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Travel Diary: Australia, Philippines, Taiwan, Bali, Indonesia

Friday, March 1, 2019:


Friday March 1. Lunch in The Terrace was just salad and a little corn on the cob. The Shabbat dinner was a little better than I expected because I expected it to be horrible. It was “horrible plus). They served kosher chicken which would have been okay had it not been so heavily salted and the gefilte fish was passable. They served a small glass of kosher wine. I am not sure that anyone even tasted it. Neither BGM nor I even thought about it. It was not a gourmet eating day but I did have a drink and some pretzels before going to the dinner.

Saturday March 2. Mario, the head Chef steamed some ribs for me for lunch. I had thought they would be grilled but he interpreted my saying “no sauce” differently than I intended. The sauce was brought on the side. Just lightly brushing the ribs with that sauce, and using tobacco, I had a very nice lunch. Dinner with friends (and not BGM) was mostly sushi and some okay duck chow mein in The Terrace.

Sunday March 3. Ribs again on ship for lunch. Dinner in Sydney, Chinatown at highest rated restaurant Golden Century Seafood. Outstanding food including steamed shrimp and pork dumplings, barbecued pork, hot and sour soup, roasted duck, chicken Szechuan style, steamed vegetable and seafood fried rice.

Monday March 4. Lunch at Sydney Tower Buffet which I thought was very good. BGM thought only good. Some very good dishes including chicken teriyaki, spiced corn on the cob, shrimp (although had to peal them) fish in a pesto sauce. Liked a sparkling Chardonnay from Tyrrell’s Wines. No dinner.

Tuesday March 5. Nothing special on this sea day in terms of food and drink. Did get the chef to spice up a curry dish for me as food which is customarily spicy or at least can be spicy is always prepared with very little spice.

Wednesday March 6 in Brisbane, Australia. Great lunch BGM and two other couples. One dish was better than the next at Gerard’s Bistro. Homemade bread with homemade smoked butter, roasted octopus with green olives and almonds that BGM said is the best she has ever had; fried cauliflower also with almonds and various spices, some kind of fish in a nice sauce that had a little kick, a salmon dish that was unusual but hard to describe, great roast quail, and an eggplant dishes with all kinds of condiments and crisp fried onions. Two men and one woman had very good draft beer from Barcelona, the third man had a Perrone in a bottle and two women had glasses of red wine, a Shiraz which they liked and allowed to taste before ordering.

Dinner was at Polo Grill with wines picked by General Manager who attended along with head of food and beverage. White wine, a German Riesling was okay for me but undrinkable for BGM. Amerone was quite good. All eight dinners ordered a la carte, and then they had a huge birthday cake, enough for 25 served with vanilla ice cream. No dessert for BGM, of course. I took one bite. Cake was good, ice cream was served to cold and could taste the ice.

Saturday and Sunday March 16 and 17 in Bali, Indonesia was the culinary highlight of our entire trip. Our Italian lunch at La Lucciola, a very highly rated restaurant was very good. Three of us had chicken diavalo which was very good particularly with a great hot sauce we requested. At our host’s suggestion he and I drank a very good Indonesian beer called Bintang.

Dinner was truly great. We had a chicken dish for two that is probably BGM’s favorite meal of all time. Served with very good rice and a delicious and very spicy soup, (BGM did not eat the rice and really just tasted the soup, we had a whole chicken, slowly roasted for 8 hours. There is no adequate way to describe the dish but the chef provided the following recipe which the cooks who read this will still need to figure out::

Ingredients

1200 grams local chicken

100 grams Bumbu Genap

50 grams Casava Leaves

1 pinch of salt

1 pinch of pepper

For Condiments

Rice 300 grams

Sayur nangra 250 grams

Sambal matah 20 grams

Sambal uleic 20 grams

Sambal embe 20 grams

Breakfast the next day was also great. Buffet style, there was an Indonesian section, a Chinese section and a western section. There was literally dozens of delicious dishes prepared in a way that was healthy and not so caloric that BGM could not eat many things. Lots of chicken dishes including great chicken dim sum.

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