Balinese Cooking Class

On our final day in Bali we took a cooking class at The Bale Hotel, located near our Marriott Nusa Dua Villas.

Chef Dedy Prayogi picked us up at the Villas at 8 a.m. and we headed straight to the fish market. Almost all the fish species were new to us, so he gave a little class as we wandered through the market. He brought a cooler along and bought a few fish that we would use later in our class.

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The next stops were traditional markets, again to buy a few ingredients for our cooking class.

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Chef Dedy gave us some tasty fruit samples.

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Century eggs are preserved by burying them in ash and salt for one-hundred days.  We did not try these.

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The drive back to the hotel took us past a few city sites.

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The Bale is a beautiful boutique hotel.

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We enjoyed a lovely snack before our class started.

Our class began at noon. It was just the four of us. We donned our aprons and reviewed the menu.

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Chef started by explaining all the ingredients.

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The Menu:

  • Gado gado: Blanched mixed vegetable with peanut sauce and crackers
  • Sambal be tongkol: Tuna salad in Balinese spices
  • Pepes ikan: Grilled fish in Balinese spice, wrapped in banana leaf
  • Kare Udang: Curried prawns

We prepared the dishes with instruction from the chef.

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2 1/2 hours later the meal was finally ready!  By this time it was close to 100 degrees in the outdoor kitchen.  We were ready to sit down and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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What a fabulous experience! The food in Bali is delicious.

This was a great way to finish off a wonderful visit to Bali.

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A Landmark in Bali

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What the heck is that?  It looked like a really tall tower of some sort.  We could see it from the air as we flew into Bali.  Turns out it is Garuda Wisnu Kencana, a huge statue located in the GWK Culture Park. Well, I had to see that!

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From the parking lot, we took a trolley to the ticket counter where we received a yellow scarf to wear to show we’d paid. We were there on a weekday with no festivals, so it was pretty empty.

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The GWK park covers 148 acres and features performances and other presentations to highlight Bali culture. There are also venues to hold your own events.

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We got a map and made our way to the amphitheater where we saw a Barong Dance like the one we saw at dinner a couple nights ago.

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The centerpiece of the park is the towering statue of the Hindu God Wisnu atop the mythical eagle Garuda.  The first peek leads to a series of former rock quarries.

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You eventually get a good view of the statue.

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Over 400 feet tall, this is one of the tallest monumental statues in the world (higher than the statue of Liberty).

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Lord Wisnu is seen as the protector of the Universe and his trusted companion, Garuda, represents loyalty and selfless devotion.  Kencana means gold – both are adorned in crowns of gold mosaic. The Garuda is also the national emblem of Indonesia and represents freedom.

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The statue was designed by Balinese artist, Nyoman Nuarta, and is made of copper and brass. It weighs 1300 tons and has a wingspan of 210 feet! The green color comes from oxidation as the copper reacts with the elements.

Another statue of Garuda

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There was a lot more to this park than we saw. You could easily spend a full day there, as I’m sure many families do. And there was shopping.

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We needed a break so headed to a beautiful beach hotel for drinks and snacks.

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We drove past some more unique traffic circles….

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on our way to the open-air Bali Collection mall near our hotel.

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There are even shrines at the mall.

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We needed more snacks after shopping. Then we headed back to the hotel and the pool.

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