It’s like the gift that just keeps on giving. Well in this case dish and Nasi Campur is it. In most restaurants they have a selected few dishes that get carefully placed around the rice with a sate, sambal and maybe some prawn crackers. These don’t generally range must past a chicken or tofu/tempeh curry, beef rendang, a boiled or fried egg and an urap (cooked vegetables and beansprouts mixed with grated coconut) and there is nothing wrong with these. In fact they’re quite delicious, but there is definitely another and better might I add, way of going about getting your nasi campur.
In most of Indonesia these ‘warungs’ or small shops/restaurants are scattered all over the cities, towns and villages. All quite modest in décor, size and presentation with only a dozen or so chairs around a few tables and a simple display in the window of what is currently on offer. To some they may even look dingy and unsafe to eat in, but these people may also be fools. The food is displayed generally in bowls behind a curtain in the window so passersby can view it and be drawn in. The food is made daily and fresh, although it may be sitting for a time, I just go with the rule that if it’s busy it’s not only better, but fresher as well.
As always centered on a large scoop of rice the dishes can range from veg and nonveg curries, fried tempeh, boiled eggs, fish and the list goes on. Simply point at what you’re interested in and they’ll organize a plate for you. The price is usually based around how many and which dishes you got between veg, meat and fish. It’s one of the cheapest ways to get a good dinner with a variety of dishes and flavours. In my opinion the food is more authentic than most restaurants with higher prices because they are generally family owned and cater towards the locals. It’s a no brainer where to eat.
In the city of Ubud, the cheap warungs are fewer and farther between, but not completely missing. Warung may be simply thrown into a restaurants name to appear more Indonesian, but do not be fooled. I kept looking and I found this little spot on Jalan Raya Ubud, tucked away a bit on the main road. Warung Ijo Ubud. I first noticed the prices, but as I walked in I noticed locals and foreigners alike. There is a ‘buffet’ lunch spanning the length of the afternoon where instead of pointing at the dishes in a window, you help yourself and they take a peek at what you assembled and judge the price for you. There is at least a dozen dishes, but usually upwards to twenty to choose from. Three types of rice to start off with and two fiery sambals to finish. Fresh fruit juices at a reasonable price, this quickly became one of my go to spots for a late lunch or early dinner.
*Warung Ijo Ubud also has a separate menu to place individual orders with great food and cheap prices.