AdSense Page Ads

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A taste of (old) Bali in Sanur Pejeng

I honestly don't know why people in the city (e.g. Denpasar) prefer the generic Capcay (Chinese style vegetable stir fry), Ayam Goreng (fried chicken), or Western-style Cream Soup for their wedding menu. What's wrong with local Balinese food?? Okay, actually I (think) I know. It is more affordable, way easier to make, and it's not easy to get ruin. Plus, you can just warm it up so menu for "lunch reception" can easily be menu for "dinner reception". Another reason is that (sadly) some people thinks it's just not fashionable. And even though the people that held the event might think it's ok to have Balinese food, the guests might think otherwise, thus the western-whatever-style menu. But is it really unfashionable?

True that Balinese food can be difficult to make and quite time consuming. The curse of living in (big) city is that you (or anybody else) don't seem to have enough time to do things beyond our scheduled life. In the old Bali days, when somebody held an event such as Pawiwahan (wedding) or Ngaben (cremation) all the men gathered to cook for the event and all the women help with the Banten (ceremonial offerings). It is a perfect measurement of how your community think of you. A rich or well known family might end up of getting little or even no help at all if they act snobbish and never help on other family's event(s). Like wise, an average or even poor family can get mountains of help if they always help other family. Of course, this tradition is becoming extinct as, like I said, nowadays everybody concern about their own business. Now we got caterings, and people who sells complete Banten, so why bother? Especially that more and more people seemed to be more appreciative on how rich you are, not how nice or helpful you are. It's an awful disease caused by commercialism and easy money (good thing some people are immune!).

That's why when I got the chance to visit the lovely area of Sanur Pejeng in Ubud for a relative's wedding I was literally enthralled. (yeah, I finally manage to get in the heart of UBUD!).It was a feast for the senses, especially for my poor tasting bud. After countless fast food servings and mass-made dishes in the polluted city, it really is something to eat real Balinese delicacy in the cool surroundings of Ubud, with thick forest trees and the sound of river nearby, sat in the antique Bale with moss that crept on the rock. Did I mention the ingredients was fabulously fresh? And no, it wasn't even an insanely lavish or difficult feat like a whole Babi guling (suckling pig) and stuff. It was really the kind of menu that a common household would prepare, and that my friends, makes it even more superb.

The menu (for 2 days set of food) was an array of Telur Pindang Kecap (egg broiled in sweet soy sauce - 1st pic above), Sayur Kacang Panjang (String bean in turmeric and and a dash of coconut milk), Shredded Duck (I don't know how they cook it, but it was awesome!), Sayur Nangka (jackfruit in pork broth), Gulai Ikan (fish in coconut soup),the Famous Sambal Matah with ground nut as a twist (see pic. of Sambal Matah without the ground nut on 2nd pic above. It was so delicious it was gone from the table before you know it), Cucumber and soy bean (I think it was like a kind of pickle thing. Whatever. It's GOOD), Satays and many other dish. But my favorite was Bali Style Babi Kecap (pork stew in spicy soy sauce - see pic below). The pork fat was literally melt in your mouth, and as they use really fresh produce (I wouldn't be surprised if the pig was butchered just the morning before the event) it tastes so sweet and succulent. The only thing stopping me from rising up and getting another portion (okay, several) is definitely not my diet (it's a rare feast, baby!) but the relatives and guests that presents that day. It sure wouldn't help my eligibility rating to eat pork like a pork-to-be LOL.

All in all, I am so thoroughly happy to attend the feast, umm, the wedding I mean (U & B, if you're reading this I'm REALLY happy for both of you. I really do!). I kinda wish that one day original Balinese feast will return to their rightful place of honour on reception table, perhaps even as a symbol of wealth. I mean, which Balinese wants Lobster and Caviar anyway, it's not even native Balinese food (not that I object, but then again I'm Batavian hehehe). I think most Balinese will be surprised to know how expensive their daily dish could fetch when it is served in fancy joints/restaurants exclusively for foreign tourists and even more when it is serve in foreign country even though it tastes so-so or lame . Trust me, a plate of Babi Guling can costs way more than a KFC complete package in Balinese Warung in Jakarta. And darlin', it aint even taste good. So, if you're in Bali and stuck with a mass-made hamburger in your hand, start looking for a genuine Balinese dish and enjoy the feast.

Note for pictures:
telur pindang kecap was taken from
sambal matah was taken from
bali style babi kecap was taken from
My mum forbade me to get picture of the food in the reception table as it was quite impolite (and I agree), and I was so absorb in tasting everything I didn't remember to take any picture of the food in my plate. At least until it's already half empty. I may be foodies through and through but I sure am a dreadful food blogger hahaha.


  1. Di Bali cowok2 nya yg masak buat acara2 gitu?
    Yauwdah lu ama cowo bali aja, asik kali dimasakin terus heheee

  2. Huhuhu.. itu kan cuma pas upacara aja... gila aja perempuan suruh masak babi guling.... Wkwkwkkw....

  3. Good one!! Thank you for sharing this awesome piece of work!


Search This Blog