We had a delicious and interesting eating experience during the very last night of our stay at West Bali National Park.
We had specially ordered Nasi Kampung Pejarakan, roughly translated into “feast for the village of Pejarakan”.
When we ordered the dinner, the hotel offered the dinner at the gazebo, so I thought, “sure, we would give that a try”.
Turned out it was outdoor dining, romantically lit with candle lights.
The gazebo was perched just above water at the beach.
Throughout the dinner, we could hear water crashing, birds chirping, crickets singing.
The forest was very much alive in the dark and it was just amazing.
The other interesting “eating experience” was DH being the feast for the village of mosquitoes.
He had decided that he was going to risk it and did not put on bug repellent; we elected to bring the bug repellent with us.
Within 5 minutes we sat down, he got bit; and he quickly put on bug repellent.
Little did we know that by the time we had light to see his arm, he had at least 10 bites if not more on just 1 forearm!
About the actual food (the pictures’ color were not the greatest due to the romantic candle lights).
Nasi Kampung Pejarakan turned out to be a multi course dinner.
First, we were being served with extremely delicious fried peanuts with peppers and soy sauce.
They were spicy, sweet and salty at the same time; and they complimented my red wine really well.
Then, we had a seafood soup.
Very hot from lots of ginger, scented with fried shallots; the soup had generous chunks of fish, squid and shrimp.
Next, was the full platter.
The rice in the middle was shaped with a banana leaf cone, and was cooked with coconut milk and corn.
Starting at 3 o’clock were crispy rice crackers.
At 2 o’clock, there was gado-gado, the classic Indonesian cooked vegetable salad with peanut sauce; except this was the first time I had gado-gado with kangkung (hollow center vegetables).
At 11 o’clock was a deliciously stewed and tender beef.
Seemed to me that the beef was stewed with soy sauce, and perhaps with some cinnamon and cloves; and it did not have any heat at all.
The sticks were the sate lilit, with the little round banana leaf cups containing sambal.
Lastly was the fish paste that was cooked with tomato pieces and grilled in banana leaf boats (6 o’clock in the picture).
We were really full from all the food, and found out delightfully that we were having dessert as well.
Yet another classic — fried banana, pisang goreng!
Drizzled with palm sugar and accompanied by the super gingery and spicy tea, it was a wonderful way to end the dinner!
Another experience — throughout the dinner, we were looking around and admiring our environment.
We noted that at the nook at the very tip of the gazebo, there was a little white mouse.
For the bulk of the dinner, he/she/it was out of our sight — we just knew he/she/it was there.
I had to say it was a first time ever eating with the presence of a mouse.
At first, I was a little uneasy.
However, at no time I felt my food was threaten (not that the mouse had tried to have a bite, nor that I was concern with my food from a sanitary point of view).
Then, I realized, it was all part of nature; the gazebo was probably his home, and we were the visitors.
Thank you, mouse, for having us.