THE HIGHLY EXPECTED
The only complain I have about staying in Kuta area is the lack of good local food. All the surrounding eateries seem to cater for tourists, as in Caucasian tourists. There are more western food in the menu than local food that comprises the usual nasi goreng (fried rice) and satay (skewered meat) which of course, not cheap too. While searching for food one afternoon, we wandered off quite a distance from our hotel. We couldn't find any restaurants serving local cuisine and almost decided to give up the search when suddenly, a big signboard appeared right in front of me bearing the familiar name "MADE'S WARUNG"!
Before my trip to Bali, I was told that Made's Warung serves great food and this was confirmed by the numerous good reviews I read online. I didn't bother tracking this place down because I have no idea how far it would be from our hotel. Imagine how lucky I felt at that moment, especially with an empty stomach begging out loud for food!!
Made's Warung was established in year 1969 and is one of the famous restaurants in Kuta. Judging from the crowd consisting of both tourists and locals, I waited for my food with high anticipation! Menu here consists of western and Balinese cuisine and of course we opted for local specialities instead of spaghetti (hey, it rhymes!). They even have babi guling here but sadly, you need to order it 1 day in advance.
To start off with, Hubby had local Bintang beer. Diluted even for a non-alcoholic (am I?) like me.
For appetiser, we had pork satay that came in 10 skewers for 38,000 Rupiah (~RM11.40 / USD 3.30). First bite, delicious! But would prefer it slightly burnt. Two more bites and I got turned off by the strong porky taste. Hubby who doesn't like to waste food ended up finishing my share. Bad start? Nah, read on cos this satay is going to be the best dish of this meal.
I spotted the Japanese couple at the next table having a pot of crabs. I am such a sucker for crabs. Scanned through the menu and found it! Fresh Crab in Balinese Sauce at 75,000 Rupiah (~RM22.50 / USD 6.55). It was a HUGE crab as it filled up the whole pot! I was even more delighted when I discovered the crab was full of roes!!
Look at that!!! Chunks after chunks of roes. I felt sorry for the crab. If I were the one to cook it, it would at least died with a value. This whole pot was completely inedible. It was OVERCOOKED!!! It was so overcooked that the roes were dry and coarse. Plenty of water needed to wash it down my throat. The meat was dry and hard. Gosh! Never eaten such bad crab in my life. And the gravy? I wouldn't even call it gravy. Bland and tasteless. BAD BAD BAD!
The next dish, well, was a mistake. Hubby didn't read the menu properly. He wanted to have whole grilled fish and ended up ordering the dish Pepesan, a spicy fish pate that came with rice and some veggie. I never like our local otak-otak (grilled spicy fish paste) but after tasting this, I changed my mind. Hubby who doesn't like to waste food ended up finishing the whole plate.
To fill up our stomach, Hubby decided to order a bowl of noodle soup. To my horror, this bowl of instant noodle was placed in front of me. Speechless!! Close friends would know that I rather starve myself than have instant noodle, in this case, the same principle applied. Hubby who doesn't like to waste food finished off the bowl of noodle.
I am really surprised why this place has got so much good reviews. Did we order all the wrong dishes? Or something wrong with our tastebud? Or did I put up too much expectation on this place? One thing for sure, I left the place with a grumpy face. But if you are still interested to give this place a try, check out their location HERE.
I was very upset over the horrible lunch. I was skeptical with Hubby's idea to give another restaurant serving Balinese food a try. I wanted something with assurance. I even suggested Pizza Hut and Hubby thought I was crazy. After walking aimlessly, we ended up at Bubba Gump Shrimp, yes, the Forrest Gump inspired eatery. I have always wanted to visit their outlet at The Curve but I guess I don't need to now. Hubby gladly obliged when I told him they served shrimps, our common favourite food (oh, we actually have an endless list). Actually it was the theme that caught his interest as he is a big big fan of Forrest Gump movie.
I just love the attentive service by the staffs. Want some service? Just flip to the red licence plate and you will get IMMEDIATE service.
The blue plate serves the same function as the "Do Not Disturb" door tag in your hotel room.
I was torn between Pink or Blue Frozen Lemon-Ups priced at 28,000 Rupiah (~RM8.40 / USD2.44). I was told there is no difference in terms of taste, hence I chose blue to have a nicer contrast in my photo.
To start off our meal, we had the Mama Gump's Garlic Bread Basket priced at 25,000 Rupiah (RM7.50 / USD 2.18). I got to say, that was the best piece of garlic bread I ever had in my life. It was butterly rich with just the right amount of garlic and best of all, it was cheesey too. Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. I don't mind having just this for dinner. Hubby was delighted that the bread was served on a piece of replica of the newspaper in the movie. He was too shy to ask for a clean copy to keep so I gladly requested on his behalf.
We had a small portion of Shrimper's Net Catch (98000 Rupiah / RM29.40 / USD8.55) to share. You can either opt for your steamed shrimp flavoured with garlic spice or cajun spice. While I was struggling to decide on the flavour, the waitress suggested for half portion of each. I felt like hugging her! A real hands-on dish as you need to peel your own shrimp. Best way is to pop the whole shrimp body into your mouth to suck the spices off the shell before stripping it from the body. Mmm...both spices won my heart but I like cajun more cos it was spicy.
The moment I saw this in the menu, I knew I must order it: Dixie Style Baby Back Ribs (98,000 Rupiah / RM29.40 / USD 8.55). The slowly roasted rack of pork ribs were served with fries and salad. It was yummy. Tender and the well marinated meat fall off its bone without much effort. Yummy!
It is funny how a place where you don't put much hope could end up so memorable. I definitely left the place with a wide grin and vowed to return again if I have a chance to revisit Bali.
Do visit if you have given up hope on local food there:
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
Komplek Pertokoan Kuta Centre
Blok A1 No. 1JL Kartika Plaza No. 8X
Kuta, Bali 80361
Tel 011 62 361 754 028
By the way, this is the last post of my Bali trip!