How to not do Bali like a Bogan.
Bali. The land of luke warm Bintang beers, fake Nike shoes, dirty nightclubs, taxi touts and gravel rashed tourists that have come off scooters.
There is another side of Bali that is keeping it legit. We just got back from a few days of Caribbean clear beaches, amazing views and incredible meals.
Canggu is a mix of the cool kids that hang at North Bondi mixed with the mega chic coastal vibes of Mexico’s Tulum. Think small boutiques, custom motorbike builders, board shapers & killer coffee haunts.
I spent a day here. Here’s why you should too.
I’m definitely not a yoga type and you will never find me tucking in an Acai bowl at breakfast time. Crate caters to this crowd but also kills it with their Aussie style breakfasts. I tucked into their homemade baked beans, poached egg and bacon dish.
The fit out is simple and looks like it’s been carved out of a slab of concrete. We’re down with that type of thing.
Australians travelling abroad get gravely disappointed when searching for good coffee. Crate keeps things very Surry Hills. You’ll be fine here.
Set amongst the rice fields of Canggu, Deus brings their custom motorbike/surfboard/bicycle vibes to Bali. This place is huge and has a killer Sunday session.
There are loads of areas to sprawl out, take in a Bintang, eat some food and try and score a free tattoo. Canggu & Bali is filled with some unreal custom motorbikes. There is no doubt why Deus set up shop here.
Old Man’s is a bar located right on the beach in Canggu. Once you’ve given up on surf lessons head in to there massively open planned bar.
Old Man’s boasts loads of space with a typical bistro menu and cheap beer. I spent hours here reading a book and sipping 100 beers. You can play table tennis, beer pong, use the change rooms & showers whilst beering away the afternoon.
If you head to Canggu you are destined to end up at Old Man’s.
It’s easy as pie to get to Canggu by requesting an UberX from anywhere in Bali. Canggu is an Uber-free zone for pick-ups. You’re at the mercy of local prices on the way home. Good luck.
I’m not sure what to say about Ubud. It’s not like the mega tourists haunts of Seminyak, Legian or Kuta but it’s not far off. Take a cab up to Ubud and you’ll see what I mean.
Yeah, you can do the spiritual holistic thing here but that’s not my game. Go to Ubud for food experiences.
Smack bang in the town centre lies Ibu Oka. Popular with locals and tourists, Ibu Oka, gets delivered the tenderest suckling pig (Babi Guling) every morning at 11am.
Skip breakfast and get in early – it sells out.
We hit up the house special featuring typical Indo salads, pork, crackling, sauces and the welcome addition of blood sausage. I was starting to miss Coogee after all a.k.a Little Dublin.
This was fun. For AUD$35.00 we were picked up from the hotel and taken to a homestead to learn to prepare traditional Balinese dishes.
We made fish satay, Gado Gado, yellow sauce, chicken curry amongst others. The host/owner is a crack up.
You’ll be blown away by Ibu Oka and will want to know how to recreate the flavours at home. Back it up with Paon Cooking Class and you’ll have the tools you need. Other honourable mentions is Naughty Nuri's Warung about 10 minutes out of central Ubud. They do roadside grilled American Style BBQ pork ribs.
Now – get the #dafuq out of Ubud.
Oh man. This place.
Take a 30-minute fastboat ride to Lembongan from Sanur and you’ll see what I mean.
Lembongan isn’t a party island. Expect world travelers, divers, surfers and a few dozen Chinese tour groups in the mix. If you’re looking for a party, there’s a good chance you’ll find it but don’t expect the club scene like in Kuta.
What’s not to love? Caribbean blue waters, great restaurants, cheap beachfront accommodation & a vibe that is totally un-Bali.
Hire a scooter for $7.00 a day and start exploring the island. From the Warungs (local restaurants), Nusa Ceningan (another island linked by a one-way bright yellow bridge), the bar scene or simply just watch the tide roll in and out with a ice-cold Bintang in hand.
We ate here a few times. Our pick was the Soto Ayam, which is a carb heavy chicken soup. Served with a plate of rice the chicken broth kicks the starch up a level with potato and rice noodles. It’ll soak up that handover in no time.
Live music every night and some wicked murals behind the stage and the bar. Missing home? They do ham, cheese and tomato jaffles too.
Hire a scooter and make your way here for cocktails and tacos. Swim in their pool, take in the tunes which will perfectly round out your afternoon. The soundtrack is is very beach club and if you come at low tide you can see the seaweed farmers harvesting their crop.
We got chatting to the owner who has locations in other parts of Indonesia. He said ‘What’s a Pirate without a Pirate Ship?’
You can soon charter their fully staffed vessel with 8 mates for about AUD$600.00 per night. Discover Indo in Le Pirates beach club style.
We attended the opening of this great little café whilst we were in Lembongan. Set up the hill just out of the main town, you can expect great things once they are in full swing.
Kopi Pondok roughly translates as Coffee Hut. These guys will be bringing over coffee beans from Australia whilst still supporting local produce. They will be featuring a simple food menu and will of course keep the cold drinks flowing.
The café is set in it’s own garden oasis with a great attention to the small details and will soon feature a villa built at the back of the property for holiday makers.
Sanur is the gateway to Lembongan and is popular with travelling families as it is a little less hectic that other parts of Bali. We didn’t spend much time here but it’s worth checking out the night market before you go to the airport.
SANUR NIGHT MARKET – PASAR MILAM SINDU
My time here was super rushed. I wish I had an extra hour up my sleeve. Every night this square gets packed with motorbikes and food vendors dishing up traditional Balinese and Indonesia fare.
Hit up a Bakso Man vendor (Chicken ball soup with noodles), some mixed Gado Gado salad and some satay skewers for under $5.00. Epic.
There is a woman selling beer towards the back – just make sure you return the bottle. She takes them to South Australia to get the 10 cents back.
Now back to the grills. It'll be the only tan we'll be getting for a while. More images below.
I know, on the right hand side of this page I promised to not bang on about Busboy too much.
Promises get broken, this is real life my friends.
I’ve never really spent too much time in front of the camera. For my Year 12 highschool major work I filmed an action movie with all my buddies. We had back alley car chases on pushbikes with a 1987 Ford Falcon tearing up back alleys, home-made squib bullet hits and staged break and enters.
Google home-made fake blood squib bullet hole effects. You’ll see a photo of me funnelling gooey fake blood into a garden hose being primed by a grass fertilizer pump bottle with one of my mates trying to gaffer tape it to an old flannelette shirt.
You should see the fake gun effects. Next level ghetto.
Last weekend we loaded the Busboy set up into the back of one of GoGet's Toyota Hi Ace Vans and headed out to Central West, NSW. GoGet is super handy. We use them all the time when moving around the city. It’s the perfect small business tool to easily access a whole bunch of vehicles just using a smart phone. It’s a no brainer for us and helps bring Busboy to all you good folk. GoGet includes fuel, insurance and servicing. All we do is book and drive.
How you like that for a plug? – they look after us, it’s only fair.
We have shot a bunch of dodgey iPhone footage over the months from breweries to picnics to our corporate functions. We got together with Josh from Elk Films with this brief to shoot something a little more legit;
I want to film a video. The brief is:
We travelled to Parkes, NSW and surrounds to shoot. The neighbourhoods have a real Australiana vibe where we hurled the Busboy bike down streets getting some really sweet slow-mo footage. Josh kept his balance in the back of said van to get some rolling footage of the bike and a skateboard in motion. We can’t wait it’s going to look great.
We finished the shoot tipping a few tinnies at the cricket before heading out of town setting up on a paddock when the light was looking puurf. Queue images of a country sunset with cows grazing in the background.
We wrapped it up and headed back into town for dinner…and here’s the big pro tip. If you’re thinking of heading to Parkes eat at Chong Hing Chinese Restaurant on Clarinda St. The $21pp banquet and $5.00 VB stubbies have left an imprint in my mind. Country Chinese restaurants rule.
A big thanks to Josh for making this happen. If you’re looking for something a little left of centre, he is your guy. Check out www.elkfilms.com for more details.
Special thanks to legends Young Henrys and Batch Brewing Co for hooking us up with some of your beers for the shoot.
You can visit their breweries at;
76 Wilford St, Newtown
Batch Brewing Co
44 Sydenham Rd, Marrickville
Stay tuned for the video.
It's been a huge year for our little business.
We officially starting rolling in August 2015 and have managed to iron out some of the bumps early whilst building a growing social following, developing our relationships with the local Brewers, learnt a tonne and have received some glowing praise from our fans.
We were recently featured in 'The Ten Best Food Trucks in Sydney' on Concrete Playground. This is an amazing list to be part of which I am very thankful for.
A big thank you to all of our friends, family, suppliers, new clients, Brewers, social media followers and our customers. Without support, small businesses like this don't work. Thank you!
We have a few things in the pipeline for early 2016. We'll start by growing the events side of our business and also by throwing a few curve balls in to change up our public menu for the breweries.
We aren't putting the Redneck thing to bed just yet but want to try out a few new dishes to keep it interesting. Check out Facebook for event details and new menus as they happen.
We are pumped for 2016 and hope to take you all along for the ride.
Have a safe and happy holiday season - all the best for 2016.
Ben - Busboy
How to get scammed in a foreign country
Scams, scammers and touts; I’ve met a few.
I see myself as quite a savvy traveller.
I’ve camped in a hire car in the southern states of the U.S, in trailer parks with loads of people lurking around looking for a buck when I could only offer them a Budweiser.
I’ve trusted a guy in Costa Rica to pick me up at 5:00am to drive 6 hours to my next destination in his 1878 Toyota Tarago.
I’ve paid a cab driver that knew no English to drive me from Montenegro to Croatia. He didn't mention a car ferry water crossing closely boarding ‘Taken-esque’ Albania.
I’ve told my tuk tuk driver in Bangkok that I work in a hotel so he doesn’t bother taking me past his friend’s very cheap tailor shop.
Point is I think I’ve seen enough of the world to pick a scam and feel like I can read a situation better than some.
The following is a guide to getting scammed whilst travelling.
The first introduction to travel scammery was when I was fresh.
And I mean fresssssh.
I watched my buddy take the ‘free’ hip hop CD from the young gents near Times Square, NYC.
A gratuity fee was then discussed in a somewhat intense fashion and my friend ended up coughing up USD$30.00.
We were dumb and had no idea about the world.
We freaked out about the $30.00 but it didn’t really matter once we’d had our seventeenth $10.00 beer at Yankee Stadium.
Years later I travelled to San Francisco for a long weekend.
It was my first time to the city and again, fressssssssh!
Two home boys roll up, one dropped to his knees pulled out a spray bottle of cleaning liquid, a rag and spat out some lines.
“I bet I can tell you where you got dem shoes at.”
Me thinking here we go.
“Alright man, what you got?”
He begins squirting cleaning agent onto my sneakers, cleaning them up.
“Aight. You got them sneaks on the corner of Sutter and Market Street, San Francisco, California, United States of America”
F%$k f%#k f#%k, I’ve been had.
I was then told I owed him $20.00.
$10.00 for his mind and $10.00 for the product.
His buddy then offered , “you jus got hustled baby”.
I felt like shit.
A valuable lesson learnt.
Fast forward a couple of years later. I spent a week or so in Vietnam for work.
I then zipped over to Cambodia for a week of discovery.
I landed in Siem Reap alone and found a driver who was more than willing to drive me to my hotel and be my tour guide for the next few days.
For a fee he offered to pick up my partner from the airport the following morning and take us to the Angkor temples.
After a bit of negotiation I was happy with the price and we had a deal.
The next day we went to the airport then checked out the temples.
Cambodia is hot.
HAF and I am not a temple guy.
My partner was suffering from heat stroke from her time in Malaysia so opted for the hotel room for a few hours.
I had a two beer buzz so was keen to get amongst.
Saroul, my driver, offered me an extra trip (for a fee) to visit the infamous Tonle Sap Lake floating village.
My experience in South East Asia is somewhat limited and I know people rave about floating villages. Why not?
“How much extra Saroul?”
USD$20.00 – sweet as.
I spent nothing in Vietnam for work.
I felt flush enough to keep cruising around in an air-conditioned sedan.
We arrived at the boat launching spot where tourists charter the long tail boats.
I figured I could just jump on with another group.
After a quick photo and $40.00 later I had my own long tail with a few Cambodian lads as my crew.
One English speaking gent told me about the river system, the floating village, the fisherman and other facts about simple Cambodian life.
My 2 beer buzz was now a 4 beer buzz. I was feeling good.
Putting along in a boat where the skipper monkey-foots a piece of rope underneath a bare motor which revs the engine to keep us moving. It was cool. I had this boat to myself.
The river opens up into a huge lake which connects most of the country and the Mekong river system.
This lake is amazing.
Schools, pig farms, floating veggie patches, homes and shops all make up the village.
My guide told me about floods the people face every year where a number of people die.
He pointed out a school of orphaned children he said we could visit on the way back.
We then putted around the various sights.
I white-boy’d a few pictures and selfies with the crew (5 beer buzz now).
We stopped in an empty part of the lake. The skipper cut the motor.
Allllright, WTF is happening here.
“What’s happening mate, we good?”
My guide tells me it’s a good time to reflect.
We were in the sun, my sobriety levels were on a massive decline and I was keen to get moving.
He said we should stop by the general store where I could buy some rice or noodles to donate to the orphan school on the way back.
No prob I thought.
A can of beer is 50 cents in this country, surely rice and noodles is somewhat cheaper.
We arrive at the floating general store.
A guy helps me into the store and I meet three other men.
Me and 6 Cambodian guys in the middle of a floating village, maybe 15 kilometres from an internet connection or phone.
“Thank you for coming. Rice is $1.00 per kilo. We have 50 kilogram bags or 70 kilogram bags.”
My running total of expenses in maybe the most affordable country in the world is adding up.
I had to remind myself it was for a good cause.
I offered $10.00 however the 6 deep local pressure got to me.
“You are from very rich country. We very poor.”
I parted with the $50.00, lugged the rice bag to the school and peaced out. I was pissed.
We got back to the dock.
My picture was taken as I got on the boat.
As I got off, a young girl plunged a souvenir plate with my picture in the middle in my face.
Another $10.00 gone.
I had to visit the ATM on the way back to the hotel to pay Saroul.
USD$40.00 – Saroul Taxi Airport and temple tour fee
USD$20.00 – Angkor Wat entry fee
USD$20.00 – Saroul Taxi Tonle Sap lake fee
USD$40.00 – Charter of Long Tail boat for Tonle Sap Lake
USD$50.00 – 50kg bag of rice
USD$10.00 – Decorative face plate
I had to remind myself to stop being a tight arse and be happy they I lived in a privileged country, had a good job and could afford life’s necessities.
I didn’t like being pressured into buying things but got over it.
Two days later I met another traveller who also did the long tail boat cruise BUT did not go to the general store or school.
He told me of Tonle Sap Lake and the boat he saw loading bags of rice from the orphan school and taking it the general store just on sunset.
“You just got hustled baby”.
You, reader, need to travel to the southern states of the USA. Often these states are forgotten amongst the likes of California, New York, Nevada & Florida. Take it from me that the southern states are the tits.
Pick up a camper/car/van and drive…just drive baby.
This isn’t a travel post but I’d happily go back and spend weeks in the South. We’ve spent weeks travelling from North Carolina looping around Texas, Tennessee and back to NC taking in all the major cities and the little towns. Food is possibly the biggest thing about Southern identity.
Fried chicken, po’boys, low and slow BBQ, boudin, gumbo, fried green tomatoes, collard greens and of course biscuits ’n’ gravy feature heavily on most menus.
Biscuits & gravy is a southern recipe most families have mastered their own unique version of. You’ll find the dish in roadside diners, breakfast houses & gastropubs.
The gravy. Seasoned hot white pork sausage gravy is a thing of legends. There are loads of recipes bumping around the internet. Ours features a boatload of Kampot Black Pepper and a few other things to round it out nicely. It’s always served hot and goes well with biscuits.
We often spend our pop-up days educating the punter on the southern take on ‘biscuits’. We’ve had people buy from us thinking they were in for a burger bun. Wrong.
Biscuits are more inline with an English cream tea scone than your French brioche bun. The southerners do them a little more savoury and will eat them anytime of day.
They are made with loads of butter. LOADS of butter! The recipe is similar to scones with a few tweaks to make it a little more savoury. They have a few layers of butter throughout and tend to be quite flaky in texture. Milk or buttermilk it doesn’t matter how it’s made. Every recipe is different.
Best served fresh, dunked in milk, spread with jam, with gravy or as a breakfast sandwich are all bang on ways your can take them on.
Get your laughing gear around it.
How to fix a rental car in a foreign country
I recently went to France; hired a car, didn’t take the insurance, created a bit of body work mayhem and then bluffed the rental company into getting my AUD$1600.00 deposit back.
I’ve told this story numerous times over a few beers. Here’s the condensed version should you need it.
Things you’ll need:
1. A Walter White Breaking Bad attitude. If you’ve just seen Season 1, that’s good enough.
2. Google. You’ll want to find some local garages. Be aware of roaming charges. Some networks have a $5.00 per day data plan.
3. Renault Clio or similar.
4. Booze. I was in between the Champagne region and Loire Valley. This wasn’t an issue.
5. A phrase book. Foreign mechanics speak about as much English as you do French – or whatever the hell language you are trying to spit out.
6. Black gloss spray paint – or colour required
7. Stub nose pliers.
9. Sand paper
Here’s what happened.
I ran over a guiding marble stone trying to avoid an oncoming bus in a tiny French village. This made a huge dent underneath the back door (making it un-openable), plus a plastic panel dented and snapped off.
After a good few hours of freaking out, we rented a Chateau and bought up on cheese, pate, boudin noire and champagne; then told ourselves travel insurance would take care of it.
In a drunken haze and after flicking through our travel notes...we were very wrong.
Combien? I ask the mechanic. $2000.00 Euro he tells me in broken English.
There was no way I was spending AUD$3400.00 to fix a car, let alone let the rental company take my deposit and charge up to $15,000 Euro for the value of the car, which was in the contract.
Here’s what we did:
1. Freak out. Tears, anger, swearing and acceptance. All the emotions and things you’ll do/have when you royally f$#k a rental.
2. Get drunk. This eased the pain for one night, numbed the anger, and brought the acceptance stage forward much sooner.
3. Have a kebab – or something that brings you close to home. There is nothing worse than hatching a scheming plan on an empty stomach. Perspective.
4. Take the car to a mechanic – try and get a quote. We went to about 15 garages; none that could help us for what we were trying to do.
5. Assess the car for a carpark DIY job (Walter White knowledge comes in handy)
6. I kicked that back door open finally and googled the French version of Bunnings.
7. Go to said French Bunnings, buy up on items 6,7,8 & 9 and get to work. We were set up in a self-wash car wash. Very ghetto. It felt pretty cool.
8. I used the pliers to flatten out the back door issues, sanded down the rough metal and used the mallet to tap away until the door closed properly. The glossy spray paint finished the job.
9. We found a garage that could replace the plastic part on our final day.
We dropped the keys in and boarded a bus to San Sebastian, Spain.
It took a while before we could find out the status of our deposit; only once getting to Barcelona and visiting a rental car branch who could bring up our file. Deposit released, ‘No Damage’.
That night involved a $200Euro bill at Michelin restaurant Tickets in Barcelona. Hustle successful.
I told myself when I got to the UK I would take the insurance – but, who is spending an extra 25 bucks a day in case they get into a sticky situation?
*Note: I think I’ve made this pretty obvious...but I have zero knowledge of cars.
Every so often I read about some 26-year-old millionaire that has blown up for creating an app for dog grooming or something vaguely similar. I read about the guy that woke up dusty from a college frat party, someone handed him a fresh coconut and after taking in it’s healing goodness, the bright spark went “Stuff it, I’m putting my stamp on this and selling it to tanned skinned yoga goddesses everywhere” (not an exact quote).