Today, we had booked ourselves onto a Balinese cooking class so were up early for breakfast before meeting for the class at 9am. We were paying 200,000 each for the class which is a bit expensive for Bali but we'd seen classes advertised for even more. Over breakfast we debated about not going or only me going because of the cost, but in the end decided to go for it as we've been enjoying the food here so much and it would be good to learn how to cook it.
When we arrived at tourist information we were pleased we'd gone ahead as we were the only 2 pupils! We introduced ourselves to Dasak, the young Balinese lady teaching the class and she told us we would first go to the market to look at the spices and vegetables commonly used in Balinese cooking. At a stall selling spices we were shown which spices are most used, most of which we were familiar with but some were new to us. She also showed us some local fruits and vegetables including the fruit we had at breakfast yesterday - mangosteen, which looks like a big bulb of garlic inside but tastes like a sweet citrus fruit. We then headed to Desak's restaurant, 'Café Bali', and to get there we had to ride on the back of mopeds! I rode on Desak's and Dave on her friend's, who came to meet us. Our first moped experience but luckily it didn't take very long and the roads weren't too crazy! Dave somehow managed to keep hold of our big bottle of water too!
Café Bali didn't really look like a restaurant, it was just one room, open to the street, with a small cooking area separated off from the dining area by a worktop. For the lesson there was a stove set up on one of the dining tables with all of the ingredients laid out as well as chopping boards and knives (this again made me feel guilty about nearly not turning up!). Desak gave us each a sheet of paper listing the dishes we would be cooking. There are 2 main sauces - Saffron sauce and Balinese sauce, and all the other dishes use these sauces as a base. She took two plates and showed us all of the ingredients for each sauce, putting them on the allocated plate. She then gave us one plate each and instructed us to chop everything very small and mix together in a bowl. I got the Balinese sauce ingredients and Dave got the Saffron sauce which had a lot less ingredients! After the chopping, we had to grind it into a paste using a huge pestle and mortar, and then fry in coconut oil for two minutes. Sauces done! While we were doing that Desak made some crispy onions which are used in a lot of dishes, and prepared ingredients for the Balinese soup called Basko.
Altogether we made 6 dishes, 5 using one of the two sauces, plus a dessert of pancakes called Dadar Gulung - we each had to make and flip a pancake! The other dishes were called Basko (soup with chicken meatballs), Pepes (tuna mixed with Balinese sauce and other vegetables then wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed), Satay Lilit (chicken skewers), Urab (vegetable salad) and Nasi Kuning (rice mixed with Saffron sauce and crispy onion). The best bit was when at the end we sat down and were served all of the food to eat. Even though it was only 11am and a bit early for a 3 course meal, we ate it all - delicious! We thanked Desak and headed back towards the main town, pleased with our achievements and very glad we went.
After browsing in a few shops we went back to the homestay to relax and try not to spend any more money, which is hard to do in Ubud - so many pretty things to buy!
That afternoon, Dave researched somewhere for us to go after Ubud for our final 3 nights in Bali. We decided upon the seaside town of Sanur for some time at the beach.
That night we wandered to an area we hadn't been to before, and found a very cheap little Warung for some more food. Dave had Nasi Goreng and I had stir fried chicken and vegetables (can't remember the name!). In an effort to save some money, we skipped going to a bar and headed to our favourite convenience store (sells the cheapest bottled water for 18p!) for some beers and water to drink on the balcony. We got chatting to the young lad who works there about the Indonesia v Korea football match he was watching on the TV. His English isn't great but we managed to have a conversation. Another lovely day in Ubud!