Easter in Bali – The Best Roast Suckling Pig Ibu Oka (Ubud, Bali, Indonesia)

1 Comment April 19, 2011 / Posted in Food & Wine, Travel
The best roast suckling pig in the world according to Anthony Bourdain

The best roast suckling pig in the world according to Anthony Bourdain

Ibu Oka
Jalan Suweta / Tegal Sari No. 2
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

I first encountered “Ibu Oka” when I watched Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservation’ Travel TV Show. Having lived in New York and travelled the world, he bragged about how Ibu Oka’s Roast Suckling Pig (locally known as Babi Guling) has to be the best he’s ever eaten. Seeing as Ibu Oka Cafe is located in a district of Bali called Ubud, I decided to attend a cultural dance show called Barong in the morning, then planned to follow this up with Ibu Oka for lunch then more activities in the area.

When I arrived at Ibu Oka 15 minutes before noon, I noticed the lunch crowd streaming in. Tables are communal and seating is on the floor. There is just one thing to order, the Roast Suckling pig with the lot. According to Anthony Bourdain’s segment, the suckling pigs are roasted slowly on an open fire with a regular base of special sauce of coconut juice mixed with secret spices. This process begins before dawn and by lunch time, the place has started to fill and my suckling pig has arrived.

Ibu Oka Roast Sucking Pig (also known locally as Babi Guling)

Ibu Oka Roast Sucking Pig (also known locally as Babi Guling)

There are a couple pieces of pork meat accompanied by a piece of crispy crackling, everybodies favourite piece. The suckling pig came in with rice topped with a sauce of spices produced during cooking of the pork and some green vegetables. A small taste and the flavour is explosive. It seems to consist of many spices that are hard for me to describe. Overall, it’s quite a nice and different experience feasting on a suckling pig. I still prefer the Chinese roast suckling pig though, as it’s as simple as pig accompanied by a sweet hoisin or bean sauce. I guess me and  Anthony Bourdain are going to have to disagree on this one as delicious as it was.

Everyone's favourite - pork crackling

Everyone's favourite - pork crackling

Mangosteens - they are a tropical fruit (according to wikipedia :))

Mangosteens - they are a tropical fruit (according to wikipedia :) )

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