My brother said “ I just tried the most expensive coffee in the world and it tastes like shit!”. He was drinking Kopi Luwak , Indonesia’s most famous and probably one of the most costly coffee beans in the world. The funny thing is that it comes from coffee berries that have been eaten and defecated by the Asian Civet cat. Yes defecated!!! The beans come out whole and then are washed, dried in the sun and roasted. Connoisseurs claim that there is something in the cat’s enzymes that transforms the beans to enrich its flavour. So yes little brother the coffee you were drinking was indeed shit! Hahaha!
Java and Sumatra are also the biggest coffee producers but it seems hard to get a decent cup of coffee here. When the locals brew coffee they also serve the residue, leaving the bottom of the cup with coffee mud. Sigh!!! I’m so finicky when it comes to my coffee…. So in Asia I would probably give the best coffee award to the Vietnamese!
In Bali we stayed in Legian beach and walked over to Kuta. I was a bit disappointed to find the seashore dirty, crowded with tourists and annoying peddlers. It is also more expensive compared to other Southeast Asian destinations. Expensive for Asians but cheap for the Aussies. I would have probably enjoyed the big and strong waves of the ocean if I were a surfer.
Indonesia’s redeeming factor is its delicious food. Poppies lane and Legian have a lot of nice small restaurants that are more reasonably priced compared to the big resorts. I love Indonesian cuisine’s use of coconut milk, turmeric and peanuts. A very popular dish is sate or meat in skewers, like a kebab and served in peanut sauce. Another favourite of mine (also with peanut sauce) is gado-gado. It is a vegetarian salad dish with tempe. Tempe is similar to tofu but the fermentation process uses whole soya beans. Vegetarians use it as a protien substitute.
Nasi goreng is their fried rice and is considered a national dish. The locals love to eat everything with krupuk and sambal. Krupuk are crunchy fish or prawn crackers that add texture to a dish.While sambal is chilli paste that enhances flavour by making the dishes hot and spicy. Ayam goreng is fried chicken and soto ayam is spicy yellow chicken soup.
One thing you shouldn’t miss on the island is babi guling a spit-roasted pig stuffed with chilli, turmeric, garlic and ginger similar to our lechon.
Travelling tips in Bali:
- If you are taking a cab to your resort: At the the airport go to the taxi counter and pay the exact fare based on the table guide and ask for a receipt.
- If you have been to Boracay Philippines here is the comparison: In a massive scale Kuta is station 3, Legian = station 2, Semiyak=station 1, Nasa Dua is where the more posh resorts are located. However Bali has brown sands and strong waves for surfing.
- Hire a standby driver to take you around. Ubud is their cultural center. Here you can take cooking classes and try babi guling.