Kicked off our second weekend of the year with a short getaway to Bali. Just over a year ago, in Dec 2016, all of us sans Amanda went to Bali for Lesley’s Hen’s party. We had so much fun we decided that we wanted to do it again just because! Instead of going back to Seminyak as we did the first time, we spent a long weekend in Canggu where we stayed in a 3-bedroom villa that we got through AirBnB.
We actually planned for this trip on a whim back in October because Flo was going there with Chris and I was asking the girls to recommend places for them to eat at. Within minutes, we formulated a quick plan to fly away and that was pretty much how we ended up back in Bali.
Of course, never ones to play on the safe side, we booked the same flight that we took the last time, which meant having to be at the airport by 5.45am latest in order to fly off at 7.15am. If you’ve read this post, you’ll know that we almost missed our plane the other time. This time around, we all met at Wangs Cafe inside the departure terminal for a quick coffee/tea/toast/breakfast before Angie, Abby and Fel decided they wanted to go for a quick smoke before boarding – at 6.45am. Amanda and I thus made our way to our boarding gate which once again, was right at the end of the terminal. It was already empty when we arrived but we went in and waited for our three friends whom we’d texted to hurry as the gate was closing.
Tick Tock. Tick Tock. 6.50. Nothing. 6.55. Nothing. 7am. Three gorgeous girls come running to the gate and Amanda and I were asked to quickly board while the others went through security checks. One of the good things about being late is not having to wait around on the gangway, and also having the plane move off shortly after we were buckled in.
So this was our villa but the thing about Canggu is that it’s rapidly developing so there’re construction works going on nearly everywhere. Hence, open-space villas are susceptible to dust no matter how often they’re cleaned and I guess cleanliness is also subjective.
The ‘smokers’ took the two rooms downstairs while Amanda and I shared the main bedroom on the second level which had a terrace just beside that we never used.
After we’d had our fill of poking around the villa and settling in, hunger took over and we walked the 3 minutes it took for us to get to the main street that had us spoiled for choice over where to eat. In the end, we found this cute restaurant called Peekaboo and tumbled in.
Their menu was interesting and seemed to carry a lot of Thai flavours. So rather than choose a dish for ourselves, we decided to pick from the ‘Starters and Shared Plates‘ menu so that we could try a variety of dishes.
We were served two complimentary bowls of spiced popcorn.
And then it was time for real food! Our first round consisted of Beef Tartare, Pork Belly, Prawn Tacos, Red Snapper Ceviche, and Prawn Dumplings…
Not enough to feed 5 girls so it was another round of Beef Tartare and Ceviche, as well as an order of Calamari and Grilled Corn Salad.
You can probably tell from our second round that we LOVED the ceviche with its punchy flavours from the fish sauce, fresh pomegranate seeds, zingy lime juice, juicy pomelo pulp, herbaceous coriander/cilantro, and a myriad of other deliciousness.
The beef tartare as well was a winner with well minced beef mingling together with finely chopped onions and made so creamy with the beautiful yellow yolk.
Later in the afternoon, after the scorching heat had retreated along with the sun, Fel and Amanda went for a massage just around the corner from our villa. That left Angie, Abby and I scratching our heads over two little kittens that had fallen off the high ledge surrounding our villa into some foliage where they meowed but stayed in hiding. Their mother is apparently a resident of the neighbourhood and while we saw her with Kitten #3, as well as her attempt to come down in order to save her fallen kittens, she couldn’t find a safe path and eventually left.
Gregory our host ended up coming in to help rescue them. He and Abby spent quite a while scouring behind the plants to find them and while the Ginger kitten was quick to spot and carried out, its sibling was a bit trickier to get hold of especially with its darker fur helping it to camouflage more easily.
Ginger kitty finally started meowing though and that set its little brother or sister off. So yay!! We got both kitten out safe and sound! That was our excitement for the day.
After Amanda and Fel got back, we all got ready to go look for dinner along Echo Beach which was about a 12 minute walk from where we were staying.
It’s the kind of beach that’s perfect for surfing with its high, crashing waves. The sand on the beach was a glittery black which was super cool. When we reached the beach, we stumbled upon this pretty beach house-inspired restaurant called La Brisa.
The weather was gorgeous so we parked ourselves at a table out in the open. Their menu was concise – not a lot to choose from but every dish was well executed. From my Snapper Ceviche (I couldn’t get enough of the one from lunch and while this was made differently, it was still lip-smackingly good!), to the Tuna Mains that Angie and Abby ordered, to the Grilled Chicken that Amanda and Fel had.
Amanda also ordered an appetiser of Cod Croquettes for us to share and their wonderfully golden crust shattered into a creamy filling that still allowed the fresh, chunky pieces of cod to shine.
Amanda and Fel each decided to go for the Coconut Panna Cotta for dessert which came with a Pineapple Granita, Toasted Coconut Flakes, and Fresh Pineapple Chunks.
Unfortunately, it looks like dessert isn’t their forte as the pana cotta was too gelatinous rendering it more a heavy pudding. The granita, pineapple chunks and coconut flakes were delicious though!
And so, after dinner, we took a walk back and totally chilled late into the night talking about all sorts of things until we couldn’t keep our eyes open any longer and went to our respective rooms to sleep.
Next morning, Les arrived!!! She had a wedding event to cover the day before that she couldn’t escape from even though her ticket had been booked together with ours. So she ended up having to book another one just so that she could spend the second half of the holiday with us. #truelove.
By the time we were all up and Les was settled in, it was about 12 noon so brunch it was at The Shady Shack which was recommended by Eunice (you’ll see her later in this post) who lives between Canggu and Seminyak.
Let me just say that Canggu is FILLED with lots of cafes that cater to vegans, vegetarians, those on paleo diets and on gluten free ones. But seriously, if there’s only ONE place you have to go to, it’s the Shady Shack. The food was LIT AF! And their service too was top notch.
I had the Go Green Bowl consisting of Zucchini Spaghetti (aka zoodles), Kale, Broccoli, Mixed Greens and Fresh Herbs with a Peanut Sauce sprinkled with Almond Sesame Seed Brittle.
I know that not everyone likes their greens as much as I do but OMG, this was just… I have no words… Two thumbs up. Three if I had three thumbs. The peanut sauce mixed into the zoodles made for addictive bite after addictive bite and they were so generous with the portion. Loved the addition of nut brittle on top. So awesome I’m, yes, going to try to replicate this!
All of us enjoyed every bit of what we ordered and we all tried each other’s food too. I loved the Eggplant on Toast – the eggplant was pretty much Baba Ganoush and the Smashed Avo on Toast Lesley ordered never fails. The Falafel Patties Angie had were amazing, as was the thick, smoothie bowl of Cacao Dream Abby had. Fel and Amanda had the works which filled them up well. The smoothies that were ordered on point, and their coffee was robust and well balanced.
We asked a staff to help us take photos and he gladly obliged taking them from different angles…
And two different positions. Talk about dedication! And all this with a smile which totally made our day.
Flying high on good food.
The weather turned once more around mid-afternoon which was just as well because Angie, Les, Fel and I had a 90-min massage booked for 3pm. The place is called Chillax and it’s a small spa but very clean and cosy. It was such a relaxing massage that the hour and a half flew too quickly. Oh but it was incredible! And only for SGD19.
Then it was back to our villa for some chill time and shower time, and pretty-up time before we were off to Seminyak for dinner. Now, we’d organised with Gregory to have our ride pick us up at 7.15pm SHARP just by the cafe in front of the villa. And there we were at 7.12pm waiting…
At 7.25pm, Abby contacted Gregory who contacted the driver and texted back to say that the car/van would reach us within 5 minutes. Unfortunately, time in Bali is not always the same as time according to us. It was drizzling and we were growing impatient. Finally, at 7.45pm the guy arrived.
We had Fat Gajah booked for 8pm and I’d invited Eunice to join us for dinner. She arrived a lot earlier and ended up having to shop around while waiting for us. 😦 We managed to arrive at around 8.15pm. Finally.
I wrote about Eunice a couple months ago when she came to visit Singapore for her birthday and we met up for the first time in like, 10, 12 years. So since we were in Bali, I decided to see if she had time to meet up and she very sweetly made time to join us for dinner.
Once again, it was a great catch up with her albeit a short one as she had to scoot around 9ish to bring some dinner back to her very hungry boyfriend at home. Still, she’s due in Singapore end of the month so yay to the reality of long-distance friendships!
Fat Gajah was actually our second choice to Mama San. We wanted to throw a mini surprise early birthday celebration for Abby whose birthday is this weekend but Mama San didn’t have cake for us to celebrate with. So we switched the Fat Gajah since Abby mentioned that the food is top notch and she and Nick love it there.
Fat Gajah’s known for their Dumplings and Noodles so I went with their Steamed Dumpling Platter. I requested for the Lamb Dumplings to be switched to Kimchi Dumplings and even though the latter is usually deep fried, the chef very sweetly acceded to having them steamed.
The Prawn Sui Mais were really good, as were their Steamed Tempestuous Dumplings in their thin, translucent skins. The Soy Farm Chicken Dumplings were interesting but not my favourite, and the Kim Chi ones were quite mild in flavour compared what I was expecting.
The platter was served with three sauces – Creamy Sesame, Chilli Soy, and Soy Ginger. The sesame sauce was umamilicious and I loved the punch of fiery chilli in the chilli soy sauce.
After we had our plates were cleared, we were given some time to take a breather before the Fat Gajah staff broke into a rousing rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ while delivering the Chocolate Fondant Cake to Abby.
HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY ABBY BABY!!!!
Yes, the cake flowed, gushed in fact, much to our delight! And we were given another complimentary one after just because they thought that one lava cake couldn’t possibly feed 6 rowdy girls. They were right!
We also had a Pineapple Crumble to share.
Loved the layers of pineapples within with even more diced ones to top. Would have been even more perfect with a scoop of ice-cream!
We went back to our villa after dinner to fill on Gin Tonics, for those who drink, and water for me. I’m ‘basic’ like that. We also went on to play ‘Air Console‘ via Amanda’s laptop which had us in stitches until the bugs appeared and deterred us from having further fun.
Amanda then whipped out her phone to play music from the 1990s and 2000s while Fel turned in and Abby zonked out on the floor. Finally, at around 3.30am, I gave up and went to bed while the other three turned in not long after.
Our last morning went quickly. 10am and we were out as planned in search for Motion Cafe about a 10min-but-felt-like-30min-under-the-blazing-sun walk away.
I tucked into an Egg White Omelette with Spinach, Tomatoes and Mushrooms.
Les had the same but with salmon instead of the mushrooms while the rest decided to go for Avo on Toast with Poached Eggs on top since avocados! And you’ll never quite find brunch food like this at the same kind of prices here in Singapore.
We also had this Sweet Potato Waffle topped with Nutella and Fresh Bananas to share.
If you don’t compare it to the traditional waffle, it was good! Different but good. The waffle itself had a natural sweetness but was also a lot heavier and denser than the normal ones. Definitely better shared because it’s very filling.
The food here at Motion Cafe was nice but still, The Shady Shack trumps in the realm of food and ambience in our books.
And with that, our 3 day 2 night only-girls getaway came to a close. We laughed A LOT, had our heart-to-heart talks, had our bellies filled and our blood sucked by mozzies, some of us woke up to the snores of our roommate, some had their thighs rubbed by bare butts…
We started out simply at Lesley’s Bridesmaids and while that may be the reason we all got together, it’s the friendship we have cultivated since then that has brought us closer together, and has kept us together. Already looking forward to our next trip!