Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Authentically Balinese

Our guide asked us if we preferred to have an Indonesian or Balinese lunch. I gave him the whole spiel on how Balinese food wasn't exactly spicy and when we were given spicy, all that was added, were a ton of sliced chilli padi, which always ended up disappointing.

I asked the guide if he could bring us to a local place for something properly spicy - flavorful spicy, and without pork. He promised, "Let me take you to somewhere nice." We went all the way to the western tip of Bali- Gilimanuk where few tourists venture, to a small little warung for a lunch of ayam betutu. FANTASTIC. It would be chicken, but never mind. Game to try it in a far-flung location.

It had to be the real kampung chicken. I tentatively took a bite. My goodness, I've not tasted such good chicken for a long time! Definitely kampung, and probably as organic as can be. It had none of that chickeny-stink that I loathed. Drizzled with a mixture of my favorite things like ALOT of shallots, turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, shrimp paste, chillies, salam leaves, kaffir lime and plenty more things, the gravy was AWESOME. We were given half a chicken. I must have eaten a quarter. The man polished off the rest. I swear it's all in the chicken. It wasn't exactly the most tender of all. It wasn't meaty. It was just a healthy chicken that hadn't been infused with all that hormone shite and modern feed.

Ate with our fingers. The plate of bawang with shallots and chillies was beautiful. I went gaga over that, kachang and plain rice. The plate of sambal terasi bowled me over. The man and I swept the plate clean and ordered another round. :P SO GOOD THIS FOOD. Our guide and driver couldn't believe we really liked the food and that we didn't bother with the cutlery and followed suit to eat with our fingers.

Over the years and especially those months that I lived in Bali then, I've eaten at many stalls which proclaim to do ayam betutu well. Bullshit lor. This little warung tucked far away has to be one of the best ayam betutu on the island. None of that touristy non-spicy crap, thankyouverymuch. I'm not sure if many of you will want to come just to eat at this stall. It's a good 4.5 to 5 hours away from say, Seminyak. Due to Gilimanuk's proximity to Java, the people have probably adopted alot of the varieties of sambal in their cooking. What a surprisingly tasty lunch.


JoMel said...

when I went back to my mum's place, the chicken I had were never tender, nor meaty, but the taste is good - that's how kampung chicken are like. Here in the city, chicken sold in markets and supermarkets, even those claimed to be kampung chicken, are full of fat under their skin! I have to do a lot of cleaning/fat removal each time! Urgh!

imp said...

jomel: exactly! i can never get that taste in Singapore or KL. The 'kampung' chicken sold in sgp aren't kampung chicken at all. our AVA will never let the real ones through. in the villages, it's as real as they come. they were probably running around just the day before we ate them. :p

Dawn said...

I read that in some survey, they found children think chickens have 6 feet because drumsticks come in packets of 6 in the supermarket.

tuti said...

you.. ate chicken, and liked it! yippee!

Anonymous said...

it was quite painful for me to read your vivid description of the food. my stomach is rumbling but the palate will not satisfied with my impending lunch anymore.

imp said...

dawn: well. i've heard plenty stories, like children who don't know how chicken looks like. i can give you the whole nightmare story of chickens, urban myths and children. i.e a satire on urban living. :p

tuti: only this once. :)

D: awwww. Make your man cook! Last I saw, he does a mean spread of Asian food!