Monday, January 2, 2012

ibu oka 2 suckling pig

Babi guling (english: suckling pig) is such an iconic Balinese dish. You cannot leave Bali without trying them. And the mother of all babi guling is none other than Ibu Oka's.

Ibu Oka got some serious street cred. Anthony Bourdain recommended it when he visited Bali as part of his food review TV series No Reservations. Rick Stein raved about it in his Far Eastern Odyssey series. Ibu Oka is a frequent entry in the Lonely Planet guidebooks. Frommer's also mentioned Ibu Oka on its introduction to Bali in the NY Times.

Putting all that aside, Ibu Oka has actually been heavily visited by tourists and non-tourists alike, even before it got the staunch support from celebrity chefs and publications worldwide. After the recommendations, it only got even busier.

The first time I tried Ibu Oka's world famous pig delicacy, I went to her original restaurant in Ubud. The original place is the one you see on those celeb chef TV show. It's always jam packed with people, cars and motorbikes everywhere, service was to the point.

As I cannot leave Bali without having my Ibu Oka fix, I got the driver to take us there for breakfast. But, somehow, he took us to a different place. This one was not in the centre of Ubud's craziness. It was almost quite obscure. We had to drive past quite a few of rice paddies to get there.

Just in one stretch of road, we saw the different stages of rice growing.

Anyway, I thought our driver must be mistaken. But, it made sense, really. He explained that Ibu Oka opened a new branch, and what to call it, other than Ibu Oka 2. This new branch is more spacious, more endearing, and so much more quiet and relaxed.

I mean, look at how cute this pig gargoyle is!

There was even a spot set aside for the restaurant worker to offer the gods their daily offerings and prayers.

The ladies took turns praying. Lovely...

Babi guling pisah - Rp 50,000

I got myself the "babi guling pisah". Basically, it's the same as the normal "nasi babi guling special" that hubby got, but bigger in portion and with the addition of a small bowl of soup.

I loved that comforting bowl of soup. The pork based stock is so hearty.

Nasi babi guling special - Rp 30,000
Hubby's nasi babi guling special, consisted of rice, vegetables, pork, crispy pork skin and a small pork liver sausage.

All very yummy. Loaded with spices. Some bits are spicy.

And as always, the crackling is crispy.

The pork is actually that little bit more succulent than the one I had in the original restaurant, if that's even possible.

Soda gembira - Rp 15,000

To wash all of that food down, we had soda gembira.

I can't help but chuckle to myself happily every time I look at the outrageous fluro pink colour and say "soda gembira!"

I haven't had this drink for such a long long time. It's so typical of Indonesian creativity. Mix red syrup, condensed milk and soda water together and what should we call it? How about happy soda!

The indonesian word for happy is gembira.

More on the recipe for this evil but cheerful drink later.

Nothing better to finish this post than with a picture of Ibu Oka herself in all her glory. Fierce, baby!

PS: What I do notice in Ibu Oka 2 is the whole spit-roasted pig was nowhere to be seen, which is not the normal practice at the original restaurant. I'm not sure if it's because I came at the wrong time, or because they just don't do that here. I am honestly not too fussed though. Because this time around I came for the food, not for the tourist-attracting factor.

Ibu Oka 2
Jalan Teges Mas, Peliatan
Open 7 days 11am-7pm


  1. Ibu Oka was a let down to me... Don't think I'll go back there again... Think I can find better suckling pig in KL anyway :-)

    1. Hi Allison, it's a shame that you didn't like it. Though, I'm curious to know what you don't like about it, if you care to share.


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