Babi Guling @ Ubud, Bali

My buddy & I started our vacation in Bali with the best of intentions. We planned to sit by the pool, read & tan. We also planned to enjoy the food at some of our favourite restaurants in Ubud, Bali. We had chosen Ubud because it was a great place to relax away from the hustle & bustle of Kuta Beach.
We wound up doing the following instead...namely, eating, eating, shopping, eating, shopping, eating & reading! Yikes! We didn't even read a single line from the books we brought!
This was my 5th visit and her 8th visit to Bali so naturally, we each had a few favourite restaurants that we wanted to visit.
Imagine my surprise when I found out that she had never eaten at the famous joint which served Babi Guling (Balinese Roast Pig). I figured that it was partly because it was not a restaurant but a dingy little stall in a small street which honestly, is not for the faint-hearted nor for those with a delicate stomach (which I'm known to have). Thus, I'm always armed with medication should my food expeditions go awry.
I convinced her that if I could survive a few visits to Ibu Oka (called Bu Oka for short), then so could she. I'm glad she bought my story for I was craving Babi Guling though I normally dislike pork dishes. We asked our sweet driver to join us. The guy was still a little shocked to learn that we still had the appetite for Babi Guling immediately after a cooking class (which incidentally, included lunch). Well, what can I say? So much food to eat, so little time!!!
We ordered the "works" at IDR 25,000 (about USD 2.75) per plate. As I do not take any internal organs with the sole exception of Foie Gras, I gave my share of sausages made from pig's internal organs and a large chunk of roast pork skin (for weight reasons) to the driver. I think I should settle for the "special" at IDR 15,000 (about USD 1.65) on my next visit.

This is what my portion looked like after the sausages were removed. I snapped a pic while trying to convince the driver that he should have more pig skin (which is sold a la carte for IDR 15,000 per portion). I absolutely love the chili that was poured all over the pork! The meat was oh so tender and tasty from the Bumbu (spice mix) that the pig was seasoned with. The chili was very spicy and had a wonderful mix of spices that warmed the belly. The skin was so crispy that you could hear fellow diners crunching onto it. I also like the stewed Jackfruit that accompanied the dish. The brown crispy fritter next to the skin was interesting. I could not tell what it was except that it seemed to have a salty taste that was similar to Chinese Prawn Paste. I took a few tentative nibbles and decided not to risk it any further for I remembered that most of what was served was made from some part of the pig. I dreaded to think what it was made of. Then my buddy, who was surreptitiously discussing the "mystery fritter" with the driver, while I was nibbling inquisitively started giggling and told me that it was made from the blood of the pig. Sputter, sputter, what? I need more orange juice!

Here's a picture of the Babi Guling which they were just beginning to slice as we were leaving. I love this place despite the shabby set-up because the food is good and the prices are reasonable. It's popular both with the locals and with tourists. Eating in the dining shed was an interesting experience because we were sitting alongside locals, Jakarta residents, Japanese, Taiwanese, Germans, Americans & Australians. This is a MUST-TRY if you happen to be in Ubud.

Bu Oka

Along Jl. Suweta, Opposite Ubud Palace & close to the Tourist Information Centre.