Vegetarians may want to skip this post. It is also very, very non-kosher and non-halal. Dieters should also avoid reading this. There! That should take care of all disclaimers.
“Babi Guling” literally means “Rolled or turned pig” in Bahasa Indonesia but it actually refers to “suckling pig”, a famous Balinese dish. The suckling pig is stuffed with herbs and shoots and then roasted on a spit until cooked and with its skin crackly and crispy. And if you were in Bali, everyone would tell you that one of the best places to try this local delicacy is at a small stall or warung caled “Ibu Oka”.
Ibu Oka is located in Ubud which is a town in the foothills of central Bali. Ubud is well known as a centre for culture and the arts. The local temples are full of artistic carvings and are often the sites for cultural dances and performances. Beautiful pastoral scenes of green paddy fields surround the town and are often the settings where some of the best restaurants and warungs are found.
The crowd gathers early for lunch and seating is limited so it would be wise to go early. There are some tables and seating in the garden area. Inside, everyone sits on the floor and eats from a low table.
Once you have found a seat, then all that you can do is wait for the pig to arrive. Watching them prepare the pig can be quite entertaining.
With so many hungry customers to serve, the wait at Ibu Oka can be long but if some of your group holds on to the seats, you can wander off to the nearby temple and admire the carvings.
But the connoisseur generally prefer to wait patiently and try to reach a zen state while waiting to have their senses blown away by the taste of sweet roasted meat, crackling skin and herbs.