Ubud has changed in the past 10 odd years. The traffic can be unbearable, costs have skyrocketed & the touts can make even a peaceful person dream of a semiautomatic weapon. But despite all this, Ubud is still charming. And a foodies dream come true. There are still peaceful guest houses nestled in the rice paddies, The landscape is lush & the beauty in the rituals of Balinese Hinduism make this cynical atheist believe that religion may not be such a bad thing after all.
Nasi Campur is a staple in Indonesian cooking. It starts with rice & usually urap, which is cut up long beans & bean sprouts cooked dry with chilies & other spices, there is usually some tempe, egg, chicken, some sort of pig & and peanuts. Every bite is unique. This plate was delicious and at slightly under $1.50 you can’t complain.
sometimes I have a hankering for some non indonesian food and this authentic masala dosa hit the spot.
Getting a good cocktail in SEA is no easy feat. ( and lets face it, sometimes a girl just needs a DRINK) Second rate & watered down alcohol are the standard, which is why i mostly stick with beer, but even the beer isn’t that great, so when I heard about Naughty Nuri’s martinis I knew I had to go. Naughty Nuri’s is owned by an expat & his indonesian wife. The menu is a chalkboard, with a few choices, but I recommend sticking with the tried & true: ribs, side of fried potatoes & a martini. The ribs are grilled out front and there are big bowls of extra sauce on the table to mop over the succulent & fall-off-the-bone, baby back pork ribs. The martinis come in a frosted glass and are poured so full they have a meniscus. Sweet baby jesus, it was like mothers milk. At 100,000 IDR (11 bucks) they don’t come cheap. But, when you need a martini, you NEED a martini. or two.
After learning how to ride a motorbike on Nusa Lembongan, I was eager to explore Ubud & surrounds by bike But the traffic in Ubud is horrendous & my motorbike riding skills are not particularly well developed, and let’s face it, I’m a pansy. The thought of getting road rash (or worse) in Indonesia made me turn tail & hire transport. I know. I know. pantywaist.
These seemingly harmless critters can be found all over bali. These guys were at Ulu watu & of course, a gazillion can be found at the monkey forest in Ubud. They may seem cute & cuddly, in fact they are nasty, hissing & spitting thieves. They steal sunglasses & hats & don’t even think of carrying food on you or you will be maimed by the little bastards.
No trip to Ubud would be complete with a trip to Ibu Oka. Ibu Oka’s legendary babi Guling (balinese suckling pig) even made anthony bourdain swoon. The pigs are stuffed with balinese spices, trussed up & roasted on a spit while continuously being mopped with fresh coconut juice. the coconut juice turns the skin a luscious caramel color and the taste is crunchy, piggy, sweet cracklin’ goodness. The pig is hacked up & slabs of tender pork is placed atop rice & served with urap, some of the stuffing & if you order the “special” you get a piece of blood sausage as well, which is also divine.
Durian. poor maligned durian. Banned from public transportation & nicer hotels throughout SEA, for it’s “unique” aroma, I think it’s it’s being unjustly punished. Sure it smells, but so does camebert and nobody fines you for having IT on the subway. I think the custard like texture is lovely & the smell, is , well, pungent but it’s also floral and musky & sweet. I get the “gym socks” description, but to me, it’s delicious. Durian is not called the “king of fruits” for nothing, people. try it. you may like it. or you may hate it.