Ibu Oka: Babi Guling (Suckling Pig from Ubud, Bali)

Anthony Bourdain gave this pig a big thumbs up on his trip to Indonesia for his show No Reservations.  Since then, the place has become extremely popular.  I read all these reviews online that raved about the juicy, tender, and flavorful pork.  As an avid pork lover, I couldn’t wait to try this local delicacy.  I ordered the original babi guling, which came with slices of pork covered in a yellow sauce, a piece of blood sausage, some fried bits and pieces of unknown entrails, a large piece of deep fried pig skin, and rice.

Overall, the entree was pretty good.  The fact that it was only $3 made it even better.  I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.  Unfortunately, as most overly-hyped foods are, this pig was a bit disappointing (likely because I was overly-excited for it).  I can’t tell you if the meat was flavorful or not because its taste was masked by the overpowering spiceful sauce.  The sauce was definitely tasty, but I was hoping to taste the flavorful marinade in the pork that I had read about.  The pork was also slightly dry, which is a quick turn off for all meats.  Surprisingly, the mysterious crispy entrails were my favorite part of the meal.  They were like KFC’s popcorn chicken flavored with Indonesian spices.

“The babi guling is prepared down the street from the warung, at Ibu Oka’s family compound. The pigs are delivered alive to her home, where they are slaughtered and roasted over wood while basted with coconut oil. The excellent sambal is prepared fresh here as well.

Once cooked, the whole pig is carried down the street to the warung, whereupon it is cut into portions and served with sambal and a piece of crackling over steamed rice.”

Check out how the YouTube video of how they run their business.

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