Indonesian Nasia Padang
Officially, Nasi Padang, a dish of rice served with various meats and vegetables, we generally just refer to it as padang, as in, “heading to the padang for lunch.”
Similar to Nasi Kandar in Malaysia, you can tell a restaurant is a padang because there will be stacked plates and bowls of different dishes in the window. As much as I generally avoid pre-cooked food, some of the padangs do so much business that the food turns over quickly. Like a buffet, just point to what you want. You are charged based on the number of items. An Indonesian specialty at most padangs is the beef rendang, a tougher piece of meat cooked for hours in coconut and chili. Don’t forget to ask for some curry sauce to be lured over your rice, and spicy sambal on the side, to truly feel local.
We head to the padang at least a few times a week, along with most of our friends in Ubud. Although they recently increased their prices, it is still possible to grab lunch for two people for about $5, and that is a steal for Ubud. It is amazing that we all seem to gravitate to one particular padang, and it is the source of town gossip, such as “did you see the padang is closed to repaint its walls.” Yeah, Ubud is that small of a town.
Where to eat: Padang Puteri Minang, on Jalan Raya Ubud in Central Ubud, Bali. Always fresh, lots of turnover, and spectacular beef rendang.
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