Nasi padang: A great way to stretch your money in Bali

Food in Bali is like Alice in Wonderland. Nothing makes sense. You can get a pound of rice and vegetables for next to nothing, and pay 100,000rp for a knat-sized portion of something dribbled with French sauce.

Tonight I went to a familiar place, Pondok Dua, the nasi padang place at the top of Jl. Seminyak. Nasi is rice, and Padang is a town on the west coast of Sumatra. I’ve been there, the place is a hole, but has spawned a style of food that is popular. With nasi padang you get a plate of rice, and get to choose off of many plates with items (fish, meat, veg, egg, chicken, tempe etc.)
Pondok Dua never cheats on the price and serve good stuff. The thing that tells me this place id\s decent is that every time I go I see ‘bules’ (Boo-Lays) in there.
If you are a cheap-ass, or just want to save some money, nasi padang can be your game plan. An expat friend I met with recently complained about having no money. I suggested nasi padang and he said “I can’t eat Indonesian food everyday, I can’t live like them, I gotta do stuff.” So be it, but if you want a decent meal for $1, hit a nasi padang place.
The pricing in these places goes like this, rice is the staple, you get that for a couple of thousand rp, veg is usually free, but you pay for the meat / fish items. If you can live on rice, chicken and plenty of veg your are set.