Even though this is my third time to Bali, I’ve never had the opportunity to try their famed Babi Guling (Balinese suckling pig). For all who know me, I’m a big fan of pork. I love my char siew and I love my (chinese) suckling pig. I’d be the first to attack the suckling pig if it appears on my table at a wedding dinner. In my books, the crunch of the crispy skin together with the sweet piquant sauce is my idea of a food orgasm. Mmmmm…..
After our round of river-rafting, we headed to a little casual warung (small casual family restaurant) called Iku Oka at Ubud. It is located just outside the famed Ubud market so it’s hard to miss. I did a quick google and just realised (from this very hilarious blog entry) that Anthony Bourdain sang the praises of Babi Guling from Bali. Why did it take me so long to try it?!
I had a quick glance at the menu and while everyone else had the standard rice set with meat, I decided on the “special” because the meat and other bits come separately from the rice. I do not like my rice mixed with food! This explains why ‘economy rice’ is not on my favourite list of food….You could even order a plate of crispy skin as a side! Unfortunately, this was sold out.
Anyway, back to the pork. As mentioned, the boy had the standard rice set with the gravy and meat heaped on top.
My lunch came on a separate plate but no one mentioned that there’d be fried innards with it?! RAH!
Now, I do not like the insides of any animal. I know I’m Chinese and I should be eating all sorts of 4-legged creatures that move but my taste buds are a bit more conservative. Make that very conservative.
So there I was, picking at my lunch. I ended up only eating the crispy fried skin (which was more chewy than crispy!) and some of the meat. You can’t really tell from the picture but the portions were pretty huge! On hindsight, I should have just ordered the standard rice set. Pfffft.
The gravy that accompanies the dish is supposed to be oh-so-delicious but to be honest, I much prefer eating it the chinese way, with sweet sauce! Not surprisingly, I ended up not finishing most of my lunch…
As you can probably already guess, my first experience with Babi Guling did not go down that well. The boy told me that on his last trip with his golf buddies to Bali, they ate at some random roadside stall selling babi guling so this version at Ibu Oka is supposed to be the much better one! Hmmmm. And to be honest, after reading these reviews, I am pretty sure I won’t be heading back there anytime soon. Eeeeuw.
Nonetheless, I am glad to have tried it so that I can now say that I have indeed tried Babi Guling from Bali. Heh.