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BALI


BALINESE CUISINE


Indonesian food has an air of mystique, but for regular travellers – especially those used to the diversity on offer in large cities – the endless nasi goreng (fried rice) can become repetitive. Done correctly, however, it is divine, and easy to recreate back home. The only complicated part is the base spice mix: the Bumbu. The one I was shown how to make comprised chilli, ginger, garlic, shallots, turmeric, galangal (a kind of ginger), coriander seeds, candle nuts, pepper, nutmeg, lemongrass, shrimp paste, coconut oil and kaffir lime leaves. But every chef has their own mix. With this in cubes in your freezer, you can add a little Balinese polish to your own fried rice. For culinary variety in Bali, try Mejekawi at Ku De Ta in Seminyak, where chef Ben Cross brings European flair to local ingredients. Back in Ubud, Locavore is a destination restaurant not just for Bali but for the whole of Asia. Follow your main course by heading over the road to Room 4 Dessert, a restaurant specialising in, well, you can probably guess.


Temples lurk around every corner. Incense smoke curls into nostrils from street vendors. The Ritz-Carlton Mandapa


Reserve takes this atmosphere and distils it into a remarkable space. From the entrance the land plunges away, so the hotel lies beneath you like an emerald basin as you arrive. Rooms and villas surround a paddy field, while beyond them snakes a brown river. As rice farmers make their way around, the overall effect is spectacular. We eat a picnic lunch in the middle of all this and are served tea and sandwiches. You want to ironically Instagram it all, but somehow you can’t. The sights, the smells and the wall of noise


50 — aspire december 2016


The sights, smells and wall of noise from the jungle inland make it all unmistakably Balinese


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