Its not everyday that you get invited to the opening of a friends new restaurant so I was a little bit excited by the possibility of eating some decent western style food. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not by any stretch of the imagination a fussy eater. I have over the years managed to push aside any anger left over from my kitchen days.  I learned to swallow mediocre food and say thank you with a smile. It has become almost an art form. A kind of linguistic bullshit that makes social interaction easier for all concerned. Nobody likes going out for dinner with that prick who completely ruins everyone’s night by calling the waiter over, telling him that the chef is a hack and the food tastes like shit. No I have changed as I have gotten older. Like a fine wine that ages with time and all that crap. Deep down however I do envy my 2 year old son not because he has his bottom wiped for him twice a day but because when he doesn’t like the food hes been given he spits it out and begins to finger paint.

I arrived at the restaurant a little bit early so I could have chance to be given a tour and wish my friend well in her new endeavor. The place looked nice enough with a lovely manicured garden, plenty of staff and the sound of waves crashing on the beach. What could possibly go wrong I though to myself? It wasn’t until I had been seated at my table and I looked at the menu that I started to become a little concerned. There were words written down like potato wedges, Pasta, American style hot dog, and onion rings. No mention of steak, fish, oysters, paultry or anything that I would consider food. A sense of foreboding set in.  It wasn’t only that there was nothing of substance on the menu it was that the menu had been written by someone who had no concept of entree, main course, sides and desert.

I ordered a hot dog,  mash potato and a mineral water….

5 Mins later I was given a bottle of everyday drinking water and a glass. 10 mins later the mash potato arrived.  Now for those of you out there. You foodies know that mash potato is not an entree’ and just like me you would be wondering why it would be served as such? I was even given a separate knife and fork however it gets even better. The mash potato wasn’t like the regular mash spud anyone of western pallet would be used to. It was like a mixture of glue, chunky starch mixed with baby vomit. How any chef can manage to fuck up perfectly good potatoes is beyond me. Its only saving grace was a stark garnish of wilted parsley. The waitress hovered behind me waiting. I took my fork stuck it in half expecting it to make some kind of sound. With the waitress looking on I braced myself as if I had a gun pointed at my head. I knew as soon as this went into my mouth that I would most likely be condemned to the toilet for possibly the next 24-48 hours. It tasted like the way it looked. I reached for the salt and pepper and the waitress scurried away.

The sun was setting and the sky was throwing out lovely colors of blue, pink and orange. But I was trapped. I looked down at my phone hoping for some kind of emergency. Some reprieve so I could escape this nightmare. What was I going to tell my friend? Her menu was terrible and her chef would be better suited to a profession of licking the windows on the special peoples bus. Not likely. She seemed stressed enough and it wasn’t going to be me that destroyed her dream of being a successful restaurateur.  It wasn’t until 10 mins later that I was given my out. I could see my friend leaving the dining area and my hot dog was on the way.  Brilliant.. I scoffed half of “it” down and chased it with my remaining water. My stomach gurgled and I kind of half vomited half coughed into my napkin. I looked around to see if anyone noticed. The music had masked the sound and I was all clear.

As I approached the bar my stomach gurgled a second time and if it wasn’t for the beats blaring out from the loud speaker everyone would have heard me drop a 3 second fart that would make a prostitute blush. I needed to focus, pay and get the fuck out of here before my friend came back. The transaction was completed quickly if you were to consider using test cricket as some kind of time measuring yard stick. 3 items plus sales tax. Not calculus by any stretch of the imagination and definitely not fucken rocket science. With the bill settled and me safely on the way to my car I let out another fart and breathed a sigh of relief. I might be fine just so long as I make a pit stop at the chemist on the way home. Possibly…

So you all may be wondering whats the name of this hell hole so we can avoid it like the black death of 1347?? Well for now I’m not saying. But if I was to be completely honest the standard here was not that high to begin with anyway. Most of the western style restaurants and cafes in Bali are average at best and completely shithouse as the norm.

Enjoy your holidays and Bon Appétit