Though I LOVE to try new restaurants, on Gili T we only tried 3 restaurants! (And yes, we were there for a week!) The first was a place right on the beach. While it is always amazing to eat, have your feet in the sand and have a great view of the sea, the food didn’t wow me. So that was that.
We asked our home stay’s owner a good place to eat and he suggested the Night Market. There are quite a few different stands there, each with a different speciality. Some were nasi campur places, others grilled fresh fish, others made gado-gado, some made sweet martabak….and the list goes on! Taking a hint from the crowd, we queued up at the Green Cafe for a delicious nasi campur.
Put simply, nasi campur is a hefty portion of white rice served with various meat and vegetables around it. There are combinations, which was positive since we ate at Green Cafe every day (and sometimes twice a day). Beef rendang, chicken curry, noodles, fried chicken, stewed pumpkin in coconut milk, tender local greens, fried goodies…yum!
The prices at Green Cafe are by no means super high, but be aware that lunch prices for nasi campur are different from the dinner time prices! We paid around 50,000 IDR (4 USD) at dinner, but at lunch it came to about half of that. In fact, I have no freakin’ clue as to how they price the nasi campur. I got pretty similar things every day, and each day the price was different. My main nasi campur-slinging chica served it up for like 23-26,000 rupiah a portion. Once, I got a different guy and he made me pay 35,000 (ripped-off!). I will just have to assume they are mathematical wizards who have little calculator brains.
The other place we enjoyed a lot was the fish stand right in front of the left-side front entrance to the market. Every night they had a great selection of fresh fish for very reasonable prices. We tried red grouper, calamari, ginormous shrimps and a fish called sweet lips. A whole large fish served with rice and veggies costs about 100,000 IDR, which is a pretty reasonable price for dinner for two. (Remember to bargain!)
We noticed “our” guy was pretty good about the freshness, but there were some fishies there for three or four days. Not the height of freshness, but not unfit to serve I think. There were others though that had literally the most disgusting, old-looking fish I have ever seen. I don’t even know if I would give it to my cat it was so gross. Anyway, it’s a good life skill to acquire to be able to tell the freshness of a fish by looking at it or poking it. (Or be with someone who knows what to do.)
So, I can’t even believe to say it but yes, one whole week and we only ate at 3 different restaurants!