Babi Guling in Bali

Ibu Oka Babi Guling

Babi Guling in Bali is one of the must-try local Balinese foods, especially if you are a first timer to the island. Having been around for for many years, the suckling pork dish is found throughout the island where some are great and some are considered edible. During my last three trips to Bali in 2012 and 2013, I managed to savor a few different restaurants and according to my taste buds, some of them serve some super spicy hot sauces which was a horrible experience for my mouth.

Fresh Babi Guling
Babi Guling before cutting it
What is Babi Guling?  It is actually a local Balinese dish which is served with rice, pieces of roasted pork meat, a piece of crispy pork skin, some fried innards and a special chili-vegetable gravy. The beauty of this dish (if you are a pork lover) is the marriage of all the mentioned above into one savory dish. Some people cannot seem to get enough of the crispy pork skin and they order a side plate of this too.

The prices however are a little on the higher side if you have been to other local restaurants here, but rest assured, you are getting premium quality food here. One of the unique things to catch when you are here is how they deliver the suckling pigs - on motorbikes with the rider carrying an entire pig on his shoulder while riding a bike. For photographers, it is best to come here early, around 11 in the morning to catch this and also how the staff here cut up the fresh roasted suckling pig.

Photo of Ibu Oka Delivering the Babi Guling
Left - Ibu Oka, Right - Sending the Babi Guling

So who is this Ibu Oka? Apparently, she started the business in the year 2000 but it has been doing this way before that that the famous dish was introduced as a mainstream business. Her family had been preparing babi guling for the Ubud royal family many years back and then they were given leave to sell their delicious dish to local Balinese. Eventually the family set up a babi guling stall in the Ubud market, which eventually led to the small restaurant in the prime area of Ubud. They now operate three restaurants under the name Ibu Oka here. Best part, you can only find the brand here in Ubud as a homegrown product which also was made worldwide news when Anthony Bourdain covered this restaurant in one of his shows.

Plate of Babi Guling
Babi Guling dish
Ibu Oka Restaurant Ubud
Customers at Ibu Oka Restaurant

Babi Guling verdict? A MUST-TRY. If you have not tried this, you have not visited Bali. Overall some may claim this a little salty while others give two thumbs up. Our verdict, yes, it was a little salty, but that was the sauce. So if you dislike saltiness, just let them know you want the sauce separate. The pork is tender while the crispy skin is pretty amazing. While you are here, make sure you order the famous Indonesian Teh Botol or tea in a bottle. It is like a national drink for the country.

Menu at Ibu Oka
Ibu Oka Menu
Ibu Oka Babi Guling Address in Bali
Jl Suweta/ Tegal Sari No.2
Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Time: 11am till about 3pm

Ibu Oka Restaurant in Ubud
Ibu Oka - Front of the shop in Ubud

Also, the best time to visit Ibu Oka is from 11-12 before the lunch crowd. The place can get very crowded and you will have to wait outside. There is no system so it is first come first serve. We recommend you go in before 12 noon. So the next time you visit Bali and have that extra time, make it a point to go a try the famous Ibu Oka Babi Guling in Bali for a unique feast.