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PIECE OF CAKE, PEACE OF MIND

Exploring, creating, & reflecting one day at a time

Category Archives: Restaurants


I feel like I’m settling into this “real life” thing pretty well judging from the fact that I am having trouble thinking of things to write in this post. Or maybe that just means that my fears as of late are accurate, and I’ve aged roughly forty years in the past six weeks.
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In the past three days, I took a total of one photo (seen above) on my DSLR. This is fairly indicative of how our days spent in South Kuta went.

But first let me recap the rest of our adventure packed time spent in Ubud. I forgot to mention the restaurant we ate lunch at on our tour of the temples. It had an unreal view of a huge field of rice paddy terraces. The food was by far trumped by its backdrop, one of my favorites thus far.

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On our last morning I made a solo trip to the local food market at 7:15 AM because Tom bailed on me (citing a need to pack and then promptly falling back asleep). I’m glad I made the short journey though because it was unlike anything we’d yet seen in Ubud or elsewhere. Hundreds of vendors lining the streets and actual market place, hawking every type of fish, cracker, fruit, veggie, and craft you could imagine. I walked away with a bag of my favorite Indonesian fruit–salak– and some shrimp crackers, artfully formed in a manner reminiscent of american funnel cakes.

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I’d like to just mention that it’s a small miracle none of us fell through the sidewalk during our stay in Ubud.

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But back to Kuta. Since we were far from a lot of the main thoroughfare, we rented motorbikes one day and scooted to Jimbaran beach, after a slightly frantic debate about what the safest driver/passenger arrangements would be (it ended up being Tom/Annie, Eric/our guide, and me & Marc each solo, for those interested). We body surfed, boogie boarded, and filled up on $1 glass bottles of Coke, $2 plates of mie goreng, nasi goreng, and French fries all day, not unlike the previous day spent at Balangan beach. After Jimbaran, though, we had a fish BBQ at the villa, complete with an overflowing plate of fried calamari, snapper, mahi mahi, and Indonesian curried veggies. We feasted.

The next day, we feasted again. This time, we took a stressful cab ride to Nusa Dua via downtown Kuta thanks to a miscommunication. We ended up at our destination of The Mulia Cafe at The Mulia Resort an hour late but were greeted by the most beautiful buffet ever. I thought our host was exaggerating when he said it put the Bellagio to shame, but he wasn’t. Not even a little. Individual rooms/stations for dessert, sushi, Chinese, western, Thai (hand pulled egg noodles!!), and Indonesian food, all fresh and with amazing service. Most of us gorged on 5 servings of dessert alone.

We overstayed our welcome after our gluttonous lunch by crashing the absolutely stunning Ocean Pool for a couple of hours before returning home to watch a half Chinese dubbed version of Iron Man 3.

And even though it was raining this morning, we took one last trip to Balangan Beach and watched the now much larger and more aggressive waves satisfy the surfers, many of whom no doubt made the trip to Bali just to surf at this beach.

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Tonight we arrive in Kuala Lumpur and are staying at a place called b the Reggae Mansion. Marc booked this one. Back to the city for a bit before we explore the beaches of Thailand.

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We spent the last three nights in Ubud, Bali. It’s basically the more traditional, natural, and slightly less touristy counterpart to Kuta, the place most people think of when they hear the name Bali.

Like I mentioned in my last post, Ubud is one of my favorite places overall. Our time there this time around only reinforced my overall love for the cluster of mountain villages.

On our first day, Tom, Eric and I did a lap around the main circular road and decided that we would go trekking on a volcano the next day. So, at 2AM on Marc’s birthday, we set out for an excursion to see the sunset from Mount Batur. It was a more difficult hike than expected, only exacerbated by our lack of light and sleep. I was the slowest in the pack and also opted to not make the final optional half hour trek to the very top because of the lack of guarantee that the view would be clear from up there. The fog rolled in about 20 minutes before sunrise was expected so nobody saw anything BUT it cleared up on the way down revealing a gorgeous but weirdly Swiss-Alps-like landscape below.

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Top of the volcano

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The volcano afterward, from a different viewpoint

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Another good meal we had after the volcano

After getting back and crashing for a few hours we got our first massages/facials for $10 at Sang Spa. They were really nice and relaxing but I can’t wait for the $3 massages that await us in Thailand and Vietnam.

That night there was a blackout which was made slightly terrifying by the number of gaping holes in the sidewalk but none of us fell in the sewer so yay for that.

The next day we toured some of Bali’s temples, complete with Tom, bathing himself in holy water. He was undoubtedly one of the largest whitest patrons that fountain had ever seen and a group of Chinese tourists decided to capture the historic moment by snapping a bunch of pictures.

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We made a quick trip to the Monkey Forest afterward and luckily didn’t get anything stolen but witnessed some money cruelty including an underage rape. Gritty stuff. For dinner we had my favorite meal this far, pictured above. We ate at the Dirty Duck Diner and tried the bebek guling, or Balinese fried duck. My meal came with a sweet/salty pork satay, fried fish, fishcakes, beef rendang (thus far extremely elusive), and Indonesian peanuts. And all of it was good.

Now we’re in South Kuta near Baslangan Beach. It’s gorgerous but not terribly friendly for swimming because the bottom is all rocks/coral and Tom and I already got cut up. The food on the beach is the cheapest we’ve seen the whole trip (counterintuitive for someone used to the ridiculous prices at any California beach snack shack), at about $2 per dish. It’s not the fanciest food but they have great French fries, and did I mention its only $2 for a meal?

We’re kind of far from everything in Kuta so we might rent scooters for the day, cross our fingers that we don’t get hit by a van, and check out another beach.

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After a longer-than-expected travel day yesterday, we arrived in Kuta, Bali and headed to Ubud this morning. We’re staying at a B&B called Jati Homestay, which has been really great so far because we have our own rooms/bathrooms and decks overlooking Bali’s distinctive and beautiful foliage. The privacy is enough if an upgrade from hostel life (and the constant snoring that comes with it) that I’m willing to overlook the lack of air conditioning. Plus, its cooler up here in the hills so the A/C isn’t all that necessary.

We finished up our trip to Singapore with a visit to the Gardens by the Bay while Marc streamed the USA vs. Jamaica game at an internet cafe. We didn’t have time to go to the conservatories so we made do by walking around the suspended walkway of the ‘super trees’. Regardless, the gardens were amazingly well kempt and intricate, so we didn’t feel completely cheated. The view from the super trees was amazing and add an added bonus we got to walk through the Sands to catch a cab. That hotel is really incredible. Then we ate lunch at a Chinese place that looked like a local favorite and I got to demonstrate my amazing lack of Chinese-speaking abilities. Sort of embarrassing but totally expected. Thanks mom & dad.

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We got on our delayed flight to Denpasar and stayed the night at a hostel in Kuta which was a nice change of pace because there were more people our age and we were able to exchange stories late into the night.

But the sweating had been relentless. Like, it never stops, even here in cooler Ubud. And we didn’t have A/C in our open-air, 15-person bedroom. So we sprayed ourselves down with bug repellent before hitting the hay.

This morning we arrived in one of my favorite places I’ve visited (so much so that I was more than willing to devote a few days of our short trip to somewhere I’ve already been). Annie and Marc headed to the hostel to rest after our lunch of suckling pig at Babi Guling but Eric, Tom and I ventured onward and made a loop around the central part of the village.

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Tomorrow is Marc’s birthday and we’re hoping to go on a sunrise volcano hike at 2AM. Hopefully everyone comes back in one piece so we can make it to get massages afterward.

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Even though there are seven days in a week, I think soup week is over. Despite failing to make soup every single day for seven days, I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for posting 5 times in one week. Okay, enough self congratulation, the real star of soup week was this khao soi.

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I love pho. Like, loooove it. A huge part of the reason Brianne and I were so excited to visit Vietnam 2 years ago was just to get cheap, authentic pho. We resolved that we would eat it for every meal while we were there, and I think we came close to following through with this plan.

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Ok so two things: I’m lagging on this whole soup week things in terms of posting, but it’s actually happening in real life! I promise! And, I know I already mentioned that I got over my illness in one day, but the show must go on!

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