We were not sure what to expect from the Gili Islands. They seem to be very touristy as everyone always goes to the Gilis. We chose to goto Gili Meno the quieter of the 3 for some well deserved R'n'R. As if we haven't had enough of that over the last 6 months.
The boat trip which was in a smallish boat bouncing around in some rather choppy water did it's best to see me sitting on the deck with my head in my hands and looking rather pale and in a cold sweat. This is how I cope with sea sickness.
The good fun was when we arrived to our Gili and we changed into a smaller boat to take us ashore. The sun had set already and darkness was upon us when we were told we had to do a beach landing, as there was no jetty there. Now I know what it is like to be a smuggler. Being taken ashore under darkness very quickly at the most secluded part of the island. Very pirate like.
We chose to goto Gili Meno in the end because Sunset Gecko was the only place who replied to our email (via Tokyo). Thankfully, the places on the other 2 islands still haven't replied. Our gain.
The food on the island is very much travellers fare. Some places do it well, some do not. Sunset Gecko does it very well. Things looked good from the off, as we were given a coconut cream milk shake with a sprinkling of green tea powder on top as a welcome drink. They are owned by some kind folks from Japan, hence the reply from Tokyo. Their food has some Japanese twists and turns in it, especially in the sauces because of this.
Actually everything they did was a cut above everything else on the island. Not only in quality of the cooking but also the quantities, which once or twice left us with the feeling that we would not need to eat the next day.
Thankfully breakfast was not included like most other places we have encountered in Indonesia. This allowed us to get into a routine of not waking up till about 10am. Wandering out to the beach, ordering an ice coffee. Drinking this while we pondered what we could do that day. Which was always to wander to the Northern part of the island, as there was no wind there and sit in the sea and look at the marine life until we were hungry. Then we'd stroll down the Eastern side to one of the many places there and eat some lunch, nothing to heavy, until we felt like making the intrepid journey through the centre of the island to Diana's for a couple of sunset beers. Life sometimes is best when it's not complicated.
We'd either eat at Gecko's in the night or stroll back to the Eastern shores as every night the restaurants there line up the days catch of fabulous looking fish. Some fresher than others. It's simply cooked over charcoal, and depending which restaurant you goto you could get just rice or with one we got sweetcorn, jacket potatoes, salad and sauces. Heaven.
I never got to try the Barracuda, but I was told it was very good. I seemed to always settle for either a Red or White Snapper grilled over coals and washed down with a cold beer. Life is so simple sometimes. Why complicate it.
Geckos did the best Nasi Goreng, Nasi Campur and the best creamy Coconut Curry ever. I never got to try their fish dishes but I was reliably informed they were pretty special. Every dish we had with them was presented very well. Presentation is half a chefs job done. I forgot to ask where the Chef came from, I am sure she was not Indonesian when I said goodbye to her. She looked faintly Japanese but I could be mistaken.
Sometimes I'd like to have a small place on the beach cooking unfussy food for people using good fresh ingredients, instead of the small town we will be in one day in Colombia. Not sure how the local population of Paisas will take to my style of cooking. Only time will tell. If I can do as good as Sunset Gecko, I will be a happy man.