Last Monday I was invited to enjoy a delicious dinner at Indonesian restaurant Bali James in Breda together with around 20 other bloggers/foodies/people from the industry. This event was to raise awareness for the fact that Indonesian food can perfectly well be combined with wines, and to let us get to know the wines they have on their menu.
In this post I’ll write all about the experiences at my first media event: food – wines – connections – experience!
I’d like to make clear that even though I was invited for this event, all opinions are my own. I get no compensation for this blog post, I just wanted to share the experience!
I’m sorry to say my photos aren’t as good as when I make them at home. Different environment…
Bali James in Breda
Indonesian restaurant Bali James in Breda has been opened for many years, but the kitchen – and restaurant itself in later stage – has been run by Jimmy Lohamzah since 2004. What I personally like most is that everything they serve us is homemade. He started off by mentioning he simply doesn’t like the peeled garlic cloves that you can buy in large pots, and then he continued explaining that he makes all the herb mixes himself and nothing is pre-packaged. I truly admire this, as I know how time-consuming this must be. Big plus!
I’m not very familiar with the Indonesian kitchen, but this was rather traditional cooking. Of course there were some adaptions, there was one dish that would traditionally have been covered in raw chicken blood, but furthermore a lot of herbs and spices used were all true to “real” Indonesian food.
Jimmy, the chef and owner, spoke with such passion about his work that I immediately liked him. He even had his whole kitchen rebuilt to make room for a kitchen appliance… That could’ve been me 😉 Forgive me, I would not be able to tell you exactly which appliance but if I understood correctly it’s some sort of grill, that also allows the chefs to cook a whole pig on a giant skewer. That’s what I call cooking!
I might have given it away already, but the food at Bali James in Breda was amazing. So many flavours packed in one dish, all sorts of different proteins from pork to beef, lamb, dorade/sea bream fish, lobster, squid, tofu…. You name it, I tried it!
I particularly liked the combinations of herbs, which were complimented beautifully by the wines that were picked out for us. I have to say there was a lot of spicy food as well which I usually shy away from, but I was pleasantly surprised by how the heat added a different dimension to the dishes.
We tried a total of four different wines – two red two dry white – with the food, and another red wine afterwards. As I learned at school, fruity dry whites are the perfect combination with spicy food, so that definitely matched well. It sort of balances the heat and flavours, I definitely recommend you to try this instead of a beer!
What I found interesting is that the red wines also matched rather well, maybe not so much with the spicy food, but still. Very interesting.
I did some networking, which was relatively new to me. Very exciting, I met some very nice people of other Dutch blogs and an event manager as well. She told me to go to more events she hosts, which I definitely will! Can’t wait to expand my network and meet more people.
We all exchanged instagram names and our websites – so funny to see the faces behind the blogs. I also met someone who owns a bigger blog and is always looking for guest bloggers, which he told me I could try if I wanted. Yes, please! I can use all the experience I can get.
I overall had a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed meeting those people, who were all so different yet shared one thing: love for food. I could have talked to them all day. I definitely got inspired by their successes, stories and experiences and now I want to grow my blog even more. I was definitely the “newest member” of the food blogging community, but they were all very nice about it!
I think that pretty much sums everything up, I have soooo much to think about. I can’t wait to try and cook with some more of those herbs and spices too.
See you soon!
The first photo (cover photo) is from Stappen & Shoppen Breda.