Bali, Hi - 2007

We selected three course meals each and shared tastes of one another’s choices and were all sighing in postprandial bliss when the meal was over. The young chef was half French & half American but had studied cooking in France and you can trust us on this, he had really mastered the craft and served delicious and inventive surprises. The roast lamb was probably the best we ever had eaten! What a wonderful culinary experience. This was real luxury! Actually, almost every meal we ate in Bali was delicious, with one or two exceptions, but we are going to forget those soon. One of the most interesting dishes we were introduced to was a Balinese specialty—black rice pudding. Which of us had ever even heard of black rice anyway? But it does grow in Bali—not quite black, more like gray with black streaking along the grains. But when combined with milk as the dish requires, the color becomes quite dark, almost blue black. Sweetener (usually palm sugar) is added to the mixture and some mystery spices and the result is absolutely delicious. We all quailed a bit when we were first told about it, but the folks were correct—it’s really special and tasty. Most of our meals were in restaurants with open air dining decks. Because it is so hot in Bali, that ambiance was welcome. There is not much A/C in the country and the natural breezes make things much more comfortable than being inside a building. Our goodbye lunch on the beach in Denpasar (the capital of the island) was another memorable one. The rolling waves coming in from the far reaches of the Indian Ocean made a constant booming sound to accompany the warm breezes and that 7th wave was really loud; it

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