Thursday, July 31, 2014

Porcine Head-to-Tail Eating in Nusa Dua

From left to right:
Babi guling ala bakas - Rp 50,000
Babi guling campur - Rp 50,000
Sate babi - Rp 40,000
The practice of using every bit of the animal is not some fancy new-fangled phenomenon in Indonesia. And eating these lesser than prime cuts is also not something that’s extraordinary. It’s a normal everyday occurrence, examples of which can be found all over the country. Like sop kikil (broth with soft cartilage from cow’s feet); or babat hitam (beef tripe cooked in spices); or the ubiquitous soto daging (beef and intestines in tumeric broth).

In Nusa Dua, Warung Bakas specialises in pork, spit-roasted pork to be exact. This place leaves the infamous Babi Guling Ibu Oka in the dust.

We visited a total of three times in the five days we were in Nusa Dua, we liked it very much. Janet, our cousin who’s worked and lived in Bali for close to half a decade, is a major foodie and a fan of this place. If ever I am grateful for one’s love of overeating, this was it, I couldn’t thank her enough for introducing me to this warung.

Before I enthuse about the food, I must tell you the place gets super hectic around meal time. The first time we visited was at lunch time, the 13 of us had to wait close to half an hour, the dishes didn’t come all at the same time, there was a mix up in the orders, some other dish arrived, another dish didn’t arrive at all, it was chaos. Of course, we reviewed our bill after the meal and asked them to remove the orders that didn’t arrive. It’s not that they’re actively attempting to rip us off, as my cousin put it, “This place suddenly had a lot of tourist interests and they can’t handle the demand, yet.” So until they do, please be patient, check your bill and correct them respectfully if a mistake was made.

The third and last visit to the restaurant was made mere hours prior to our plane ride out of the archipelago. It was morning, not a busy meal time, the place was quiet, there was no jostling. Plenty of time for me to take pictures at a leisurely pace and I even managed to have a bit of a laugh with the owner and her employees.

Our order arrived in no time at all this time. Torn pieces of juicy babi guling (spit-roasted pig) were smeared with the heady spices the pig was stuffed with. On top was a shiny piece of pork crackling. Chunks of pork were skewered and charcoal grilled to make golden brown, sweet caramelised sate babi.

Pork rind given the deep-fried treatment has puffed up into translucent, crunchy pork rambak. Pork blood mixed with spices formed into sausages were boiled then fried. Deep fried pork intestine produced a crunchy cracker-like texture. Pork slices were smoked to create babi asap with a maroon colour to match the chequered table cloth.

Accompanying the meal were two bowls of jukut ares -- a comforting pork broth dish with tender pork pieces and slices of young banana petiole.

All dishes were garnished with a pop of more red in the form of shredded large red chillies, and on the side were stir-fried snake beans and a saucer of sliced bird’s eye chillies for those who crave for more heat.

There’s not a doubt about Warung Bakas’ respect to the animal, its use of every bit of the pig, head-to-tail. But what's more important is everything's dang delicious, head-to-tail be damned. The smokiness of the bacon-like babi asap made me smile from ear to ear, the sweetness of skewered pork begged me to spoon in more rice, the pork broth combined with the banana stalk was both comforting and refreshing. Eating was like a treasure hunt, finding contrasting textures, enticing me to try one thing, then the next thing, and eventually everything on the plate.

Warung Bakas
Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai
Nusa Dua BALI
location on google maps


  1. Damn delicious!!!
    Bali is never ending Heaven for pork eater, lovin it!!!
    ps: i just recently had balinese style bbq baby back ribs and now i'm craving babi guling even more

    1. Bali is a foodie heaven, I must say. Where is your favourite baby back ribs in Bali?


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