Day3 – EAT: Babi Guling @ Ibu Oka, Ubud – SHOP: Pasar Ubud

For our full travel itinerary, please click here.
After a good night’s sleep at Tegal Sari, we woke up fairly late to enjoy our brunch at Ibu Oka, located just across the street from the Royal Palace. FYI, they open around 11AM and it is advisable to hog for a seat as the tables are limited.

We reached the place by 1030am, because the guys wanted to good pictures sans the crowd. Such dedicated photographers!
The menu. The obligatory order is the “special” with a little bit of everything. One can also opt for skin only or meat only portion.
We took off your shoes before heading into the dining area. We sat on the floor and waited patiently for our “babi” to arrive.
Fruit Tea Botol
As the clock was ticking away, we saw a lady who carry a basket on her head. Could that be the long awaited babi guling? No! It was just the rice, false alarm apparently.
Lo and behold! The pig arrived, and it was really huge one!
The crowd started pouring in, with a mix of locals and tourists like. Most of the locals opted for take away while the tourists will choose to dine in and whip out their camera from time to time. How typical!



Our ‘special’ plate (IDR25,000 / RM9.20 ) contains a little bit of everything: meat, skin,blood sausage, stir fried green beans along side with some spicy signature gravy.
We though that Ibu Oka was rather over rated. The skin was so jaw-breakingly hard and chewy. While the meat was tender and the spicy gravy sauce has some elements of ‘bumbu Bali’, it was still nothing to shout about.

*Bumbu means spice paste and bumbu Bali is apparent in the Balinese day to day cooking.

Ibu Oka Babi Guling
Jalan Suweta, Ubud
Bali, Indonesia.
11.00am – 2.00pm daily
After a rather dissappointing meal (maybe we set our expectations too high) at Ibu Oka, we walked over to Pasar Ubud for some retail therapy!
The knick knacks here are really pretty but the price was a bit steep if we were to compare it to Sukawati Market. However, some of the nicer stuff that we saw here is not available at Sukawati market. So it is better to go to Sukawati before you do another round of shopping at Pasar Ubud.
Next up: Pura Ulu Danu @ Bratan Lake, Bedugul, Tanah Lot and Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner’s)

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  • Jackie Loi says:

    .-= Jackie Loi´s last blog ..Macro Photography : Flower =-.

  • J says:

    mmmm…. I don’t remember much about the taste of that babi guling (too many years ago!) but looking at your photos bring back happy memories of Bali! :)
    .-= J´s last blog ..Rockin’ Char Siew @ Hutong, Lot 10, KL =-.

  • KY says:

    omg i want babi guling, my life will be complete after i have some!!!
    .-= KY´s last blog ..Sumi Ka Yakitori at Subang SS15 =-.

  • KOS says:

    Babi Guling~~ looks nice, i want to eat also!!!!!!
    .-= KOS´s last blog .."lepak" at KLCC =-.

  • JD says:

    I can’t find any when I went there for honeymoon last time. Cannot, must book ticket to Bali to eat this special delicacy!
    .-= JD´s last blog ..Hokkien Mee @ Kim Lian Kee, Petaling Street =-.

  • ciki says:

    oh.. babi guling is totally my fav!! nice one
    .-= ciki´s last blog ..Feeling hot- hot hot Hot-can- =-.

  • foodie says:

    Hi KBCG! i’ve been following ur blog and just love all you post!
    may i ask your professional comment if december is a good month to visit bali?
    thanks alot!

  • mimid3vils says:

    I tried babi guling @ Bali too but not the Ibu Oka, what I can say is I really don’t know how to appreciate it :(

  • Simon Seow says:

    Yalor, Ibu Oka babi guling is over rated, I ate Babi Guling Sari Kembar near Marlboro Barat Kuta tasted if not better also on par if it lor.
    .-= Simon Seow´s last blog ..Bearmany In The Quarter-final =-.

  • vialentino says:

    omg, i miss the babi guling so much…shud setup one stall in msia here to sell…hehehe

  • hi i think dec is rainy season. the best time is june to august :)

  • J2Kfm says:

    Ditto. My travelling pals were not so keen on the babi guling either. The skin being rather thick. that was not a suckling pig anyway, hence the thicker meat and not as tender meat.

    But I still liked the nicely marinated meat, with lots of chillies, and especially the sambal hijau served separately.

  • I’m totally enjoying your blogposts! Lovely pictures!

    .-= Cheryl Marie Cordeiro´s last blog ..Only in Hong Kong… =-.

  • ouch! thats so sad, bcos i hear godly things about it haha.
    .-= lotsofcravings´s last blog ..A tragic end to this year Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2010 =-.

  • ntg great. msia siew yoke better 😀

  • thanks cheryl! thanks 4 dropping by

  • yeah the meat was so tender and the spices are real balinese flavor. but the skin….mehhhhh :p

  • msia will prefer siew yoke still, i think 😀

  • OMG~~ the pig is so huge!!!

  • Frank D Law says:

    Stopped by Bali on our way back from Shanghai. Loved Bali, especially Ubud which is a place we would come back to again and again.

    This is our third visit to Bali so we decided to give Ibu Oka one last chance, in view of the many superlative reviews in guide books, travel channels and magazines. Reasoning: So many cannot be wrong.

    But it looks like they can be. Although the meat itself which was served piping hot, was generally underwhelming, stringy but flavorful enough, the crackling was still as tough as old leather shoes! It really made my DW and me wonder whether those folks who write glowing reviews of Ibu Oka and their babi guling, including Anthony Bourdain and the travel writer from Lonely Planet have ever tasted suckling pig in a Chinese restaurant? If they have, they would have tasted exactly how good suckling pig should taste like with crackling so crispy thin that every bite is to be savored! It is highly unlikely that after that, they would ever venture to describe babi guling as amazing”, “fantastic”, “best ever” and all the silly hyperbole that have come to dominate this debate and given Ibu Oka an undeserved reputation. I have nothing against Ibu Oka per se. It is the integrity of reviews that I’m concerned about!

    To draw an analogy, if you live in a small outpost, say in the far reaches of Siberia, you may describe your local football outfit as “amazing”, “best in the world” or whatever superlative terms you may wish to employ, not out of intellectual dishonesty, but only because you have never been exposed to the silky skills of the likes of Barcelona or Manchester United.

    That is probably how it is with this “amazing babi guling” nonsense! We were in Shanghai for 9 days and tried Peking Duck and suckling pig IN SEVERAL RESTAURANTS and the stuff that they served up were slices of culinary heaven!

    As we live in San Francisco, we have developed an affinity for the dish. We know that everyone is entitled to their opinion. But how do you judge a dish when you haven’t tasted even remotely the best? It is really like the uncultured and the philistine trying to pontificate on high-brow literature and classical music!

    I’m a fan of Anthony Bourdain and look forward to his witty presentations but on this occasion he has dropped the baton big time! I certainly hope that Bourdain will wise up and realize that he must remain objective as a food critics/reviewer! If he continues to rate everything that he’s reviewing only in glowing terms, his credibility will soon be shot!

    Finally, we remain baffled over these superlative reviews, because when we compare Ibu Oka’s babi guling to the suckling pig we have tasted in Chinese Restaurants from this side of San Francisco to Melbourne to Hong Kong to Singapore and Bayswater in London, we have to say that if the Chinese version and Ibu Oka’s babi guling are compared and placed on a scale of 1-100, the Chinese version would easily place near a hundred and Ibu Oka’s would limp in below minus 10. That is the difference between a culture with 2,000 plus years of culinary development and a rank amateur!

  • LazyBun says:

    Very nice. I stopped at the front of that restaurants and saw dogs all around at the entrance and it kinda scared me that I might get stomachache if I eat that babi guling…hehehe.. Check out my blog of my Bali trip:

  • Alex says:

    As an indo, ibu oka is way overrated. this place is more for tourist, not the authentic taste of balinese babi guling……

  • Yumi says:

    Why not try the best roasted pig in the Philippines. Go to Cebu or in La Loma Quezon City

  • What’s up mates, how is all, and what you want to say regarding this paragraph, in my view its genuinely remarkable for me.

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