It's been a long time in the planning! Publisher and author Joan Peterson teamed up with chef and culinary expert William Wongso to take a group to get to the heart of Indonesian culture through an exploration of her tantalizing cuisine. Nine ladies from around the globe met us in Jakarta on August 4 and thus began our tasting adventure on the islands of Java and Bali.
Those of us that flew on the same flight from LA were picked up by William Wongso, our co-leader for the tour. We stopped at Paradise Dynasty to sample their xiao long bao, and other delights. It was the perfect place to unwind and regroup after the long journey. After our early dinner we drove to the hotel to rest and get adjusted to the 12 hour time difference.
August 5 - Jakarta
Day 1 of our tour. This morning we met the rest of the group that took different flights and arrived at different times. We enjoyed our breakfast at the hotel, relaxed and were introduced to our co-host Astrid Enricka before heading out for lunch at Soto Pak Sadi.
After lunch we stopped for coffee before heading to JAVARA Indonesian Spices. Inspired by Indonesia’s food biodiversity, indigenous wisdom and spiritualism, JAVARA was founded by Helianti Hilman in 2008. JAVARA works across agricultural value chains from production to distribution in order to preserve such biodiversity and bring community-based, organic products to broader markets. We are proudly investing our time to scout, discover and relive the forgotten food biodiversity and traditional techniques as well as the old recipes. Working with over 50,000 farmers and 2000 food artisans, selling over 600 premium artisan food products, JAVARA is currently known as the leading social enterprise in Indonesia that works with a vast range of biodiverse community-based organic food products using ethical principles.
We stopped at MM Juice for an afternoon treat. We sampled durian juice, avocado juice and broken coconut juice and since it is a culinary tour, tried fried banana with cheese and banana cakes steamed in banana leaves.
After a little rest and relaxation at the hotel we headed out for our 17-course dinner at Namaaz Dining. Namaaz is the first molecular gastronomy restaurant in Indonesia which serves Indonesian food as its signature dishes. Chef Andrian Ishak uses scientific techniques to produce both playful variations on traditional dishes and wacky new food pairing. Inspired by a multitude of art disciplines including music and painting, he considers himself as a craftsman that expresses his creativity through food.
August 6 - Yogyakarta
After breakfast at our hotel, we departed for the airport for a short flight to Yogyakarta. Our first stop was to Yu Djum to observe the production of and enjoy authentic gudeg, a combination plate of unripe jackfruit cooked in coconut milk, chicken cooked in a spicy, coconut-based sauce, rice, and a piece of buffalo skin that has been processed into a cracker snack, and a dollop of coconut cream sauce.
After lunch we headed to The Ullen Sentalu Museum, a Javanese culture and art museum located in Kaliurang highland, Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia. The museum displays relics and artifact from royal houses and kratons of Java, such as Yogyakarta, Pakualam, Surakarta, and Mangkunegaran.
Our hotel for our stay in Yogyakarta was the Gondang Legi Warung Sawah. We had a wonderful dinner featuring specialties of Yogyakarta. The views of the rice paddies were spectacular. A true oasis in the city.
August 7 - Yogyakarta
Our first stop today was to visit Sosrowijayan street of Yogya to witness two old local culinary legends Mbah Suro, 82 years, 50 years in business selling coconut pancakes and Mbah Lindu, 97 years old, cooking and selling gudeg for 80 years at same place.
Afterwards, we visited the Keraton, Yogyakarta's palace. We were able to catch a glimpse of some Balinese dancers and listen to Gamelan, the traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments.
We stopped at a local store to look at traditional indigo batik before heading to Sasanti restaurant for our cooking class and dinner. We learned how to make a variety of dishes taught by William Wongso. The location and food was spectacular!
August 8 - Borobudur
We woke up early today to travel to central Java to visit Borobudur, the world's largest Buddha temple. Built in the 9th century during the reign of the Sailendra Dynasty, the temple consists of nine stacked platforms, six square and three circular, topped by a central dome. It was quite a climb to the top, but so very much worth the effort. The views were spectacular. Lunch was in Gora.
August 9 - Bali / Ubud
Today we flew to Bali / Ubud. We had unch at Warung Sunset, enjoying crispy BBQ pork ribs and knuckles, with pork fried rice, and fried gurame (a local freshwater fish), with sambal mattah Bali (Balinese chile and shallot relish) on the side. Afterwards, we visited Pasar Ubud, a traditional farmer’s market, and an enjoyable spot for gifts and souvenirs. Dinner was at the Petani Restaurant in Alaya Resort Ubud, located in the center of picturesque Ubud, near the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
August 10 - Bali
On our way to lunch with Chef Yudi, we stopped to visit the Tegalalang Rice Terraces in the village of Tegalalang north of Ubud. These amazingly beautiful rice paddies line the slopes of the valley and utilize the traditional Balinese cooperative irrigation system (subak). After lunch we visited Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets.
Dinner at Mozaic. We enjoyed Chef Chris Salan’s culinary creations. He has fused Western cooking techniques with local Indonesian ingredients and flavors—with delicious results.
August 11 - Seminyak / Kuta
Today we started at Sababay Winery where we learned about Indonesian wines. We then stopped at Simply Brew located in Sanur. Lunch was at Alila Seminyak Beach Club, an oceanfront beach club overlooking the Indian ocean. We watched the sun set at Finn's Beach Club Canggu, followed by dinner at the private home of Christian Steiner.
August 12 - SEMINYAK
We started our day with breakfast delights created by the famous Stanley Lumi, followed by spa treatments at Cozy Spa. We had lunch with the Royal Family at Puri Jrokuta. Dinner was at Cuca Restaurant.
Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia
+62 361 708066
August 13 & 14 - Bali
Our final day was spent relaxing in Seminyak and spending time shopping. We had lunch at Teatro Gastroteque and then after a rest at the hotel, Farewell Dinner at D'Roemah. It was a wonderful tour with wonderful guests and tour leaders, William Wongso, Astrid, Enricka, and Joan Peterson.