Whilst staying at the Hotel Tugu Bali, I was also asked to experience its cuisines through out my stay. I am very familiar with the Indonesian cuisine and decided to take a cooking class. For visitors to Bali and that have the time, make sure you do this because it will give you a clear understanding of the core ingredients used in Indonesia. I loved cooking outside and just experience the raw elements that you can only find here in Indonesia. I loved the seeing Desi and Gustu showing me in a very elegant way, why I should learn the art of cooking here at Hotel Tugu Bali.
With the cooking class I had the option of cooking three main courses and a dessert. I decided to opt for fish, chicken and beef. I also decided to go for a purple looking dessert, that I knew I could never get back in Europe let alone in my own kitchen. I needed to stay fully alert when doing the class, because there is so much to take in and learn. Plus my taste buds went into over drive.
Fresh Coconut Milk & Herbs
I am a lover of coconut and it was amazing to see how coconut milk was made. Firstly seeing the coconut, strip then grate and finally turning it into coconut milk. I can never eat coconut milk out of a tin ever again.
‘Rempah’ is Indonesian word for spices and it would not be wrong to say that Indonesia taught the world how to use the most exotic spices in daily cooking. The core herbs and spices used here are, ginger, lime, chilly, nuts, shallots, basil leaves, various salts, palm sugar and coriander. I loved eating the Kemiri (Candlenuts) This nut is often cooked into a thick sauce and is served with vegetables and rice. Macadamia is a good substitute in case this nut is not available locally. I am a huge lover of Szechuan peppercorn. It has a unique flavor that is not hot or pungent like black, white or chili peppers. It has slight lemon overtones and creates a tingly numbness in your mouth, like the effect of carbonated drinks.
The first dish we made was from Beef.
Botok Daging – Minced marinated beef, cooked in banana leaves
Ayam Panggang Bumbu Terik – Grilled chicken, marinated in coconut milk and various spices
Pesan Bepasih – Steamed Balinese fish in lemongrass, wrapped in banana leaves
The fish was then steamed to perfection.
Dessert – Sweet Purple Potato Cake
This was just amazing to watch and it tasted and looked fabulous. No wonder it is called, Lumpur Telo Ungu, Sweet Purple Potato Cake
Desi and Gustu
Thank you to Desi and Gustu, for educating me in your world of cooking. These two looked and were gorgeous in every way possible. In Indonesia, the people within the hotel business are very serving, giving and patient, we could learn a lot from them back in Europe.
Besides the cooking class there was also an afternoon tea at Hotel Tugu Bali, where I was served a selection of Indonesian desserts which were made fresh everyday. Each day they served different cakes. Once again a very unusual selection and specific to Bali.
Breakfast was very special at Hotel Tugu Bali because you can opt to have breakfast any where you choose. On this occasion I opted for the beach. It was a fabulous experience and a brilliant way to start off your day.
Ji Restaurant – Japanese Cuisine
It was not common at all to find such a place here in Bali. So when opting for a different cuisine in Bali then the Ji restaurant is the place to try it out. I am not a very big fan of Japanese food, however on this occasion the combined experience of sitting in a 300 year old restaurant, which once again was moved for preservation purposes from another part of Indonesia, and the excellent food made it an experience of so much more value. We were given some signature cocktails and great Japanese food. I was blown away how good it was.
Staying at Hotel Tuga Bali is already an amazing experience, eating here is also a unique experience on every level. From joining a cooking class, to having breakfast by the sea, to afternoon tea, and dining at the Ji restaurant. Hotel Tugu Bali has it all and does it well. I am confident my photography captured the very essence of the standard of cooking here. But more importantly, take the time to listen and watch the Indonesians themselves, with such a serving heart as them, I learnt some valuable and memorable lessons to take home.