Friday, 28 September 2012

Warung Wardani - Denpasar, Bali

Warung Wardani is another eatery in Bali that is famous for their 'Nasi Ayam' or in English 'Chicken Rice'. Basically it shares the same idea with 'Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku' (See post 26/09/12). It is basically a selection of vegetables with chicken cooked in several different way, topped with a chicken satay served on top of steam white rice. The idea is simple but the taste is definitely complex and something you can never belittle.

Menu : Nasi Ayam Campur
Price : Rp 35,000
Score : 7.0 / 10

>> If you look closely to the picture above on the right, you can actually figure out each of the food items on the plate. The side dishes consists of :

1. Keripik Kentang
2. Sayur Nangka
3. Dendeng Sapi
4. Buncis
5. Ayam Suwir
6. Sate Ayam
7. Sate Lilit
8. Acar & Sambal

The items above combined together makes a good fulfilling complete dish. I like the chicken satay and sate lilit best. The other vegetables side dishes were 'okay', nothing stood out to me.

Overall, I would say 'Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku' is definitely much better. I'm sure judging from my score you all can figure out. As a matter of fact, one of the main point that Warung Wardani disappointed me was their poorly executed chili. But bottom line, not a 'to die for' but a fairly good dish.

Warung Wardani
Jl. Yudistira 2 - Denpasar, Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 224398

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel - Nusa Dua, Bali (Lebaran 2012)

Another round of pork feasting in Bali !! There were so many other stalls selling pork rice dishes, besides the obvious famous ones (eg; Candra, Bu Oka) I couldn't made up my mind on which others to choose. My local driver took me here to Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel which was situated in Nusa Dua and I must say, it has potential. 

On an overall basis, I would say Candra has better food but this wasn't half bad either. There were quite a crowd on lunch time and even though they weren't as busy as Candra, but I noticed that there were Jakarta & Surabaya people there, thus fairly known by pork lovers.

Menu : Nasi Campur
Price : Rp 30,000
Score : 6.0 / 10

>> The vegetable side dishes were alright, nothing majorly 'wow-ing' or terrible about it. It was a good compliment on the side. The pork satay over at Candra is better, it has more smoked / burnt barbequed grilled smell in it and the meat was also smaller. However, the stir fried pork meat infused with local Bali herbs (Babi Suwir) were good. It has a subtle herbs smell which does not overpower the meat and most importantly taste good!

So...bottom line I'd still say Candra is the winner but this Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel can be a welcoming alternative.

Babi Guling Bp. Dobiel
Jl. Srikandi No. 9 Nusa Dua, Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 771633

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku - Ubud, Bali (Lebaran 2012)

Upon landing in Bali, this is the first restaurant I went. It was just slightly past lunch time and FW was getting cranky by the minute. He was certain that he wanted Nasi Ayam Kedewatan for lunch and the fact it's situated in Ubud, close by our hotel, I had no issue about it. 

To be honest, I didn't quite understand what is the big deal about this place until I had my first plate....and I'm hooked for life! One of the most spiciest plate of Nasi Ayam I had ever tasted, and you don't get to hear me say 'kepedesan' very often (very rarely actually). I have a high threshold for chili but this made me have tears in my eyes! Bloody good chili! And I even bought a kilo of the chili and took it back to the hotel and home to Jakarta. It's awesome !! A definite must try for chili lovers out there :)
Menu : Nasi Ayam Kedewatan
Price : RP 15,000
Score : 9.5 / 10

>> After nearly one month passed since I actually sat down and ate this plate of rice, I am now still able to drool just by looking at the picture and imagining the taste dancing on my taste buds. This is probably the best food I had ever eaten in Bali. Yes, bali is famous for the pork and their duck but damn! This is the Kings and Queens of all rice dishes I had ever tasted. I may sound 'hyperbolic' but these are my honest words.

I really think the secret weapon lies in their chili. My goodness! Eat a spoonful of it and I guarantee you'll blow your brains out. I loooooove chili and I couldn't remember when was the last time I was running for icy cold water wanting to ease off the heat from my mouth. This plate of chili really brought me there. It was extremely HOT !!!! And it actually made me have tears and made my lips rather swollen. The rice itself is cheap (Rp 15,000 or around only USD 1.80) and also generous with their meat, veges and other fillings. If I ended up broke while in Bali, I'll probably spend my money here and still manage to get a decent meal !!! This is not only worth your money but also worth your time for traveling all the way to Ubud.

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku
Jl. Raya Kedewatan 2 No. 18, Ubud Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 974795

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Babi Guling Candra - Denpasar, Bali (Lebaran'12)

Babi Guling Candra or better known as just 'Candra' is a famous restaurant especially amongst Chinese living in Jakarta & Surabaya. That is obviously proven when you're there. Only Jakarta & Surabaya people crowds that eatery, even during non peak period of the day. The restaurant is situated on the busy office street of 'Denpasar' and thus parking might be an issue but if you're a fan of pork, I'm sure you would not mind the hassle.

Menu : Sate Babi (Pork Satay)
Price : Rp 20,000 (For 10 sticks)
Score : 7.5 / 10

>> I like this pork satay because it is purely meat, without organs or the belly fat part on the stick. I waited for this for a good 20 minutes because they just ran out when I reached there and they were only starting to grill a new batch. The result of patience was rewarding for this case. Succulent bits of pork meat, smeared with specialty sauce on all over and has a slight burnt charcoal smoked smell infused into the meat. Good Stuff !!
Menu : Nasi Campur Special
Price : Rp 30,000
Score : 6.25 / 10

>> Slightly fall short of my expectation. I thought it would be mind blowing as people always says that this is a 'must go place'. Don't get me wrong, this is good overall but maybe I was hoping too much. The pork was cooked well, loved the pork satay at the side and even though the pork crackling wasn't very crunchy, the vegetables dishes were there to compliment. Overall, a nice dish, suitable for a lunch but again may I remind you, don't go during peak hours or you'll need to wait for seats and that is just painful !!
Menu : Babi Goreng
Price : Rp 60,000
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> Like this !! I think they only include one piece of this 'babi goreng' in the nasi campur and thus you'll need to order another plate of this in addition to your rice. Loooove this slightly crispy, slightly chewy, heavy on the sweet side meat dish. Maybe they used honey and definitely sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) to give the color and the taste. Eat this with steam white rice and chili with a few sticks of pork satay and you'll come back here again the next time you're on your Bali trip !

Babi Guling Candra
Jl. Teuku Umar 140, Denpasar Bali
Phone : +62 (0361) - 221278 / 9940098

Monday, 24 September 2012

Manega Seafood - Jimbaran, Bali (Lebaran 2012)

I always put aside one dinner slot schedule for about eight out of ten trips to Bali, especially for this restaurant. There were some renovation made to the place, better decor all around but one thing for sure, their food is as good as ever! I made a point to come there sharp at 5.30 pm, just managing to catch a good glimpse of the Jimbaran sunset while waiting for the dishes to be cooked.

If you reach here at their peak period (per say 7 to 9pm) you will need all the patience you can find inside you to wait for seats and chasing the waitresses for to deliver your food out of their super chaotic kitchen. Therefore, I seriously suggest for you all to reach no later than 5.30 pm. Rather early for a dinner but the time they get your food onto your the table it's 6.30 pm! Perfect timing isn't it?

Menu : Sate Cumi (Squid Satay)
Price : Rp 75,000++ (For 15 sticks)
Score : To Be Advised

>> If you don't know, I don't eat squid unless maybe fried calamari rings (not a fan either). I didn't try any of these but hearing from FW, he loved it. There is something about the texture and the chewy pat of the squid meat that I just don't like any bit.

Menu : Tiger Prawn
Price : Rp 70,000++ (For 4 pieces)
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> Very well cooked, exactly how a prawn should be grilled. It's well done, but still retains it's 'springy' texture when you bite and chew into it. The smoke grilled taste is infused into the dish and when dipped with 'kecap manis' (sweet soy sauce) and cut chili with sambal matah, you'll probably order another dozen of these!

Menu : Kerang (Shellfish)
Price : Rp 40,000++ (For about 12 pieces)
Score : 9.0 / 10

>> This dish is not only the cheaper among the menu but also simply the best tasting one! The shape of the shell retains all the sauce that was smeared all across it instead of dripping down the grilling stove. The sauce is simply yummeh!! It's their specialty I suppose, it's buttery, able to taste the smoked effect from the grill, strong in garlic and has a slight BBQ tang ! Hmmm....delightful :)

Menega Cafe
Jl. Four Seasons Muaya Beach, Jimbaran Bali
Phone : +62 (361) - 705888

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Nasi Jinggo - Ubud, Bali (Lebaran'12)

The first time I tried 'Nasi Jinggo' was about a year ago. A Balinese butler introduced me to this dish. Nasi Jinggo is perceived as a 'peasant' food, due to the relatively cheap nature I assume. A packet of this particular Nasi Jinggo in Ubud Street costs only RP 3,000, USD 0.30 when converted to the US Dollars. With that mere amount of money, you can actually get a decent amount of rice, with a scoop of fried noodles, a little bit of stir fried egg, half handful of ground peanuts and most importantly a dollop of home made chili ! All that for only RP 3,000 !! Try to beat that price! Well, that is the basic Nasi Jinggo, but there is always room to make a simple vegetarian rice dish to be slightly more interesting.

At this street food stall (Warung Kaki Lima), there are options for additionals; chicken, pork and tuna. Those side meat are packed in banana leaves and charged at RP 1,500 per packet. I had all three meat together with a packet of Jinggo Rice and I like the Tuna best. Unfortunately, I forget to get pictures of those meat dish thus unable to share it here. Tuna is best, second is the chicken and last was the pork meat due to the powerful stench 'pork smell' (difficult to describe that smell, but I'm sure you readers could understand).

Honestly, I wasn't impressed by this particular 'Nasi Jinggo' but was rather surprised to be able to still find a decent rice with meat meal that cost RP 7,500, barely a dollar!

Nasi Jinggo, Ubud Bali

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Sunrise Restaurant - Gili Air (Lebaran'12)

I have never heard of 'Gili' until a few months back when I was planning my trip. Gili is situated close to Lombok and I traveled with a chartered 10 minute ride speed boat trip from the local Lombok dock to Gili Air. To those that haven't hear of this island, check out this link Basically there area 3 Gili islands; Trawangan, Meno & Air. FW and I chosed Gili Air as he has a friend that owns an establishment called 'Omah Gili'. Just for your information, Gili Air is nothing that I had seen or been before. Extremely quite and very laid back. Beautiful serene beach that is famous for snorkeling and diving. But if you are looking for parties, booze and weed for breakfast, then should definitely opt for Gili Trawangan!

My first lunch in Gili Air was at this Sunrise Restaurant (or should i say hut). I was famished and determined to have a good big solid lunch, turned out to be a good one! The cafes and restaurants in Gili Air were similar to one another. Wooden establishment on top of sandy beach with hay as the shelter. The weather there is 90% sunny and thus it make a lot of sense for the design.
Menu : Fettuccine Carbonara
Price : RP 50,000 ++
Score : 8.5 / 10

>> I am not sure whether the fact the meal was good or it was just me who was being hungry. I asked for extra spicy when I ordered the dish and damn it was spicy! The dish still look like a cream pasta but with extra cut chilies inside. Perfectly cooked pasta; al dente, and the viscosity of the cream was nailed. Thumbs up for the seasoning too. Very yummy and very much recommended.

Menu : Pelecing Ayam
Price : RP 45,000 ++
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> Pelecing Ayam is different from Ayam Taliwang, besides the taste of the chili sauce, the chicken in Pelecing Ayam is fried while the chicken in Ayam Taliwang is grilled. As for this, I love the way this piece of chicken is cooked, crispy but not overcooked. However, lack in spicy and chili. The kick is there but not to where I wanted it to take me. Instead of just chili, there is a combination of tomato and chili to make the chili base which thus made it slightly more sweet than spicy for my personal taste.

Sunrise Hotel & Restaurant
Gili Air Lombok - Indonesia
Phone : +62 (0)370 - 642370

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Gita Gili Seafood - Gili Air (Lebaran'12)

I was astounded upon seeing the fresh seafood paraded on the tables, just right by the walking pathway. All of the seafood were caught daily and the eaters were allowed to choose themselves on the selection. Well of course due to the nature of the sea, the variety will depend on the daily catch, therefore each seafood cafe's menu selection will also vary from one another. I wanted to try the busiest seafood resto there 'Wiwi Cafe' but due to the queue, I went to 'Gita Gili' instead. It was a dinner for 2 person and thus we ordered 2 dishes, 6 large prawns & a good sized salt water fish!

Menu: Grilled Fish & Grilled Large Prawns
Price : RP 150,000 (for 2 person)
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> Can you imagine the freshness of the seafood I had at Gita Gili? When the raw seafood were paraded on the display tables, there were no stench whatsoever! Superbly fresh and literally smell of fresh salt water. I love the idea of eating fresh ingredients and somehow imagine myself being instantly 'healthier'. The way they grilled was pretty much the normal way, no special BBQ skills applied. It was the ingredient itself that gave this dish an 8 pointer. Nothing beats damn good ingredients! In addition, every person was given a choice of baked potato or steam rice with complimentary stir fry vegetables at the side.
Gita Gili
Gili Air, Lombok Indonesia

Monday, 17 September 2012

Biba Beach Cafe - Gili Air (Lebaran'12)

Biba Beach Cafe might be the most well known restaurant in Gili Air. A few reasons I assume :

1. The only Italian eatery
2. Friendly Service
3. Bloody good food!

I might sound bias or hyperbolic on the 3rd point 'bloody good food' but it is! The owner is Italian himself, he and his wife now own the Biba establishment and resides there. There must be something right about the Gili Air island itself, so tempting that even Italian would wanna live in Gili Air itself. The Biba Beach Cafe sits directly in front of the beach and opens for lunch and dinner. However, if you want to try their famous Italian Pizza, you would have to be patient and wait till 7pm. But hey! It was worth waiting for :)

Menu : Kiss Pizza with Extra Anchovy
Price : RP 75,000
Score : 9.0 / 10

>> Thin crust pizza, generous amount of onions, mushrooms, anchovies (for the extra salty kick) with a spread bed of tomato bolognaise sauce at the bottom. Something was special about this pizza over here. It wasn't the generous topping but how it was cooked. It has that burn, smoked, wood fire grilled distinctive smell that just infused into the thin dough. Loveee it! A must try if you're there by any chance.
Menu : Bolognaise Lasagne
Price : RP 65,000
Score : 8.0 / 10

>> Hmmmm...yumm!! Look, I'm not a fan of lasagne but this was good, really good. I love the bolognaise sauce spread across, inside and between all the pasta layers. The portion was alright, not to big thus suitable for an appetizer. The only issue for me was the pasta was slightly overcooked but definitely saved by the sauce :)
Menu : Tagliatelle Aglio Olio Pepperoncino
Price : RP 50,000
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> This dish was nearly a 8 pointer for me. The pasta was cooked well, the seasoning was perfect, the portion was generous too. But it was lacking the 'pepperoncino' taste. It was suppose to be strong with garlic and chili but sadly wasn't the case. Nevertheless, a satisfying dish on an average!
Menu : Salame Di Cioccolate
Price : RP 20,000
Score : 6.5 / 10

>> My first time trying on this new dessert. The name itself was difficult to pronounce and thus I'll just concentrate on the eating part :) To begin with, the look was interesting, close to the name itself 'salame' (an Italian meat sausage). This chilled chocolate dessert didn't 'wow' me but certainly a nice way to end the dinner.

Biba Beach Cafe
Gili Air, Lombok Indonesia
Phone : +6281917274648
Email :