Posted on Tuesday, 16th September 2008
There have been many husband and wife teams from years past that have worked well together. One couple that comes to mind was Marie and Pierre Curie. Although not Nobel winning, perhaps another couple might be that of Darta and Suti, the friendly husband and wife team who have turned their family home at 24 Jalan Kajeng (Kajeng Street) into both a guesthouse and a restaurant known as Rumah Roda.
Suti – wife, mother and chef – began her cooking career elsewhere. For about eight years she was the cook at Han Snel’s Bungalows, a slightly more upmarket tourist accommodation spot with individual bungalows in Ubud, Bali. After leaving Han Snel’s, Suti turned her attention to cooking a limited range menu for tourists at the family home in Ubud, Rumah Roda, where guests would sit at the one table for four placed right next to the family kitchen. About three years ago, the family decided to expand, and the current restaurant was built as an open air dining area overlooking the street, right above the family bedrooms. The extension provides a much larger seating capacity, about 20-25 rather than just four, and gives customers the option of either sitting at dining tables or on the elevated cushioned platforms.
The restaurant at Rumah Roda serves typical Balinese food, but on Sundays and on other selected nights of the week they also offer a Megibung (Magibung). Megibung translates as ‘sharing food’, and is essentially a traditional Balinese buffet.
The buffet selection varies, but on the night I attended there were about twelve different dishes on offer, including sate ayam (sate chicken), pepes tuna (tuna fish steamed in banana leaf), and a diverse variety of vegetarian dishes including jukut gepang (squash cooked in coconut milk and chilli), lawar (long beans with traditional spices), bregedel jagung (sweet corn patties) and tempe goreng (fermented soya beans) stir-fried with garlic, ginger & brown sugar with chilli. In typical Balinese fashion, the food was wonderfully spicy, but at the same time surprisingly delicate, demonstrating a deftness of touch in the cooking. However, what I found most pleasurable was the freshness and the purity of the taste of the ingredients. It was very homey and earthy and I suspected this was due to the fact that the family owns a plot of land nearby that Darta’s elderly uncle tended to and which is used for growing some of Rumah Roda’s family’s vegetables.
The buffet was priced at only 30,000 Rupiah (about £1.70). For its variety of choice, the all-you-can-eat option, the quality of the ingredients, and the simply wonderful home-styled cooking, Rumah Roda was unbeatable value as a dining destination (and also as a vegetarian eating option) in Ubud, Bali.
Note that on nights where the megibung isn’t offered, you can still pre-book the megibung especially for you and your friends (5 people minimum).
Rumah Roda at:
24 Kajeng Street
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