BALI


IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME…..I WENT TO BALI !!!


Happy New Year everyone! I hope the start of 2014 has been AMAZING for you so far! As for me, I’m once again recovering from yet another epic journey. This time, it was to Bali, Indonesia….WOOOOOT!

Bali has been my number one destination spot since before I even knew where it was on the map…real talk. For those who don’t know, Bali is an island of Indonesia which is a part of South East Asia. Some of Bali’s neighbors are the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia…to name a few.

Denpasar was where I was headed!

To get there, it took about 2 days total with connecting flights. I flew twice internationally, from New York to Abu Dhabi UAE and then from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, Indonesia. Once I got to Indonesia, it got a little bit…ummmm…Shady as Hell!!!!! Myself and several other travelers that were part of my group purchased flights on some local airlines. Let’s just say the airport was hot, we had to pay a “tax” to get into our boarding areas (you read that right) and our flights left 7-10 hours (I’d stopped counting) later than they were supposed too. HA!!!!! But I’d made to Indonesia, I was hype!!!!!!

http://youtu.be/Lb-OhhIHldE <—-CLICK HERE TO SEE MY JOY

Please note that this was the “first” time we boarded the plane.

No worries!!! By about 2:00 am, we’d finally touched down in Bali!!!!

Where I laid my head…..

Most of the group stayed in a compound/hotel up the block from where I joined the travel group leader…in a Tree House! Wait…wasn’t I in a room with a tree in the middle of it in Brazil???? I’m sensing a theme here… Anyway, picture this: After driving down one long, dark driveway, you turn right down a shorter darker driveway and you’ve reached Villa Kaixu (pronounced Kai-yu)! I dug deep into my Girl Scout days as we were staying in a literal tree house open to the jungle complete with an outdoor toilet and shower. Everybody’s not built for this shit!!!!

Ok… it wasn’t that bad…lol…But make no mistake about it, we were sharing space with wilderness!

This guy was NOT selling car insurance!
FOOD…..

So I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every trip I take is a culinary odyssey for me. As a matter of fact, everyday I wake up is the start of a new culinary odyssey. But I digress….Back to Bali!

There is SO much great food to be eaten in Indonesia I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s start with one of my top Balinese delicacies, the FRIED BANANA! I love all things banana, but this shit right here..I said this shit right here…….CRACK! The texture of the bananas in Indonesia are like a banana and a plantain had a baby. The banana is dipped in a tempura like batter and the deep fried to golden, crispy perfection. I had them plain, with honey, with ice cream and syrup….etc. Pure Yumminess

Rice Fields…

Bali is one of the world’s top rice producers. The rice fields found all over Bali are lush and bountiful. So if you’re going to eat a rice dish, what better place to do it than in BALI!

I can’t lie…I didn’t taste not a single difference between rice in Bali and Uncle Ben’s. But WHATEVER, I was eating rice in Bali and once even at a restaurant that was in the middle of a rice field.

Who do I need to talk to in Bali about more contemporary plating skills? 

Eggs…

Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, had a fried egg on it! I love eggs so this was a treat for me. There were chickens in all the neighborhoods. In my mind, every egg I ate came from a chicken up the block somewhere. Talk about “farm to table”..Bali invented that shit! I even got a chance to try Bali’s version of a deviled egg. It was a boiled egg with sambal chili sauce…very tasty.


Fusion…….

As much as I love to explore cultures through food, I still like to eat things that remind me of “home” while I’m away. Two of my favorite foods PERIOD are tacos and BBQ ribs. I got to try the Balinese version of both. The tacos I had were spicy coconut, curry and chicken! FLAVORGASM…………………………………………………………….

Next, I had ribs at a very popular restaurant called Naughty Nuri’s Walung http://www.naughtynurisbali.com.  Naughty Nuri’s is on all sorts of list for “Best” this and that. The ribs are tender, smoky and covered in an Indonesian style BBQ sauce. These ribs were SMACKIN…but not the best I’ve ever had. Sorry.


Street Meat….

Usually, I don’t eat food from random men selling grilled meat in random places. However, I’m so glad I didn’t pass up the opportunity to try this beef satay! It was cheap, fresh and delicious and the men cooking and selling it were pretty cool too.

Friends over beef satay!
Random ish….

So a few of us went to a club/restaurant with the most expensive, shitty, tasting menu that I’ve ever seen. Hungry and short on cash, we wondered next door and found a questionable looking spot with a decent menu and better prices. As it turns out, we wound up eating some of the best food I ate in Bali. I ordered fried calamari (I forgot to take a pic, I was dumb hungry) and a steak sandwich that was way tastier than it looked. As an added bonus, I had this banging ass peach tea with pieces of peach in it! Praise the Lord!!!!

There’s that plating again…. :/

I also saw this “Food Cart” close to the beach where they filmed part of Eat, Pray, Love. Pastries that look like hamburgers and pizzas…Ummmm No Thanks!


All in all, I had a splendid time in Bali! I’m definitely going to go back!! Who wants to come along?? There’s so much more to tell about Bali…but I’m tired of typing..lol. Til next time….

Check out this dish I made after returning from Bali and getting over my depression that I was now back in cold ass New York City…

It’s an ode to South East Asia recipe: Curried Noodles, Shrimp, Bok Choy, an Egg Over Easy, Red Thai Curry, Soy, Lime, Scallions, Love etc….

Caption: For the recipe, email me airis@airisthechef.gmail.com
All photos were taken by Airis the Chef, LLC. For airisthechef.com