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Bali Travel Guide

Bali — Food and Restaurants

Bali is home to dishes that are not found in other parts of Indonesia. This is largely due to the use of pork within much of the cooking, with other areas of the Muslim majority country not incorporating pork into the local diet due to strict Muslim dietary restrictions.

Babi guling is a popular dish frequently seen at festivals and family affairs. It is a suckling pig that can be purchased at many food stalls and market places, especially in the town of Ubud. Betutu is a darkened meat, usually duck or chicken, which has been cooked over a charcoal fire with local herbs and spices. One of the most interesting foods here is the sate lilit, which is basically a stick of lemongrass with minced seafood wrapped around its upper end, then charcoal-cooked. In addition, urutan (a spicy sausage), sudang lepet (salted dried fish), and tum ayam (diced, herbed chicken) are famous items on Balinese menus.

Even though Bali is a predominantly a Hindu culture, the religion here is different from Indian Hinduism. There are rarely any traditional vegetarian dishes, so visitors will have to ask about non-meat menus when dining out at a restaurant or market.

Tourists can find many different options when it comes to dining out. For budget travelers, the tourist restaurants in the southern region offer meals for around Rp 20,000 to 40,000 per person. However, it is possible to find smaller restaurants that serve large meals for between Rp 15,000 and R p20,000 per person. Of course, in the main resorts like Kuta and Seminyak, there are the traditional five-leg food stalls (kaki lima) to be tried. Food is extremely cheap from these mobile stalls.

Seminyak and Kuta contain many of the most upscale restaurants. These establishments include both stand-alone and hotel-leased restaurants within these areas. Travelers who eat at these high-end spots will spend two to three times more on food than those who dine in the smaller restaurants around the island. In addition, American fast-food chains are available, including KFC and McDonalds. It is advised try the traditional dishes at least once before resorting to eating at Western-style restaurants.

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