the place where i had the second most memorable meal with my family in bali is certainly no secret. the dirty duck diner has popped up quite a few times on travel guides for the area, but for some reason the concept didn't really appeal to me. i was happy to eat at warungs, tucked away cafes, things i hadn't read about on blogs or guides. but i'm glad we decided to eat here, even though i was feeling extremely unwell from getting soaked in the rain at tanah lot and having the runs all week. it's easy to see that business has been good there! the restaurant may look medium-sized from the front, but it stretches way back with little lantern-lit ponds and private huts that are open but are a good distance away from neighboring diners.
we started with a baby octopus salad and fried red snapper. the fish was perfectly cooked, and the tender potatoes surprised me since i hadn't seen them in any indonesian dish prior to this. apparently they are grown locally in bali. the octopus salad was good too, but the fact that the avocados were under-ripe bothered me a bit. if they're not in season, please don't put them in the dish; it's not necessary. i was actually denied avocado drinks at all the cafes because although it was on the menu, they didn't have the fruit in stock.
the pork ribs came with rice, shallot with lemongrass or sambal matah, spicy tomato sauce or sambal tomat, and a salad. the ribs themselves were good but a bit dry, so not as delicious as the ones my mom makes. of course we ordered the duck as well, which came with more of those lovely potatoes. it was very good and though it was half of a duck, there wasn't enough! unfortunately it was also a little dry... i assume because of the volume of customers, food is cooked beforehand and left in a warmer; that would explain how the dishes came out so quick! my family and i weren't ravenous, so these 4 dishes (and only once rice!) was fine for us.
despite our indecision and long conversations, we never felt rushed in any restaurant or cafe in bali! a stark contrast to denmark, where i sometimes feel like i'm a burden on the waiter/waitress for asking for a glass of tap water with my meal. this place was no different, as no one came over to disturb us unless we looked like we needed assistance. the bill for the less-than-awesome food and one large bintang beer came out to around $40USD, pretty damn expensive for bali standards. still, to spend a nice evening with my family in a relaxed, beautiful restaurant was definitely worth coming to the dirty duck diner for. sometimes you just get tired of seeing roaches and lizards running around the kitchen where your food is coming from. :P