Thank you for being with me so far, hope to see you there in Ghost Walk.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Thank you for being with me so far, hope to see you there in Ghost Walk.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The restaurant has its own home brewery producing its unique brand of German beer fresh from the taps served in heavy glasses. Every table seemed to be enjoying that so we ordered the same and was not disappointed.
The restaurant extended very deep in. I was surprised at how far in it went. I walked into sections that are still empty and felt as if I were transported back into time. I can imagined medieval knights clinking glasses and tearing at meats on the long table. I lingered for a while before joining my friends.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
We had to go for a cocktail party by the beach this evening. As food will be served, we have to leave some space in our stomach for the anticipated sumptuous meal. It is already late afternoon so we only cautiously ordered half a duck to be shared by the three of us.
To me duck are better stewed, braised or roasted to retain a bit of moisture and should come with a strong sauce or it will be over-powered by the strong taste. I was concerned that deep fried duck may be too dry, tough or fibrously.
It didn’t look that great but appetizing and smells good. It came with three small side plates of salad, sambal sauce and spicy pickled onions. The main dish itself came with sautéed potatoes. We tear into it with bare hands. And what a taste! Crispy, crunchy, with a mouth-watering spicy (not hot) flavor. It had been well marinated (we later learned for 36 hours) so that the spices had time to leisurely seeped into and blended with the meat so that the rich taste in every part of the duck.
It is unlike any duck I’ve ever tasted. Thus, it is no wonder to receive testimonial from guests such as Chow Yun Fat. There was also a magazine cutting of a famous French chef who said he still dream of “Dirty Duck.” That is a great compliment considering the pride the French had in their skill in preparing duck dishes.
Want proof of how much we loved it? Looked at the before and after pictures. Only the big bones were left. We chewed all the small bones. We looked at each other and said we just had to have another go. We decided to give the chicken a try.
I had a friend with a genius IQ traveling with me. So we let him order. In his affable manner he told the waitress “Can we have half a Bebek Ayam?” The waitress looked at him first in puzzlement, then with an amused smile said “Bebek is duck, Ayam is chicken’. So we should be ordering Ayam Bengil instead. I told the genius I liked him a lot better now for he just proved himself human. The chicken was good but no where as great as the duck. We left the restaurant more than satisfied and secretly wished we did not have another dinner that night.
Monday, August 27, 2007
A well endowed woman seated so comfortably that the weight on her head seemed as light as a headdress.
This pot of lotus perfectly in place among the padi.
Who could resist walking down this path to the inviting scene?
This was the view when I looked back to the restaurant which looked more like chalets.
No where in the world had I come across a modern restaurant with a back view like this.
To be continued.....
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Like this walkway over the drain that leads into the restaurant. Concrete ducks welcoming you in.
This child seemed to be saying – “the food here is so good that my mouth could not stop watering.” The owner has a sense of humor and is innovative for who would dare to call his restaurant “dirty” anything. Note the hibiscus on the stone sculpture. I love this Balinese touch of bringing life to inanimate objects.
When we walked in, the restaurant opened out to a much larger area than its front suggest. Similar to many Balinese restaurants, decoration is tastefully done with lots of wood. At this stage, I’m not yet overly impressed though I do have a favorable impression. We declined to take a seat and moved deeper into the restaurant which opened to a courtyard garden with lots of surprises.
A curious cat.
The Goddess of Fertility.
We would love to take one of the individual hut where we can sit cross-legged on raised wooden platform enjoying the breeze and unobstructed views but they were all taken.
We have to be satisfied with the solid but comfortable seating of the main dining hall but even then looked how relaxed everyone was. I just loved the very casual atmosphere of the whole place. It is like we are dining at home or among friends.
Once we got our seats, we stood up immediately and explored the place. I tried to present a number of photos to give you an idea of what the massive place look like. In spite of that, it told less than half the story. Which goes to show how artistically rich the place is.
If you think this is impressive, what you’ll see next will blow you away. The next post we will continue with the rest of the restaurant and we haven’t even got to the food yet!
To be continued...
(Please also see "Ghost Walk" for extended blog)
Sunday, August 19, 2007
“What would you like to eat in
“Something typically German.”
“How about something in season?”
“Giant White Asparagus it is then. And we shall have it in the most famous restaurant in
We stopped in front of the building of the Seaman’s Guild. It housed that famous Schiffer Gesellschaft restaurant and considers itself “the oldest pub in the world”. It is used as a meeting house for seamen from all over the world. Until today, revenues are still used to help needy boatmen and boatment’s widows.
It was dark when we stepped in. Our eyes took some time to accustom to the surrounding. From the solid furniture to the even more solid pillar, beam and ceilings, every thing was dark sturdy oak. Giving it an air of Age and Permanence. The high ceiling added to the grandeur and venerability of this majestic room. Memorabilia from centuries past adorned every corners and replicas of ships that sailed the ancient seas hanged from the ceilings. If not for the waiter/waitresses in white shirts, aprons and a commanding black vest, we would have thought we were transported back in time.
There were quite a lot seats but we were the only guests. I wondered why. We made our order and just before the food came, the whole restaurant was filled in the space of a few minutes. We were just early. Half way through our meal, an old couple not finding any seat wanted to share our table with us. We were happy to oblige but the captain politely informed them that the table had already been booked for the next meal!
I’ve never eaten white asparagus. It was deprived of sunlight during its growing stage to prevent it from turning green. In
Friday, August 17, 2007
The dirty duck of Ubud coming up next. Rather fierce, don’t you think?
Now to tantalize you a bit, here is how the “Dirty Duck” got its name from the owner’s mouth – “One tropical monsoon morning, when the restaurant was very close to being finished (we had the concrete floor down, and the tables in), a flock of ducks from the rice field across the road (yes, there were rice fields all around us then) ran quacking and squawking into the restaurant and across the floor and tables. They left muddy webbed footprints all over the place. They were our first guests - those dirty ducks!”
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
As promised in the last post on Rauch’s Old Commercial Room, I’ll be talking about what tough men eat. Firstly, pardon the above picture – so keen were we to tug into the food that I forgot to take a shot in its original perfection.
Just so you do not think this ghost only eats Western food, next I’ll be writing about “The Dirty Duck of Bali”. Check it out.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I was surprised to learn that Jackie Chan had eaten here. I was even more impressed that past diners included Helmut Schmidt, Willy Brandt, The Beatles, Tom Jones, Bon Jovi, Sting, George Clooney, Don King, Clint Eastwood, Paul Hogan, Sean Connery, Joan Collins, Charles Bronson, Charlie Sheen, John Denver, Kate Hudson, Nana Mouskouri, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Diamond, Franz Beckenbauer, Elke Sommer, Fats Domino among many, many other celebrities. Wow!
The Indian waiter was very professional and friendly and when we asked him to recommend some typical German food, he did not hesitate. He somehow mistaken me for a food writer and when I asked him for information, he gave me a complete photostat menu! Unfortunately it was in German and in our haste to catch the city tour bus, I forgot to ask him to mark down what we have eaten. Anyway, I have some of the details. This post is more about how the ambience can affect one’s appreciation of a restaurant.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
The boats are docked for the evening. Across the calm water, the Atlantic Hotel stands majectically on the other shore.
I saw these ducks swimming in formation. How unafraid they are. Where I came from, they have good reasons to be fearful. But it is difficult to blame the hungry. This however is ideal, there is no reason to fear and there is no reason to hunt. Do the lucky inhabitants of this land know how much this peaceful scene means to some?
It was after nine p.m. There is still light. It was summer. It was still cool. You know, this is very difficult to explain to my country men if they had never been up North.
Swans on a lake. Our most romantic vision. Our dreams of beauty and grace. Can't think of our equivalent. The peacock? Too showy.
When swans go to sleep, what is their dreams?
In many ways Lake Aussenalter seems like a dream for someone like me. Yet, I know I don't belong or can be happy here for long. But I was happy to be there. And happy to take it back with me. I will probably never be back there again. That's okay for I never leave. I never leave any beautiful places I had been.