Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bebek Bengil - Dirty Duck Diner

I was told by many the Bebek Bengil is a must-try in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia and since we already had a big Western meal last night at the Mozaic, one of Asia's top 5 restaurants, I thought this would present a good counter balance being local.

I have to say, my heart sank when I read the menu that the duck is first steamed then deep fried. I'm not a fan of anything deep fried and with my recent encouraging encounters with ducks, I was not at all in the mood for a deep fried duck. I anticipated that it would be such a waste of its lovely meat.

The presentation and plating further dampened my already lacklustre enthusiasm. Chef was right, plating IS important. This duck came across as dry as a bone and flat as a pancake. And placing a miserable piece of watermelon next to it clearly didn't help. I did not even feel like trying it.

Anyway, it tastes like KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) if you must read on. Not sure why the restaurant is able to pull such a crowd, local and foreign diners. I'm so sure my duck looks and tastes better and is much healthier. But the difference is they are a successful business and me, I don't even have a stall to call my own. Maybe I should set up a street sous-vide duck stall just outside their compound.

On my way out just half an hour later, I spotted a stray cat striding across the dining hall, a clear sign to me that there is food safety and hygiene problems in this kitchen. Hmm...a new meaning to "dirty duck". Many locals and travellers alike have recommended this place but I for one would not come back again. I didn't like it one beak.

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