Bali 2014: Day Ten – Food and Exploration in Ubud
Sunday 16 November 2014
Another lovely morning this morning in Ubud. Again we had a pleasant sleep and awoke to another lovely breakfast on our patio served by Made (or was it Wayan? Sorry guys can’t remember).
You may not have figured out yet that this trip to Bali was not about sightseeing, not about doing lots of day tours etc. We have done that in the past, this trip for us was just about relaxing – allowing ourselves to really enjoy where we were staying and just to explore our favourite destinations in Bali.
Our plans today consisted of walking, eating, relaxing, maybe a bit of shopping, and likely a little more eating. So if that sounds like your kind of deal then strap yourself in –
After our breakfast we decided to go for a bit of a walk and explore the streets on the “other” side of Monkey Forest road. We have famously declared this our “Dora Day” in honour of that great Spanish explorer Dora. So we wandered up to the top of Monkey Forest Road and turned left at the palace. Then headed down Jalan Bisma. According to a dodgy photocopied map I had seen of Ubud Jalan Bisma ran parallel to Monkey Forest and connected up at the end – so that was enough to motivate us to try and figure that out.
It was a lovely little (long) street to wander down. Hard to think it is only one street across from Monkey Forest Road with its shops, traffic and tourists. There are a few little stalls along the road and a few Warungs, but mainly lots of lovely little homestays and villas.
When we were about half way down (ok maybe like a quarter) we came upon Lily Spa. I had read on Trip Advisor that this was a good spa so we decided to pop our heads in and see if they could see us. Overall can’t fault them the Massage rooms are very private and large. They each feature your own private shower so you can wash off after your massage. The 1 hour massage does include showertime to technically not a full hour. The lovely wife had a Hair Crème Bath, and by all reports that was really good – really nice staff member and very friendly (and chatty). All up was Rp. 140k.
Really tough to try and explain this little street, so many nice new looking villas and homestays intermixed with traditional Balinese rice fields and homes. A real example of the challenges Bali faces as it balances the traditional ways with the desire to cater to the tourist dollar.
Finally we made it to the bottom of Jalan Bisma and yep the road snakes to the left and comes out right at the bottom of Monkey Forest Road (next to Kopi Bali House). So at this point the lovely wifey decided to shop her way back up to the top of Monkey Forest Road (I feel this was a trap!).
- Studio Perak – Rp. 295k (Jewellery)
- Toko Paras – Rp. 160k (Skin Care Products)
- Utama Spice – Rp. 111k (Skin Care Products)
So yeah overall my girl did ok wandering up the street. Thinking it may have been cheaper to stay in a bar drinking but anyway.
We made our way back up the street and decided to stop in at an old Ubud favourite for Lunch, Café Wayan. Café Wayan’s restaurant is an institution in Bali (yes it was featured in THAT novel/movie but lets move on), and we always try to stop in for Lunch or Dinner when we are in Ubud.
Meals are always well prepared, staff are always very attentive and plentiful (I swear they pop out of the bushes!). Café Wayan is also a lovely garden setting, the design is such that you never actually get a feel for how full the restaurant actually is – so you don’t feel like you have people on top of you all the time. Prices are not bad either, 2 mains and 2 drinks each came to about Rp. 265k.
The weather was starting to look a little dark so we headed home to drop off the shopping and just relax for a little bit. When the rain had cleared (we thought) we headed back out up towards Jl Dewisita (I have a sneaky feeling you can guess where we are heading).
While we were wandering we dropped in at a really funky little T-Shirt shop called Tn. Parrot. They have some amazing quality T-Shirts with unique prints featuring Bali and Ubud patterns. They are not “cheap” in that they are Rp. 175k ($17.5) per shirt, but the fabric is so comfortable (100% pre-washed cotton) and these are not your usual Bali knockoff quality clothes.
By now the rain had picked up so we took refuge at a bar down the road – Bollero and just had a quick snack of some Calamari and a couple of cocktails. Calamari was quite tasty and I would have definitely stayed for a few more but we decided to keep moving (this is our Dora Day after all).
You will never guess where we went for afternoon tea today (really you had to guess?) – why that is right we went back to Caramel (again!). You know the story – cakes and coffee are amazing, great staff etc. etc. etc. here are some pictures:
PS. Totally trying to get all arty-foodbloggerie on my food photography here!
After our afternoon tea I popped off to grab a Massage while wifey went walking/shopping. I totally forgot to write down the name of the place I had my massage, it was basically in what looked like a family compound just off Jl Hanoman, I think it was only about 50k for the massage, I left a bit more as a tip. Not the flashiest of places but totally satisfactory and good technique.
Since we had barely eaten all day (ha!) we figured it was time for dinner. I had read about a place around the corner which had great reviews so thought we would see if we could get in. Sidenote: We are not usually the kind of people to make reservations so usually just take a punt and try to get into places – always handy if you are prepared to eat dinner at odd times (like 5:45pm). We chose Melting Wok Warung – they offered a unique blend of Asian and Western dishes and with a French owner have a lovely European slant to their menu.
We were really lucky, the restaurant was fully booked for the evening but since we were there early they managed to sneak us in for dinner. And lucky too because almost right after we sat down another couple tried to get a table and they were turned away.
The menu is presented to you literally on these chalkboards, they have daily specials depending on the chef and what was available at the market and then a number of staple curry rice/noodle dishes. I do love the fact that it is all on a chalkboard certainly cuts down your printing cost having to produce menus.
Given there was a lovely Frenchwoman running the show here we knew dessert would be quite good – so again a chalkboard came over to the table showing us the dessert and coffee options, we both opted for the Chocolate Crepe with Vanilla Ice Cream as well as an Espresso.
The service was prompt and friendly, a lovely elevated setting helps to take you away from the street noise below and affords a lovely view back across the rooftops of Ubud centre. All up the bill came to Rp. 272k ($27 AUD).
Well I think that about does it for another day. For a day with no plans it was actually quite busy I did a quick calculation on Google Maps and we walked at least 6.5km today (so totally earning all that food!).
Thanks again for following along with the blog. I hope these daily journal entries haven’t been too boring for you. Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think of these posts. Also feel free to ask any questions you may have about Bali or Ubud in particular. Thanks again and see you tomorrow.