On a recent trip to East Bali, I had Banana Honeycomb Pancakes served with palm sugar syrup. They were amazing and I had to recreate them as soon as I returned home.
Amanda, Kevin and Amanda, invited me to join her on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Bali. Amanda picked me up at the airport and we hired a driver to take us to our hotel.
Thank goodness we had a driver, because driving in Bali isn’t for the faint of heart. I was amazed and close-your-eyes scared by the crazy traffic. The cars are constantly passing each other on the small two lane roads. Scooters are zipping in and out around the cars and often the scooters are loaded up with an entire family or business. Picture a NYC hot dog cart on the back of a scooter.
So it was a such pleasure when we arrived safely at our hotel, the tranquil Jamahal Private Resort & Spa. It’s a peaceful, tropical oasis in the middle of a busy city. The staff were so welcoming and kind, and catered to our every need.
I loved having our own pool outside our elegantly decorated villa set in a private courtyard filled with tropical plants. Plumeria blossoms fell from the tree in the courtyard and you’d find them floating in the pool.
After I got settled in our room, Amanda and I walked down to Jimbaran Bay to catch the spectacular sunset. Jimbaran Bay is one of the best beaches in Bali. It’s only about 15 minutes from the airport, so it was a great place to spend my first night.
After a little bit of early morning beach time, we set off for East Bali. When we arrived at the five star Alila Manngis hotel we were warmly greeted in the open air reception area with tropical drinks.
The quiet, luxurious property is located on the East side of Bali near the small town of Candidasa. The spacious grounds are well groomed and gorgeous, with dozens of palm trees scattered around the property, lining the pool and sandy beach.
We spent the afternoon enjoying the hotel and relaxing by the beautiful pool. We also spent a little time catching up on work on our laptops on the comfy couch on the balcony, which overlooked the pool and the ocean. The wifi was great even on the balcony. It was a home away from home office that I could get use to.
The city of Candidasa is filled with dive shops and is a popular destination for scuba divers. The Alila Manngis offers snorkeling trips across the bay to the blue lagoon or will also arrange dive trips for you.
We didn’t have time to take advantage of all the fun activities available at the hotel. but the hotel concierge arranged a personalized trekking excursion for us. We spent the day trekking through rice paddies, visiting little hillside villages, and then toured two of the water palaces in East Bali.
The people of Bali were so friendly and nice, as we trekked through the little villages in the mountains and rice paddies, the people, especially the little kids greeted us with a friendly hello in English.
Our trek guide Toto was knowledgeable and patiently explained about local customs and all about the area. He carried our water in his backpack and took great care of us.
One of the highlights of the day was visiting Tirta Gangga. Tirta Gangga is a water palace built in 1946 by the King. There’s a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by lush gardens and intricately carved stone statues.
The water from the natural springs at Tirta Gangga is regarded as holy and is used in religious ceremonies in the temples. There’s also two swimming pools where locals can swim in the water.
Our final stop for the day was the Ujung Water Palace, which was the king’s summer retreat near the beach. It has three large ponds and beautifully manicured grounds. In the middle of the main pond is a beautiful white building which is accessed by two bridges on either side. The palace was used for relaxation and for entertaining important guests.
We ended the day with a fabulous dinner at the Seasalt Restaurant at the hotel. The Seasalt Restaurant is set in a traditional Balinese open air pavilion surrounded by lotus ponds. It was the perfect way to relax after a busy day touring East Bali.
We ate breakfast at the Seasalt Restaurant each morning. Breakfast is a 3 course chef prepared meal, and always included lots of luscious tropical fruit. My favorite breakfast entree was buttermilk pancakes served with fresh banana, honeycomb butter and palm sugar syrup.
It was the honeycomb butter on these pancakes that I really fell in love with. I’d never had honeycomb butter before, so when I got home I did a search for a recipe and it turns out honeycomb butter has nothing to do with real honeycomb. It’s made with honeycomb candy and it’s super easy to make with only 3 ingredients.
You could make your own honeycomb , but most recipes used a Crunchie bar, which is a popular candy bar in Australia. Since Bali is a popular destination for Australians, it makes sense that honeycomb butter would be on the menu. I found the Crunchie bar at a local gourmet market, Pirate O’s.
The palm syrup was super easy to make as well. I just picked up the coconut palm sugar at my regular grocery store. You could substitute maple syrup if you’d rather, but I think the palm syrup complements the honeycomb butter better.
My boys were crazy about these pancakes too. The butter is so good I couldn’t stop adding just a little bit more. Having them at home wasn’t quite as fun as eating them in Bali, but it’s pretty good substitute.
- Banana Pancakes
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, softened
- Crunchie bar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 cups palm sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put the Crunchie bar in a Ziploc bag and pound with a meat tenderizer or rolling pin until finely crushed.
- In a small bowl, mix butter and honey until smooth. Add the crushed candy bar and mix until blended.
- Shape into a log on plastic wrap, roll, seal and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- Combine the sugar and the water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer two minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.