Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu - The Suckling Pig Dish in Kuta @ Bali [Indonesia]

Babi Guling - the two-worded dish synonymous with Bali and one that I specifically sought for on my recent trip. Many had spoken of the epic one at Ubud but as fate had its way of toying with the human's heart; I didn't manage to step into the local market at Ubud. 

There's no way I am going to return to Singapore without a taste of the Balinese dish and a search on google map revealed a few stalls located within a 20-minute walking distance from Grand Istana Rama hotel

The closest, Men Gede, was already closed and we had no other choice but to walk another 13 minutes to Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu along Jalan Raya Kuta.

Don't you just love technology? The direction given was pretty straight forward and we managed to find the eatery in no time. Nevertheless, do note that the directions may not always be accurate, as I experienced on my last night in Bali.

The whole place was filled with hungry diners! Now, Warung Babi Guling Bu Dayu is your typical non-air-conditioned street stall by the roadside and this can be off-putting for people who tend to feel that food served in such environment is less hygienic. 

Some of our travel mates decided to find an alternative venue for dinner and I was keen to join them as my stomach tends to be weaker outside of Singapore! However, the stubborn ass in me said I die-die must have my babi guling!

Faced with the language barrier, the five of us were limited in our food choices and the easiest for us was to point at the top picture with the words "nasi babi guling". Coming from Singapore, I am fully aware that nasi equates rice. 

Like mixed vegetable rice, I can help myself by pointing to the dish I prefer to have. Not exactly an advantage as I am more for the authentic experience and having a "ready" option would likely be more beneficial for a tourist. 

Seats were found (we had to separate into two tables) and a bowl of soup was given; I quite enjoyed it for its appetizing spiciness that made me hungrier for this super late dinner at almost 9 pm. 

Serving was not much even though there were quite a number of ingredients; some of which I didn't know the name of. I can tick off a few; the piece of crispy pork skin and the stick of pork satay.

To be honest, the babi guling (roasted pork skin) was just a small piece and though cackling crispy, it just couldn't be compared to our local Singapore-style suckling pig which had a sweeter marination. Satay was also not the fatty, juicy type we have and aside from using tougher, lean meat, it was also hell spicy! 

I was way more impressed with this braised pork-belly lookalike which was damn tender. Nevertheless, you must mix everything up in order to appreciate the myriad flavors that came with each spoonful into your mouth. 

A pity that a few in our group didn't take very kindly to spicy food; Alex being one of them and they totally gave up when the spiciness kicked in fast and hard! I would have loved to take over; if not for the fact that I am way over my carbohydrate limit! 

Since many things were diced and sliced, I couldn't quite identify what they originally were. There could be offals, which are quite common in Southeast Asia and the pork-belly lookalike stuff I mentioned earlier seemed to be pork trotters! 

And you know the pork skin? It could come from any part of the poor pig on the counter? This was taken after my meal and I was aghast to see the lady chef peeled off the entire face! 

Shocking no less, I was shocked beyond words although I didn't proceed to purge what I ingested. To me, what's done is done; my life has to go on. And I had to admit that in all, it was still a good meal. 

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Location
Jalan Raya Kuta No. 5, Kuta, 
Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, 
Indonesia

As above; about 18-minute walk. 

Pricing
Nasi Babi Guling - 35,000 Rupiahs. 


For my short 4 days, 3 nights' itinerary to Bali, please click here.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Centipede at Home!

There's a reason why I chose to live in a high-rise building; not that many creepy crawlies, specifically snakes as I am utterly terrified of them!


Hence, imagine my shock when I noticed something crawling on my kitchen's floor; what the hell was that?!? It didn't help that I was preparing salad for dinner and this could be in it!


Given my usual "blindness", I could have easily ingested it. 
Yes, I am definitely capable of doing that. 

Anyway, it's a centipede and I have absolutely no idea why it appeared in my house, a few floors above ground! I am being benevolent here by having a towel blocking its way although I am honestly scared as shit. 

Now that I have it under control; it's time to whip out my Olympus tough camera for multiple microscopic pictures. I still didn't dare to touch it even though it did look kind of cute with its feelers and beady eyes! 

However, I doubt I can mentally accept it as a pet and opted for a more humane method, for me; in a plastic bag and down the rubbish chute. Bye Bye!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Canang Sari - The Flower Offerings Seen Daily at Bali [Indonesia]

First time travellers to Bali would have noticed the many trays of flower offering placed literally everywhere; from temples, statues, roadsides to even underneath the goods cabinet in supermarkets! 

What exactly are they for although i think we all know there's definitely a religious purpose to their existence, given Bali's strong Hinduism culture?

I was curious and checked Mr Google for an answer. There's a term to this offering and it's known as Canang Sari - literally meaning essence (sari) in a coconut-leaf basket (canang). There are meanings to the colourful use of the flowers and you may read more here

Canang Sari is offered daily as a form of thanks to the gods and can be made by both men and women. In the past, its importance for the Balinese women is on the same level as knowing how to cook for the family! Economic advances for the fairer sex mean it's not as enforced nowadays. Furthermore, you can readily buy one from the local market! 

As they are almost everywhere, do be mindful where you step as it's deemed to be disrespectful, especially the ones with a burning incense stick! I unfortunately stepped on one as i was occupied with taking photos and you know what i did? I prayed and said sorry; as i would have done if my feet accidentally land on a bed of prayer offerings in Singapore. 

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For a summary of my four days, three nights trip to Bali, click here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Alex's Eating House - The Roast Combination for Two Persons @ Beach Road (Near Bugis Junction and Opposite Shaw Tower) [Singapore]

Alex is such a common name that i shouldn't be surprised to hear of a coffee shop named after it. However, my elder sister thought i would have heard about it since Alex's Eating house is pretty famous for its roast delights and she is very well aware of my love for them!

My food intelligence network might have highlighted this store but i would be confused as the English name doesn't correspondence with the Chinese name; in Chinese, the place is known as 文记鸭饭 which should rightfully be Boon Kee duck rice or Wen Ji duck rice.

Anyway, it doesn't matter so long i can correctly indicate the location at the end of this post. What's most important would be our order earlier this afternoon; the roast combination for two persons that consisted of roast duck, roast pork, char siew and barbecued pork ribs.

Okay, it was lunch and i decided to have a serving of noodle too! Do note that the roast combination would cost at least S$25 without any noodle / rice and although i found it to be on the high side; my sister foot the bill and i am not complaining.

It was one of the better Cantonese-style noodle that was light without being overly generous with the soya sauce and boasted a QQ texture that's so good; i think i could stomach another serving!

Since duck rice was indicated on its Chinese name, i shall talk about it first - frankly, the roast duck skin was a disappointment and the meat was average tasting with the signature toughness that's quite the norm for duck. The sauce that was poured onto the duck was a game-changer though and i depended heavily on it to clean up both the meat and skin.

Roast pork (or sio bak as some of us would prefer to call it) was good for the following reasons; the fat-meat ratio was just right, the marination wasn't too salty and the roasted skin remained crunchy with the very-much needed cackling as my teeth cut through it.

Char siew was definitely above average and only the ones with fattier parts won my heart with their juicier bite that's enveloped with a tasty char-ness. The best in the roast combination was definitely the barbecued pork ribs; the sweet charred flavour can be tasted even within the tender meat and i kid you not, i should have ordered an entire slab so that i can slowly pick off the meat and lick clean the bones!

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In all, a satisfactory meal although as far as char siew is concerned, it couldn't take over the top positions currently held by Kay Lee in Singapore and You Kee in Malaysia.

Location
87 Beach Road,
#01-01, Chye Sing Building,
Singapore 189695

Map

As above.

Pricing
Roast Combination for 2 - S$25.00
Noodle - i think it's S$2.00

Pasar Umum Sukawati - The Local Market @ Ubud [Bali, Indonesia]

I don't have an eye for the arts and when thrown into the sukawati arts market at Ubud in Bali, boredom overwhelmed me in no time! Seeking an injection of freshness, a fellow travel mate said i should cross the road to check out Pasar Umum Sukawati. 

Given i only had another 10 minutes before the official meet-up with the driver, i glanced up towards the second floor, decided that there's nothing much and quickly walked ahead. 

The enticing aroma of satay stopped me in my tracks; i contemplated buying a few sticks to check out but was pulled back by Alex who always has a deep set aversion towards street food unless he is with the great Kon. 

Fresh fruits for sale! Strangely, i don't take a lot of fruits unlike in the case when i am at home, where i would often have an orange, banana, guava with preserved orange peel or a bowl of frozen grapes after dinner. 

Entering the market which was dark and super duper cramped; I can't imagine the stuffiness if i were to arrive earlier together with the early morning crowd. 

Baskets and baskets of produce; mom would be familarised with them and might even be able to whip up a nice Singaporean meal with the ingredients. Trust me, she might even buy a packet of red chilli if it was the local fresh specialty in the region.

Such market amazes me; despite the supposed visual disorganization, there's a compartmentalized tidiness that made it easier for customers to find what they want.

Trays and trays of eggs; reminding me that i should think about what to bake tomorrow for my weekly bakes! Chiffon cake? banana cake? Or something from the internet?

Those particular with cleanliness may find it hard to use the eggs as many were caked in chicken poo! And yes, i can smell them at this distance. 

This picture doesn't quite depict the tightness of space as the passage was wider due to the existence of an opposite row of shops that seemed to be shuttered for good.

You know what the market reminded me of? The market at Old Nee Soon where my kampong used to be in. However, it was a wet market and the stench was memorable, in a negative way.

Floor wise i couldn't recall if it was cement screed or a material similar to what's at Pasar Umum Sukawati. I only remember i hate to visit the old nee soon market when it was raining / after it had rained! 


Last look before we rushed off to catch our ride! 


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For the summary of my four days, three nights trip to Bali, the Island of the Gods, click here.

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