Saturday, May 23, 2015

Bewitching Bali Day 8

Every bit as flashy and as fancy as any picture on a  travel magazines. One look at Viceroy's Lembah  Spa photo  is all that it took to convince me to go to Bali. Yup, sometimes a sheer photograph is all one needs to pack a bag , travel and cross a continent.

The impeccably designed infinity pool , along with the view of the luscious valley   and the mesmerising gush of  Ayung river below is jaw dropping. This will welcome you as you step down  the stylish lobby. Viceroy Ubud  is a surprisingly small resort with   big 5  stars written all over it.

We came here for this view and for a promise of  good foods.

  Between the gorgeous infinity pool and the posh Lembah Spa is the high and thatched roof , open air  CasCades Restaurant  .  

With its tastefully decorated interiors and  beautiful landscape surroundings,  it certainly perked both my interest and  appetite.


Seared Foie Gras .Pan-Seared French Duck Liver / Kluwek Sauce / Tamarind chutney / Starfruit Coulis / Pain D'Epices Crumble / Daikon Strings. 
It was buttery and literally melts in the mouth. 

Served with crusty warm bread and  rolls , along with good quality cold butter.

The Mains:
I saw a picture of this burger somewhere and requested to have it even if it's not on the menu.They have menus exclusively for their staying guests, and this is just one of those foods available for them. Luckily , Cascades  still extended their hospitality to me and let me have it. How nice.

FF stick to the menu available  .
Tasmanian Salmon / Sous Vide Lemon Zest and Thyme Tasmanian Salmon Fillet / Potato Confit / Cilantro Cream / Corn Chips / Ocean Flavored Popcorn Crumble


 A delicate and small portioned trio of goodness.  Every crumb is exploding with flavors.

 A refreshing raspberry sorbet

 Lemongrass tinged creme brûlée . 

All those delicious foods had me purring like a contended cat as we travel back to Komaneka.

A quick dip in the pool and another  session of serious papering from Komaneka's excellent spa later that afternoon,  perfected my promising day.

Our time in Bali is getting to a close. It somehow made me sad. Thankfully, with the help of Facebook, I met a friend and school mate to cheer me up. Rose  is also in Bali for a holiday . We met for  dinner. To make things even better. Yasa , who became quite a friend to FF and me, had a day off and agreed meet us as well. He joined us at Melting_Wok_Warung-Ubud .  He also is kind enough to drive us to our destination and send us all back home, free of charge!

Melting Wok is a small cozy place . Menu is written on a chalkboard which is carried around and presented by waitstaffs. Atmosphere is lively, faces of people  eating, happy. A very good sign.

Foods at melting wok are packed with flavors and with just enough heat to  whet  diner's appetite.  Portions are generous and service is excellent. The French owner is a lovely lady who makes sure that every guest is well attended to. Her distinct french nasal  chattering could be heard  within the premises while her laughter and merry mood infects patrons as she hops and socializes from one table to another.

Desserts are just as delicious as the savouries.

Rose enjoyed some crepes drenched in generous chocolate sauce and ice cream,

 I had this silky custard with coconut sauce..

FF on the other hand, enjoyed the chocolatey version with a scoop of ice cream. Yasa completely skipped the sweets and preferred liquid err dessert. He was just as happy.

Because of its relatively good priced and delicious  foods, Melting Wok it is quite popular in Ubud. Place is packed when we got there, thankfully, Komaneka made some reservations ahead. Try to call for a table esp. at dinner time to secure a place.

Melting Wok Warung
13 Jl. GootamaUbud, BaliIndonesia

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bewitching Bali Day 7

 Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day. Luckily, Komaneka offers  quite a spread to fuel up a body . This is just a sample of the smorgasbord of foods that awaits a guest every morning.
Considering what's in store for us today, we almost licked the plates clean til last  crumb of calorie.

Juli picked us up again this morning and drove us around. First , we travelled to Tegalalang rice terraces , where FF pretend he's a farmer for 15 seconds. One can however, linger longer than than and explore the place at one's leisure. I saw few travellers walking along the rice paddies.

We drove off to our next destination. Gunung Kawi.

The terrain is quick to follow. The sight is a feast to behold.

We passed by some irrigation that provides water to the vast fields ahead. 

 Walk beside rice paddies..

  Down the steep rocky steps..

 Through a tunnel that leads to rock-cut shrines . These  funeral monuments are thought to be dedicated to King Anak Wungsu of the Udayana dynasty and his queen and favourite concubines. A ladies' man,  judging by the numbers of monuments,

There are also funeral monuments dedicated to his children. The place is wide and seeping with ancient majesty .

There's a bridge to cross

And enchanting river to pass.

We finally bid adieu to the mythical creatures that guards its gate..

The steps in Gunung Kawi are steep and plenty. Wear a comfortable shoe and bring some water with you. I need more than just refreshments after that strenuous walk. It burned all the calories I chewed and swallowed at  breakfast. Time to refuel...

Lunch was abundant but plain tasting Indonesian buffet. But the great view of Mt. Batur and its lake in Kintamani is priceless. Most restaurants in the area have terraces and balconies where diners can sit and appreciate such view.

After lunch, we went to Tirta Empul in Tampaksiring.

A  sacred temple houses spring pools where believers clean and purify themselves .

 Worshipers first give offerings at the temple before going to the pool to pray and bathe.

Tirte Empul means '' Holy Spring'' in Balinese. Many believe  that the water from this spring has curative properties, cleansing not also the sins but the body of the bather as well.
Some worshipers bring containers with them and collect this sacred water to take back home to a sick family member.

A  springs bubble up into a large, crystal-clear pool within the temple and gush out through waterspouts into a bathing pool.

Exit will lead you through a labyrinth  of stalls, seeling all things imaginable. From intricately carved animal bones ( below)

To wooden phalluses , available in all sizes. Apparently, male genitalia represents the Supreme god Shiva Linga, and will bring you luck . You certainly need luck while explaining that to the airport customs .

The last site we visited was Goa Gajah or Elephant cave.
Unlike Goa Lawah or  where real bats are hanging within the bowels of the caves, there's no living elephant  around this place.
 The cave itself is small . Opening is just big enough to fit one visitor at a time.

Just like Gunung Kawi. There's also an abundance of  greens and craved stones all over the place.
 Again lots of steps...

The place has an enchanting feel to it. As if any moment, an elf or or fairy could spring from behind those trees.
There's a small waterfalls and shallow ponds  amidst the greeneries..

  After saying good bye to the nameless faces that  seem to have grown out from earth, we decided to call it a day.

It was a scorching day, we were sweating buckets the whole time. Before heading  back to the resort, we made a quick and much needed stop at  this beautifully decorated restaurant  for some refreshments.
Bale Udang Ubud
We cool our sizzling heels down with cold beer, fresh coconut water and icy treats.

Guest could choose to dine in the main restaurant or in bamboo huts over water with fishes swimming under their  feet. The vast area makes  the air blow freely. Better than any air conditioning.

Dinner was at Bebek Bengil. Yasa's recommendation. Thankfully, Komaneka made some reservation. The place was packed!

We had a smoked duck, which is a house specialty. It has to be ordered 24 hours in advance! 
This duck died for a good cause. It was tender, succulent and breaming with flavours. We ate the whole thing! It came with condiments and side dishes. 

62 361 975489 | 977675
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali 80571
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