Wow, wow, wow ... the food was amazing!
I had heard of Sarong for a long time and last night we finally paid it a visit. The decor is not entirely to my taste - too dark - but the food is truly spectacular. Shouldn't be surprised really, since the owners also run the nearby restaurant Mama San which is consistently good and delicious.
When we sat down I already eyed the plate of the Australian couple that was sitting close to us. I saw lamb. And it looked and smelled stellar. I think my mind was already made up at that point. I started of with the signature crispy pork belly with sichuan chilli salt tamarillo and tamarind sauce and then ordered the much desired slow cooked Sri Lankan lamb curry with coconut milk, coriander, cumin, lemongrass and curry leaves that I spotted. And yes, garlic naan. Lots of it.
It truly was amazing. And I truly over ate. But it was worth it!
Who knew we had a great Dim Sum place close to home!
Ah Yat Abalone Seafood restaurant at the newly opened Rimba Hotel (which is part of the sprawling Ayana complex) has a great Dim Sum lunch menu. Very well priced and delicious food.
And when you're done, you can head over to the Rimba rooftop bar for some mid-afternoon cocktails.
Wasn't really expecting much from the hot springs on lake Batur, but what a pleasant surprise it was.
I imagined they would be inside rock pool formations in the middle of the lava fields spread out below Mt. Batur. Instead the Lake Batur Natural Hot Springs are right along the waterfront of lake Batur. It's like swimming in an infinity pool filled with very warm water right on the lake.
The only complaint ... the bathrooms! They were a complete mess!
Goa Gajah Elephant Caves on the outskirts of Ubud - who knew they existed!
This is what's great about having visitors. They all come armed with their guide books outlining the top 10 things you must see in Bali. And sometimes there are items on there that we've never heard off, such as the Elephant Caves.
This is a good thing though for it's something new for them and for us. Because seeing the same sites over-and-over again can be ... tedious!
This is truly a must-see when you come to Bali. We always use Bali Eco Tour company based in Ubud to arrange for our rice paddy walks. Seeing the countryside from the ground - literally - is how you come to appreciate the natural beauty of this island.
Not the best of pictures - they really don't do justice to the place and food - but believe me, the restaurant and especially the food, is totally awesome!
Senotsa Cove has totally changed since the last time I was there and Saint Pierre certainly adds a lot of class to the dining options in the marina.
All I can say is ... Wow!
Make sure you land by 1230!
If coming from Singapore, I take the 0920 Air Asia flight and land in Bali by noon. The Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali is empty then and you can walk right through.
Wait a few more hours and you will be in living hell! The line is super crazy for all the long-haul Asian flights start to land, with 300 pax onboard. And then the Middle-East flights. And then the European flights. And then ...
I have landed at midnight and the line can still be maddening!
Otherwise, I recommend that you arrange for VIP service in advance. It will cost you some money, but well worth your time. Bali Fast Forward has all the details.
If you're going to try a Singapore Sling, then you may as well try it where it was invented. At the Long Bar of the Raffles Hotel.
Located on the second floor at the back of the Raffles Hotel, the feeling inside is like nothing has changed in 200 years! Same distinct bar smell, peanut shells all over the floor (for that's what you do - you eat your peanut and chuck the shell - it's actually a lot of fun!), people sipping their Slings and noise and banter coming from all sides.
This too is part of the Singapore story.