Kuta has gotten a lot more diverse as far as food in the last 10 years. As well as the local nasi goreng (fried rice) and gadu gadu (Indonesian salad of half boiled vegetables in peanut sauce) there are now restaurants offering foreign foods such as Italian, Mexican and an assortment of fast food outlets such as McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.
If you’re like me and want to try the local food without spending a fortune, eat at the local warungs (food stalls) where you can eat for as little as 5,000 rupiah. I know eating from a road side stall may scare some people but after travelling through Indonesia for a couple of months I can tell you it’s okay as long as you make sure the food is cooked in front of you. Also, do not put ice in your drink and insist on either bottled water/drink or boiling tea.
With the level of tourists that flow through Bali vendors know their food has to be of a higher standard than places like Sumatra, home of Nasi Padang food. Padang food is served from many small dishes containing fish, vegetables and various other items. Chilli is used in almost all Padang food so be warned! Indonesian food in general contains a lot of spices but the Padang is the hot stuff.
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There are traditional Balinese food places, of course, serving such specials as Sate Lilit (minced fish and prawns), Babi Guling (grilled baby pig) and the Bebek Betutu (duck cooked in banana leaves).