My First Taste Of Babi Guling At Ibu Oka

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, May 5, 2010 | Published in


"Oh no! We are late and we are going to miss the babi guling!!"

I was a little bit upset because the ladies took too long shopping for souvenirs at Kumbasari Market and scouting for stone carved statues at Batubulan.

According to our driver, people would start queuing up for the babi guling (roast suckling pig) at one of Bali's most famous restaurant, Warung Ibu Oka, as early as 11am. And since they sell a limited number of pigs a day, chances are by the time we reach there the babi guling would be all sold out!

OK, I was in fact, really, really upset. I had already missed the sunset at Tanah Lot, I was not about to miss the babi guling!! Seeing the sunset at Tanah Lot and eating babi guling were two of the most important agendas I had in mind for this Bali trip!

Our driver tried his best to drive as fast as possible to reach Ubud. Once we entered Ubud, I could sense a sudden change in the atmosphere.

We passed through the Ubud village and a feeling of calmness enveloped us. I was not that upset anymore. Somehow, Ubud seemed to have a certain magic that charmed all of us!

We reached Ibu Oka at about 1pm. I prayed they still have babi guling left for us!

This is the front entrance to the restaurant.

They say the best food in Bali is babi guling. And the best babi guling is found at Warung Ibu Oka in Ubud.

Located at Jalan Suweta, Warung Ibu Oka has been serving satisfied customers for more than 20 years! Wow! Is that a pretty long time or what!

Even more amazing, Ibu Oka had learnt the art of cooking the babi guling and running the business from her parents-in-law who were selling babi guling at a local market for more than 30 years before she took over.

After her parents-in-law died, Ibu Oka moved her business to Jalan Suweta and renamed it as Warung Ibu Oka. She had not looked back since.

As we entered the restaurant, we passed by this "kitchen" at the entrance and saw that they still have lots of babi guling left. What a relief!

I learnt that half a dozen pigs are housed at the back of the compound ready to be slaughtered at 4am every morning before the restaurant opens at 11am.

At least 4 pigs are slaughtered to satisfy the droves of hungry customers streaming into the restaurant daily.

There were a lot of people in the restaurant, but luckily we managed to find an empty table right at the back! Yes, all diners sat on the floor as you can see in the photo above.

Luckily, they have ceiling fans here otherwise we would be sweating like pigs! Haha!

There were mangosteens and nuts on our table. I ate one mangosteen and it was so juicy! So while waiting for the waitress to take our orders and for our food to arrive, we feasted on these delicious mangosteens!

This is the menu.

We ordered the Special each. The Special is the best way to eat babi guling if you are a first timer to this restaurant as it consists of everything that includes the pork meat (daging), skin (kulit), fried fats (gorengan), sausage (sosis), vegetables (sayur) and rice, except the soup (sop babi).

We did not order the soup although I should have just to give it a try!

You can also order everything separately the ala-carte way. We ordered for additional fried fats and skin. All of us unanimously agreed the fried fats and skin were so crispy and delicious, but ooh, so very unhealthy!!

Can you see the pork meat, skin, fried fats, sausage, vegetables and rice in the Special above?

Too dark?

Here's another photo with flash.

The babi guling was really yummy! If you ever go to Bali, you must not miss this restaurant!

So what's the secret behind Ibu Oka's delicious roast suckling pig?

Well, here's what I learnt. The pigs are killed every morning so you get fresh pork and not overnight ones. Then they are packed full with Balinese herbs and spices before being roasted over an open fire for at least 5 hours!

Yes, I am not kidding here! 5 hours of hard work as the cooks have to rotate non-stop, the wooden spit by hand, regularly dousing the flames with water to maintain the perfect cooking temperature at all times!

We ended up spending about 45,000 rupiah (RM17) each, which was definitely worth the money!

Even as we left, we could see lots of customers continued to arrive in droves waiting to satisfy their hunger for Bali's No. 1 food, the babi guling.


(116) Comments

  1. Caroline said...

    babi guling!!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:17 PM
  2. Caroline said...

    ahhhh look so yummy!! dammit! im having my lunch now still craving for this one!!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:23 PM
  3. Caroline said...

    the place look so nice wor. wow sit on the floor summore. :)) like korean style aye.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:24 PM
  4. Caroline said...

    btw u cant blame the ladies for shop so long la, need to choose the nicest one ma! :p haha u PRAYED for it??? gosh. as if u cant go back thr again the next day. lol

    May 5, 2010 at 12:26 PM
  5. Caroline said...

    eh just realized am d FC again. :p
    again, not stalking u k. i opened blogger and am actually 59seconds late kay. LOL!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:27 PM
  6. Caroline said...

    RM 17 only??!!! woot?! SO CHEAP?!

    May 5, 2010 at 12:28 PM
  7. Caroline said...

    its yummy but so pity those pigs were killed. lol.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:30 PM
  8. Caroline said...

    btw, y dnt try the soup??? lol oily?? or wat??

    May 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM
  9. chris federick said...

    Omg babi guling ^@^ So cute name wont feel guilty to eat ar haha. rm17 per person is really cheap.

    May 5, 2010 at 12:41 PM
  10. Anonymous

    Ah..all for the love of babi guling! :) Better than the roast suckling pig served here?

    May 5, 2010 at 12:52 PM
  11. Kelvin said...

    The skin looked damn crispy ^^

    May 5, 2010 at 12:55 PM
  12. Reanaclaire said...

    oooohh..first time i heard of of rolled pig.. must try, must try.. kiv this! i bet many of my hungry frens never tried this before!

    May 5, 2010 at 1:08 PM
  13. RoseBelle said...

    I think knowing that the pigs are being slaughtered right there would have made me lose my appetite.

    Wep...onto the mangosteen. You guys have no idea how fortunate you are to have all these fresh tropical fruits. Tropical fruits such as mangosteens and durians are expensive in the U.S. and they're frozen. As a matter of fact, most people from here that travel to Asian countries eat tropical fruits more so than any other foods when visiting.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:06 PM
  14. HappySurfer said...

    Poor pigs..

    May 5, 2010 at 2:15 PM
  15. khengsiong said...

    I didn't try babi guling guling when I was in Bali...

    How long was you in Ubud? When I went to Bali, I originally planned to spend 2 nights there. In the end I extended for another night. I liked this town very much.

    May 5, 2010 at 2:45 PM
  16. iamthewitch said...

    Eh the mangosteens were free ah? :P Last time I only had babi guling at one of those pasar malams in Kuta, didn't really like it. Maybe should have gone to this instead. OK, next trip we shall go together ok! Since I also missed the sunset at Tanah Lot :P

    May 5, 2010 at 3:12 PM
  17. fufu said...

    yeah very oily but i still wanna try!! and extremely spicy ya the chilli sauce!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 3:17 PM
  18. fufu said...

    yeah i was at the same restaurant 2yrs ago =p

    May 5, 2010 at 3:17 PM
  19. xin said...

    wow! i must mark this place down when i go bali in oct!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 3:45 PM
  20. day-dreamer said...

    Looks good! I must remember to put this place on my itinerary if ever I go to Bali. :D

    May 5, 2010 at 4:10 PM
  21. jam said...

    You won't miss a single thing if you travel with me, haha!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:11 PM
  22. jam said...

    What are you actually have in mind for our upcoming Cambodia trip. You never told me anything.

    May 5, 2010 at 5:12 PM
  23. jam said...

    I would like to have babi guling as well! Looks yummy to me!

    May 5, 2010 at 5:13 PM
  24. wenn said...

    looks yummy!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:00 PM
  25. Pete said...

    Babi guling, have to wrestle with the piggy like in WWF before cooking! ha ha ha! LOL!

    May 5, 2010 at 6:14 PM
  26. இ Baŋäŋaz இ said...

    You reckon this is Bali's #1 food, oink oink guling. Thankz so much for the pixs, plus the history of Ibu Oka and her secret recipe. Must not miss this place when we go to Bali right on. ~;)tQ.

    May 5, 2010 at 6:38 PM
  27. [SK] said...

    haiz, don't mention about babi guling anymore!!

    May 5, 2010 at 7:03 PM
  28. [SK] said...

    this is the most famous food in Bali, and yet i didn't have a chance to savour!!

    May 5, 2010 at 7:04 PM
  29. [SK] said...

    what a shame of me!! don't you think so??

    May 5, 2010 at 7:04 PM
  30. [SK] said...

    because we didn't have enough time for that, the driver brought us to eat bebek bengkil, and then when we ask about babi guling, he just say it's too far to go there!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM
  31. [SK] said...

    can you believe that?? just because of that, we missed this famous and delicious food of Bali!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 7:05 PM
  32. [SK] said...

    the photo you've taken looks so nice and yummy, i want to eat babi guling!!!

    May 5, 2010 at 7:06 PM
  33. [SK] said...

    so that give me a valid reason to go back to bali again!! because i must eat babi guling the next time i go bali..

    May 5, 2010 at 7:06 PM
  34. [SK] said...

    this i promise myself.. i must eat babi guling if i ever visit bali again..

    May 5, 2010 at 7:06 PM
  35. J2Kfm said...

    Wait, I doubt they're suckling pigs though, being much much larger than the ones we have in Chinese diners.

    And with thicker skin, that's why some of my travelling mates did not like the roast pig, as much as I did. I find the meat very tasty, infused with the spices and being more tender than the average roasted pork.

    May 5, 2010 at 8:15 PM
  36. Merryn said...

    the pigs were 'killed'? fuiyo.. dashyat! lol.. i read this entry word by word and swallowing my saliva after each sentence.. terrible YOU foong! temp ppl like dat! :P

    May 5, 2010 at 9:01 PM
  37. Merryn said...

    i'm glad u got ur babi guling too.. otherwise.. the panda is going to sulk BIG time :D

    May 5, 2010 at 9:02 PM
  38. lina said...

    Cannot eat babi so I'll give this one a miss. :D

    I saw an episode of Antony Bourdain's show where he raved about this abi guling too.

    May 5, 2010 at 9:24 PM
  39. Tekkaus said...

    Babi guling? So it was the ladies fault lar? :p

    May 5, 2010 at 10:13 PM
  40. Tekkaus said...

    So they sell limited pig lar? No wonder you guys were worried. :D

    May 5, 2010 at 10:15 PM
  41. Tekkaus said...

    That place can calm you guys? it because they use black magic? LOL :D

    May 5, 2010 at 10:17 PM
  42. Tekkaus said... guys ordered all the dishes available in the menu? Goodness. I am sure you guys are stuffed to the max at the end.

    May 5, 2010 at 10:19 PM
  43. Tekkaus said...

    Wow...only RM17 each? Now that's super duper cheap! :p

    May 5, 2010 at 10:21 PM
  44. bluedreamer27 said...

    i love pork dishes... however too much of them is not so good... pork always wired with cholesterol.. need control

    May 6, 2010 at 12:16 AM
  45. bluedreamer27 said...

    oh we have lots of that here in Phil... did you know that according to a well-known magazine.. Pigs here in Phil are said to be the best of the best

    May 6, 2010 at 12:17 AM
  46. bluedreamer27 said...

    roasted pork... soi yummy... crispy outside, juicy in the inside.. waaaah so tempting foong haha

    May 6, 2010 at 12:18 AM
  47. bluedreamer27 said...

    oh yeah the ambiance looks so hot...

    May 6, 2010 at 12:19 AM
  48. bluedreamer27 said...

    it's been awhile since i last taste a mangosteen

    May 6, 2010 at 12:20 AM
  49. bluedreamer27 said...

    45,000???? how much is 1 RM in dollar?

    May 6, 2010 at 12:21 AM
  50. bluedreamer27 said...

    have a great day foong and happy blogging

    by the way, just wanna ask.. the address written in the package that you have sent to me.. is it your mailing address?
    if not, can you send it to mee via facebook?

    May 6, 2010 at 12:23 AM
  51. Ishmael F. Ahab said...

    Oh oh babi guling or roasted suckling pig. It seems that it is really yummy for you to get upset not tasting it.

    Oh how I wish I could go to Bali now and taste babi guling.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:38 AM
  52. manglish said...

    i will definitely go back for babi guling again hahahah

    May 6, 2010 at 9:35 AM
  53. Donna said...

    wei wei wei!!!
    i got the jusco voucher already!!!
    already reached my company for some times, but no one go collect, because no one hint.. =.="

    May 6, 2010 at 10:12 AM
  54. Donna said...

    it's at another department!!!

    May 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM
  55. Donna said...

    thank u

    May 6, 2010 at 10:13 AM
  56. Ken Wooi said...

    oo.. looking so good.. and i love crispiness! =D

    May 6, 2010 at 10:57 AM
  57. foongpc said...

    caroline ng, can't go back to this restaurant the next day cos we have planned something else at another place, that's why so upset when the ladies took too long shopping!

    Ya lah, I know you are not stalking me, haha! Not publicly but secretly stalking : )

    Don't know why didn't try the soup - maybe didn't feel like it : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:28 PM
  58. foongpc said...

    chris lim, cute name? Haha! I thought that will make you more guilty eating it? : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM
  59. foongpc said...

    mei teng, yes!! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM
  60. foongpc said...

    kelvin, it's crispy alrite! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:29 PM
  61. foongpc said...

    reanaclaire, oh yes, this is a must try! Or you will regret! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM
  62. foongpc said...

    rosebelle, well you won't see the pigs being slaughtered. But why would eating pigs be any different than eating say, chickens? Or fish?

    Yes, I am always thankful to be living in Malaysia where there is abundance of tropical fruits! I love tropical fruits! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:32 PM
  63. foongpc said...

    happysurfer, well, you can also say poor chickens, poor fishes, poor ducks etc. etc. : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:33 PM
  64. foongpc said...

    khengsiong, oh you must try it next time! I was in Ubud just for one day - too short!! Next time, I want to stay in Ubud! It's a nice place better than most other places in Bali, I think!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:35 PM
  65. foongpc said...

    iamthewitch, the mangosteeens were not free! I initially thought they were free too, haha!

    Yes, let's go together next trip cos I don't mind eating babi guling again, and I need to re-visit Tanah Lot, plus I have yet to go Uluwatu to see the beautiful sunset and watching the kecak dances!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:36 PM
  66. foongpc said...

    fufu, I knew you have tasted this babi guling cos you traveled so widely haha! It's OK to enjoy the babi guling no matter how unhealthy once in a while. It's not like we are eating it everyday! LOL!

    May 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM
  67. foongpc said...

    xin, oh yes you definitely must go this restaurant! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:38 PM
  68. foongpc said...

    daydreamer, yes you must! Btw, how come I cannot access your blog?

    May 6, 2010 at 1:39 PM
  69. foongpc said...

    jam, haha! I know I won't! And you must definitely try this babi guling! Will email you regarding our Cambodian trip later when free. I'm too busy nowadays! sigh...

    May 6, 2010 at 1:40 PM
  70. foongpc said...

    wenn, yummy indeed! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM
  71. foongpc said...

    pete, haha! Maybe you should try making your own babi guling Malaysian style! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:42 PM
  72. foongpc said...

    bananaz, you are welcome! And yes, must not miss this if you ever go Bali! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:43 PM
  73. foongpc said...

    SK, never mind, follow me to Bali next time and we can eat babi guling!

    How come the driver said Bebek Bengkil is far away from Ibu Oka? It's just at the neighbouring road! LOL

    May 6, 2010 at 1:57 PM
  74. foongpc said...

    J2Kfm, well they called them suckling pigs in English though different from our Chinese version : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:58 PM
  75. foongpc said...

    merryn, of course must kill the pigs first if not how to cook them? Haha!

    Yeah, lucky I get to eat it, if not sure sulk big time : )

    May 6, 2010 at 1:59 PM
  76. foongpc said...

    lina, too bad, but you can try the crispy duck at Bebek Bengil if u go Bali : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:00 PM
  77. foongpc said...

    tekkaus, the ladies took too long time shopping! No black magic in Ubud lah, it's the natural charm of the place - you need to go there to understand what I mean : )

    Yes, the price was very reasonable! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:02 PM
  78. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, yes agree too much red meat (eg pork) is bad for health. I seldom eat pork, only once in a while and during holidays, I normally throw caution to the wind! Haha!

    Really? Philippines' pigs are the best? Why?

    45,000 rupiah = USD5. Good price?

    Sent you my address via Facebook. Am I getting a gift or something? : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:06 PM
  79. foongpc said...

    ishmael, you should go Bali and try this babi guling! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:07 PM
  80. foongpc said...

    manglish, yes me too! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:08 PM
  81. foongpc said...

    donna, oh so you received the vouchers...finally!!! Good! At least no one stole them as I previously suspected. Enjoy the vouchers! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:09 PM
  82. foongpc said...

    kenwooi, yeah me too! The crispiness of the skin is too yummy! : )

    May 6, 2010 at 2:10 PM
  83. Blog Tactic said...

    The babi guling look tasty

    May 6, 2010 at 2:42 PM
  84. Cashmere said...

    Hmm... The meal's pretty cheap huh? But well, I don't eat pork.. ;D

    May 6, 2010 at 4:52 PM
  85. Afriqiyah said...

    Hey, thanks for the post. I’m really surprised to see people sitting on the floor and having the food especially in a tourist destination. I hope you had a lot of fun there and enjoyed the dish with so many people together. Bye.

    May 6, 2010 at 6:24 PM
  86. Robo said...

    Oh! Makes me really hungry now! :)

    May 6, 2010 at 6:26 PM
  87. Hanging lamps said...

    Yes very cool post.

    May 6, 2010 at 8:45 PM
  88. Bengbeng said...

    it looks so cool.. i dont know if my previous past five commments went thru.. having prob with net tonight n omos every day

    May 6, 2010 at 9:52 PM
  89. bluedreamer27 said...

    5USD??? oh not bad.. it's P220 here... so you convert your money to rupiah before going to Bali??

    May 7, 2010 at 1:07 AM
  90. bluedreamer27 said...

    haha yeah i am planning to buy a gift tomorrow... just a small gift... thanks foong..

    May 7, 2010 at 1:08 AM
  91. bluedreamer27 said...

    about the pigs... i just read it from a magazine... d0on't know the reason as well... but i must carry my own bench here haha so i proclaim that our pigs are great LOL

    May 7, 2010 at 1:10 AM
  92. bluedreamer27 said...

    have a great day foong and happy blogging

    May 7, 2010 at 1:10 AM
  93. Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

    Glad you had nice babi guling. I was there in 2005, just after the bombing, I didn't dare to wonder too far.

    May 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM
  94. Faisal Admar said...


    May 7, 2010 at 7:28 PM
  95. Faisal Admar said...

    haha foong, how big are you? *hide*

    May 7, 2010 at 10:46 PM
  96. Che-Cheh said...

    Yes Babi Guling is already in my Bali must-eat food list. Problem is not sure when I'm going leh. LOL

    May 8, 2010 at 12:04 AM
  97. foongpc said...

    blog tactic, yes they were indeed tasty! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 2:01 AM
  98. foongpc said...

    cashmere, then you must try the bebek bengil (dirty duck) in Bali! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 2:02 AM
  99. foongpc said...

    afriqiyah, hi thanks for dropping by here! Yes, I enjoyed the meal tremendously - it was fun eating on the floor! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 2:03 AM
  100. foongpc said...

    robo, haha! Glad it makes you hungry! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:09 AM
  101. foongpc said...

    hanging lamps, thanks! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:10 AM
  102. foongpc said...

    bengbeng, not switching back to Streamyx? I think all your comments went through, thanks! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:10 AM
  103. foongpc said...

    bluedreamer27, yes changed to rupiah before I leave for Bali.

    Oh!So there's a gift for me! Looking forward to that!! : )

    I must try the suckling pig in Philippines since it's so highly rated, haha!

    Happy blogging to you too! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:13 AM
  104. foongpc said...

    ann, but I think it's safest right after the bombing! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:14 AM
  105. foongpc said...

    faisal, why pengsan? I did not eat a lot you know if that's what you mean by your question of how big I am! : )

    May 8, 2010 at 3:15 AM
  106. foongpc said...

    che-cheh, how come you are not sure? Have not booked the flight yet?

    May 8, 2010 at 3:15 AM
  107. G.D said...

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful
    post.The dishes are seem very delicious and it felt me hungry.
    Have a great weekend.

    May 8, 2010 at 8:00 PM
  108. Ayie said...

    i agree it looks delish looking at the presentation of the food...i can see the nice colors and crispy skin too...

    May 11, 2010 at 12:19 PM
  109. foongpc said...

    G.D, you are welcome and thanks for visiting my blog! : )

    May 12, 2010 at 3:53 PM
  110. foongpc said...

    ayie, yes it tastes as good as it looks : )

    May 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM
  111. Ice said...

    You have to sit on the floor to have your lunch or dinner,I can't imagine it in such tourist place.Anyway the dishes are really very delicious.
    Thanks for sharing,good shots also.

    May 12, 2010 at 7:51 PM
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