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Bali Day 5 – The Layar Breakfast, Black Canyon Coffee, Mama San

This post is part of our Bali 2014 Trip Report

Before turning in the night before, we filled out the breakfast form at The Layar’s front desk. On the form you indicate the time you want breakfast to be delivered – we usually picked a pretty early slot since our jet lag had us waking up at dawn anyways. Choices were limited but they were fine for a few days. There were the usual mee goreng (fried noodles) and nasi goreng (fried rice), western style breakfasts with eggs done your way with bacon, sausage, and toast, etc., omelettes, and french toast too. There weren’t that many sweet offerings I noticed.

Breakfast always started with a ring from the doorbell to your villa announcing that breakfast was about to be served. Usually there is one person who comes in and sets up your table, he/she will put water in the electric kettle to boil, and then layout the fruit, juices, coffee or tea you requested. Then a couple of minutes later they leave and return with your entrees, served warm on your dining table. It was quite a lovely spread.

The mee goreng (fried noodles) was great! I thought it was very tasty and better than the one at The Komaneka Bisma.

The fried rice was also pretty good but we definitely preferred the mee goreng.

The fruit plate was quite good. In the back you see the french press coffee but I thought the regular long black was actually more flavorful. You have the option of either.

BTW, just wanted to mention that the WiFi at The Layar is a hundred times better than the Komaneka Bisma. We were finally able to check emails and Facetime with our nieces! I like the idea of being unplugged at times but in all honesty I tend to prefer some hotels over others because of the free wifi #justsayin.

I found this really interesting beverage at the supermarket called Larutan. It’s a fruity, non-carbonated, sweet drink that is supposed to have a “cooling” effect on your body and prevents it from overheating. Let’s see if it works because I was literally burning up every day! They had different flavors and I tried the lychee and passion fruit. It tastes a little bit like Chinese barley water that seems to be a thing in SE Asia, but with fruit flavors.

Larutan – supposedly will coo you down! I should probably have drank more of this, but it was too sweet!

The batik-inspired artwork in the dining area of our villa

After breakfast we knew we had to run some errands like exchange money and get some laundry done. We passed a laundry drop-off right next to The Layar so we went out with our bag(s) of laundry and had it done for us. It was quite cheap as we expected. I cannot remember the exact number but it was maybe 11 USD for quite a lot of clothing!! We were told to come back around 5pm to pick up our clothes.

Laundry right next to The Layar

That’s Steve at the laundromat filling out the forms

Diagonally across from The Layar was hotel and spa called La Villais, we stopped by to check their spa prices and found that they were pretty cheap. Steve got a 90 minute massage for 25 bucks and I got an hour massage and hour facial for about 35 dollars. We booked appointments for later in the afternoon when it gets REALLY hot.

Since it is relatively cooler in the mornings, we decided to take a walk on the street outside. We walked about 8 minutes to reach the main drag, Jalan Kayu Aya, or “Eat Street”. From there we strolled down south and popped our heads into different shops and checked out some restaurant menus. We ended up near Seminyak Square which is a relatively popular outdoor shopping mall. The sun was out and blazing at this point so we decided to stop and cool down. We spotted a cafe with air conditioning and WiFi called Black Canyon Coffee. I think they are a chain from Thailand as a lot of their foods were Thai-inspired. It was nice to be in the cool air drinking cold drinks! I got an avocado smoothie and Steve got an iced latte. My smoothie was a little different to what I was accustomed to – there was an addition of something very floral tasting which I’m not sure I liked. I think it was some sort of fruit syrup used in the smoothie.

My avocado smoothie which tasted a bit strange. Liked the ice cream top and the boot-shaped glass though! Steve’s iced latte was pretty good.

Spaghetti snack with ordering propecia fish cake sausages. I liked this! It was simple and imagined it would be something I would throw together if all I had was spaghetti, ground beef, ketchup, and fish cakes.

We returned to The Layar to hang out at our villa. I’m sorry to say that the effect of the “cooling” drink did not last that long (if it ever worked but maybe I need to drink buckets of it). We spent the rest of the early afternoon pretty much in the pool.

Chillin’ at the pool

See? The wide steps in the pool allow you to lay in the water without submerging your sunglass-clad face

Cooling off with a Bintang radler, which is like beer with lemonade. It was refreshing!

When 1pm rolled around, we walked across the street to the spa at La Villas. We were greeted with some hot ginger tea (very popular here!) and were escorted to a couples room for our treatments. Steve really liked his massage, but I thought mine was ok. I guess it all depends on your masseuse’s hands and mine had skinny bone-y ones which just didn’t get the job done; at least I was relaxing and out of the heat. She did give a much better facial than massage though.

After our spa treatments, we decided to grab a late lunch at one of the newer Bali hotspots, Mama-San. It just so happens to be on one of the shuttle routes, so we hopped on The Layar’s luxury golf cart and they drove us down some of the back streets (the golf cart is not allowed on the main roads) to the junction of where Mama-San was.

It was pretty crowded in Mama San but luckily we were able to score a table for 2. We ordered 2 fruity drinks, a fluke appetizer, a steamed fish entree, spicy fried rice, and some laksa.

The interior of Mama San. I used to have hair like that girl’s in the mural! (many many years ago and not quite a chic)

L: a Carrot ginger cooler. Love carrot juice. R: Lychee lassi, this was delicious and sweet-tart. Loved it!

Three types of sashimi, salmon, tuna, yellowtail, with a soy vinaigrette.

Spicy fried rice, and whole seabass entree, steamed Chinese style

The laksa. Not quite like the Singaporean or Penang laksas I’m used to. The  gravy was too thick and way too spicy.

Despite the too-spicy laksa, we loved everything else and think this is a great spot for some nice food in a chic setting. Definitely go early to score a table or make an online reservation. After lunch we walked around for a bit, there was a nice store next to Mama San which sold jewelry at wholesale prices. It seemed like they had nice cheap stuff and I wanted to get some help but the one person working there was busy with another party making huge orders (like 1000 pieces and up) that I knew I’d be waiting for a while. Oh well, I guess we’ll save that for our next trip! We flagged down a cab to take us back to the Layar. When we got off, Steve went to get the laundry and brought it back to our villa. It was really nicely packaged and the clothes smell so good! I wish I could have my laundry done Bali-style all the time!

Fresh neat stack of laundry. It smelled so good!

Back at villa, we swam some more, and then took a nice long nap. When we woke up we were hungry but wanted something close by so we didn’t have to travel far. We opted for the popular restaurant called Ultimo which is located right at the junction of Jalan Kaya Ayu and the street The Layar was on. We had a brisk stroll there in the dark but there were quite a number of people walking around.

Ultimo is an italian restaurant with fantastic (cheap) prices and pretty good food. It was really crowded! Half of it is an outdoor restaurant with barely any light so I couldn’t’ take any food pics. But here’s one of the restaurant:

Back open air area of Ultimo

Prices are very reasonable for an “upscale” restaurant. Lots of expats and locals here. Steve’s 4 course prix fixe was about 12 dollars and my simple pasta aglio olio was about 8. Portions are a bit small but I guess we’re used to gigundo American portions.

We had a fantastic first full day in Seminyak just eating and exploring! We’ve also had a spa treatment on every day. Let’s see if we can keep this up!

Read more about our Bali Trip of a Lifetime.

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