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Sep 13, 2014

Bali Travelogue: Discovering Kopi Luwak at Sai Land Bali Organic (11 - 15 Jan 2014)

When I first heard of exoticness of Kopi Luwak few years back, I was half receptive of the idea of devouring coffee beans which have went through the digestive tract of civet. While most would likely cringe at the origin of Kopi Luwak, what really deter one from trying is the price tag.

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Visiting Kopi Luwak farm was part of my Kintamani tour itinerary. Curiosity had better of me. My tanner half and I decided to give it a try while we were at it. Hence, here we were at Sai Land Bali Organic. Coincidentally, Sai mean "shit" in Hokkien.

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As you walk into the farm, you will find yourself flanked by herbs and spices plants, visibly tagged for educational purpose. While you may expect to see coffee plants, I couldn't seem to recall any until we had arrived at the little hut.

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There sat this old lady busy frying some coffee beans while we were greeted by a younger lady, Parmi, who walked us through the process of producing Kopi Luwak. From the growing of coffee plants to attracting wild civet to feast on them, from collecting civet's shit to extracting coffee beans, from roasting coffee beans to grinding them into finer granules, all are manually done in Sai Land Bali Organic.

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On left: Bali coffee, Bali cocoa, chocolate coffee and Ginseng coffee
On right: Ginger tea and lemongrass tea

Our friendly lady host offered us tester for 6 different drinks on the menu. Judging by the lack of price tag for these testers, I reckon it is their customary practice to give you a glimpse of what they sell in store, which is effective from marketing standpoint.

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Peaberry Coffee (Male Coffee) Rp 20,000

Now that we tried what we could possibly grab from store, we decided to order what we couldn't. One of it was this Peaberry coffee. It was not too sharp, which was perfect for me. Whilst it wasn't too sharp on its own, it was stronger than Kopi Luwak.

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Kopi Luwak (Rp 50,000)

Nothing smelly or funky that I initially expected, my brain simply couldn't wrap around when my tongue proved that Kopi Luwak was very similar to coffee I have tried, except that it was smoother in taste even in the absence of milk. I must say I enjoyed my first cup of Kopi Luwak in my life.

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Once we were done with our coffee and tea tasting, we decided to grab some goodies back. Two recommended from yours sincerely are Bali cocoa powder and ginger tea, which tasted really good in thick and authentic. Hence, we bought Bali cocoa powder 200g and Bali ginger tea 100g at Rp 100,000 and Rp 50,000 respectively. However, if you try to replicate the same flavour you tasted in Sai Land Bali Organic, you have to be generous with your sugar.

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Besides selling packaged beverages, Sai Land Bali Organic sells spices, body lotions, massage oils etc. Some even come in a small cute packaging too! Good for those who want to grab some local produce/souvenirs.

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IN SUMMARY, my personal ranking based on following criteria are:

  • Ambiance - 5 out of 5 (Nice & chilly place, and there wasn't any mosquitoes!)
  • Price - 4 out of 5 (c. RM15 for Kopi Luwak, considerably cheap)
  • Drinks - 4 out of 5 
  • Service - 5 out of 5 (Free testers, friendly lady and umbrella service in rain, not that bad huh?)
  • Shopping - 3 out of 5 (Shop was quite old but products are homemade, hence slightly pricier than commercial produce)
  • Verdict - An educationally fun trip, recommended for family outing.

ATTRACTION INFO:
Sai Land Bali Organic Fairground
Br. Temen Penglumbaran,
Susut, Bangli,
Bali, Indonesia
Email: sailand_bali@hotmail.com
Tel: +62 85737496289 / +62 81934302602

Aug 31, 2014

Bali Travelogue: An Evening Affair at Bebek Bengil (11 - 15 Jan 2014)

Fear not my friends, this island of Bali is not all porky-ness. Besides the ever famous Babi Guling, there are few famous eats which you might just want to put in into your "To Visit" list. One of these famous eats is right here at Bebek Bengil.

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Bebek Bengil (also known as Dirty Duck Diner) claims itself to be "The Original Crispy Duck Since 1990". As much as you are curious to know how true is their claim, I can't testify much. There are two branches in Bali, one in Nusa Dua, another in Ubud which I personally visited (here).

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I personally like the closeness to nature. Surrounded with green paddy field, I must say Bebek Bengil provides better dining atmosphere than Made's Warung. While waiting for my food to arrive, I took my own sweet time strolling and admiring the well kept garden.

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Hatten Rose by glass (Rp 41,000)

If you take a closer look at the menu, you will notice that Bebek Bengil serves more than just Indonesian food. Personally, I am the type of traveller that indulges pretty much everything local. Hence a glass of Hatten Rose was perfect for this beautiful evening.

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Bebek Bengil (Rp 92,000)

Sharing the same name as the restaurant, it was a dish not to be missed. I was a little apprehensive at first. However, as you tear the duck apart, you will be overwhelmed with a sense of excitement at what it has got to offer. There was almost nothing I had to complain, be it the crispy duck skin, juicy shred of duck meat, well-marinated combo, or the condiments that served alongside. If only the skin wasn't that furry and duck wasn't that skinny clad...

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Nasi Campur Bebek (Rp 74,000)

If you are afraid to go Bebek all the way, you can order this Balinese Nasi Campur with Crispy Duck, which allows a sneak peak into their Bebek Bengil at a lower price tag. I had nothing to complain about this main and it would be a super tough choice if I were to choose between this or Bebek Bengil as both offered equal appeal. In case you find yourself potentially landed in the same situation, get a partner or two to share.

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IN SUMMARY, my personal dining ranking based on following criteria are:
  • Ambiance - 4 out of 5 (if they can get rid of those mosquitoes, I would give them a full 5)
  • Price - 4 out of 5 (c. RM40 per pax for such perfect mains and alcohol, no complain!)
  • Food - 5 out of 5 (Perfecto!)
  • Verdict - Will I visit again, given a chance? You bet I am!

DINING INFO:
Bebek Bengil – Ubud
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 975489 / 977675
Fax: +62 361 975489

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