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Bali, a Vegetarian Paradise

Vegetarianism – the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat, has become a very common lifestyle choice these days for health or other reasons. While it may not be easy to find good plant-based alternatives in some places (that are not salad, salad, and oh…salad again) now that you’re in Bali, be spoiled with unlimited options of vegetarian dishes as they are widely available in almost every single restaurant on the island, and in the resort alone.

So, whether you’re a ‘full time’ vegetarian, or an adventurous foodie who likes to try all sorts of food, here are the top five vegetarian dishes, picked by our Padma family for you:

1. Gado – Gado

Padma Resort Legian - Gado Gado
Gado – Gado, available in Padma Favourites menu

Yes, you have to mention the name Gado twice 😉 It is one of Indonesia’s national dishes that is so tasty, you won’t even notice that it’s meat-free. What’s normally in the bowl are boiled, blanched or steamed vegetables (traditionally long beans, spinach, and bean sprouts) some tofu, tempeh, rice cake and topped with peanut sauce dressing. Gado – Gado is a very basic form of other Indonesian salads that differ from each region of the country – the Balinese version of it is called Tipat Cantok that you will find in the resort’s Balinese buffet dinner and almost every corner of the island.

2. Nasi Goreng

Padma Resort Legian - Nasi Goreng
Vegetarian Nasi Goreng – vegan option is available upon request

If this is your first visit to Indonesia, you might not be aware that most Indonesians live by rice. It’s part of our everyday meal and we eat it with almost everything including vegetables. So if you can’t find a vegetarian meal that easily during your Bali visit, opt for rice, like a delicious vegetarian Nasi Goreng (fried rice). And for our guests who have asked, yes, we can make it vegan upon request. Not a fan of rice? You can replace it with Mie (noodles) or Bihun (vermicelli).

3. Stack ’em High

Padma Resort Legian - Sandwich
Make your own sandwich or salad at The Deli, gluten-free options are available

When you think of vegetarian and healthy food, a salad may be the first thing that comes to mind. But if you’ve had salad for say, three days in a row, you may want something different. How about a burger? Enjoy our homemade patty made from sweet corn, that is tasty enough even for non-vegetarians. If you’re allergic to gluten, come make your own sandwich at The Deli where you can choose your favourite  bread including the gluten free one, choose your own greens, and condiments, and dress it up as you wish. It’s easy, fun, vegetarian friendly and healthy.

4. Lontong Sayur

Padma Resort Legian - Lontong Sayur
Lontong Sayur Source:

One of Indonesians’ most popular dish that is secretly vegetarian is Lontong Sayur. Lontong means rice cake and sayur means vegetables, so the name says it all. It is basically rice cake cut into small pieces served with coconut milk along with some vegetable stew, boiled egg, tofu and/ or tempeh. What’s unique about this Lontong Sayur is the choice of vegetables you may not find in other dishes such as chayote. Some restaurants would also add some Petai (stink beans). Want to try one? Come find this traditional dish on our buffet breakfast at DONBIU restaurant.

5. The Local Sweets

Padma Resort Legian - Dessert
Black Rice Pudding

Craving for some sweets? While in Bali, try our traditional desserts. In Indonesia, we have what we call “jajanan pasar” (local traditional snacks) in various textures and tastes. You may have seen something like banana fritters in a restaurant menu, but how about mung bean porridge or sticky black rice pudding with coconut milk and palm sugar? You will find them in our buffet breakfast or buffet dinner if you want to have a little bit of each jajanan pasar to try 🙂

Now, how many of the dishes listed above have you tried? And which one is your favourite?

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