Warung Crawl In Lovina

As I said in my previous post, I spent a few days with my cousin, Penny, and her daughter, Kaitlyn, while they were holidaying in Bali. I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with them both and in particular had fun sharing my passion for Indonesian food with them.
I was delighted when Penny stated soon after arriving that she wasn’t interested in eating western hotel food! So to test the water, we went out together for lunch! We found a typical warung

20130706-171539.jpgwhere we each enjoyed a plate of ‘tipat’ which is one of my all time favourites. It is slightly like gado gado in that it is green vegetables served with a peanut sauce however the main ingredient of ‘tipat’ is where it gets its name from: ‘ketupat’ which is rice cooked in a diamond shaped package made from woven coconut leaf. The rice grains cook pressed up against each other and end up forming a dense diamond shape of rice that can be sliced.
They also tried kelapa mudah.

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That meal was so successful that we decided that we would do a warung crawl for dinner and walk the length of the main road stopping at various warungs and tasting what they had to offer. So later that afternoon we headed out again. We had ear marked a few warungs that had smelt delicious earlier! As we headed to the first one, we passed 2 stalls which had not been there earlier. They were side by side. The first was selling ‘lumpia’ (Indonesian style spring rolls) and stuffed tofu (tahu isi). Kait & Penny throughly enjoyed a lumpia while I enjoyed my tahu isi which was filled with a mixture of noodles and bean shoots. Both were absolutely delicious. The adjoining stall was selling nasi campur (rice with a variety of yummy foods to choose from to eat it with). As this was a meal in itself we just looked and drooled and reluctantly walked on. We next came to a sate/gulai (stew) stall which Kait had earlier in the day earmarked as a definite place to stop. The sate smelled absolutely beautiful. We ordered 6

20130706-173940.jpgwhich were cooked on a brazier of hot coals with a fan blowing on the coals to keep them smoking hot. Both Penny and Kait thoroughly enjoyed their sates although were a bit taken aback at first when I told them that they were actually goat sate! Still they both agreed that the sate were none the less absolutely delicious!
Our gastronomical warung tour continued. We next stopped to eat an Indonesian dish that is sold all over Indonesia: Bakso. Bakso is a thin soup made from stock (can be chicken, beef, goat, fish or beef) and in it are meat balls, thin noodles, finely sliced cabbage and tofu. Bakso sellers usually walk around pushing a special barrow which incorporates a stove that constantly keeps the stock boiling and the meatballs, the cabbage and the noodles are stored on a shelf above.

20130706-180735.jpgAs he pushes the barrow, the bakso seller tings on a china plate with a spoon which is the universal sound we all identify with bakso. Try gently and rhythmically banging on a ceramic plate with a spoon and watch the Indonesian heads all look up searching for the bakso seller! No matter where they are in the world, I guarantee a response! It is an automatic reflex!
While Kait and Penny enjoyed their first bowl of Bakso, I enjoyed a bowl of es buah (fruit salad covered in shaved ice and syrup). This was the first es buah I have had in ages where the ice was actually shaved. Traditionally these ice ‘drinks’ were all served with shaved ice however now they are usually served with ice chips.
We next headed to a spot opposite the main intersection in Lovina that heads down to the beach. Here were several kaki lima’s (food barrows) set up permanently and the one I was targeting to further develop Penny’s awareness and appreciation of Indonesian food was the ‘martabak’ stall. I felt like I was back in Malang, Java because the people manning the martabak stall were Javanese and also there was a price list on the front of the stall! We ordered a ‘biasa’ (small/usual) size and I asked for it to be ‘goreng kering’ (well done) because I just love crispy martabak. Martabak is firstly a thin layer of pastry

20130706-181413.jpgto which is added the largely egg filling.

20130706-181451.jpgThe filling is then enclosed in the pastry and then fried till golden and crisp!

20130706-181546.jpgWe sat on benches behind the family cooking and enjoyed the finger licking goodness while watching them cook many more for a constant stream of customers.
Now that Penny & Kait had eaten lumpia, sate kambing, bakso & martabak, it was time to head back and find the warung we had chosen for our main meal. It wasn’t so much a warung really, but a place where you can choose your fish and also choose how you want it cooked. The place we had all decided upon was tucked away off the main street and other than one other family, we were the only customers. We were shown an esky full of fish on ice and could choose which one we wanted. They all looked the same and we decided to just have one roasted over hot coals. While it was cooking, the young girls started bringing out the rice and vegetables (kacang panjang plecing/ snake beans with chili)and then the fish arrived. It was over cooked but still delicious.

20130706-182228.jpgJust as we were about to start, one of the young girls offered us some tum ikan (Balinese steamed fish packets) which had just been cooked. The tum were absolutely amazing and were the highlight of the entire meal we ate at that place! The spices mixed with the fish were absolutely delicious.

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The next day, Kait mentioned that she and Penny had discussed what they had enjoyed eating the most. For Kaitlyn, it was a tie between the sate and the tum whereas for Penny it was a tie between the bakso and the tum! I am so glad they enjoyed their ‘warung crawl’!

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