Sunday, December 4, 2011

warung murah, legian, bali

Padang style restaurant
Chinese & Indonesian food
beach end of Double Six Road (Jalan Arjuna), Legian

open 8.00am to 10.00pm

This is a diversion from my regular posts in that there is no crema or crumbs in sight. There isn't even an espresso machine on the premises.  So why am I here?  To fill my face with cheap and cheerful Indonesian tucker. Warung Murah translates as "cheap restaurant", and for less than $1.50 you can pile your plate high with freshly cooked vegan or meat lovers morsels.  There is a menu available with the standard offerings of nasi goreng, mee goreng, gado gado, chicken gordong blue or mashed potato, but the fun is to be had at the buffet, where you point at whatever you want and the staff slop it onto your plate. You are then given a coupon stating the price of your selection, which you later present to the cashier.  Nutty red rice or unpolished white rice is the base, and you build onto it with curried tofu or tempeh, beef rendang, coconut spiced fish, chicken in various forms, potato patties and numerous vegetable dishes. Condiments are offered last, and unless you have a high tolerance to chilli, exercise caution with the sambal. Icy blender juices, milkshakes and beer are available, or heat yourself up with a cup of Nescafe or muddy Balinese coffee.  Beverages are presented with a "just for drink" coupon, and at a little over $1 for pineapple juice, you can affort to rack them up. Jaffles, pancakes and black rice pudding with banana and coconut cream satistfy the sweet end of the meal.

As the streets of Legian and Seminyak become crowded with international cuisine, many tourists don't stray far from the familiar choices of pizza, burgers and pasta - either because they don't know what to order, where to go, or are unsure of the hygiene standards.  At Warung Murah the food appears continuously throughout the day from a tiny back room kitchen, service is fast and efficient, and the place is humming at all hours with locals, budget travellers and expats.  Next time you're in Legian, call in for a delicious, satisfying and inexpensive feed.  Shirts and shoes are optional.

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