Great if you are new to cooking
This is a lovely day out and away form the hustle and bustle that Ubud has become.
Puspa and Wyan personally meet you at your hotel and you head off to the Ubud market. The local foods are explained and a little about the Hindu culture and offerings made to the God's.
Puspa tells you "not to worry" as none of the meat is purchased from this market. You breathe a sigh of relief.
Wyan takes you to the vilalge rice fields and is very keen to share his knowledge on rice production. This is very informative and again you gain a little insight in to the workings and local customos of the community.
On arriving at Puspa and Wyan's modest home you are given a cold drink, the structure and lay out of the typical Balinese home is explained, and the cooking part of the day begins.
A brief introduction to Balinese/Indonesian cooking ingredients and a walk through the yet to be fully established vegie and herb garden gives an insight into the ingredients that will be used in the days cooking.
We were a large group of nine. There isn't a cooking station for each person, or even a pair. Previous reviewers state that Puspa gives evey one a job. Mine was to seperate the small healthy looking lemon basil leaves from the ones that wouldn't be used for cooking. My friend chopped and diced vegies.
There are two hot plates where we crowded around to watch someone deep fry Tempe. The process was suddenly halted as they had not filled the gas bottles. We all didn't get the opportunity to prepare the chilli componant as they had forgotten to re stock food handling gloves.
If you are not a cook, and want more of a demonstrration then you will enjoy this. I prefer a cooking lesson where every one makes a small portion of each dish. Yes, I understand time constaints, not every one can distil pure coconut oil, or grind spices for hours. Maggi powder stock was used, as well as diced chicken breasts. Not traditional in my experiences.
The cooking is to western standards, and as well caters to the western palate. You are given a cook book at the end of the day. It is a bit of a mish mash, poorly set out and laking in quantities required to create the dishes in the book.
Don't get me wrong as I am sure all of you Paon fans are hissing at this review. It is a nice day out, plenty of food and a great price. These guys are so successful in what they are doing. Going by the other reviews they are doing a great job. I think they are in danger of growing too fast and perhpas the small cooking groups are a thing of the past given the popularity.
I would like to see more traditonal dishes made and infact Puspa was almost looking a little bored with it all. Talking to Puspa It appears to have been the same dishes over a long period of time.
daztraveller 4 contributions
Nov 12, 2010