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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bali Day 1 - La Lucciola, bcco, Ku De Ta and Made's Warung

Oh Bali. Was I really there last week, or was it just a lovely warm dream? If I really was there, why did I come home? If I really wasn't there, why didn't someone wake me up if I was sleeping for 5 days?

Last Wednesday night my soon-to-be-married friend C and I jetted our way to Bali, leaving behind everything we'd been stressing over for the last few weeks and months and letting out a sigh of relief as we stepped out into the balmy Bali night awaiting us. It was after midnight by the time we arrived at our villa and had checked ourselves in, and luckily we're very good friends because (of course) they had stuffed up the booking and given us a romantic queen size bed instead of the two beds we'd requested. Too late in the night to fix the mistake, we tucked ourselves in and rested up for the fun we knew was ahead in the next few days.

The birthday girl holding her cake (I feel like I should mention that the original photo does in fact show her face... I'm not so food-centric that I would only photograph the cake)

The following day was C's birthday, and after sitting down at breakfast she was greeted with a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' and a mini chocolate mud cake which looked quite nice but then proceeded to slowly melt into the plate as we ate our breakfast. Although it is perfectly acceptable and indeed encouraged to eat cake for breakfast on your birthday, it was wrapped up and taken to the cool safety of our villa's fridge for consumption later that night.

Breakfast was slightly different each day, and this was part of what I had on my plate this morning...

Day 1 breakfast plate one - passionfruit, pawpaw, fried tomato, fried chicken, fried rice, roast potatoes and wholemeal bread.

Later in the morning we were picked up by C's friend Ch who took us to La Lucciola, Seminyak, for a relaxing birthday lunch. The setting here is beautiful, overlooking the beach, and the service couldn't be faulted. The menu offers modern Italian dishes, with daily specials, and C ordered the entrée dish of "fried zucchini flowers field (perhaps they mean "filled") with roast pumpkin, gorgonzola and pinenuts" (62 000 Rp), Ch chose the entree dish of "toasted panini of goats cheese, marinated eggplant, cherry tomatoes and almond pesto" (75 000 Rp) and I chose the main dish of "angel hair pasta with baby octopus, calamari, cherry tomatoes and pinot grigio" (96 000 Rp). Ch then ordered a lychee and lime juice (30 000 Rp), and after hearing that both C and I couldn't help but copy her.

La Lucciola, Seminyak

Lunch at La Lucciola

I was lucky enough to taste all dishes, and enjoyed them all. The zucchini flowers tasted really fresh, having obviously been fried in very clean oil. The panini was nice and crunchy on the outside with a soft centre. My pasta was cooked very well, had a generous amount of seafood, and the sauce was nice and light. The juices were also super fresh and exactly what we needed to help acclimatise!

Bali Catering Company (bcco)

Next stop on our journey was Bali Catering Company (bcco) where we needed to pick up two pumpkin pies that had been ordered by Ch. She used to live in Bali, and remembers these pies so fondly that she had to share the magic with us. You're probably thinking what I was thinking - "pumpkin pie? In Bali?" but I really need no excuse to enjoy pie, and Thursday was Thanksgiving after all. I was far less sceptical about the promised quality of this pie once we arrived at bcco, and I got to have a nosy around. They had macarons! And cannelés! And Illy coffee! And beef sausage buns!

Beef sausage buns aside, the pumpkin pie was as good as promised. Beautiful short pastry and a rich gingery pumpkin filling. Perfect to enjoy after a leisurely swim in the pool.

Happy Thanksgiving! Pumpkin pie from bcco

After a lazy afternoon we headed up to Ku De Ta in Seminyak, which was ranked #9 in the Miele Guide of Asia's Finest Restaurants, and really is a cool place to hang out. It spans two levels, with plenty of barstools, sofas and daybeds to recline on and watch the ocean while enjoying a cocktail or some food. We certainly enjoyed a cocktail or two (the passionfruit and vanilla mojito was divine) and found ourselves a comfortable spot to watch the sun go down. The perfect way to farewell our first sunny day in Bali.

Ku De Ta, Seminyak

After eyeing off other people's food at Ku De Ta, we were starting to get hungry, and Ch and her friend E took us to Made's Warung, Seminyak. As they explain on their website, "Made's Warung was established in 1969 and has become social eating and meeting venue for locals, expats and tourists alike. It has grown from traditional roadside warung into a cosmopolitan restaurant serving a variety of local and international food in Bali". It's a large, busy, vibrant place filled with hungry punters, and we were lucky that E had booked us a table.

Made's Warung top floor, and the front page of their menu

After checking out the front page of their menu, I could see that they really did cater for everyone. Be you a greasy drug dealer, a brainy doctor, a debonair dandy, trapped in the 80s, Paul Hogan, a very short woman or a hairy-chested computer geek, you will be welcomed with open arms. We left the ordering to Ch, and all ended up with various versions of Nasi Campur Special (55 000 Rp).

Nasi Campur Special (no beef)

This was my favourite meal of the whole trip, and was an adventure on a plate. Nasi Campur means "mixed rice" and is basically a serve of steamed white rice and lots of tasty stuff (such as sambals, tuna, chicken, curries, tempeh, tofu, cucumber, beans). I actually couldn't tell you what all the components of this particular version of Nasi Campur Special were, but I can say that it was incredibly, wonderfully flavoursome. The hot sambal (sitting on some cucumber in the top left) was really spicy, even for this chilli lover, and was about the only thing that I couldn't completely finish on the plate as by the time I'd made my way to it I didn't have enough non-spicy components left to cut through the mouth singeing heat. Luckily I had a delicious fresh pineapple and banana juice handy to put out the fire.

After getting back to our villa, C was kind enough to share her little birthday cake with me, and thus we concluded our first day in Bali how I intended to continue - with a big smile and a full belly.


Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 2, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

Conor - I will respond in more detail later (it's 5.40am!) but wanted to say "MADE'S"!!! I was there in 1994 am glad to see it's still there. I loved it then. Also loved it because it kinda sounds like my name. Kinda sorta. When you say it properly with a good Aussie accent!

penny aka jeroxie December 2, 2009 at 7:44 PM  

AR.... I miss Bali. We went to Made on our last day. Why didn't we go earlier... tsk tsk
Seems like you ate well my friend ;)

Trissa December 2, 2009 at 7:51 PM  

Ahhh! We missed you - leaving without saying goodbye?!? That picture of the nasi campur - looks so good. As much as I know you had fun, glad to see you back!

mademoiselle délicieuse December 2, 2009 at 8:43 PM  

I love how 'Paul Hogan' is a whole category unto himself - haha!

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz December 2, 2009 at 10:43 PM  

I really think its unfair that a little plane ride for you takes you to Bali ;-) I could do the North Pole perhaps? Looks so amzing. the pumpkin pie looks sooooo good.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 2, 2009 at 11:39 PM  

Mardi - Yeesh, you awake at this hour cos you're still sick? Or do you have an alarm to wake you when I put up a new post? It totally sounds like your name, especially after a few tasty cocktails. You should get free meals there, it's only fair!

penny aka jeroxie - I miss it too! Let's go back!

Trissa - aww thanks sweetpea! Trying not to be sad to be back, am already planning my next trip there in July!

mademoiselle délicieuse - hehe, he's uncategorisable ;)

Evelyne@Cheap Ethnic Eatz - You totally should! I hear it's filled with toys and puddings and tinsel this time of year :D

Pam December 2, 2009 at 11:57 PM  

What a fun time! I've always wanted to go to Bali.

Tasty Eats At Home December 3, 2009 at 12:39 AM  

Oh wow, what an amazing trip!

5 Star Foodie December 3, 2009 at 2:53 AM  

Sounds like an wonderful trip and delicious eats!

Betty @ The Hungry Girl December 3, 2009 at 5:40 AM  

Aww wow! Looks like a fantastic first day! That pumpkin pie looks awesome, and I love the sound of that nasi campur special. yum yum yum! I know you've already received the OTT award, but I would like to pass it on to you again :)

Belle@Ooh, Look December 3, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

That was a quick trip! It looks like you had a fab time - with that wonderful food and fun, could it be anything else?!?

Karine December 3, 2009 at 9:33 AM  

You are lucky to have been to Bali! :)

It seems to be a fantastic place.

Conor @ HoldtheBeef December 3, 2009 at 9:38 AM  

Pam - you should definitely check it out if you are ever close by, although the real beauty of it for us here is that it is so close and cheap to get to :)

Tasty Eats At Home - sure was! Wish I was still there!

5 Star Foodie - wouldn't be a wonderful trip without the delicious eats ;)

Betty @ The Hungry Girl - Thanks so much Betty! Love your blog too!! Wish I had a piece of that pumpkin pie to give you :)

Belle@Ooh, Look - Too quick! Can I go back now? Please?

Karine - Yes I'm a lucky girl :) Even luckier as I get to go back in July!!

Bromography December 3, 2009 at 9:49 AM  

Sounds like a lovely trip! I have always wanted to go to Bali, but the long trip has been a deterrent. Now I will have to buy a bottle of air sickness pill and make the trip.

Chef Fresco December 3, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

Aww what an awesome trip!! I am jealous! Looks like a lot of fun :)

Maria@TheGourmetChallenge December 3, 2009 at 10:49 AM  

Oh that last dish looks interesting. I love spicy food, I would have devoured it even if snot was coming out of my nose and tears were streaming down my face! YUM!

Rilsta @ My Food Trail December 3, 2009 at 11:07 AM  

Ooh, I'm so jealous you went to Bali! Sounds like you had an awesome time! Hopefully you didn't encounter any Bali belly!

The sunset is just stunning!

Iron Chef Shellie December 3, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

Ah yes, I forgot you were going to Bali... don't be offended.. I've forgotten ALOT of things as of late!!

I wish I could go to somewhere exotic... this sitting on my ass in the office just doesn't compare!

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella December 3, 2009 at 3:55 PM  

I love holidaying in Bali *sigh* Your post brought back lots of lovely memories :D

Arwen from Hoglet K December 3, 2009 at 5:32 PM  

Gosh the juices sound so tropical! Banana and pineapple sounds like a great combination. I love the variety too, both the breakfast and the nasi campur seem to have a bit of everything.

Agnes December 3, 2009 at 6:11 PM  

Oh, the Nasi Campur Special looks and sounds so good!

Is it just me, or does that cup in the first photo look larger than enormous!? The knife looks sword sized too. :)

Anita December 3, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

That does sound like a nice holiday. I'm very ready for a nice holiday like that...

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2009 at 8:20 AM  

Ok, I have just re-read this and realise you ate all that in ONE DAY! Watch out bridesmaid's dress indeed!!! LOL! What a GREAT day though...

(OH and my word verification for this comment was BRIDES!!!!)

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