All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Bon Odori

On Saturday (10/7) Widhy, his family, and I went to Bon Odori that was sponsored by the Japan Club Bali. I'm assuming it's the Japanese version of Mid Autumn Festival. Normally, they have the festival outside by the beach, but because of the second Bali bombing (one of the targets was Jimbaran which is the beach), the organizers decided to have the festival at the Westin in Nusa Dua. The place was super packed with people. Lots of Japanese and surprisingly many locals. Many, many people wore kimono or yukata. I even saw two or three Muslim women wearing their head covering and yukata. Interesting thing was that most of the Japanese who married local were woman, unlike the rest of the island where the white guys are the ones who married local women. The place was packed with people, and I think the convention hall was too small to fit all these people. In the center of the hall was a dance stage where people were dancing traditional dances. Along the walls were game stations and food/drink stalls.

Many of the local Japanese restaurants were selling foods. We did get a bunch of stuff, like pannacotta (custard-like dessert that has a hint of almond and cheese flavor with a bit of strawberry sauce as topping), croquettes with some sort of stirred fried vegetables with lots of ginger taste (it was already cold), Korean style pancakes (it was cold but still tasted good), zaru soba, takoyaki, and okonomiyaki (??). Widhy wanted sushi, but because the lines were too long, he gave up. Eventually we did eat some sushi, which were bought by Wid's parents. The sushi from Take were quite good, but Hana still makes the better sushi (tuna~). When we had about 4 coupons left, Wid gave them to me to find something to use up the remaining coupons. I was going to get ice cream from the Papaya stall, but the lines were too long. I then looked down at the table, and I found "American dogs" (corn dogs) each costing 2 coupons. I snatched up two sticks and headed back. It was surprisingly good and warm. The sweetness of the fried batter complimented the salty hot dog. The best foods we tried were the zaru soba from Yakiniku Sama-sama(?) and okonomiyaki from Kai/Hai(?). I wanted candy apples but we didn't get the chance to try that. Overall we ended up a lot more stuffed that we thought we were.

The dancing was amusing to watch, but eventually they repeated the dancing and the songs that accompanied the dances. I think there were about three songs/dances. The drumming part was quite fun to watch too. We met one of Wid's parents' friend whose wife is a Japanese who makes and exports kimonos for 30,000 to 50,000 USD.

Overall, the event was pretty fun even if it was a bit clausterphobic. It was a lot like the cultural festival that Wid, Yanwen, and I went to back at University of Michigan a few years ago. What's good is that it got Wid's parents to think about going to Japan next year. We convinced them to see the cherry blossoms. :D

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