I have always been a bit of a daredevil when it comes to trying some of the more extreme delicacies of the world and what could be weirder than forking over my hard-earned cash for a small shot of blood from a recently decapitated cobra, python, viper or better yet, why not just get a mix of all three.

While spending a week in Bali, my driver Bob introduced us to Istana Raja Kobra (King Cobra Palace) after I enquired about eating somewhere a little less touristy than the likes of Jimbaran Bay and Legian streets’ overcrowded, tedious restaurants, all serving from the same menu.One thing is for sure, there is no Nasi Goreng available here.

I flick through the menu, passing pages containing bizarre dishes of crocodile soup, flying fox satay sticks and even fried monkey meat until I come across the reason we were here – the “fresh cocktail of snakes” – a mix of snake blood, gall and special Chinese medical wine.

This special cocktail is said to be able to cure everything from eczema to hair loss, long- sightedness to liver problems and it is even rumoured to increase sexual performance, although we were after the thrill rather than the medical benefits. Requesting the combination of three snakes we are ushered into a small back room, which is filled with a menagerie of serpents, all intertwined and slithering amongst each other.

Whilst we are protected, having been separated by a large viewing window, two crazy Balinese men, completely unprotected and who must not get paid nearly enough for their job, are smack bang in the middle of the fiasco. With no gloves to protect against a bite, and relying on reflexes alone, our ‘chef/barman’ casually picks up a cobra, holds its head to the chopping block and with a swift flick of his wrist removes its head with a cleaver. Draining it of blood he begins to ‘milk’ the limp body of every last drop. He peels the skin off and removes the gall, (said to get rid of toxins and improve circulation), stirs in some Chinese medical wine and bon appetit, dinner/aperitif is served.

Raising our glasses, we toast the heavens, gather our wits about us and shoot back. BLAH! It was disgusting to say the least. My tongue numb, I wash away the foul taste with a swig of Bintang. To be fair it was the wine and gall that ruined the taste, so feeling brave (or stupid) we order again, this time just plain blood with no wine or gall. The looks we get are priceless. Even the guy in the room full of cobras thinks we are crazy and takes a photo of us.

Once more, another snake lost its life for the curiosity of our tastebuds. I lift my glass to my lips and chuck back a dose of fresh cobra blood. It wasn’t as warm as I was expecting it to be or salty. There was no coppery taste associated with blood. It wasn’t horrible like the first shot, in fact it was bordering on the tasty side.

Though it was expensive at $25 a snake, it is definitely an experience we will never forget.