This is kind of a catch-up and catch-all post. Random, enjoy.

On our last day in Jimbaran Bay we went to PJ’s at the Four Seasons, a nice little seaside joint. While we watched them set up for some magical beach party (that involved a lot of mirrors, oddly) we ordered a mezze platter to share, which turned out to be really delicious. Pita slices, hummus, baba ghanoush (ha), olives, and a cous-cous/veggie salad. The olives were especially good. Which reminds me- Jackie and I did a post-yoga lunch at this Italian place at the Ayana Resort, which had the most a-mazing tapenade and burn-your-fingers-hot fresh baked bread. (I said, random.) Back to PJ’s, after the mezze I got a sweet potato asparagus feta frittata. Which was really truly scrumptious, but not exactly what I was expecting. To me, a frittata is the same consistency as a… quiche? But to Indo Four Seasons it’s essentially an omelette. Which works too. And sweet potatoes, really sweet, big orange things… yams? But they were just regular potatoes. Which, again, works. And it was topped with balsamic-y tomatoes, very yummy. Super rich, but the tomatoes balanced it out and made it a little less overwhelmingly rich.


And on to the next random paragraph. After Jimbaran Bay, Nicole flew off to Tokyo and the rest of us went on to Ubud, a cool little inland town. The famous Bali beach towns (Kuda etc) were a little… um… gross. Horrifically touristy, and the street vendors are the pushiest on earth. The tourists are of the overweight and in in speedos variety, and the vendors are of the grabby variety. No good. Beautiful ocean, but not so beautiful everything else. Jimbaran Bay was much better, but that might be because if we weren’t cloistered in our own villa/pool, we were at another resort and their private beaches. But back to Ubud, still very touristy, but a much cooler breed of tourists. Overheard more German and French than English. Backpacker-y types and such. Ubud has a big market and two main streets, which are lined with cutesy shops ranging from touristy carvings and crap to fancy near-couture shops (at which Jackie purchased the most amazing dress on the planet, yes she’s currently backpacking, yes she’s a little crazy, yes I completely and totally encouraged her to get it) along with a ton of cafes. We had two nights but only one full day in Ubud, so we crammed a lot (…of shopping) into our one day. Our first night we ate at Casa Luna, the restaurant affiliated with our cute little guesthouse (Honeymoon Guesthouses, I recommend if anyone’s ever out here) which is supposedly a really good restaurant, but I wasn’t super impressed. Jackie, Bari, and I shared paella and chicken with mashed potatoes. The paella was yellow rice with seafood on top (NOT paella, so disappointed), and the chicken was overcooked. The mashed potatoes were good though. And our pita/hummus app was good. But overall, not stellar. The next day we had the yummy breakfast at the guesthouse (you get to fill out little sheets at night and they bring you your breakie in the morning) –fruit, French toast, and poached eggs on toast.


For lunch we went to a place recommended by the New York Times, Tutmak, which supposedly has truly excellent coffee, but we didn’t get to try it as there was a city-wide blackout. Food was still available though, and Bari and I shared two of the specials: chicken pasta salad and chicken fajitas. Ok, wow. Yes, we were weary and starving, but this was some good stuff. The chicken pasta salad was interesting– it actually had salad greens in it. My idea of pasta salad doesn’t include lettuce, but it totally worked. Mixed greens, penne, grilled chicken, red onion, croutons, olive oil vinegar dressing. So simple and so good. And the fajitas were! Clearly homemade and clearly delicious tortillas, sour cream, the kind of salsa thats really diced up teeny, good guacamole, carmelizedy onions, and chicken. Excellent meal. And I got my favorite Ubud drink– ginger and lemongrass. Though we were very sad to not get the famed coffee, it was a truly excellent little lunch. We nearly went there again for dinner, but decided to move on and went to Laughing Buddha, a tapas place. After oddly good meatballs, veggie samosas, Vietnamese rice rolls, and gambas al ajillo, we went on to Three Monkeys for dessert. Jackie and I both started with a scoop of ice cream; she black currant and me stracciatella, then shared a really really chocolatey fudgey brownie and a lemon-lime tart. Yum. (P.S. I was bad and took no pictures of breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so a shot of me sweating like a maniac eating frozen watermelon on the street will have to suffice.)

There’s this lovely lovely little shop in Ubud, Kou Cuisine. They sell tasty, unique little jams (my favorites were apple cinnamon and strawberry banana) and sea salt. And there’s another outpost down the road with soap. I had to post a picture, because Jackie said if I was a store, it would be Kou. And I almost hugged her right then and there, because I loved that little shop, and if that’s me de-personified (Is that a term?) then I am a happy little woman. So I got a canvas Kou bag which I’ve been carrying around ever since.


Then back to Jakarta. The Jakarta Culinary Festival is on at the moment, and on Sunday I went to an event called “High SocieTea,” at a restaurant called the Social House in Harvey Nichols, a big department store. Hosted by TWG, I expected a big tea party kind of deal, people milling about sipping darjeeling and eating scones. Not so much. Social House is a pretty cool little spot, and thus pretty crowded and loud. The “tea party” was a couple tables. I think maybe 10 people came. And after starting an hour and a half late, this tea guy talked for a few minutes about tea. Kind of a let down. But I did try an interesting “creme-caramel” tea, which smelled exactly like caramel but tasted nothing like it, and I did eventually get my scones. And pretty good little scones too! And the quintessential no-crust baby sannies, of course.

tea day

And now here is the “why I will soon be obese” part. Rus, the Redmond’s charming nanny, is far too good of a cook. And she always makes these amazing, irresistible afternoon snacks for the boys, which I always partake in. Today she made chicken fingers and potatoes, which don’t sound amazing, but lemme tell ya, homemade chicken fingers and home fries are dang good. I was not even a little bit hungry. And I ate a whole plate. Side-note: I’m reading “What The Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell, and I just finished the story about ketchup. Now I can’t eat ketchup in peace, I just sit there and think about it’s illustrious and odd little history. Anyway, for dinner tonight, Rus made delicious delicious delicious chicken curry and this amazing vegetable dish. The chicken curry wasn’t too curry-ish, wasn’t too creamy-ish, wasn’t anything but perfect. And the veggies were A+ too, baby corn, green beans, bean sprouts, carrots, and ginger. (Turns out, bean sprouts are labor intensive! Gabey and I helped Rus de-tail the sprouts, hard work for some little bean sprouts!) But, you see, then I just sit there and eat her delicious food. And eat and eat. In other words, do not be alarmed if when you see me I am on the pudgy pudgster side of things. It’s not my fault. Fat and happy, I say.

afternoon snackie