Monday, 28 January 2013

Warungs in Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan is only 25 minutes away from Bali by speed boat.  It is a small island that makes for a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of Bali.  The islands main income is seaweed farming which mostly goes to the Asian cosmetics industry.  You can see it through the crystal clear waters of the island.  The beaches here are much nicer than mainland Bali and  lends itself to activities such as surfing, snorkelling and diving.  
While spending time taking in the nature and the quietness we of course had to eat.  Again we opted out of the resort restaurant for every meal and wandered the island for local warungs.

The first one we went to is called Pondok Baruna Warung.  This is what we had:

Gado gado, $3.  Lightly blanched vegetables with tempe (soy bean cake), tofu, egg with peanut sauce.  Standard dish, the peanut sauce was smooth and rather sweet.

Vegetable soup with noodles, $2.50.  A broth which was a bit more flavoured with onion.  The noodles were vermicelli.  A more filling entree, still very yummy.
Kare Ayam, $3.70.  I had to try a curry.  It was very mild and not very hot which I was a bit dissappointed about.  It was like a mild Chinese curry.  The addition of the side sprouts and beans were really buttery and to me was the best bit about the dish. 

Ikan Bakar, $4.  Fish fillet grilled and served with Sambal Matah (chillies, shallots and kaffir lime leaves).  This was much better than the chicken.  What made this dish was the Sambal.  It was so intense and hot but went so nicely with the fish.  We weren't sure what type of fish it was but it was of medium firmness and tasted a bit like ling fillet.  The hot chilli lingered around for the whole meal. 
There were lots of other dishes here on offer I just wish I had more time to go back and try them all.  Everything is just so cheap and healthy.

Warung 99 Mealhouse - Chinese style, this was stated on the wall.  This was another warung where we had our final lunch before heading home.  It was also like a shopfront selling groceries.  The menu was small with all the traditional items listed, but as we found out, did very much have the Chinese twist to it.

Ayam Goreng.  Yay! . . .  No!  I was expecting fried chicken as that was what it said on the menu but to our suprise it was fried chicken softened by a heap of Chinese spinach in a typical Chinese style gravy.  It was still tasty though despite the look of it!  It had the flavour of this red spice that I can't quite put my finger on, will have to ask my mum about it but it usually is pared with chicken. 

Vegetable soup with meat.  The meat we presume was pork bits.  The soup was really refreshing and packed with spinach.  It was reminiscent of what my mum cooked us at least once a week to build up our immune system.  It was definitely less flavourful as the past Indonesian soups we had.  This soup is usually just a heap of greens, garlic, and meat bones with some sesame oil boiled in water. 
You can see we also ordered Nasi Goreng, which was just standard. The meal was overall a bit disappointing, but at least we tried a different take on Indonesian home-style cooking we would never have otherwise had.
I didn't copy down the prices but it was cheaper than the other warungs, which is ridiculous! 
We motorbiked around the island and there were other local places to eat and lots of goodies to be tried.  If we ever go back I'm sure things would change as it is a fast developing island attracting more and more visitors.  I recommend going before it turns into Bali.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Warung Eny - Bali, Indonesia

Forget about Chinese from Hong Kong I'm hooked on Indo food.  After getting back from our Bali holiday two weeks ago I am wanting to write about the latest things that have gone into my belly.

So Indo food isn't that big here, if you compare it to Thai, but there are some good places to eat it in the suburbs of Randwick and Kingsford.  And to true lovers of Indo food at least there are those places to go to.

Instead of eating at our hotel every night for dinner, we wanted to get out amongst it and eat local food in Seminyak.  I don't get the point of eating Italian when you can get excellent and cheap Indo food when you are in Indonesia!

I didn't take pics of every meal, just the interesting ones.  And sorry photos are crap as I have no photo editing programs at the moment.

We walked to Warnung Eny after finding some good reviews on Tripadvisor.  It was close to where we were staying.   A "warung" is a small family owned shop selling anything from lollies to being a small restaurant.  This was like a little shack front with an open kitchen and about 10 tables. Eny is the woman who owns it and was there serving the customers.  Athough we wanted a local joint it was mostly tourists eating there, but it was still authentic feeling. 

Despite it being hot and us sweating still in front of the three fans they had going, we still ordered the vegetable soup.  We hadn't eaten that many veges since leaving home, you know airport food and lots of rice and noodles already, that we so needed something nutritious.

Vegetable soup, $1.50.  This bowl of liquid was so tasty and buttery for some reason.  We just hoped it wasn't msg, but we didn't have that,  dry thirsty feeling in our mouths afterwards.  Maybe it was just really a well boiled broth with special Indo seasoning?!  The veges, some carrot, mushrooms and spinach were all boiled to a soft consistency, very easy to down, instantly we felt a bit healthier!

Serombotan - green veges with shredded coconut, $4.  Mostly green beans, water spinach and bean sprouts, so delicious!  Loved the presentation on the banana leaf and the hand cut tomato flower!

Ayam Goreng - fried chicken, $3.50.  So good!  This was the first one I had and it was truly delicious, so crunchy and the special touch of buttery garlic sauce on top.  The garlic was chunky but not at all strong as I had expected.  Again it had a buttery taste to it.  I could've had two serves! 

The whole holiday anywhere that had Ayam Goreng I ordered it, and to my suprise each version was quite different.  But this one was the first and the best.

Whole fried snapper with garlic sauce, about $13.  So cheap!  We saw the man scaling and gutting the snapper while we waited and then took it outside to grill over the hot coals.  Again it was topped with that aromatic garlic sauce.  It was fiddly to get all the meat without the bones, but it was well worth it, so tasty especially with a fresh squeeze of lime.

Here is the menu for you to look at all the delicious dishes they had to offer.  I wish we had more time to taste everything here.  So cheap too!  10,000 Rupiah is approximately $1 Aussie dollar.

The family cooking away in the open kitchen.

Ok, so below are pics from our second visit to Warung Eny. 

Bali salad with avacado, $2.  Simple salad with iceberg lettuce, sprouts, tomato and avo with a beautifully balanced dressing mainly made of fish sauce, sugar and lime I think?!   

Nasi Campur, $3.   This is traditionally a dish of rice topped with a variation of meats and veges, depending on which part of Indonesia you are in.  This one had water spinach, curry chicken, fried fish and tofu and the "Tum Bali".


Tum Bali, crushed pork with spices steamed in banana leaf, $4.50.  This was tasty but it wasn't steaming hot which I think it should've been, so I was a bit dissappointed it wasn't fresh from the steamer.  It was salty and much like an Asian meatball.  

Fish simmered in curry, $4.50.  This was a light and very soupy curry.  The fish was dense like swordfish.  The spices were mild and more like a laksa tasting curry, lots of tumeric.  Still great.  I never had this taste before.

Giant grilled prawns, $11.  These were the biggest prawns I have ever seen, they were more like mini lobsters!  This time I went outside and took a photo of them cooking on the grill.  The meat was quite tough like lobster.  We thought the bigger one wasn't cooked through enough so we left it on the plate.  Apparently when the plate was taken into the kitchen when we were paying the bill it caused quite a stir!  We must have been stupid tourists wasting precious food!  But we just didn't want to risk getting sick!  As we have been to hospital in Thailand from eating undercooked seafood. 

Lawar Bali - Bali vegetables with sliced tiny baby coconut, $3.50.  Again the veges were beans and sprouts and with the added coconut was really tropical tasting.  Seasoned with fish sauce and topped with fried garlic, this was a great vege dish, I could've eaten more of this too.
I would recommend you going to eat at Warung Eny for traditional Indonesian food.  I really wanted to have the special of Babi Gulung, which is suckling pig, but you have to pre-order that the day before!  I was very disappointed.  Next time. . .
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