Tuesday, August 23, 2016


On my last trip to Europe, our muse on our Mediterranean cruise was a woman we dubbed Quattro Senni. On this trip to Bali, it’s another guest at the hotel we’ve called Big Hair Lady.

That’s not just Big Hair. That’s Malaysian soap opera character Big Hair. That’s Big Hair that’s had articles in scholarly engineering journals written about it.

Bow before its enormity and vast surface area!

After a long, leisurely breakfast I walked down to Revolver for a cup of decent coffee – the coffee at the hotel restaurant is as good as one would expect coffee provided under contractual obligation to be. Revolver is the birthplace of the recent Bali coffee revolution, and has a dedicated following amongst the hipsters, both local and visiting. Any doubt about this is dispelled when you meet the manager, who has the laid back surfer stoner vibe nailed down. He’s like an Indonesian Snoop Dogg.

Later I shopped for bootleg DVDs. Most of the little dodgy DVD supermarkets seem to have vanished; victims, no doubt, of the rise of YouTube and video downloads. Still, a couple still exist for the benefit of the elderly and the internetless. I bought 15 discs for $10, which will provide me with endless hours of entertainment as I struggle to switch off Hindi subtitles and try to follow the action through bursts of pixilation and skipped scenes.

In the evening, my travel buddy and I tried to get into Mamasan, but it was too busy and had a wait of 45 minutes for a table. So we walked down to the ocean and tried our luck at La Lucciola… which was too busy and had a wait of 45 minutes for a table. So we trudged through the sand dunes to the Samaya resort next door and had cocktails, then returned 45 minutes later.

La Lucciola is Seminyak’s most celebrated Italian restaurant, and also the cheapest restaurant I’ve eaten at yet, which is remarkable, especially considering its prime location right on the beach. My fettucine with tuna was good rather than great, but that’s just evidence of the wonderful food I’ve been having in Bali. Dessert was a honey and biscotti semifreddo. There was a nice cocktail of sake, vodka and rosewater, but the high point was actually their coleslaw, with its light dressing of mustard and parmesan.

But of course it couldn’t exist in Perth. La Looch and Samaya sit right on the beach, and while Bali beaches are mostly occupied by strolling couples, little kids excited to be up after 10pm, and the late shift of hawkers selling kites and light-up toys, Perth beaches are occupied by drunken lowlifes. Put a fine dining restaurant on a Perth beach and the ambience would be shattered by the scrag fights, inebriated bellowing and enough F-bombs to curdle the carbonara. I’m sure there are drunken lowlifes in Bali too, but it seems that the Seminyak authorities are quick to remove them and discreetly bundle them off to somewhere more appropriate. Like Kuta.


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