Ubud is located in the middle of Bali. There are no beaches or mr. macho walking around topless and hands swinging by his hand. Instead this town is surrounded by rain forests, rice padi fields and terraces, little art communities, temples, rivers and villages. The lifestyle here is more boho, lesser noise pollution from honking traffic and fresher air from lack of continous construction. So this is a preferred place to visit in Bali if you like the more cultured and peaceful environment.
I heard so much about Babi Guling and how good it is. Even Anthony Bourdain gave it a big thumbs up. I always say that good food is worth travelling for. Ubud is about 11/2 hours away from Seminyak depending on traffic. But this is a trip that must be made.
So what is this Babi Guling that everyone is raving about. The first thing most people tell me that I need to eat when I get to Bali is Babi Guling from Ibu Oka at Ubud. Even the locals mention the same thing. Babi Guling is suckling pig that has been rubbed in Balinese spices and roasted over wood and coconut husk. There is a Babi Guling stall almost every corner of Bali but apparently the one in Ubud is the best. This small humble stall started in Ubud near the town centre and the Ubud market and have since opened another much bigger and grander warung outside of Ubud. This was the first Ibu Oka that we visited on our way to Ubud market for lunch.
The land is massive and the restaurant is huge. It has become more touristy and I guess made a lot of money through the years and exposure from all sorts of media. From the second level, it overlooked a rice padi field at the back. Very peaceful indeed. I guess another reason is that we have travelled away from busy Seminyak to something a little more tranquil.
All 3 of us ordered the Babi special. It is served with pieces of blood sausages, crispy skin (crackling), deep fried skin, soft meat and urap. The green chillies and fried shallots is my second favourite condiment in Bali. I will post my most favourite condiment in later posts. The Babi special was really something quite special. Crispy skin was just perfect. Crunch, crunch, crunch. Nothing need to be said. The meat was so juicy and tender from all those Balinese spice rub. The blood sausage was nasty and gritty but in a good way. All this with a good drizzle of the dark spicy sauce. No wonder it is so well loved by both locals and travellers.
Since we were in Ubud, we did end up visiting the original Ibu Oka. We bought take away from dinner. The prices here are slightly more than the newer Ibu Oka. I guess you get the authenticity in this restaurant. This place is crowded with locals and tourists but no longer do you have to be here by 10.30am as stated in many blogs and travel guides and miss out on the Babi Guling. We were there at 2pm and there was still plenty to go around.
And here is more food porn. Just look at the massive pig and the amount of rubbed spices. And not forgetting the fatty, evil crackling that people keep coming back for. I could fly back just to have some of that now
I found a youtube video of this infamous Babi Guling.
We were very sinful that day and took away one special and a box of crispy skin. How could we resist? It was shameless greed.
This was not the only takeaway that we bought back from Ubud. You have to stay tune for more to find out what we else we bought! Greed was a kind word to use on us that day. We were definitely spoilt with fantastic food, great scenery and company.
What is the most unique and great tasting dish in your hometown? Please do share!