Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bali 3.0: Shopping in Ubud, Relax in Canggu & a little Romance in Echo Beach

So after a brief night in Kuta (Bali 1.0: Our first night spent in Kuta, Bali), second day of Bali (Bali, Indonesia 2.0: Cuddle in the comfort that is, Villa Sandhya) was all about exploring the villa, and the area around the villa. On the third day in Bali, we had everything planned out to fill the day. But of course before one kick-starts the day, one must have breakfast!

We didn't know that we were supposed to inform the staff about the time which we would like to have breakfast as we thought it will already be prepared and we can have our breakfast any time we wish upon waking up as according to our convenience. So we followed the hotel rule-of-thumb of buffet breakfast timing, 7-10am.

The butler will prepare fresh watermelon juice straight from the blender. We also had milk and coffee. Everything is bought and prepared by our butler. Only when you are ready to have breakfast, the butler will bring out the fruits and milk from the refrigerator, blend the juice, toast the bread and heat up the necessary food items, else it wouldn't be fresh.

The butler will ask for your choice of eggs, Sunny Side Up or Scrambled. But you can also request for an omelette.

After our breakfast, we went to get ready for our half day tour in Ubud which is part of the package. Seeing that it was almost brunch time by the time we arrive in Ubud, we decided to stop at Naughty Nuri's Warung along the way for lunch. When I was googling on famous eateries in Bali, this came out as one of the must visit eateries which is known for their pork ribs.

It is not hard to miss the Naughty Nuri's Warung signboard. It is even harder not to miss the grill that they have outside of their restaurant! The shop looks as though it has been there for many years now and they have other (newer) branches in other areas of Bali. Looking at the ribs that were grilling as we entered the restaurant, we definitely made the right choice for lunch alright!

The interior of the shop is filled with vintage photo frames some with old black and white and sepia photos. We sat at the bar area  as the tables in the restaurant were already occupied with customers.

It didn't took long for our food to arrive, even if we had to waited for hours I would wait! The ribs was just magnifique! On Kuok Sing and my side, we decided to order less heavier dishes as I still felt full from breakfast. Thinking that the ribs would be big as well, so we decided on smaller portions of food. 

Chicken Soup Rp. 25,000

Pork Skewers served with rice Rp. 40,000

Spare Ribs Rp. 90,000

The food generally was good. I liked the clear soup as it wasn't too heavy on the MSG but rather quite peppery, plus there were lots of vegetables in it. The pork skewers were yummy too! its rather dry as the only sauce that we had was from the black sweet sauce that was drizzled onto the pork skewers. Luckily the soup helped to moisten the rice a little. the best part of course was the pork ribs!!! Surprisingly, for a whole rack of ribs, it wasn't as huge as expected but it was literally glistening!! Well marinated, the meat firm but still tender enough to cut and bite. Kuok Sing and I were thinking that we should've ordered one each! :p

We headed to to our 2nd destination which was Ubud Market. Ubud market is like a flea market which sells if not same but similar items between a few shops - clothes, idols, accessories, shoes and etcetera. Because it is a popular tourist spot, the prices are much more expensive I would assume so.

It is okay to haggle in Ubud market, as a matter of fact, I believe that the locals are used to tourists haggling for their items. However, do keep in mind that you want to buy the item before you start haggling for the item. I noticed that when you start haggling and if you decide to walk away if you are not happy with their final price, they insist that you give them your price and they are open to further negotiation. We also had a chance to try the Kopi Luwak in Ubud Market. It tasted much more earthy than the normal roasted coffee. It actually tasted like real coffee. We didn't go to the actual Kopi Luwak farm so the idea of drinking coffee bean Civet faeces isn't that bad as we didn't see the whole "in-the-making" process of Kopi Luwak.

After some shopping, it was almost time that we headed back to the villa. Along the way, we asked the driver to make a stop at a Babi Guling restaurant. He dropped us at Ibu Oka Warung Babi Guling which is also one of the famous eateries in Bali.

We ordered to take away, so that we can have it as our late lunch in the villa. We took 3 packs of the meat and pork skin which one pack we gave to the driver for his help on driving us around Ubud and bringing us to the places that we wanted to go. It was a very hot and humid day and with the walking in the sun and among the crowd, we dived into our pool villa after the whole trip for a refreshing swim before our next appointment - our massage and Myra's mani and pedicure session.

Ibu Oka's Babi Guling meat was soft and tender and finely sliced while the skin was crispy. Their green chilli was delicious! Even after the meat and skin were finished I could just eat the green chilli as it is. Their liquid sauce looked and felt oily but I think it is meant to be like that, not much taste from the liquid sauce though. 

We loved this dish as well but my sister told me that when she was at Bali, she tasted a better version of the Babi Guling which she and her friend stumbled upon by the roadside. If you know any of such restaurant, do let me know then maybe I could visit it it the future one day! :)

Next destination as mentioned was Therapy, the SPA parlour. Since it was just walking distance from our villa, all of us decided to take a walk there and then from there, we walked to Echo Beach for dinner.

We were greeted by their friendly staffs who brought us drinks and cold towels to freshen up. While we fill in the registration forms and customer details, they provided us their in house slippers as they kept our slippers away. After we are done with the forms, we were introduced to our masseuse and escorted to our rooms.

Their saloon area

Mani & Pedi area

Our massage massage room - very spacious and simple interior. Only the necessary items that are needed for the massage are placed in there.

The overall SPA experience there was quite simple. I would say that they lack some strength as while they were massaging me, I could hear the joints of my masseuse cracking at the same time. Haha. The room was quite warm as well. They still lack in experience in my opinion (judging based on their interaction with their customers, and their familiarity with points on the body, in terms of whether a spot needs extra caution/attention) and there is still room for improvement. Don't expect a 5 star massage parlour but it was okay. The price range for their services is between Rp. 50, 000 - Rp. 450, 000.

So we had a great meal, revitalised our body and now... more food! Haha! On the way to Echo Beach, we passed by a Bakso food cart. We have been seeing this food cart around Bali and so we decided to try this local food. 

The dinner this night was on Jackie and Ivy as they wanted to treat us to a meal as a part of thanking us for the support throughout their engagement and also being able to make it to Bali with them. :) Thanks guys! <3 p="">

I wanted a spot just by the edge again, but there were no seats available so we sat in the middle. But none to shabby, we still got a great view of the sea. Echo Beach at night serves BBQ seafood! They have an array of seafood to choose from their "Seafood Bar" as I like to call it. Their seafood was very fresh! They also have a free-flow appetizer area for Echo Beach customers. Eating that was also good enough actually. Lots of carbs and other greens together with sauces which you can eat with your BBQ items.

They serve alcohol as well but they also have a wide variety of other drinks. If you're a fan of avocado, try, try, try their avocado juice!! The avocado juice was thick (like a smoothie, but not icy), not too sweet and the avocado taste was very strong. However, the avocado juice would be best enjoyed as a drink on itself and/or paired with a light meal. Else, you will end up stuffed.

The setting in Echo Beach is quite romantic at night, but the dinner table was too dark as we couldn't see what were on our plates. The wind wasn't as strong as when it was during the day. The weather was just nice for an outdoor dinner.

While the boys were taking their food from the free flow appetizers, I managed to capture this shot just before the sun went down completely. :)

The seafood platter. We ordered two of these to share among 5 of us because Jackie can't eat seafood.

Chicken & pork kebabs

We headed back to the villa for more food! Remember the Bakso that we bought earlier from the cart? And also we stopped buy to buy Bebek Guling which was nearby our villa around the same area as Echo Beach. It is located behind the shops, very secluded and quiet. there weren't any people at all at the shop and the restaurant was by the cliff. We told the waiter that we wanted only 1 quarter of a duck. She seemed unsure and then kept asking us if we are sure and insisted that we take at least half a duck but we said no because we were still full from the food from the day and of dinner. Even the chef was confused at our order but after (literally) illustrating which part of the duck we wanted, the waiter understood and went with our order.

We should have listened to the waitress.

The quarter piece of a duck in the picture above may look big but well pictures can be deceiving. It was really really puny. It was around the size of my fist but flatter. no wonder she kept insisting us to take more. Well, we just wanted to try it but we were disappointed with the meal. Nothing special so to speak, just tasted like ayam penyet but ayam penyet tastes way better.

The Bakso noodles expanded after being left in its plastic for 1-2 hours. I kinda like the taste of the Bakso. It was a clear soup but has a distinctive taste of its own. Kuok Sing and I had the chicken Bakso. The meatballs were the mushy kind! Nothing that tasted weird but I found it quite amusing. Haha.. If possible, my advice would be to consume it immediately after purchase when it is still hot. As the noodles will become too soft after being left for a few hours.

Since the girls decided to be dressy for the night so the guys bought matching singlet to wear. We took pictures of course!

Cheers to great company, good food and an awesome paw-some getaway!

Before I leave you again for, hopefully not too long, of a break from my next post, here's my favourite shots of the paddy field from the day's tour to Ubud. :)

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