Thursday, June 23, 2005

Day 2 - Shopping Day in Kuta

Griya Santrian was really pretty in the early morning...

Wantilan Restaurant in the early morning

At peace in Griya Santrian

... but we decided not to have breakfast there, since, to ensure that we would be ready and waiting for the driver from Tegal Sari the next morning, we would have to eat in. Instead, we went in search of a little warung nearby that we had eaten at during the last trip - Made’s Restaurant. The waitress remembered HM from two and a half years ago!

Breakfast at Made’s Restaurant consisted of yoghurt with fruit and a plain pancake for HM, and for me, a breakfast set, with scrambled eggs (or any way you like ‘em), toast and jam and butter, pancake, juice and a pot of Balinese coffee big enough for two. The set, reputedly the cheapest on the stretch, cost 15900 Rp (S$3.20) while the total came up to approximately 30000 Rp (S$6.00).

Then it was off to Kuta for a day of shopping. We took a Bluebird taxi to Kuta Matahari. The cab driver claimed not to have sufficient change for a 50000 Rp note, so he gave himself a “tip” of 5000 Rp, which we really couldn’t do much about, not having any change ourselves. Coincidentally, it happened again later that day, with another cab driver, when once again we were caught short. I made sure we always had small change after that!

Shopping paradise

Oddly enough, despite prowling around for a whole morning and then some, we actually bought very little. At Surfer Girl, we only managed to buy two 9500 Rp (S$2) shopping bags, yes, those shopping bags with the Surfer Girl graphics. The problem was that what we really liked and wanted wasn’t that cheap, or was comparable to what we would have had to pay in Singapore, and so we felt we couldn’t justify the expense. Instead, we settled on buying what we wouldn’t be able to get back home, or at least not at those prices.

The spoils of the morning:
1. Two batik shirts, from Handy, for the two Dads (170000 Rp/S$34) – better material and tailoring for the same price
2. One kebaya top (317900 Rp/S$63)and one short-sleeved blouse (156500 Rp/$32), from Uluwatu Lace, for HM and my Mum respectively - handmade anything in Singapore is a rarity, unless you are willing to pay through the nose for it
3. 200000 Rp (S$40) worth of DVDs that aren’t being sold in Singapore for various reasons, shhhh…

We rewarded ourselves with lunch at Ketupat, off Jalan Legian, not that we had done anything to deserve it!

Ketupat in Jalan Legian, Kuta

Our keropok cunningly hidden

Iced ginger with lemon and honey

The whole spread!

Pisang Rai (steamed bananas with shredded coconut and
palm sugar syrup)

A quiet refuge away from the main drag

We discovered a new dish (for us) which was urap urap, namely steamed vegetables with shredded coconut. The soto ayam was rich and immensely satisfying. The nasi campur made up for what we had missed out on at Lotus Pond the night before, and HM is still talking about the pisang rai. Lastly, the cool, relaxed setting was a pleasure amidst the noise of Kuta, and all that for only 161000 Rp (S$32).

Before we left Kuta, we checked out Poppies. The cottages were all angled in such a way that each doorway and porch faced a different direction and, with suitably positioned foliage, an illusion of privacy was achieved for each cottage. Clever! The pool area was also very pretty. If we ever chose to stay in Kuta, it’d be a real option. Our only reservation? The surrounding area was a real warren of narrow lanes with a million motorbikes zooming around – not exactly the setting for a relaxing holiday.

Finally, still needing to satiate the urge for that elusive bargain, we decided to brave peak hour traffic to go to Surf Factory Outlet, on Jalan Bypass, Tuban. There we finally found one Roxy skirt (223000 Rp/S$45), one pair of Volcom three quarter pants (155000/S$31) and one Ripcurl haversack (130000 Rp/S$26) to buy. Yay! We could now retreat to Sanur in peace.

That evening, we decided to check out Apa Khabar’s grilled seafood basket for two. Having spent the day dodging traffic, drivers and touts in Kuta, HM declined to chance the hazards of Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Instead, we took the beach route that would take us through the famed grounds of the Bali Hyatt, beautiful by day, stunning by night. Must stay at the Bali Hyatt when we are rich and famous, we reminded ourselves.

Gamelan orchestra preparing to play at the Bali Hyatt

Bali Hyatt grounds

The other gamelan at the foyer of the Bali Hyatt

When we got to Apa Khabar, I was a little apprehensive initially. The first thing that happened was we got served these complimentary welcome drinks in shot glasses. Was this going to be one of those places that developed its fame from serving cheap food to customers too tanked up on cheap booze to tell the difference? As it turned out, it really was cheap and good, a thought that warms this Singaporean’s heart.

Grilled whole fish, baby lobster, tiger prawns, deepfried calamari rings, salad, stir-fried veggies, and seafood green curry with rice

The food was surprisingly light and non-greasy, considering it was a grilled seafood platter, and the seafood was fresh. The seafood green curry was tasty and went really well with the rice. The whole shebang, plus watermelon juice (again!), cost us no more than 124000 Rp (S$25).

In the end, the walk there and back turned out to be a wonderful idea. It was an extremely breezy night, blustery almost. We were both reminded why we love the sea. The breeze and the quintessential smell of the sea left us somewhat reluctant to leave the coast, but leave we had to, for the next day, we were heading to hilly Ubud.


Blogger trappedinasuit said...

Nice blog. Thanks a lot for going to all the trouble. I'm starting my blog a month before I go, though like you I first went to Bali in about 2002. My nascent blog is at I'll add a link to yours just as soon as I work out how.

9:11 PM  

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