How I Escaped From The Monkeys Of Uluwatu, Bali, And Seafood @ Jimbaran Beach

Picking up where I left off from the 5th day’s recollection (where we licked our fingers after a satisfying BBQ pork ribs experience at Nuri’s Warung) the 6th day saw us enjoying every single moment to its fullest, for it’s the unofficially LAST DAY for us in Bali. Unofficial, in the sense that we’re departing back home on the next day, albeit on a very, VERY early flight.

Breakfast at Babyface Cafe on Monkey Forest Road saw us digging in into our platters of fried rice, noodles, omelette, and the fantastic, fluffy and sweet Pineapple Pancakes, served with butter and maple syrup. Nope, the breakfast was nothing authentically Bali, nor even close to street foods, but at least we were not digesting jaffles, pancakes and bananas anymore. Prices slightly higher than the average, about IDR15,000 – IDR32,000 (RM5.50 – RM11.60/USD1.50 – USD3.20) for the mains, and about IDR8000/RM3.00/USD0.80 for the drinks.

Once again, we took the van out for a full day itinerary. Do refer to the older post for the phone number of the driver, the rates, etc. Starting off with a short excursion to the shopping arcades of Kuta beach, particularly the air-conditioned Matahari Departmental Store, which reminded me of our very own The Store that instant. Bought some pre-packed kek lapis (Indonesian layered cakes) from the supermarket, but they were forgettable, really.

Lunch was planned by Komang Triawan aka the driver himself, suggesting this place which was supposed to be ‘where the locals go and eat‘. YEAH RIGHT. The busloads of tourists kind of gave it away the instant we were dropped off. But oh well … whatever it takes to satisfy that hunger pangs.

Ayam Tulang Lunak Malioboro is a rather famous name in Bali, for their pressurized cooked chickens resulted in really, really soft bones, to the point of being edible! No joke, we really chewed, gnawed and swallowed all those embedded calcium, bone marrows and all. Only gripe was the slightly dry texture of the chicken, but thankfully the jar of spicy sambal was present to save the day.

The salted egg yolk chicken did not fare any better, for the creamy salted egg gravy was not as savoury as the ones we’re used to, here in Malaysia. The fish cooked in a nest of crispy coating (not sure what it’s made of, but the cocoon-like structure did remind me of yam puff/wu kok) was dry as well, and needed much sambal to perk our palates.

The meal came to IDR46,000/RM16.70/USD4.60 per person. Definitely far from street food-pricing range, but the restaurant was clean, and equipped with air-conditioners. So, this may be a good bet if you’re not fond of the usual Nasi Goreng at the various ‘Warung‘ …..

Jln Kediri, No 50, I-J Tuban,
Kuta, Bali, Indonesia.
Telephone : 0361-759 192.

After lunch we were carted away with full bellies and all, to the beaches. Nusa Dua beach was a most tranquil stretch of fine white sands, but hauntingly barren and deserted. A few souls lurked at nooks and corners. Definitely one for private tanning sessions, and we highly suspected we might have trampled/jumped/monkeyed around too much and upset the serene balance with our presence.

Oh well, all for the name of GOOD SHOTS, really.

Padang-Padang beach on the other hand, looked more happening, with hordes of tourists (mostly foreigners from Western countries) lying on the sands in their most rejuvenating mode. And some even engaged in surfing activities, thanks to the rather high tide further down the waters. A little reclusive, you’d really have to ask your driver about this one, for getting to the beach requires one to descend flights of stairs even.

Just don’t put your hopes high up for nudists on the beach. Or whatever.

Entrance to Uluwatu Temple is IDR3000/RM1/USD0.30, inclusive of the rental for a piece of sarong, which you must tie around your waist. Much like the other temples in Bali. Word of advice if you’re here, be wary of those damned monkeys lurking everywhere!!!!

This was one place I was torn when deciding on the itinerary before we departed for Bali. For I have to forsake my glasses in order to avoid them being snatched by monkeys at Uluwatu. Yes, they’re RUTHLESS CREATURES I tell you! Ended up wearing contact lenses, and it was one of my wisest decision ever made.

We saw monkeys snatching not only spectacles and sunglasses, but sandals, ransacking someone’s unzipped bag, necklaces, and even pulling on someone’s hair!!!! And there’s no escape really. They come from all directions, hence be cautious of your belongings. Yes, even your precious camera.

Fortunately we escaped unscathed and unharmed from any mishaps. Every evening  from 6-7pm, you’ll be able to watch the traditional ‘Kecak’ dance while relishing in the sight of the gorgeous sun setting on the horizons. Cost IDR50,000/RM18/USD5 per person.

Anyway, comparing Tanah Lot’s sunset to Uluwatu’s, my vote goes to Tanah Lot for a more spectacular view. Probably just me, as some in our group actually preferred Uluwatu’s. Well, to each his own then.

Since Uluwatu and Jimbaran are located within short distance from each other, we had to forsake sunset-watching at Jimbaran, and instead opted for dinner on the beach. Anyway, you can still do sunset-watching from the beaches in Malaysia, or wherever you are in the world.

Dinner was at Lia Cafe on Jimbaran beach. For we’ve read countless positive reviews about this cafe, in comparison to the others. Maybe not so for the food, but definitely for the price. Here at Lia Cafe, you can get a satisfying seafood feast for less than RM50/USD15 per person but some other outlets may charge you double, or even triple of that. So be careful, and do browse the menu, or ask prior to your meal, the price per 100g for each of the item you intend to devour.

Lia Cafe offers packaged meals, or “Paket Menu” as stated in their laminated menu with English spelling. Starting from IDR180,000/RM65/USD18 per set for two, you can actually share a set amongst 3-4 pax, depends on your threshold. For food, and of course, the depth of your wallet.

Our set consisted of Lobster, Prawns, Crab and Clams, for IDR290,000/RM105/USD29, and shared amongst 3 pax. The Lobster resembled a Slipper Lobster, or Crayfish, but the freshness of the seafood was evident. Grilled lightly with salt and served with sides of soup, salad, potatoes, rice, vegetables, and fruits, the set was more than enough to feed 3 person. Oh, and 2 small bottles of Bintang beer were thrown in for good measure. A steal, really.

To get to Lia Cafe, you MUST inform your driver before arrival. The stretch of seafood outlets on Jimbaran might confuse you for some pricier stalls are located on different stretches. If your driver hides a smirk behind that angelic face, he may drop you off at a comparably more expensive stall, for the potential commission he may get.

And thus, that seafood feast at Jimbaran officially capped our 7 days, 6 nights journey to the wonderful island of Bali. Yes we came back a shade or two darker, some even with sore throats and fever, and yet, none of us could deny that the getaway was a much deserved one, and thankfully, a budgeted one at that. We departed home the very next morning, an ULTRA early flight that required us to wake up at at unGodly hour of 4-5am or so. We put up a night at Bali Sorgawi Hotel in Kuta again, and got ourselves a slight discount for we checked in around midnight, and leaving early the next morning.

And yes, we did tip our driver, albeit the random dissatisfaction here and there. After all, he did put up with our antics, from the high decibel noises, to endless camwhoring sessions.

A Malaysian food blogger residing in a food haven named Ipoh, covering the best of Malaysian food and travels.

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