My Culinary Trip Around the World: Bali
Gili Trawangan was a backpacker’s haven, paradise on a budget with pure white beaches, bright blue sea, no cars or motorbikes and incredible food.
Our time in Gili Trawangan was dreamlike. We had a lovely room with a veranda overlooking a lovely garden which was where we ate our breakfast of eggs on toast, Bali coffee and fresh local fruit. Dinner was spent at the night market which served the backpacker community local dishes such as: the country dish of nasi goreng; Deep fried chicken and noodles; freshly caught barbecued fish; satay with peanut sauce; a selection of Balinese dishes in a banana leaf lined basket. All of these were priced at not much more than £1.50 a dish which is fine as long as you are prepared for the chef’s lack of urgency when cooking.
Easter in Paradise
We were in Gili on Easter day which was when we treated ourselves to a tapas lunch (there are times when only western food will do!) on sunset beach and dinner of barbequed fish with a glass of wine at a seafront restaurant where you could hear the waves hit the sand: the epitome of paradise!
The second part of our Bali stay was spent in the cultural capital of Ubud. We gorged out on Nasi Goreng and Bintang beer. We had rice for breakfast on a mountain top before our cycle ride through the rice paddies and small villages. On the last day I went on a cookery course where we learnt about the culture of Balinese food, visited the local market then made, and ate, our dishes. I found out that the base of most dishes is a Balinese curry paste which contains a lot of garlic, red chilli and Asian shallots. In fact these ingredients were key to practically every savoury dish! Good job I had a whole row to myself on the flight to Sydney that night!
I will never forget my time in Bali; it was an eye opener and awoke all of my senses. I was fortunate enough to have been asked to assist on a Balinese cookery course not so long ago and the food we created transported me back to those very happy times which may be why I have had a Balinese themed dinner party, hunted out an authentic Balinese restaurant (shame it’s not in Oxford) and helped on the cookery course.