When in Bali, make sure you eat the widely known Babi Guling! One of the more popular restaurants that serves this notorious Balinese roast pork is Ibu Oka. It has quite the legendary reputation since the place was made famous after the recommendation by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain when he visited Bali as part of his food review TV series.

Babi Guling is distinctive to Bali because Indonesia is predominantly a Muslim country where pork is banned, whereas Hindus make up majority of the Bali population. So if you love your pork, Bali is probably the only island to find it in the country of Indonesia.

I heard that there are customers who visit early in the morning! I visited for lunch.

During my trip to Bali, the original eatery was closed for renovations. The original restaurant is tucked away just opposite of the former Royal Palace. They relocated to what seemed like the owner's residence. Kinda out-of-nowhere, but just a short drive away. Ask the locals and they'll know!

Despite the smaller area, the crowd continued flowing in non-stop, mostly foreigners. The atmosphere was lively as conversations could be heard even from the other end. You might even get to share a table space with strangers! I shared mine with an old couple from France.

Dining area was in a huge open space that was relatively clean, though I cannot say the same for their washroom. Hygiene wise, don't expect too much. Snacks on the table like the keropoks are not for free by the way, you'll be charged accordingly for them. Because of it's no-frills and casual vibe, I'd recommend you to wear light and comfortable clothes; the place don't have chairs and air-conditioning.

I pigged up a feast with the Babi Guling Pisah set. It consists of the Babi Guling Special in a bigger portion, with an additional small bowl of soup. It costs around SGD$4-5, if I remember correctly.

The pork based stock was slightly salty to my liking. Though nothing special, it was flavourful nonetheless. My only complaint is too many vegetables inside........

This is the Babi Guling Special! Such porky goodness, hahaha. It consists of rice, crispy pork skin, vegetables, pork liver sausage, pork and their secret sauce with loads of spices!

It is quite similar to the Chinese roast pork, just different ways of preparations. I actually love the dish because of the succulent pork meat, though I have to complain about the small portion!!! Also, it would be better if I could taste the pork without the sauce as well. The crispy red meat was too salty to be eaten alone, make sure you have it with the rice.

Coconut juice was fresh though typical.

Overall, there is no service charge at Ibu Oka so don't look forward to exceptional services. You won't find a diverse number of dishes in their menu too. It was my first time eating the babi guling, so I cannot say for sure whether Ibu Oka is over-hyped or not. Nonetheless, it is worth a visit when you're in Bali, especially the Ubud area, for an inexpensive meal.

Ibu Oka
Jalan Suweta/Tegal Sari No. 2, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Tel: 361-976345

To view all my posts on Bali, click here: http://www.iisjong.com/search/label/bali

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