I took my mom to Bali in December. I loved it. Being a visitor is good, since I didn't have to deal with too much local crap. Bali, although thought to be one of the best resort islands, is yet a developing country. My friend Tonny and Corey moved there, and they have a fabulous apartment. Yet, their power goes off everyday if we use two air conditioners at once. Their internet connection is pretty spotty, and they have a very limited garbage collection system.
That said, my stay there was great. I learned my lesson of never laying under direct sunlight without using any sun protection though. After two hours at the hotel pool, reading stupid Nicholas Sparks' Dear John (just because Channing Tatum was on the cover, and saw a preview when I went to see New Moon), I was completely burned. Like a lobster on steroids. Aloe lotion was nowhere to be seen, and hotel shop sold it for $20, which is the price of the local people's weekly salary.
Anyhow, here are some of the food pics from the island.
Any Balinese restaurant you go, they give you shrimp chips and some kind of thin crispy thing with kafir lime on it. Bali version of a bread basket.
Oxtail soup. Meat wasn't as edible as you see, but soup was very good.
Vegetable platter. Not memorable.
Prawns in spicy sauce. EVERYWHERE you go in Bali, prawns were never peeled, which was annoying.
Indonesia's most famous rendung. Beef stewed in spicy coconut sauce. I love this thing.
Took Mom to the local market one morning. These are coconuts. The color is very different from what you think of as a coconut.
Snake fruit. Andrew Zimmern hated this, and it looks weird almost armadillo-like. It tastes like apple that hasn't ripened. Hard to explain, but it has bitterness to it. I wasn't a fan.
Mangosteen. The smaller the sweeter, that I learned from the locals.
Pork being grilled.
No idea what these are. Some were gooey, and others were beany.
Local sweets. They use a lot of rice flour, hence the texture is very mochi-like.
Fresh sardines. Mind you, it's about 90 degrees outside, and though there was a roof on top of fish area, there was no ice, no A/C.
Some kind of tropical fish.
Just when we turned to poultry area, Mom gave up, and asked us to get the hell out of there. She was like, "This smells and looks horrible, I need to get out NOW!"
Chicken feet. Very demony.
Chicken (or what is this?) head, next to a beak and foot from another sorry creature.
Rambutan. I liked the flavor, but there was this annoying inside skin next to the pit. I bought this at Costco. Yes, Bali also has a Costco where you can buy a digital camera, fresh tropical fruits, and various souvenirs.
Nasi goreng. I like my nasi goreng with a sunny side up egg, but I bet it's a bit too risky to do so here.
Bali food scene was pretty good and cheap. We went to Four Seasons for lunch once, and burger was $20, which is absolutely outrageous by Bali standards.
After everyday of soy/spice/rice/skewered meats, I was craving Italian food and ended up making bolongnese sauce at my friend's apartment. One night we went to a fancy restaurant (it was too chic to take pics), yet the most expensive item was a glass of wine my mom ordered. Alcohol in Bali is EXTREMELY expensive, due to import taxes.
Yellowtail from Australia, which is $6.99 here, was over $20. And no one knew how to make a martini. I once ordered a vodka martini straight up with twist, and got olives in it and a side of lemon juice.
Still, it was a paradise. Though it was rainy season, we lucked out and it was sunny almost every day. I will go back any time.