Friday, August 31, 2012

Bali belly + other eats, Bali

After our unexpected mini-break in Melbourne we FINALLY arrive in Bali - a full 34 hours after we left Sydney.  It's normally a five hour flight...just for the record. Did I mention that we had booked a villa in Bali...with our own private pool. That pool made the dramas of getting to Bali just melt away.  Not having to bags a banana-lounge before sunrise just so we could sit by the pool was a true luxury!

Our villa was in Seminyak - far away from the mayhem of crazy-busy Kuta, but still close to the action (which is basically at your front door everywhere you go in Bali unless you go to a rural location and "zen" out). We had shopping right on our doorstep and the beach was about 800m down the road. We spent our days lazing about, wandering along the beach, stopping for cold drinks, shopping (and trying to bargain but mostly failing) and of course...EATING!

We mostly stuck to the local-style eateries near our villa - though we did go fancy twice + I'll write about those later.  Without a doubt our favourite place was Warung Mimpi - a small warung (eatery) that served up simple (but great) Indonesian food...and only Indonesian food. So many of the eateries in Bali try to cater for all tastes so you end up with an odd mix of Indonesian, Balinese, Hamburgers, Mexican, Pasta, Pizza - blah! 

Nasi Campur - probably my favourite meal in Bali - is something I had more than a few times at Mimpi.  Simply go to the counter and point to whatever takes your fancy (tuna curry = OMG). It's kinda easy to overload your plate this way but Mr Mimpi (if that is his real name) gave me a nod when he thought I was getting out-of-control.  The Boy was stuck on Nasi Lemak (fried rice with a satay skewer, fried egg + giant prawn cracker) but broke out of the mold a few times for grilled whole snapper ($8 !!!!) and a plate of fried noodles with seafood. I even got my fix of Ikan Bilis (little dried/fried fish)...I kept going back until they finally had it on the menu. Ah Mimpi, we miss you!

Another warung not too far from our villa was Warung Ocha which we tried out for lunch one day. It was much bigger than Mimpi, on a pretty busy road (Jalan Seminyak) and I don't think the staff were anywhere near as friendly as Mr + Mrs Mimpi who ran Mimpi by themselves.  That said we had pretty good lunch at Ocha and they have a nice open courtyard with free wifi! I tried the Ayam Goreng (fried chook) which came with a tasty piece of Tempeh (yum) as well as a bowl of Lodeh. I had no idea what Lodeh was...but it turns out to be a pretty tasty coconut based curry with mixed veggies. The Boy went for a plate of fried noodles...with a non-runny egg! Crimes against eggs...tut tut.

One of the best things about our villa was its proximity to a bunch of great little eateries on the  Seminyak beachfront. None of them were fancy (we weren't in the fancy part of Seminyak), but I guess they were all touristy...but hey, we're tourists so that's fine with me.  We found ourselves at La Plancha quite a few times - mostly for a cold drink (or two) and to sit and watch the waves roll in and the sunbathers get hassled by hawkers.  My favourite drink was a really refreshing lemon-soda with fresh mint (which gave me a GREAT idea of what to do with all my homegrown mint).

After my brief dance with a bout of Bali belly I laid of the Indonesian food for a while and was craving plain, starchy foods.  La Plancha served Spanish Tapas and a bowl of hot chips (aka patatas) and a potato tortilla were just what the doctor ordered. The Boy indulged in serve of grilled prawns and some grilled chicken. All of these dishes were around $4 - amazing...and even more amazing when you can watch the sunset.

And the reason we were in Bali?  The Boy's birthday of course! And a birthday means a birthday dinner.   The birthday boy decided on a Warung near our place called Delicious Onion (I didn't see any onions on the menu though...curious) which was tucked down a fairly quiet street with a lovely big (shady) tree over the outdoor area.

We started with a (lethal) cocktail and an entree of Thai Kafir Lime Leaf Chicken in a wonton cup - like a fancy vol-au-vent. I'd read about the Double Happiness on TripAdvisor when checking out local restaurants so knew before I arrived that this is what I was going to order.  Two types of pork (Char Siew and Roast Pork) with rice, pickles and soup...all for SEVEN DOLLARS! It was such a great meal and it blows my mind that the food in Bali is so cheap!

I don't seem to have much luck tracking down "real" street food vendors when I travel in Asia.  I always just seem to miss the motorbikes full of food as they dash past me, or I've just eaten a HUGE meal and am too full to fit in one more thing. I did try Bali Kopi (aka coffee) a few times...SO good! So sweet, thick and totally addictive.  And we were lucky enough to snag a mystery brown packet off the back of a motorbike which turned out to be a delicious chicken with rice. Prawn or pork crackers are always a good snack too...but whatever the weird coconut drink with vegetables in it was...blergh!

And so ends the first installment of my Bali eats. Stayed tuned!


  1. Wahhhhh why isn't food in Australia as cheap as it is in Bali :(

    And I can never pass up deep fried patatas :)

  2. So. Much. Good. Food.

    That is all.

    SSG xxx

  3. ah you are truly making me miss my home! i love bali - looking forward to heading back later this year!

  4. Yum! Warung mimpi looks like my kind of place!

  5. oh the food! THE FOOD!!
    ...villa with private pool isn't bad either :-)

  6. oh the food...the food!!!
    ...and a villa with its own private pool isn't bad either :-)

  7. I don't know if just an illusion but everything looks so fresh! I'd happily gain a few kilos over there.

  8. Looks positively delicious... what how gorgeous is that pool!

  9. The double hapiness dish sounds delicious! I loved bali and all the fab cheap eats, I gave the street vendors a miss though (didn't want to risk getting sick, as I was there for a wedding)

  10. Oh! I need to go back again!!! I miss all that food so much, you have made me jealous and hungry :( time to book another trips. I love staying in the ashrams in the mountains :) but Semiyak is beautiful in the beach with a cocktail or Bingtang :)

  11. I have never been to Bali, I missed my flight due to my being a blur sotong with calender dates and ended up with disciplinary action against me. They had to call a standby crew in my place... argh..missed my flying days... the meh moh ries!

    Wait! Where were we? Bali! Yes... I want to go there and eat all those delicious foods!! Soon ...oh so hungry now...

  12. This all looks so delicious and colourful! Love your photos, love the private pool, it looks so tranquil. Looking forward to reading about more Bali food.

    Thanks for the lovely comments on my new was time for a spring clean and more simplicity. Yes, the header photo is mine with a touch of editing. I am trying to embrace a little editing! :)

  13. I miss Bali so much every time I see a post about Bali! And hehe I would have noted that same thing about the onions not being on the menu :P

  14. Ah, Bali. Spent my 18th there with family and really enjoyed seeing their talents of wood carvery and silver jewellery making.. Kuta and Seminyak are cool. Ku De Ta for my birthday was even cooler :P

  15. I am so jealous of your trip to Bali. It looks like you had an amazingggggggggg time. Look at all that food!

  16. Ahhhh ... just what I needed on a Monday afternoon. A little trip to Bali via your blog! The place you stayed looks lovely and the food sounds so good. It's been way too long since I was there. Time to add it to my re-visit list!

  17. Oh yay glad to have found this post! Can you let me know where it was you were staying? I'm going back to Indo in October but finally will be visiting Bali again after almost 20 years! So I'm up for suggestions!

    Nora Finds

  18. Wow! Bali! So exotic! Getting there sounded like a pain in the rear, but the food sounds great!

  19. Wow ! Amazing blog ... it's a very nice pics and creative post you publish ,thanks for share .
    Catered villa spain


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