Warung Nia Cooking School, Seminyak, Bali
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One of the many reasons Aussies are returning to Bali in droves is because of the fabulous food. We like to eat it and we like to know how to cook it. Cooking classes here are more popular than ever and one of the best cooking schools is located in Seminyak, right next to the famous Flea Market.
Warung Nia claims to serve the very best Pork Ribs in Bali. Try them and you'll probably agree. Once you've enjoyed these succulent ribs and their accompanying sweet and spicy sauce you may be tempted to join one of Nia's cooking classes to learn how to recreate this deliciousness at home.
Cooking sessions are held daily and are impeccably structured for optimal organization and efficiency. Workstations are generally set up to accommodate 4-6 participants with around twenty people to a class.
Each station has knives and chopping boards, raw ingredients and cooking utensils along with an apron and recipe booklet for each person. You'll be offered a welcome snack to enjoy while introductions are made and explanations are given.
Most dishes involve one of two basic spice pastes known as Bumbu Bali and these pastes are the first thing you'll create.
Ingredients for each paste include varying amounts of ginger, garlic, shallots, galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, salt, sometimes shrimp paste and always lots of wicked little chillies.
There's a lot of chopping involved so it's all hands on deck for this first step. Each group has the support of at least one Nia staff member and overall guidance is provided by a senior chef. I was pleased that my group was allocated to Chef Komang during my recent class. Komang hails from Karangasem in Eastern Bali, where food is possibly even more revered than elsewhere on the island, and his culinary passion is clearly evident in his teaching.
Once the chopping is done, for now at least, the ingredients are bruised and crushed with a traditional cobekan (mortar and pestle). Chef Komang admitted that most of his cooking students return to their home country and use electric blenders to perform this task although, in his opinion (and mine) the resulting flavours are not quite the same.
Once the spice mixtures are prepared the creativity begins as frying commences, meat, fish and tofu are added and sauces are mixed in. You can expect to produce dishes including Ayam Betutu, Pork in Sweet Soy Sauce, Satays with Peanut Sauce, Green Papaya Salad and Gado Gado.
Everyone's favourite, Nasi Goreng, is the final dish to be cooked and the process is accompanied by fanfare and drama to add excitement to the anticipation of the forthcoming lunch feast.
A colourful selection of chopped vegetables is fried with chicken, yesterday's cooked rice and a medley of sauces.
The cooking procedure is quick and precise as ingredients are added to super-hot woks.
The voice of Chef Komang intensifies as he shouts instructions and circles the room to check progress.
Once the cooking process is complete, tables are arranged for a grand feast, and a harmony of flavours will be enjoyed, in celebration of the hard work of all participants. To be honest it's not hard work at all just a little bit of learning and lots of fun.
Classes cost around A$58 per person including a welcome snack and drink, a recipe booklet and a delicious lunch. Bookings can be made by ringing +62 877 6155 6688 or WA (WhatsApp) +62 897 7305 338. Better still, drop in for lunch or dinner and book for a class while sampling the restaurant menu.
261912 - 2023-08-10 02:59:03