Sunday, September 30, 2007

BALI XI: Barong Festival At Hotel Nikko, Bali

What better way to end a fun and exhausting day from the beach, than to go to a dance festival dinner buffet! Ahhh treat after another! From Waka Nusa to the boat cruise ...we went straight to the Nikko Bali Hotel to catch The Great Barong Festival! Yes my friends...with still semi-wet swim wear we went to this hotel with again.....a spectacular view of the beach! It's really great that everywhere we go in Bali....may spectacular and amazing view talaga!

Dinner was set at Kupu-Kupu restaurant in the hotel. Upon arriving, we were welcomed by drinks and dressed with Batik sarongs with belts and a nice flower placed on women's ears =) We were even given matching fans =) Sooooo cute.....check out my Balinese look, hehehe....

Here is what was intore for us....a two leveled buffet spread.....I didn't upload all the food pics as they are really alot. These are just a few....

A variety of native fruits

salad buffet

spring rolls & samosas station

satay staion

There were lots and lots of asian flavors there. They even had pinoy pata tim! =) I think the buffet is mixed asian cuisine.

While enjoying our dinner buffet, we watched the great barong festival on stage. Its about the battle between good and evil represented by a mythical lion and the follower friend monkey character, to bring the legend to life. It was indeed a different experience!

We were given the chance to fo up stage and have our pictorial with the cool is that =)

Bali has so many great things intore!!!! I love it! =)

BALI X: Waka Nusa Cruise

Day after the wedding, we were off for another adventure! This time, for some water fun =) It was a two hour cruise on a very nice yacht to Waka Nusa. It's like an Island resort away not so far away in Bali =)

Here is the gang....

Upon reaching a point where we anchored in, we transferred to a glass boat going to the island. The place was beautiful and was made for water sports. We first took a little trip to the village part to see the old Balinese architecture and check out local shops.

There was this one peculiar ancient Balinese home, where the owner dug caves underneath his property! I didn't get the whole story but the caves were intricately dug...with 3 pathways within! I got scarred upon goin down and when I saw the dark and tight caves...RETREAAAAAAAAT JEN!!! I went back up! hahaha ;P

..lookie at that....

We went back to the resort proper to have a delicous lunch buffet.

Nasi Goreng

Mie Goreng

Seafood Curry

Babi and Ayam Sate

Pasta Salad

Veggie Salad

Afterlunch, we went snorkeling! I was apprehensive to go...but I did it anyway. Well, I wore the mask...the life vest..and sat on the dock hahahaha and after mustering all the courage deep inside me, and being shamed by the twokids who went in the water...I slid in..and let out and EEEEEEEEEEEEK!!!!! The water was ICY cold! I dipped my head and saw a bot of the ocean floor..then hurried back up to the dock and covered myself with a sarong! hahahaha Yes, I am a sissy! hahaha But hey, at LEAST I touched Balinese ocean ;P Pwede na rin! hahaha

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wedding # 5: Ros' Wedding

The reason why we were all in to take part on the very special day of our very dear Ros and Marc....we came to witness them exchange their wedding vows =). Ros has been a very, very close friend of mine since college. Like a sister to me...and I am so happy I was able to be there for her on this day.
A very unique wedding for a unique couple. How lovely it is, for two people coming from different countries with different cultures....Marc a dear Ros, a Filipino-Chinese....brought together by fate...brought close by love and binded by God. Love and destiny is indeed a very amazing thing and still a mystery to me =)

Family, close relatives and dear friends were there for a very intimate wedding, held at the Tirtha Luhur. The glass walled chapel, sitting before the beatiful view of the Indian was BREATH TAKING, I tell you.

Take a peek.....
....what a sight...

As we arrived at the venue...the chapel guarded by two lovely littles Balinese girls dacing infornt to welcome us. We were all given leis accompanied by welcome drinks and cool towels to refresh us from our trip.

The wedding ceremony was solem and beautiful as the couple were. After shedding tears of was time to paaaaaaaaartaaay!!!! Yehey! =) We were all ushered to the garden for pictorials with the couple and ofcourse amongst ourselves, as we were served cocktails and hors d’Ĺ“uvres as the sun was nice noh?

Salmon rolls with cream cheese and herbs that was like the brother of alfalfa sprouts...sooo good =)

Sate Babi (Pork Satay) Somthered with Peanut Sauce

Croquets, Spring Rolls and Calamari with a cariety of Wasabi, Sweet Chili and Tartar Dipping Sauce.
Soooo good...these were the crown fave as well at the Salmon =) We were almost full already with the yummy pica-pica during cocktail hour. Everybody had a great time with the couple and enjoying the view.

As the sun was fully set and the skuy lit by the lovely moonlight, we all moved in at the banquet area for long gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Michelle `

Lemongrass-Cilantro Asian Butterfish on Mustard Lead and Chili-Citrus Emulsion
Perfectly cooked and and the sauce that laced the delicate fish gave dimension to the dish.

Sesame-seed Crusted Scallop, A-hi Tuna, Salmon and Prawn with Vanilla Bean Emulsion and Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Toasted Baby Ruccola

A great degustation if seafood...again perfectly cooked and plated with care. Delicious!!! Delicious!

Roasted Five Spices-Infused French Duck Breast on Salted Cucumber and Kidney Bean Sauce, Star Fruit Tuile

The duck breast was very succulent and the sauce conplimented it well. I like the sweet taste and delicate texture of the Star Fruit cuts the richness of the duck =) Simply exquisite!

Lime-Midori Gelee in Passion Fruit Granite topped with Grey Goose Vodka

A burst of cool and refreshing flavors that indeed clenses the palate. The seeds of the passion fruit and the gelee gave this granita unique texture.

Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with Pinot Noir Reduction on Steamed Bedguugul Asparagus and Melted Mashed Potatoes

The final course of our great dinner ...and I don't have the picture because my camera battery went dead =( If I get hold of a picture of this from other friends I'll just updat this post =) It was delicious but by the time it was served to me..I was indeed very full already. The mashed potatoes lived upto it's name. It's sooo creamy that it did seem like melted potatoes. Kudos to the chef! As if that was not enough....a dessert buffet awaited us at the garden....chocolate fondue, ice cream of all flavors, Lebanese baklavas, Dates stuffed with pinenuts, biscotti, cakes, eclairs, seemed to never end!

In high spirits (literally and figuratively ;P) and full of energy...we partied and danced the night away!

Lots of minggling, laughter, raising of glasses, hugs, kisses, eating and dancing filled the night.

Congratulations my darling Ros and Marc! God bless you both with lots of love, blessings and beautiful chidrens =) Cheers!

BALI IX: PJ's at Four Season's Hotel, Jimbaran

It was Ros' wedding day!!! We were all very excited that day. We had a bit of time for a little shopping, so Pi, Lot, Cheryl and I went to the Kuta square to do a little shopping and have lunch at Jimbaran. Jimbaran is part of Bali near Nusa Dua, where there are lots of beaches and resort hotels. I read that seafood is great there, and there is a place called PJ's, where the food is really great and cheap daw!

When we got there, the place didn't look like they served cheap seafood! It was at the Four Season's Hotel! So we went in...the place was breath taking! PJ's was the beachfront restaurant at that hotel...we checked the menu...well...hotel priced seafood =( Soweeee my friends, I must have read it wrong!

Nevertheless, despite the over priced menu...the food was superb, the servings were big, service was great and the view spectacular! I guess it's worth it naman =)

The view from our table

Nice noh? Wow....I love the way they set up restos in Bali...they really give you the maximum appreciation of the beaches!

We were served a delicious bread basket, which comprised of foccaccia, bread sticks and an interesting dinner roll with pesto filling that surprised our first bite =)

It came with pomodoro and a pesto like dip...that was not pesto! We enjoyed it a lot...they even gave us a second round but we had to turn it down.

The Nasi Goreng
This was one of the best, if not the best, rendition of this Balinese dish I've had, so far in Bali. It was beautifully plated and was very flavorful! Yummm..yummm

Crab Cake

This was delicious! Crab cakes served with a couscous salad! Soooo good and lovely looking =)

Mie Goreng

Another typical Balinese dish that tasted not so typical. It was sooo good and was loaded with seafood, scrambled egg strips and veggies. The noodles used was quite kinda tasted different from the other mie gorengs we have had. Their noodle here was thicker than the average mie's you'd find in simple restos here.

Well, they gave good quality with the price they was all good. We didn't get the chance to linger at the place because we had to head back to our the conrad to prepare for our trip's main event=). When we were about to leave, our waiter asked us if our food was ok? I guess he was kind of puzzled why we left soon after our meal. Most patrons of this resto really stay long after eating to enjoy the lovely beach or just watch the view! Sooo nice....ahhhh I love Bali!!!!

Friday, September 28, 2007

BALI VIII: Kecak & Fire Dance and a Welcome Dinner at SUKU, Conrad Hotel

The Kecak and Fire Dance is done at the Uluwatu..situated on top on a small mountain or hill was it(?), where the dance is performed from mid-afternoon untill sun down. The dance is accompanied by chanting of a group of men....

..and acts from the epic Ramayana is incorporated in the dance.

We all had to wear sarongs and yellow belts while watching this unique Balinese dance. They express their feelings and emotions basically through their eyes and arms movement. The way they move thier eyes from left to right and right to left give that eerie effect on me ;P Makes me realize how every culture is indeed so fascinating!

We all went back to The Conrad Hotel for our welcome dinner.

It was set at the Suku restaurant, at the poolside of the Conrad. This was a dinner get together given to us by the Ros and Marc, the couple to wed the following day. The activities et up by the bride and groom is really great to bring their families and friends together.

I think everyone looked fantastic that evening. What a real change...from a rugged look from our trip to Uluwatu and come dinner in suits...ladies in dresses...a sight for sore eyes! It was a time to relax...have lovely conversations adn enjoy scrumptuous dinner.

For starters...these are Skewered Mozarella and Cherry Tomatoes drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil a miniature Italian appetizer. It was great with white wine, red wine and/or cocktails that they served.

These were deep fried rolls, with a filling I could not recall because I couldn't tell what it was then ;P...perhaps cheese? ) and sesame seeds with a drizzling of sweet chili sauce.

How about a pair of Prawn tempura and Calamari drizzled with tartar sauce?
This was my favorite =)
This was my Smoked Salmon Salad, with Crispy fried Shoe String Potaoes.
That is not what it's actually called, but that is what it was made of. I love this can be a meal on its own =)

For my main course, I chose the Grilled Seabass.

It was served with rice tipped with crispy garlic slivers and a vegetable side dish. I could not appreciate this dish, sad to say, beacause it was SOOOOOOOOOO HOT!!!!!! By that I mean SOOOOOOOO HOT!!!! Can you see all that red bits topping my seabass? I surmise they are chilis!!!!!!! When you cut through the fish, these red hot chilis seems to be imbedded within! NO escape from the HEAT! Guess what, they even served a side dish of that HOT STUFF--just incase its' not HOT enough for your palate!!! WWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH--- Too bad for me...I bet it was great!

Others chose the Crispy Suckling Pig

Served with a side of broth, veggies and rice. No escaping HEAT...I tasted my friend Chryl's plate..this was HOT too ;P Nonetheless, the skin was super crispy!!! I would love this too sans the heat =)

The wedding party people...well most of us here =)
(L-R) Nelly, Hani, Cheryl, Steve, Lotte, Marc & Ros (the couple to wed), Mario, moi, Lyn, Gwen, Pi, Sharmayne and Dexter)

To wine and dine was divine! The ambiance was elegant and personal. We all had a great time talking and getting to know eachother. Seeing everyone there who came from different parts of the world....from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Canada, USA, Lebanon and so was just so amazing for me realizing how the love of two people brought us all here together. Don't you think that is so wonderful? I think so. We are all here to be part of the very special moments in the lives of the couple who are very dear to our hearts. =)


Cheryl and I went around Seminyak and Legian, where most of the local shops abound. We got exhausted from moving from one shop to another and decided to take a little break as we waited for our driver to fetch us and bring us back to the Conrad.

There was this nice coffee shop called Cafe Seminyak..well you guessed it, at Seminyak! hehehehe We were lured in by the enticing cake display......

They had yoghurt based cakes! That was interesting noh? I've never heard of cakes made with yoghurt. However, we just settled for good ol' carrot cake, coffee for me and Iced latte for my friend =)

Coffee and Carrot cake...a perfect combination =)
The carrot cake was really good! It was moist, loaded with macadamia nuts and the cream cheese frosting was yummy!!!!! Not whipped cream ---yehey!!!! real cream cheese here!

Fully recharged, we headed back to the hotel to meet the wedding party.

We were set off to watch the Kecap and fire dance...a little cultural activity for us =)


Our friend Cheryl arrived at Bali a day later than us, so I decided to take her shopping at Seminyak, where a long stretch of shops and botiques abound. Was it really for her or for my sake? ;P hahaha Well, we only had a couple of hours to go around and shop, because we had to get back at the Conrad to meet up with the rest of the wedding party to go to Uluwatu Temple and watch the Kecak and Fire dance.

We first had lunch at Cafe Kopi Pot at Legian, North of Kuta. As I hav learned it is also managed by the gropu who runs Poppies! Great! So we could expect good food here =)

The place was alfresco and cafe looking. It had a relaxed feel to it and you could just stay here on a beautiful day ang enjoy coffee or meals. They offered Indonesian and Western fairs, but naturally we choose among the traditional dishes.

Ayam Satay

Our skewered chicken was served on this cool clay grill. It's great because you enjoy your satay right off the the comfort of your table =) Nice touch! This makes eating satay more fun and more delicious as it is piping hot! Yummmmm I love satay =)

The Lumpia

What do you know...they have their own version of lumpia and they call it by the same name! It the same! hahaha Well, I think the difference is that the wrapper here is more empanada pastry like as opposed to our paper thin lumpia wrapper..oh and it is eaten with peanut sauce! ;P Delicious!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

BALI V: Posh Bali Bar that is Ku De Ta

The fun doesn't end at Bali. After our relaxing dinner at Poppies, it's time to chill out at one of Bali's uber hip bar..Ku De Ta.

The huge interiors of the bar with a very modern and posh ambiance

We were abit intimidated by the place initially, because we didn't get the chance to change wardrobe for our night out hehehe but nonetheless we managed to blend in and the fun rolled out as the rest of our friends came in! Yehey!!!
The gang (L-R) Mark, Ros, Gwen and Lyn

We and more of Mark's family and friends joined us it turned out to be a really fabulous night out!!!

This was Gwen's cocktail...a sunrise long drink...

A cocktail at this place costs around 80,000 -120,000 Rupiahs, so that's about 400-600 pesos a pop! =)

This is my Raspberry Bellini. Muddled raspberries capped with champagne.

Oh sooo good! A very refreshing cocktail! =)

Ku De Ta is set, beachfront! As if the funky design of the bar is not enough ei? Well you have a view or rather you are set sooo close to the beach if you are seated at the end of the bar away from the main dining area. It is quite popular to watch the sunset here..while having great cocktails, food and hip music while being cooled by the sea breeze!!! I tell you, the view is breath taking there even if the sun was out!

Have you ever been billed 1.9 M for cocktails? ;P hehehehe We have!!! Another first for us!haha

BALI IV: Poppies, Kuta Bali

We had dinner at another cool restaurant. Now back at Kuta, we went to search for Bali's favorite restaurant..Poppies.

Romantic and charming Poppies

It is renowned for its garden setting and delectable Western and Indonesian cuisine. The place was indeed very charming. It's a great date place because it give that personal and romantic feel. We loved it!

Seafood Chowder with garlic bread

This was delicious and very flavorful! The garlic bread was great with it.

Poppie's Mie Goreng

A delicious and flavorful rendition of this traditional dish.

This is interesting, steamed fish with ginger cooked in banana leaves.

It was served with garlic topped rice and delicious veggies with coconut milk =)

The Vegetable Curry and Brown Rice

And to cap our meal, Black Rice pudding and Balinese coffee.

The black rice pudding had banana slice and coconut milk. It's like out ginataan but made with black rice =) Yummy and interesting.

Look at the lovely setting of the place! We had a long ang luxurios dinner to enjoy the lovely ambiance and great Balinese cuisine