Wednesday, February 5, 2020

A Bit of Morning in Bali

Here's a little bit of my morning in Bali for you to indulge on. 

Preflight Meal

“Would you like to have chicken, or fish?” asked one of the stewardess. I was on board Batik Air’s flight from Jakarta to Medan when I was offered some dishes by the cabin crew. It was a long flight, almost three hours, and I definitely wouldn’t want to miss on any free food. Unlike Air Asia, where the passengers have to actually pay to get a decent in-flight meals, Batik Air serves food to their passengers inclusively. “Chicken, please,” I replied. 

My food was served on a tray. It was a complete full-course meal with beverage and dessert. My main course consisted of a block of white rice with seasoned chicken, heated frozen veggies, and a bit of stir-fried tempeh. I had the opportunity to chose what I wanted to drink, so I opted for a glass of juice and a glass of water. The dessert, though it wasn’t ice cream, nor fruit, was acceptable as they gave me a solid chocolate muffin. It wasn’t that much of a feast, but it was definitely fulfilling. 

The rice and side dishes ratio was a bit off, I have to admit. The rice was a bit too much for me and I ended up finishing the side dishes first before I could finish the rice. Although in flight, the food was quite flavorful to please my taste buds. 

Of course, my favorite was the chocolate muffin. It wasn’t the slightest bit dry when I expected it to be. I guess the stewardess had the opportunity to heat it up a little bit as it was warm when it was served to me. The insides of the muffin was moist and quite fluffy, and it had this slight stickiness, which I approved. 

I managed to finish my meal and finish a couple episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S. before the plane landed at Kuala Namu International Airport. Soon after I got off the plane, I was escorted by an Air Asia staff to my aircraft, which was parked adjacent to where the Batik Air’s airplane parked, and I flew straight to Kuala Lumpur. 

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr in the Air

I didn't get to celebrate last year's Eid al-Fitr with my family back home because I had a flight to flew on that particular day. Lucky for me, one of my cabin crew, who happen to share the same fate with me, bring a heap of Ramadan dishes that her family sent from home. That morning, I got to feast like how I usually feast during the festival of breaking the fast.

Home-cooked meals are the best, don't you think? I was served some sliced ketupat (sticky rice in a shape of a diamond), a bowl of opor ayam (boiled chicken cooked in coconut milk), and some sambal kentang (stir-fried diced potatoes in sambal). All of the dishes were heated in the airplane's oven and they were warm enough for me to enjoy with my captain. 

We had to take turns in eating because one of the pilot had to keep an eye on the sky. When it was my turn to dine, I was very occupied in indulging them dishes as they were so delicious. 

What I Ate In-flight

I have been working with Air Asia for two years now. As you all know, your girl here can't definitely miss out on its' scrumptious in-flight meals, despite the fact that I don't get it for free. I still have to pay for it without no discounts whatsoever even though I'm the one who's driving the iron bird. Though in-flight meals are basically instant food, therefore it's not healthy for one's body, but it sure does give that extra boost of energy when you're starving during a long haul flight. So, here are the collections of Air Asia's in-flight meal I've tasted so far. 

Santan’s Breakfast and Dish Selections of 2019

Nasi Uduk
Don’t expect too much on rice-based in-flight meals, especially the ones from Air Asia. In terms of flavor, this particular Nasi Uduk tasted off compared to the usual Nasi Uduk that Indonesians can get from the side of the streets. Though cleaner, I still prefer the ones that I can get from a local street vendor. 

This dish consisted of a scoop of nasi uduk (regular rice cooked in coconut milk), a dollop of sambal, tempe orek (stir-fried tempeh in soy sauce), some vermicelli noodles, and sliced omelette. If you’re a person who favors flavors, I don’t think you would like this meal. The sambal was not the slightest bit spicy, the rice was lacking of that coconut kick in every bite, the vermicelli noodles were unquestionably bland, as well as the sliced omelette. It may occur to you the fact that our taste buds weaken during flight, meaning that you won’t be able to taste properly like you do on ground because of the altitude and pressure differences, but this was still a lousy dish to indulge in. 

Bihun Bakso Sapi
The same thing with the Nasi Uduk in terms of flavor, yet the extra seasoning of salt and pepper helped a bit. This hot meatball soup was a delight when the temperature inside the aircraft dropped. I expected non from the meatball, but it actually tasted quite decent. And the texture is not that bad, though it occurred to me that it probably contained more flour than meat. 

Again, this one is a cleaner and healthier option compared to the bakso that we can get on the side of the streets. But, of course, it’s instant food in the end. 

Pancake with Butter and Maple Syrup
Now, this is the best breakfast meal of Air Asia I have every tasted! Each serving comes with three pieces of pancakes, a cup of butter, and a cup of maple syrup. I’m not sure whether or not them maple syrups were authentic, but it was quite good. 

I have no complaints towards the pancake itself. They were thick as heck. The surface of the pancakes was quite solid, yet the inside was fluffy and moist. Combine them with the butter and the maple syrup, then you’d get a cafe-worthy breakfast in flight. The pancakes were quite savory. To indulge on the pancake without the condiments is fine, but your girl here is a sweet tooth. Ain’t no maple syrup can be missed!

Roasted Chicken
When I’m on a diet and looking for carb-free meal in flight, I always opt for the Roasted Chicken. Like its’ name, this meal consisted of three cuts of roasted chicken breast, with veggies and black pepper sauce on the side. 

As expected, the steamed vegetables were stale, yet still edible. The chicken itself had a bit of spices and seasoning in it, making it delectable if you were to eat it without the black pepper sauce. Its’ texture is usally a tad bit dry, making it hard for me to swallow most of the time, that’s why I used them black pepper sauce to help make the roasted white meat go down. 

Nasi Padang Uda Ratman
Whenever I feel like having rice on board, my go-to is the Nasi Padang Uda Ratman. Compared to the Nasi Uduk, Nasi Padang Uda Ratman has more flavorful side dishes. It came with a regular rice, served with a heap of sambal ijo, rendang (beef cooked in spices and coconut shreds), cooked cassava leafs, and some sambal teri. This dish is truly a life savior when you’re on board and craving for some good, savory, and scrumptious meal. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Killers of Burger Cartel

I don’t think I can ever be bored with Burger Cartel. I mean, I lost count already on how many times I’ve been here, yet I still keep wanting more and more. This time, I returned with my Dad for dinner after spending two days diving on the north east side of Bali. We were famished and we planned on getting ourselves filled with some nice mouthful burgers. 

As always, I go for the Mozzarella Sticks for appetizer. Unlike how it used to be served, this time I got four piece instead of the usual three and they were not served on a bed of greens. The sweet and savory bolognese sauce is always my go-to dipping sauce to pair with the Mozzarella Sticks. It adds flavor and tanginess here and there to the pure savory deep-fried cheese. 

Apparently, it was my lucky day. After a few failed attempts of not being able to swap my buns with anything that doesn’t have carbs in it, I finally got the chance to substitute the delicious brioche buns with mushroom, yay! I took the liberty to ask Richie beforehand whether or not I can still swap my buns with anything that doesn’t have carbs in it. “Yes, the full menu is adjustable. You can add and replace whatever you want,” he said. So, I had my burger with mushrooms. I know, this may be a let down to some of you burger lovers, but, hey, as long as I don’t have to bail on my diet, I’m all in. 

I nudged my Dad to have the Piggy Blinders and he complied the moment he acknowledge that the burger consists of pulled pork. He was in the mood of having pulled pork anyway, so it’s a win-win solution. As for me, I had me the Killers, which consisted of fried chicken and beef patty in one stack. Talk about cardiac arrest, am I right? But, I guess, that’s why it earns the name the Killers. 

I wrote about the Piggy Blinders before, but not about the Killers. Now, this burger, like I stated before, consisted of fried chicken and beef patty. Then, came along the other ingredients, such as cheddar cheese, red onion, pickled cucumber, pickled red cabbage, and some sauce to complete the flavor wheel. Since I had mushrooms to go with my burger, the truffle mayonnaise got extra strong. I’m not a big fan of truffle, the flavor is just too strange for my taste bud, but I got to enjoy it this time, maybe because the flavor blended so well with the mushroom. The fried chicken was not dry, despite it being well-fried, but not excessively juicy as well. It was to my liking. There was a hint of spiciness here and there when I bite into the chicken, enough to add some flavor, but not too strong for those who can’t handle spices. As for the beef patty, I asked mine to be cooked medium well. Thank God, the chef complied with my request. The meat was juicy as hell, the tenderness was on point, and I enjoyed every delicious bites. 

The Killers, with mushrooms as buns substitute, is definitely a great option for those of you who are currently on a diet. It’s definitely fulfilling and you don’t get this guilt after devouring the whole thing clean. Care to try? 

The Burger Cartel
Jalan Raya Pengosekan, No. 108
Ubud, Bali - 80571

Opening Hours: 
SUN - THU: 11 AM - 11 PM
FRI - SAT: 11AM - 11:45 PM

+62 812 9586 5347