Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bali, Suckling Pig, Paradise Island.

I had forgotten how beautiful Bali is. When it was so close to 'home' (Surabaya - 30 minutes by plane), you kinda take it for granted. But this trip reminded me full force.

There's of course the beach. Kuta beach was cleaner than I remembered, still as crowded as ever though, but we had ample space to sit and take in the breathtaking view of the sunset.

There are the beautiful tiered rice paddies everywhere, and seeing the workers everywhere in this developing country remind you of where your food came from. And why it's so cheap.

But, of course, we're here for the food. Not to be outdone by Anthony Bourdain, our first meal in Bali was perhaps Bali's most famous dish - at its most famous restaurant, suckling pig aka Babi Guling Ibu Oka.

Tourists and locals alike flock to this place. Most of the seats are lesehan, which means you sit on the floor (on a pillow), barefooted. Even then we had to wait 20 minutes or so to get seated.

As soon as we walked up we were greeted by a suckling pig on a tray, where they are cutting the meat and skin off. Eye candy. We were already hungry, but the drool-worthy view made the craving even harder.
The "babi guling special" comes with rice, suckling pig's meat, crispy skin, deep fried skin, blood sausage, and urap made with green beans.


This Rp.25,000 (~$2.50) plate is satisfaction incarnate. What makes Balinese suckling pig so special is that it had been stuffed with herbs and spices and cassava prior to roasting over an open flame, making it so full of flavor. The meat is still rightfully tender, and the meat is only the start of it. There's the oily crispy skin, and the delightfully crunchy fried skin, not to forget the chunky and flavorful blood sausage and the spicy vegetables.

All this goes down perfectly with a bottle of Indonesian Pilsner, Bir Bintang (For those interested, Bintang is pretty light with a slight hoppy finish).

The only thing that might be a problem for some people is that Ibu Oka's suckling pig has now become less spicy (though you can get more chili on the side), perhaps to 'tone down' to tourist level of spice. Better for me I guess, since I could eat it without breaking too much sweat.

Either way, Babi Guling Ibu Oka is still one of the best (if not the best Balinese meal).

12 comments:

Ravenous Couple

it was 7 yrs ago when last visited bali..it is a magical place and food was delicious

Wandering Chopsticks

OK, next time you go back to Indonesia, I'm coming with you. :)

mattatouille

damn, i need to develop my film photos! so many beautiful shots that we're missing out on...can we develop those today? :)

MaryMoh

heard so much about babi guling. Gosh...it sure looks so delicious!

Aaron

Is there some sort of sauce on the pork too? I see something green on the plate on the meat

burumun

Aaron: There's no extra sauce on the meat, just whatever was stuffed originally. The green stuff is the spicy veggies.

Food GPS

That meal looks out of control. I'm definitely suffering from pig envy. Glad to see you're all eating so well.

glutster

so succulent and tender!

To be honest, I even liked it better than Carnitas. Yes I just said that, ha, ha.

I'm glad we ate here and didn't end up going to that other place though :)

Exile Kiss

Hi burumun,

Sugoi! :) That looks even better than the one you had in Mexico. Which did you like better? :)

Ore

Wow - looks soo yummy...

That pig looks huge though, much larger then what I'd say a suckling pig is...

Either way, it would be cool one day to list the different areas of our planet that have perfected the whole roasted hog (whatever the size may be) and try to re-create at some HUGE pigorgy type of event - porchetta, babi guling, etc. etc.

lucky you!

burumun

Exile Kiss: ooh, they're so different. The Spanish one was all about texture while the Indonesian babi guling is all about the flavors from the herbs and spices ... I think I'd have to say the Indonesian babi guling though.

Ore: It would be awesome to try to recreate babi guling! We need an open fire to roast this thing. Think you can score us one for a day? :P

Wahya

IF you come to Seminyak Bali, please find Warung Pak Malen. They have a great Sucklig Pig with a bit spicy taste. And the important one is cheaper that Bu Oka :)

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