Bali, Once More

22537737416_15b801d981_cMy last visit to Bali was in 2009. It was a quick two-night trip to/from Taipei…not enough time. So we are back again.

22537773456_2c689b343d_cFour Seasons operates two properties in Bali. One near the water (Jimbaran) and another in the jungle (Sayan).

22563561995_e664234a7a_cI’ve lived on islands (Oahu and Manhattan) all my life. I like being near the water, but love homes surrounded by greenery. Deep in valley and up mountains. Big trees and wild flowers. It was Sayan I found enchanting…

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Snapshots from Bali

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Peaceful mornings…

…and late night swims at Regent Bali.

Babi guling plates from Ibu Oka…that crackling pork skin! Complete with cold beer, hot soup, and plenty of rice.  

A million little cafes around Seminyak…

…and fresh squeezed juices everywhere you go (this was from The Junction). 

Bihun goreng for breakfast… 

…and shopping for ceramics at Kevala. Wish I had time to visit Gaya and Jenggala…though I would have needed two more suitcases to carry home all those teapots, cups, and dishes ^_^

Afternoon Tea | Biku Bali

In the neighborhood of Seminyak is a social gathering spot called Biku Bali. It’s a tea room, bookstore and tarot reading lounge (which was completely booked during my entire visit) all rolled into one. 

The complete afternoon tea service is 95,000 Rupiah (about $10 USD) per person. 

The loose leaf tea menu is noteworthy. Biku offers a very thoughtful selection of straight teas, blends, and even medicinal infusions. I had my eye on one particular tea: Danu Tamblingan Balinese Tea. The owners of Biku Bali have an experimental tea garden in Bedugul. The garden faces Lake Tamblingan and this is where they grow an organic “jungle tea.” Apparently it is Bali’s very first tea plantation! The leaves are withered, semi-oxidized, and then hand-rolled and finished with wood firing. It’s brews up a rich golden color, and drinks nutty with slight smoky finish…here’s a look at the tea leaves after two infusions. 

Next comes a bowl of local strawberries with fresh mint. A side of strawberry jam and whipped cream…

…to pair with warm scones. These were extra fluffy and more akin to biscuits…but still satisfying.

Bottom Tier: salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and butter, ham and mustard, and a spinach quiche in puff pastry (all that lard!)

Top Tier: plain scones, fruit tart, ginger cookies, mini chocolate cupcake, and butter shortbread

Next time I’ll return for a number of the other straight teas (they have an entire page of black, green, and oolong grown in Java) and medicinal infusions like the Jamu Temulawak made with temulawak roots, turmeric and ginger. 

P.S. Book in advance. The place fills up quickly, people without reservations were quoted 30-minute waits. 


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Hello from Bali!

I just arrived this afternoon (photos taken at the newly opened Regent Bali). Can you believe it’s been 20 years since my last visit? On the agenda: afternoon tea services in Seminyak and Sanur. A visit to Ubud (craving babi guling!) and maybe we can even squeeze in a massage.

P.S. More Taipei posts coming soon…can’t believe how much there is to eat/drink in that city.