While Bali isn’t exactly a dining destination, there are several “must eat” places on the island. One of them is Ibu Oka’s Babi Guling at Ubud, partly made famous by Anthony Bourdain, the person whose job I wouldn’t mind swapping with.
the new branch of Babi Guling Ibu Oka at Ubud, Bali
For those unfamiliar with this dish, Babi Guling literally translate to “rolling pig”, and has it’s name taken from the way the pig is prepared – by puttin the smallish pig on a stick and keep rolling it over coconut husk fire. The pig must previously be stuffed with shallots, garlic, galangal, lemon grass and dried shrimp, among other things. This is to add flavor while removing any pungent “pork” smell.
2 sets of bali guling with rice
We visited the branch of the original Ibu Oka Babi Guling, a cleaner and bigger place with proper table and a much airy environment.
One reason I choose this location at Jalan Raya Desa Mas is that we had passed the restaurant on the way to Ubud and hence I knew how to get there, and secondly, the original place has been written to death and there is no need for yet another article for it, I suppose.
soup, rice, and the chili paste with a kick
We arrived there at around noon on a weekday, the place had a healthy stream of diners, but no huge crowd as you would find at the original warung.
We ordered a set with rice, vegetable, pork roll, fried meat, sausage, and pork skin for IDR 30,000 and another set with rice, “complete meat”, and soup for IDR 50,000.
and yes, fanta remains very popular at Bali
To be honest, I can’t tell what the fuss is about. The meal turned out to be very average for me (but in the case of Bali, above average), the meat was a little too gamy and still carry a bit of pungent smell. The skin was too tough, the sausage too is something I wouldn’t order again, it was a bit too “unrefined”. Our roast pork and Chinese sausage triumph this any day.
That being said, the soup was rather tasty, and with a bit of their spicy chili paste, the combination of meat and rice was decent too.
Still, all that hype, it was a bit of a let down.
Perhaps the next time around I”ll try the main branch to see if there’s any difference, but for now, babi guling isn’t one of my must-eat item at Ubud, but I’ll still eat it if it wasn’t out of the way.
Babi Guling Ibu Oka 2
Jalan Raya Desa Mas,
Ubud, Bali 80571
GPS: -8.530454, 115.271631