Indonesia: Street Food in Ubud

After lunch at Warung Ibu Oka, Made took us to Goa Gajah and then to Tegenungan Waterfall.  I made the mistake of climbing down the stairs with CL and T to reach the foot of the waterfall.  Bad idea.  Especially after having hiked up and down a volcano earlier that same day.  My sister was smart.  She elected to stay at the scenic outlook and enjoy a bottle of cold water.

By the time we climbed back up the damn stairs from the waterfall, we were done.  We just wanted to eat...and then eat some more.

Apparently a lot of places close early in Ubud.  As in 5:00pm early.  CL really wanted es teler (the rest of us had no clue what it was), so Made took us to a small stand that he knew would still be open:

There was one small table tucked on the side and it provided the perfect behind the scenes view into the dessert stand:

We noticed that the posted menu displayed three types of desserts.  There was the es buah, the es teler, and the es campur.  So we ordered them all.  Heh.

Here's the es buah:

Es means ice in Indonesian.  Buah means fruit.  And es buah is exactly what the name sounds like.  It's made of different kinds of fruit topped with ice and some kind of milk (maybe evaporated and some condensed as well).  The fruits in this particular es buah included dragonfruit, mango, avocado, and more.

The es teler was a bit less colorful:

It consisted of avocado, jackfruit, and coconut milk.

The es campur was the party animal of the three:

Watermelon, papaya, grass jelly, other jellies, and lots of other stuff.  All topped with ice and coconut milk.

To be honest, I think I prefer my fruit and ice separate.  Once the ice melts, each of the desserts just taste like watery fruit with a hint of coconut.  Watery avocado was a new experience for me, one that I'm not sure I would ever recreate for myself.  I like my avocados either dry or creamy, but not...wet.

I think Made felt a little bad about us treating him to food at every stop because not only did he try to pay for our ices, he also dropped by the food stand next door and picked up some fried fritters:

There were fried bananas and fried sweet potatoes.  So good when hot.  Less satisfying once cooled.

We rested for a bit after we got back to our homestay, then it was back onto the streets for dinner.  The night before, we'd passed by all these interesting warungs and food stands on our walk home and we wanted to check them out.  We decided that we would buy everything to-go and eat it all after we got back to our homestay.

Our first stop was Warung Mandhi's:

Made had pointed it out to us earlier and told us that it makes great mie goreng or fried noodles, so that's what we ordered.  All four of us plastered ourselves to the chain link fence around the kitchen area to watch the master at work:

The noodles came wrapped in parchment paper.  When we opened the package after we got back to our homestay, the noodles had been shaped into the cutest little noodle block:

The texture of the noodles was utter perfection.  So Q and seasoned well and wow, yea, it was good.  (For those of you who don't know, "Q" is the Taiwanese slang word for when you bite into something and it has the perfect amount of chewiness to it.)

After Warung Mandhi's, we stopped by a little collection of food carts.  We started with the satay one:

We got the lamb skewers and quite a few of them at that:

Super cheap.  How could we resist?  They smelled so good that we ate a few while we were waiting for the rest of our food.

Right next to the satay cart was this martabak one:

A nice young man prepared our martabak for us:

The final result was a crispy pancake stuffed with egg and green onion:

We enjoyed the food so much that we were back again the next night.  This time we decided to give the other stalls a whirl.

This one was next to the martabak cart:

It had no menu and the owners didn't really speak English.  We ended up breaking dishes down to the main ingredients and I think certain things might have been lost in translation.

T was really excited when she found out they had eggplants.  She tried to ask them how they prepared the eggplants, but couldn't figure out what they were trying to say.  She asked if they were fried and got confused looks in return.  But they gave us what she asked for:

Straight up fried eggplants.  So oily they even made me cringe.  I think they're typically included in another dish.  Fail.

Everything else was fine though.  The fried rice or nasi goreng was much easier to understand:

I love nasi goreng.  I don't think we got a single dud nasi goreng our entire time in Bali.  For some reason, it just tastes better wrapped in parchment.

The fried chicken or ayam goreng also came out as we expected it to:

At the far end was a stand that offered mie ayam or chicken noodle soup:

We had some mie ayam at a warung earlier that day (will post about it later) and we loved it so much that we wanted more.  It came in a bag, which we dumped into a bowl after we returned home:

Indonesians just know how to make noodles right.  The noodles are never too soft, but always have the perfect Q-iness to them.

CL actually wasn't feeling well, so instead of taking a risk on all the street food, she elected to buy some Indomie from a convenience store:

I'd never heard of Indomie before I went to Bali, but apparently it's available in the States.  There are many different flavors.  The one that opened my eyes to all the wonders of Indomie was its mie goreng.  You prepare the noodles, drain the water, and then mix in the seasoning.  Simple.  And freakin' delicious.

So delicious that I didn't even bother to take a picture of it after it was cooked.  So delicious that I immediately bought a bunch after I returned home to California.

My life has been changed.  I can never go back to my days pre-Indomie.



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