The moment we had all been waiting for since our landing in Dempasar airport was finally here: Balinese Suckling Pig (Babi Guling) at Ibu Oka.
Made famous by its its full segment feature on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations episode on Indonesia, he actually dubbed this "the best pork he's ever had" in his life. Quite the claim coming from the rude, critical and accomplished character of Bourdain...I had to taste it for myself.
The establishment was fairly cracking with tourists and locals alike. Getting a table here is an utmost test of your assertiveness, there is no one to show you to your table but instead, you and your level of willingness to stand close to an emptying table, closer than another eager patron at least.
Babi Guling (Indonesian style Suckling Pig) is a unique contender in the world of suckling swines. It is stuffed with a fine balance of Balinese spices and veggies then rotated over a controlled fire where it is continuously brushed with nature's natural glaze: Coconut water (naturally high in fructose means naturally high in glorious rind caramelization).
Its served with a couple of pieces of blood sausage and other anonymous fried pig parts, and BEST served with a super chilled big bottle of Bir Bin Tang, Indonesia's tasty national Pilsner that is as universally available here as a bottle of coke in the states.
After this, Fiona's brother Steven murmured that he also knew of a 'good rib place'...if we were interested. Sooner than we knew it, we were in the car and on our way--
But it was not after we strolled around and "exercised" first of course, what better place to do that in than the local Monkey Forest!
He actually reminded me of how I eat a banana
A little less than an hour after the Babi Guling and we were at Naughty Nuris Warung, a well known Western style BBQ but still signature Indonesian all the way. The menu ranged from tuna melts to curry but that's not what every single patron was gnawing away at, at their table...
Being an equal opportunity protein man, I instead veered towards their New Zealand Lamb Chops, lamb-y in the least, more succulent than anything thanks to that illustrious bbq sauce which hinted of lots of Kecap Manis, a soy sauce with a really sweet tinge, a staple all around the islands here.