Author: Sassy Eater.
Babi Guling (Balinese Suckling Pig) is one of Bali local delicacies I always crave for whenever I have a chance to go to Bali. The quite famous Babi Guling aka Bagul among foodies are Babi Guling Ibu Oka, Malen, and Dobiel.
Babi Guling (Bagul) usually comprises :
– Steamed Rice
– White Pork Meat with the pig being stuffed and infused with a spicy concoction typically involving turmeric (kunyit), galangal (kencur), coriander seeds (ketumbar), lemongrass, black pepper and garlic, and traditionally spit-roasted.
– Lawar or Urap which is a snake beans (long beans), grated coconut and minced meat (chicken, duck, pork, catfish or turtle may be used) coarsely chopped and blended together with shallots, turmeric, shrimp paste (terasi), galangal, ginger, salt and pepper.
Lawar spoils easily and should be consumed immediately. It is usually good for half a day before going bad.
– Pork Skin, which is a salty caramelized roasted shard-of-glass-like pig skin.
– Crispy Pork Crackling, made up of a mixture of minced pork, spices and flour deep fried to a crisp.
-Pork Satay which is made from minced pork mixed with grated coconut, thick coconut milk, lemon juice, shallots, and pepper, wrapped around bamboo, sugar cane or lemongrass sticks, grilled on charcoal.
-Spicy Chilli Paste (sambal)
Some Bagul have additional ingredients such as fried innards, fried pork skin crackers, blood sausage, and spicy sambal matah.
I find that people have different preferences for Bagul. Some of my friends are huge fans of one specific Bagul, while the others are another Bagul lovers.
So in 3 separate occasions I visited Bali that happened to be within the same month, last June, I tried to make a fair comparison between Bagul Ibu Oka, Bagul Chandra, Bagul Malen, Bagul Dobiel and Bagul Karya Rebo.
1) Bagul Ibu Oka, Ubud (IDR 40K)
We went to the most spacious outlet at Ibu Oka 3. I tasted a mild version of Bagul, too light to my liking though. I didn’t taste enough ‘kick’ that I usually savour in Babi Guling. But for first timer of Babi Guling, this may fit the bill.
I considered myself an ardent Bagul enthusiast when I tried Bagul Malen, Bagul Dobiel and Bagul Chandra exactly the same time (My brother used another term to describe it though, started with c***y)
I had my driver buy these three Bagul in three different places and deliver them to the resort that I stayed. And this is my comparison of these three Bagul.
2) Bagul Malen (IDR 40K) had the most flavoursome lawar, that distinguished itself from Bagul Candra and Bagul Dobiel.
The pork skin was rather tough, not crispy.
The white pork meat was tasty and drier compared to the one in Bagul Dobiel.
The pork satay was as luscious as the one in Bagul Dobiel.
The crispy pork crackling was delectable too.
It’s the only one between these 3 Bagul that has single serving of fried pork skin cracker.
3) Bagul Dobiel (IDR 50K)
The lawar had lighter taste than Bagul Malen.
The pork skin was also tough, slightly hard to chew.
But the generous serving of white pork meat soaked in seasoning boasted the most flavourful taste compared to Bagul Malen and Bagul Candra.
The pork satay was equally enjoyable (slightly sweeter) as Bagul Malen.
The crispy pork crackling was bigger in size, more in quantity and the most in yumminess compared to Bagul Malen and Bagul Candra.
The two kinds of sambal lifted the dish to a higher level of tastiness.
4) Bagul Candra (IDR 40K)
The lawar was very different from other Bagul in general, which consisted of lawar mixed with singkong leaves.
The pork skin was exceptional compared to Bagul Dobiel and Malen, I could taste the juicy part just underneath the skin.
The white pork meat had a similar texture to Bagul Malen’s in terms of the dryness, but it had a hint of pork smell that I disliked.
I didn’t fancy the fried internal organs and fried blood, so I skipped those. But for some innard lovers, this could be a satisfying experience.
There were two kinds of pork satay, both were marvellous.
If you’re a huge fan of crispy pork crackling (OH YES I AM), this Bagul should make you ecstatic.
5) Bagul Karya Rebo
The name may not familiar to some of you, since I also heard the name and tried it just one year ago. When I had it for the first time, I fell in love instantly with the crispy pork crackling, shattering in the mouth and melting to nothing.
This time I tried it again, and it was still as delectable as I recalled.
Eating the crispy pork crackling itself was already very satisfactory, but when I went on to mix in with the white pork meat, the lawar, the succulent pork skin, and the two tasty pork satays, the end result was simply piquant!
Every Babi Guling has its own special way to serve the dish and every person has his/her own palate. So do me a favour, try them yourself and tell me what you think. And if you have other Babi Guling that you think worth trying, let me know and I am more than eager to try it myself.
Babi Guling Ibu Oka 1
Jalan Suweta, Ubud
+62 361 2077 490
Babi Guling Ibu Oka 2
Jalan Raya Teges, Peliatan, Ubud
+62 82 897 005 063
Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3
Jalan Tegal Sari no 2, Ubud
+62 361 976 345
Babi Guling Malen
Sunset Road no 5 Seminyak, Kuta
+62 361 745 2968
+62 81 999 988 512
Babi Guling Dobiel
RM Sari Dewi
Jalan Srikandi no 9, BR. Panyarikan, Nusa Dua
+62 361 771 633
Babi Guling Candra
Jalan Teuku Umar 140, Denpasar
+62 361 994 0098
+62 361 225 559
Babi Guling Karya Rebo
Jalan Toyaning 1, Kedonganan, Kuta
+62 361 703 229
+62 819 998 63300