Every morning when I visit the local market to buy my ingredients for the menu at Bali Asli, I sit with the ladies and enjoy my breakfast “Bubur Injin”.
I buy it from an old man who has a push cart “rombong”, he is very proud to tell me that his bubur is the best in town and that he makes it himself with all natural ingredients and the best “Gula Bali” palm sugar.
He fills a porcelain bowl similar to one that my Grandma has in her kitchen with the steaming rich dark brown porridge, the aroma fills my head and I instantly start to salivate in anticipation!
He passes it to me on a raggedy old cloth on top so I don’t burn my hand when I’m enjoying my breakfast, he swirls some freshly made coconut milk and passes me a spoon. I join the rest of his customers and crouch on the curbside, yum!
I am the only western person in the market so I am somewhat of a curiosity to them. They look on without being shy to stare to see if I can eat such a traditional meal! It does not take long before we strike up a conversation and I am learning how to make BuBur Injin and many other delicious sounding breakfast dishes. Tomorrow I will try Ibu Komang’s “Tipat Serombutan”….
One of my first memorable experiences of Balinese food was when a friend of mine took me to their favourite warung, (Balinese cafe) they told me the food there was some of the best in the area. I was very excited because I was new to Bali and I hadn’t yet tried the street food.
When we got to the warung it was quite grubby and had heaps of flies every where. But the aroma of the food was amazing, so I turned my eyes off and sat down to enjoy some fish sate, fish soup, a salad of long beans with a tomato dressing, fried peanuts, and fish that had been wrapped in banana leaf and grilled and of course rice.
My friend bought a beer to accompany her meal (It was 10.30 in the morning!) a bit too early for me!! I had iced tea.
The flavours of the food where fantastic, seasoned perfectly and cooked well. However, after my first few mouthfuls I realised that there was rather a lot of chilli in the spice mixes, sambals and marinades. Before I knew it my entire mouth was numb! I couldn’t chew for fear of biting my tongue!! I wanted to eat more because it was truly delicious but I physically could not!! it was just too spicy!
This dining experience was one of many that inspired me to create an establishment that serves authentic Balinese fare, but with a fire rating more suited to visitors to Bali. I know it sounds strange, but it is very difficult to find really good representations of Balinese food in Bali, that are prepared in the traditional manner and in a place that is clean, appetising and hygienic.
I endeavour to bridge that gap!