Babi Guling Bali

Bali is definitely heaven for any pork lover. Babi Guling or Roasted Suckling Pig sees a whole pig rubbed down and stuffed with bumbu bali or a mixture of chopped Balinese spices including shallots, garlic, ginger, turmeric, galangal, pepper coriander, candlenuts, chilies, and lemongrass before being roasted over an open fire for up to 5 hours. The pig is continuously turned slowly to ensure even cooking so that the meat ends up tender and juicy.

And our usual babi guling place in Bali is Ibu Oka’s in Ubud. I have never failed to go there if I’m in the area as it’s rated best in Bali, based on word-of-mouth reviews. Even the locals flock there to get their hands on some porky goodness. in fact, when asked, most of the balinese folks will mention Ibu Oka as being the best there is.

Situated opposite the Royal Ubud palace, only the small sign indicates the location of Warung Ibu Oka. The place itself is no more than shack, with some outdoor seating, and a platform consisting of low, long tables for shared dining. Edited Oct 2008: Ibu Oka has shifted further down the street to a bigger compound in a typical Balinese setting. More seats! And looks like this. It’s not hard to find and friendly locals are always happy to show the way if you ask nicely.

You’re in luck if you spot the whole roasted pig placed in front as it means there’s lots to go around. They usually go through about 4 to 5 pigs before they’re done for the day which means they only operate 11ish am to 2ish pm. The women are deft with their hands, quickly decapitating the poor pig, and slicing up huge chunks to be served.

Babi Guling

A portion of Nasi Babi Guling Special consists of steaming hot rice, with a huge chunk of tender, succulent, melt in your mouth pork, along with its crunchy skin with other accompanying side dishes on a wax paper lined wicker basket. The flesh is so tender that it can be pulled from the bone and made all the more tasty and flavourful by the secret blend of Balinese spices. The other side dishes of long beans cooked with Balinese spices and coconut, blood sausages, crispy pork cracklings, and some other unidentifiable bits (which has since been verified by the waiter to be a mixture of minced pork, spices and flour which is deep fried to a crisp). Yup, it does sound like something off Fear Factor, esp. the blood sausages, but mix it all up, and you’ll be rewarded with something truly delectable. I have brought friends who didn’t take to it immediately but started lusting for it a mere hour later. Lol. Even staring at this picture (which was taken during my first trip there) gets me salivating. Definitely one of the best meals in Bali.

Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka
Jl. Tegal Sari #2, Ubud,
Bali.

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However we were not able to make it to Ubud this trip round due to time constraints but we were recommended the best there is in Denpasar, also a firm favourite with the locals. Babi Guling Candra may not be as well known amongst the tourists as Ibu Oka but the locals know it well. Based on that alone, we were quite excited to go and have our fill.

Even though the stall is nearby the Dunkin Donuts around the roundabout, it’s easy to miss it if you’re not familiar with the area as it’s quite hidden, with a few tables with outdoor umbrellas on the outside only. And unlike Ibu Oka, the trademark roasted pig is not displayed as they’ve already chopped it up and plates of pork, skin and other condiments can be seen behind the glass cabinets.

While the ladies were preparing the main platter, soto soup, along with a plate of white rice is first served. The hearty broth is redolent with garlic, and turmeric and bits of ribs and fried shallots floating in it. Tummy warming indeed.

The main difference of the serving here is that the rice is separated from the dishes. Which I secretly think is a bit unnecessary as I ended up piling everything on my rice. Heh. Their version includes a sate lilit and pork satay, along with the usual pork skin, flesh, bits and vege. The sate lilit is top notch and tastes so flavourful that I could lick the stick. Lol. Even the pork satay was excellent, with a smoky tinge. However, portion of the meat is def. smaller than Ibu Oka and the skin, less crunchy. The bits were fried to a crisp which worked for some but left one particular innard with a bitter aftertaste. The sausage portion was too small to appreciate what was inside. Still I quite enjoyed this meal, esp. after I asked for extra sambal matah which is my favourite Balinese chilli. Yum.

we ended the meal with a icy cold glass of Es Jeruk, the local version of orange juice which is reminiscent of those small bottles of sweet orange nectar all around Bangkok streets.

Even though the skewered meats were delightful and utterly lip-smacking delicious, i must admit, for the real deal of the suckling pig, i still preferred what Ibu Oka has to offer. Yet, this does make up for a good substitute. And the steaming hot soup is a definite plus!

Babi Guling Candra
Jalan Teuku Umar,
Simpang Enam,
Denpasar, Bali.

other reviews;
christian

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9 Comments »

  1. cumi&ciki said

    ur killing me..!!! babi babi.. guling ๐Ÿ˜€ lol

    epicuriousgirl says: sounds like it’s time for you to plan another trip back too! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. gosh!! ive never been to bali..n THIS will be the main reason im heading there next yr..

    epicuriousgirl says: Bali’s beautiful and quite affordable nowadays. Remember to go pamper yourself too!

  3. gina said

    Wah.. now I am waiting to go home for lunch and will think of your pics of babi guling!! YUm!!!!!

    epicuriousgirl says: haha, there’s always siew yoke!

  4. gina said

    i wonder.. where did my earlier comment went… but… i think if i were to go to bali again, i would probably wont miss this for the world! ๐Ÿ˜€

    epicuriousgirl says: ah, bali’s quite affordable these days. can plan another trip there!

  5. JENCOOKS said

    Bali is an attraction and so is baby guling; but rest of the food, I didnt quite enjoy.

    epicuriousgirl says: I have to admit you’re right on that. I didn’t think much of the fried rice, noodles etc. Only the nasi campur and babi guling won me over.

  6. mimi said

    My babi guling experience @ Bali was a terrible 1~~ We brought by a cabbie to a very lousy restaurant @ Sanur, the bali guling not good at all !! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    epicuriousgirl says: Ah, these 2 are considered the best by the locals, so I guess we were lucky to be able to try them. we mostly went during lunchtimes when the pig is still fresh out from the roasting pit as that’s when the skin is still crunchy! Maybe the food went cold at the place u went to, which doesn’t do the suckling pig much good as the skin loses the crunchiness and can taste a bit jelak.

  7. mommy said

    this sucks

    epicuriousgirl says: well, another man’s meat is another’s poison…

  8. I’ve eaten a lot of Babi Guling in a small village near Amed. Thanks for sharing with us. Carry on writing, please. Shukreya

    epicuriousgirl says: thanks for visiting too.

  9. HELDACAMERON said

    ADUH ENASAYUR HIJAUNYA YG KESUKAAN SAYA.

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