First of all, before starting my post, I must address the devastating news of the attacks last night in France. Once again, another traumatic terrorist attack has rocked the world and I send my love to anyone who has been affected by these atrocities.

In 2002, Bali itself was the victim of multiple bombings that resulted in the death of 202 people and on my recent visit I realised that the memories still resonate. I hope that amongst such terrible news prior to the weekend, I can bring a moment of joy and light reading for you all on this Friday.

My recent trip to Indonesia with my boyfriend George was abundant with culinary experiences. It’s no secret that Indonesian food is my favourite, but the exchange rate also means that for many people, you can get incredibly fancy food for a fraction of the price you would be used to.

Kuta

Kuta is renowned for its party lifestyle and cheap food. Even though Westernised restaurants and bars can be found all around Kuta (Hard Rock, Starbucks, Tony Roma’s), it’s also where you’ll find some great cheap nasi-gorengs and gado gados.

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Nasi Goreng found at a restaurant on the first day – £3.50!

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Delicious coffee and juices at Kopi & Kue

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Another nasi goreng, we went slightly crazy with these on the first few days.

Gili Trawangan

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The Gili Islands are technically in Lombok, but because they’re only a short boat ride away from Bali, many travellers visit Gili T too. Gili Trawangan has become a diver’s and backpacker’s mecca in recent years and every time I visit, there are more and more businesses popping up over the island.

The night market is one of the most popular spots on the island for authentic and cheap Indonesian food. Various stalls fill the square at 6pm, which is completely empty in the day time. Much like a “pick and mix”, you can fill up your bowl with the different foods you want and one bowl will cost on average 30,000-60,000 rupiah. In other words, it’s around £1.50-£3 to have a foodie experience that you won’t forget.

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The seating in the night market comprises of long tables and benches, perfect for socialising and meeting other travellers. My favourite stall is the barbequed corn, beware, it’s spicy stuff!

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My £2 bowl of yumminess

If you’re a sandwich fiend like myself and fancying something more simple, then go to Bale Sampan, which is just past the Turtle Conservation Hut.

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Kayak over to the serene Gili Meno to burn off some of that Bale Sampan baguette

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Catch a cocktail at Pearl Beach Lounge, which has recently been featured on the Bali Bible. You can chill on the beach or by the pool (they do awesome quesadillas).

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Grab a light lunch at Villa Ombak Sunset, then spend a lazy afternoon by the pool bar

Ko Ko Mo is renowned for being one of the best restaurants on the island. The quiet area and the beachfront setting make it a popular destination for couples and honeymooners. The dishes are on the pricier side but you’re still only paying around £6-7 for a main meal involving quality ingredients.

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Prawns, scallops and a seafood risotto 

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Chocolate souffle

Ubud

Ubud was my favourite part of the trip. I’d recommend going to Gunung Kawi temple and the rice fields if you visit. The scenery is like no other.

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Kopi Luwak coffee is a special type of coffee in Indonesia which is produced from a digested coffee bean that has passed through the body of a civet. The whole process itself is based on the belief that the civets choose the best coffee cherries to eat and upon being digested, the bean is fermented.

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Only upon visiting the plantation (after little to no research), did I realise that the civets are not roaming free as I would have hoped, but instead they are kept in cages. Due to Luwak coffee being one of the most expensive in the world, farmers have latched onto this lucrative business and in turn, intensive farming methods have been introduced.

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However, the plantation does produce a variety of coffee, spices and fruit. I would just implore that if the price tag doesn’t scare you off first, remind yourself of the ethical issues at hand and don’t buy the Luwak coffee.

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After looking around the plantation, we were given samples of various different coffees – whoever knew that “ginger coffee” existed (it’s delicious, by the way).

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The views from the plantation

Ibu Rai is one of the most popular in Ubud, we arrived before 7pm and just managed to get a seat. It was originally recommended to us by our Indonesian driver, the food is around £5 for a main and there’s a great atmosphere.

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Uma Cucina is a modern Italian restaurant in Ubud and slightly pricier than Ibu Rai, but less expensive than Ku De Ta in Seminyak (for reference). There is also an indoor bar with a comfortable seating area, perfect for a pre or post-dinner drink.

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Seminyak

Seminyak is a short taxi or 40-minute walk from Kuta, but evidence shows that Seminyak is taking over from Kuta to become the new hotspot of Bali – many would argue that it already has. If you haven’t read my last post on Ku De Ta and you’re interested in Seminyak, then check that out after this one.

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Grain is a popular coffee shop by day and an organic modern restaurant by night. We forgot to pop back the next day to try the coffee but there’s a lot of positive words that indicate it’s worth heading to Grain for.

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Sweet chilli corn fritters

We grabbed lunch at Chandi Restaurant on a very hot afternoon, arriving in quite casual wear and flip-flops with sand still stuck to our legs, I felt slightly underdressed compared to some others there, but we had great service nonetheless! This seemed more like the venue for a fancy long lunch, rather than a quick bite to eat whilst covered in sweat and sand.

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So, that rounds up some of my best food experiences in Indonesia. One final recommendation is Moonlite Kitchen & Bar, which has perfect views for sunset. It also has one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life – Bali Chocolate & Chili Brownie, Cashew Brittle, Caramelized Banana, Almond Custard Ice Cream – all for approx. £4.50.

I hope everyone is having an amazing summer. What foodie experiences have you wanted to blog about? Comment below!

Hello, fellow foodies!

The last four weeks have been the most intense of my university life. I can finally say that as of Monday I will be done with my degree and done with university. I can’t wait to be a graduate and have time to blog again. Here are my top recommendations of the week, they’re going to include some of the best places I have eaten at over the past month. Enjoy!

The Orange, Chelsea

English classics with a twist

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Rabbit pie with asparagus. This dish was rich and tender with articulate presentation, far more artsy than your standard steak and ale!

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Tender lamb rump with potato puree, new season onion and wild garlic. This was my dish, I’ve never had pink lamb before but it was beautiful.  

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I wish I had picked this! Gnocchi with smoked garlic cream. Rich and heavenly.

Il Borgo, Kensington

A slice of Italy in London, the wall art and fish tanks will keep you looking around the room, rather than your phone!

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After craving gnocchi since visiting The Orange, I had to have the gorgonzola gnocchi at Il Borgo. Definitely worth a visit just for this.

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Calamari will always be a personal favourite, especially when served with aioli.

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Laduree, Covent Garden

Macarons are a food of the gods, the vanilla and salted caramel ones blew me away! Thanks to my bestie for getting me these for my birthday. Macarons used to scare me because I thought they were all marzipan flavoured for some unknown reason, but low and behold they’re not, and they’re awesome.

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Pix, Soho

This is something for a fun Friday night. Instead of going out for a normal meal, go to Pix in Soho and pick and choose exactly what you want to eat, the tapas style portions are so much fun and it’s great for sharing and conversation!

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With the same idea in mind as Yo Sushi, you pick as many tapas portions as you want and pay at the end. Tapas with the long sticks are £3.50 and small sticks are £2.50. It’s easy to rack up a big bill in here if you aren’t watching what you are doing, so be careful!

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The truffle oil, artichoke and parmesan toast were my favourite, closely followed by the prosciutto and quails egg. This is a great spot for people who love picky food or just want a light dinner.

So there we have it, those are my top foodie picks from the last month. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to visit these places, because they were all to die for.

Happy Friday!

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I’ve been meaning to try out ‘Dirty Bones’ for quite a while now and if you’re wondering why, think “6 oz house burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and BBQ sauce” (The Mac Daddy).  Or if that doesn’t take your fancy, think “6 oz aged steak burger with treacle bacon, poached egg and hollandaise” (The Benedict Burger).

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Their menu goes above and beyond in the indulgence category and even if it’s a slightly smaller menu than burger chains such as GBK or Byron Burgers, it supersedes such chains by having such whacky and wonderful combinations.

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The Benedict Burger (£9.00)

There’s an American twist to the menu, “classic yankee,” “chicken and waffles” and “coffee and doughnuts” all make an appearance and the extravagant dishes such as “deep fried mac and cheese balls” make me feel like I should be on Man vs. Food.

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The Mac Daddy (£10)

Be prepared to get seriously messy. These burgers are overloaded with delicious extras and napkins will be needed!

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If you want to visit: 20 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4EP or Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, Soho, W1B 5PW

Take a peak at the website: http://dirty-bones.com/food

 

I kickstarted Valentines weekend with a surprise dinner at Duck & Waffle from my lovely boyfriend. Duck & Waffle is the highest restaurant in the UK, with stunning food to match the stunning views while you dine (not to mention it’s open for business 24/7).

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Duck & Waffle

Upon entering the Heron Tower you are taken up a glass walled lift to the 40th floor. Spectacular views are there to greet you, but this might be a slightly “jelly legged” experience for anyone afraid of heights.

The menu is something a little bit different. You can order very small snacks, bread or small plates to start, followed by a main meal (many of which are to share).

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Dinner with a view

The wine menu doesn’t come in cheap. We payed £56 for a bottle of Malbec but the average price, in my opinion, is around £50-60 for a bottle of wine.

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The “stilton and onion jam bread”(£6) was INCREDIBLE. I was expecting the typical “cheese flavoured bread” with jam on the side, but oh no, this substantial portion of bread was oozing with stilton and still piping hot when it arrived at our table. A definite winner for blue cheese lovers.

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This was followed by the gorgeous “Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes” (£11). I’m a big lover of artichokes but I’ve never had them cooked before. They carried quite a nutty flavour (probably accentuated by the toasted seeds) and they were delicious.

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The last of our small plates was the divine “Angus Beef Tartare” (£11). Meals like this make me wonder how I was ever a vegetarian for four years (sorry to all you veggies). There’s nothing like rare steak. The “marmite egg yolk” in the middle was something a little bit different.

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Continuing with the steak theme, we shared a “38 day aged 500g Angus bone-in Rib-Eye” (£40). I’ve always been fond of cabbage and bacon as a combination and the capers added a nice little twist. It was quite a fatty bit of meat, but packed full of flavour.

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The winner for me has to be the dessert, the Dark Chocolate Sundae (£11). I’d normally opt for savoury over sweet any day but my main weakness is peanut butter ice cream. Want to know exactly what is in that mess? Think peanut butter, dark chocolate, caramel, brownies and some sort of crunchy granola at the bottom.

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We finished off the meal (as if we needed more food) with a box of biscuits (£4).

I would definitely come back to Duck & Waffle just as the sun is setting for a very special dining experience.

If you want to visit: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY

Take a peak at the website: https://duckandwaffle.com/

Friday was a special night for me, I discovered my favourite new restaurant in London.

I’ve always had a love for antipasti, meat & cheese boards. Whether it’s because they remind me of Summer holidays abroad or family buffets at Christmas, there really is nothing better. Antipasti boards are sociable and casual, normally enjoyed over a bottle of wine and the constant vocal admiration over the variety of food in-front of you, such as the “tangy French cheese” you just tried for the first time and how well it “compliments the chutney.”

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Cork & Bottle have an extensive 34 page wine list

‘Cork & Bottle’ just off of Leicester Square is where I found paradise! Making my way down the spiral staircase I was greeted by a warm, cosy and bustling wine bar with every table in sight packed full. After-work glasses of wine were being had at the bar, whilst full blown meals were being enjoyed on the tables around us. The red tiled floor, wooden stools, quaint glass framed photos and bottles of wine decorating the room transported me to a different country in an instant.

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Despite it being incredibly busy, all of the staff were as polite as ever. As we waited, we eyed up all of the meats and cheeses in the ‘deli style’ counter.

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We were only made to wait twenty minutes for a table on a Friday night with no reservation. To our upmost surprise we were given the best table in the restaurant after the group before us left early – we were informed that normally it can take up to two weeks to book ‘the booth.” It must have been our lucky day!

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The booth

Tucked away from the main part of the wine bar and the restaurant we had the space all to ourselves.

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Whilst we sipped on a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, we read through the menu and really struggled to not over-order.

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We went for the duck liver pate to start and a selection of cheeses and the Cork & Bottle plate for a main to share – needless to say, we were stuffed.

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Duck liver pate

The lovely lady who served us offered to pick our cheeses for us and oh my, she did a good job. The “Vacherin” cheese found at the bottom of the cheese menu is the gooey, delicious mess that you can see  pictured below, it was like a brie but creamier and more rich, I would definitely recommend it.

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There was another antipasti plate to accompany the plate above (on the right), which took a little longer to prepare and included fried calamari and perfectly cooked duck

Cork & Bottle is my new favourite place and I’ll be back here very soon!

If you want to visit:

44-46 Cranbourn Street,
London WC2H 7AN
United Kingdom