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.

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