Nasi padang is a Minangkabau steamed rice served with various choices of pre-cooked dishes originating from West Sumatra, Indonesia. It is named after the city Padang, capital of West Sumatra province. A miniature banquet of meats, fish, vegetables, and spicy sambals eaten with plain white rice, it is Sumatra’s most famous export and the Minangkabau people’s primary contribution to Indonesian cuisine.

A Padang restaurant is usually easily distinguishable with its Rumah Gadang style facade and typical window display. Such displays usually consist of stages and rows of carefully arranged stacked bowls and plates filled with various dishes. Padang restaurants, especially smaller ones, will usually bear names in the Minang language.

Nasi padang is a vital part of Indonesian workers’ lunch break in urban areas. When nasi padang prices in the Greater Jakarta area were raised in 2016, municipal civil servants demanded the uang lauk pauk (food allowance, a component of civil servants’ salary) be raised as well.

Nasi padang is found in various cities in Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara, and Papua as well as neighbouring countries Malaysia, Singapore and Australia.

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