent sense in details.
SOUTH EAST ASIAN CUISINE: INDONESIAN, THAILAND, AND VIETNAM
I know for sure that Indonesian cuisine will be packed along with this batik house concept restaurant. But unexpectedly, that very convincing Thailand and Vietnamese cuisine also showed up, even dominating the menu in the same portion. For this reason, I ended up with decision to try out the restaurant’s recommendation from these two countries. Not to wait in a long time, four plates filled up with food arrived on my table. They simply made me licks my lips with my eyes focusing to decide which plate to dig in first.
With no hesitation, Thai Pandan Chicken become my very first destination among all. That cracking sound when unwrapping the crispy pandan was a good sign that the chicken was perfectly deep fried. And as expected, they’re well marinated, tender, and cooked to fully caramelized. Come to drizzle the chicken with the sauce and hit it one bite, you’ll gonna put this dish for your checklist in another visit.
Vietnamese bites called Nem Nướng̣ come next with three pieces of skewers accompanied by fish dipping sauce Nước chấm. It’s hard to resist the strong aroma and flavor of this marinated minced beef — especially when it grilled in lemongrass as the stick.
What’s special from Thai-cuisine will always be it’s light prepared dishes with aromatic components and spicy at the edge. This simply come to a reason why Phad Krapow shoudn’t be missed at the place. This comfort dish always be everyone’s favourite in Thailand for it’s simplicity but tasty flavor. Batik’s Phad Krapow was developed with a modern twist but not to forget the authentic taste.
Forget about sweet crapes because at Batik I got to taste the savory ones! Those who wish for lighter meal, this dish definitely comes to save your appetite. Bánh xèo is essentially crispy rice flour crepes filled up with shrimp, chicken, bean sprouts, onion, and shallot. This famous Vietnamese sizzling cake is rarely found in the town and unique in taste since it use turmeric powder in the batter.
Too full for dessert, I finished my lunch with a glass of Batik’s signature cocktail, Lychee Madness — consist of vodka, blue caracao, lychees, triple sec, pineapple, and lime. As how it was name, I mad in the soft-blue colour, mad in the sweetness, mad in its aftertaste, and everything… it’s just too mad, too mad in a love 🙂
Batik is part of Indonesian heritage and this restaurant is hole-in-the-wall to show beauty of this inherited culture in the island. All of the artistic interior was designed with pride of Batik in the heart, creating thousand story to be shared. Not to doubt for the food, it prepared with a smiling face by developing the authentic recipes from ancestor. I never thought that my short visit to Batik Restaurant Bar Seminyak become something that I proudly to share.
It’s not easy, but here I said I got enchanted to meet you! 🙂
BATIK RESTAURANT BAR BALI
Jalan Kayu Aya, Seminyak, Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Seminyak, Bali, 80361