June 24, 2012

Destination wedding Bali day 2: east over west

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After a late night, it was late morning when I opened my eyes.  I decided to hang out in my villa and get some use out of it for once…

There was a plate of local fruits in my room, and I decided to have it as breakfast.  The mini bananas were somewhat ripe.  The carambola was ripe and reasonably juicy.  Salak has never been my favorite, as it's always too sour and I don't like the texture in my mouth.  The mangosteen was ripe and juicy, and it's been a while since I last had some.  My favorite fruit in Bali is the local passion fruit.  I just love the fresh, subtle fragrance and delicate flavors - in stark contrast to the intense flavors of "normal" passion fruit that we are used to seeing.

I wanted to get some use out of the pool in my villa, so I put on some sunscreen and decided to take a dip.  With one foot ankle-deep in the water, I realized that this was going to be a quick one.  The water was cold!  With ambient temperature being mid- to low-20's Celsius, the sun just wasn't doing enough to warm the water.  I managed to step fully into the pool and walked around a little with water coming up to my chest, but quickly decided I was better off back in the cabana

Lunchtime rolls around and I packed my gear and set myself up at a table inside the Warung, the Indonesian restaurant at the Alila.  I decided that I would stay in the resort this trip and not venture out for dining, due to the remote location of where I'm staying.  Besides, trekking around Bali solo just isn't as much fun for me.

To start off, I was brought some krupuk udang and rempeyek, traditional crackers served as snacks before a meal.  These were accompanied by an array of condiments, and served in a wooden congklak - used for a popular children's game.  I was encouraged to create different flavors by mixing several condiments.  The crackers were delicious, and I found myself enamored with the flavors of chopped ginger flowers.

Perkedel jagung - I can never resist corn fritters, especially ones in Indonesian cuisine.  These were simply gigantic… Crispy and delicious with the wonderful sweetness from the corn kernels.  I found myself hitting a wall after eating two of these… and struggled to finish the third towards the end of my meal.

Balung nangka - since my favorite babi guling needs to be ordered one day in advance, I settled for the braised pork ribs instead.  Very delicious, as the meat was tender and had absorbed all the wonderful spices like turmeric.  Interestingly this was cooked with young jackfruit.  The staff suggested that I mix in a little roasted coconut from the congklak, and I thought the combination was very tasty.

Too full to take on any dessert, I moved over to a cabana by the edge of the cliff and continue surfing the net.  I noticed a few monkeys nearby, even swinging from one of the trees not 10 meters away from me.  They are my sworn enemies on this island of the gods, thanks to an episode some years ago at Pura Uluwatu nearby.  As they didn't invade my space today, I paid them little attention.

Late afternoon found me back at the Bulgari Resort for the ceremony I have travelled far to witness.  After the usual round of pictures with the couple, we adjourned to the Pavilion for cocktails and dinner under the stars.

Green pea soup - this was OK, with little sprigs of dill to enhance the flavors.

Pumpkin soup with tiger prawns and celery strips - well, they weren't celery strips but celeriac…  The soup was creamy and pretty yummy, with sprigs of thyme to add a little extra something.  The tiger prawn was speared with lemongrass, just like the Indonesian version of the dish yesterday.

Spinach and marscapone rivioli with arugula - the big raviolo was pretty yummy, and I just love that spinach filling…

Barramundi and lemon zest risotto - the barramundi was OK, as it was reasonably soft and moist, almost juicy.  The risotto was a surprise… it was actually almost al dente - as opposed to the mushy rice yesterday.  Delicate flavors of lemon.

Strawberry and basil sorbet - actually really nice!  Tasted very much "homemade".

Chicken breast, porcini sauce - I didn't want the beef so it was chicken breast for me.  I didn't have to put it in my mouth to know that this was seriously overcooked and dry.  I didn't want to waste food but I could only manage to swallow half of it…

There was a bewildering selection of desserts in a huge buffet spread.  I had limited stomach space left, but I wanted to finish the evening on a sweet note.  I took a piece of lapis sagu, which is one of my favorite Southeast Asian desserts.  The mango pudding was surprisingly liquid and more like a purée, with berry purée on top and bottom.  Delicious.

The tiramisu was not bad.

And the delicious wedding cake.

During dinner we were treated to musical performances from a local act, as well as a group of 4 white boys who call themselves Metro Vocal Group.  Many of us did a double-take when they sang their first song, since it quickly dawned on us that they were singing a cappella in Mandarin!  This turned out to be a crowd-pleaser, and they ended their performance with Taiwanese boy-band F4's Meteor Rain (流星雨).  Kinda fitting for a boy-band of four... and while we sat under the starry skies.

There was an amazing selection of wines, thanks to the generosity of our hosts.  Unfortunately the long and varied selection proved to be too complicated for the staff.  Wine service completely and utterly failed.  Many tables simply weren't getting any wines for extended periods of time.  Oh well…

2009 Leflaive Puligny-Montrachet - pretty nice, a little toasty.

2008 Ponsot Griotte-Chambertin - forest, leather, dried herbs and plum.

1982 Latour à Pomerol en magnum - very sweet, grassy, earthy with nice fruit.  Soft on the palate.  Later on a little soy sauce and tea in the nose.

2006 Roulot Meursault Les Vireuils - Nice nose… notes of toasty corn but it was soft and subtle.  Very lovely with flint and minerals.

1971 Petrus en jeroboam - nose was so sweet, with coconut butter, so strong and powerful with plum notes.  Palate was OK, but not great.  Later on exotic spices and a hint of savory minerals.

2002 Dujac Charmes-Chambertin - minty, ginger flower, galangal, a little meaty, black fruits and black olives.

1983 Margaux - sweet, ripe fruit, grassy, smoky, really lovely.  Minty, mineral and earthy.

2004 DRC Romanée-Saint-Vivant - nose was very open, minty, fragrant and floral, dried herbs.  Drinking very nicely now.

2006 Méo-Camuzet Clos Vougeot - forest, potpourri, mint and black fruits.

A really fun evening, and I had to sneak out to head back to my hotel before some serious drinking started...

1 comment:

custom dissertation writing service said...

Wow a destination wedding in Bali sounds so amazing. I hope you had fun during your stay. Looks like you got to have lots of delicious food.

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