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  • Iboe Soelastri’s Cooking Class at Hotel Tugu Bali

    Heritage Indonesian Cooking in a Classical Kitchen


    Iboe Soelastri’s cooking class at Hotel Tugu Bali should be on your shortlist of things to do in Canggu, especially if you’re keen on trying out local flavours and learning about the exotic spices and ingredients, age-old techniques and preparations that make up heritage Indonesian cuisine. The best thing about Iboe Soelastri’s cooking class is that, after a tour of the island’s traditional markets, you are then taken back in time in an immersive, classically-designed kitchen complete with wood-fired stoves, antique wooden furnishings and earthenware of old.

    Your itinerary starts with a guided tour of a traditional Balinese market, namely the Badung market in the heart of Denpasar, an approximate half-hour drive east from Canggu. Here, in the largest market on the island, you’ll learn about the many different kinds of produce sourced locally from the highland farmlands in central Bali, from fresh greens to tropical fruits and spices such as mangoes, mangosteen, young jackfruit, chillies, lemongrass and cloves, some of which will be purchased and used back at Iboe Soelastri’s cooking class.

  • Back at Waroeng Tugu, the classical kitchen for Iboe Soelastri’s cooking class at Hotel Tugu Bali, you don your aprons while admiring the dedicated venue’s setting that mimics traditional Javanese and Balinese kitchens of yesteryear. Instead of modern electric or gas stoves, at the end of this large pavilion are sets of traditional terracotta rice steamers sitting on wood fire-fed earthen pits. The open kitchen layout also boasts old-fashioned utensils such as clay vessels, mortar and pestles, woven baskets and carved wooden fruit bowls.

    Malang (East Java)-born Iboe Soelastri is a well-seasoned chef, owing much of her expertise to her grandmother who inspired her interest in traditional recipes from a very young age. Her programme lets you choose from a selection of traditional Javanese and Balinese dishes from her extensive list – usually five recipes per session. She and her team guide you through the preparation of spices, including slicing and chopping up chillies and stone-grinding tomatoes and ginger with pestles; no blenders or 200-watt food processors here! Such slow and manual processes are known to result in much preserved flavours and consistent textures.

    The same goes for the main cooking, which is done the good old-fashioned way – grilling the ‘ayam panggang bumbu terik’ chicken marinated in coconut milk on charcoal, steaming the white rice in woven cone baskets over special terracotta pots, stir-frying the Javanese-style fried rice in traditional woks, and barbecuing the ‘sate lilit’ Balinese-style minced fish satays. Even the serving presentations are strictly traditional, with banana leaves lining long wooden trays, as well as wraps for the ‘pepes’ steamed fish, chicken and rice, and stitched up as rectangular bowls for sauces and dressings.

    Your personally-prepared feast is then enjoyed for lunch in the pleasant settings of the Wantilan Agung, another of Hotel Tugu Bali’s imaginative venues, surrounded by some of the art hotel’s antique collections and with views over lush gardens and the waves of Canggu’s Batu Bolong Beach. Iboe Soelastri’s cooking class at Hotel Tugu Bali are offered in packages starting from USD 72 (IDR 1million).

    Iboe Soelastri’s Cooking Class

    • Location: Tugu Hotel Bali, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu
    • Tel: +62 (0)361 4731 702
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