Bali Day 4 – Ibu Oka Babi Guling, Jati 3 Bungalows & Pasar UbudOctober 29, 2009 | 11,620 views
It has been THAT long since I’ve posted anything on Bali. Nah …… not ages, but merely a week apart. For the previous installation of my Blissfully Bali 2009 series, do hop over to Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner) whereby you’ll read about one of our better dining experience throughout our 7 days in Bali, Indonesia. Been there, done that? Okay …. then read on, and find out about our most quaint and isolated (from the main road of Monkey Forest Road, that is) accommodation at Jati 3 Bungalows, and the undoubtedly Bali’s exclusive pride of a dish, the infamous “Babi Guling” aka Roasted Pig with Spices …….
We booked our rooms online, a month before departing to Bali to avoid experiencing the most unpleasant feeling of being homeless and treated as strays. Since our virginal visit to Bangkok 3 years ago, when booking of rooms online was practically unheard of, to the untrained backpackers in our spirit-less bodies, we ended up wasting precious hours searching high and low for a room that would fit our budget then. Notice that we were students back then, and anything beyond the realm of RM80 per room was instantly translated to the erosion/evaporation of our hard-earned diligently saved-up ringgit and cents.
But of course, with the most advanced of technologies nowadays, making your reservation online is a cinch. A walk in the park, if you would. And better still, booking the rooms required NO deposit, unlike the ones in Hong Kong, Hanoi and Bangkok. So you can just cancel your reservations like cutting off your lines. “Sudah potong ka?” Sorry, can’t resist. Bad joke, I know. If you insist on revealing or reveling in the insanity, click HERE for the Google videos search results.
A double room with air-conditioner, hot shower, attached bathroom, and breakfast for two is priced at IDR250,000 / RM91.25 / USD26, while a triple room costs IDR 300,000 / RM109.50 / USD31.30. Initially, we wanted to reserve the rooms at Green Fields but to no avail, as most of the rooms/bungalows were fully booked. But bear in mind that most hotels or budget guesthouses do NOT have ample rooms to cater to a very large crowd. For example, our Jati 3 only has about 8-9 rooms in total.
Which brings me to some Motormouthing session now. Bear with me, a short one this time. From the booking itinerary, it was clearly stated that we were to be granted two double rooms and two triple rooms (there were TEN of us, in case you are wondering), all with air-conditioning. Only to be sorely disappointed as they could only cater to 3/4 of our requests, as one of the triple room was occupied by other guests. Shucks …..
Ended up at a Family Suite instead, that can easily fit 5-6 pax (no kidding, check out the pictures above). But with minor handicaps; The suite was NOT equipped with an air-conditioning unit! Though the two queen-sized beds were more than enough for the three of us. Manner of consolation? The suite which is priced at IDR350,000 was discounted to the triple room rate for us. Fair enough.
Jati 3 Bungalows and Spa
Monkey Forest St. Ubud-Bali
Phone/Fax: 62-361-973249, 62-361-977101
Breakfasts at Jati 3 were freshly cooked, with options such as banana pancakes, toasts, jaffles (toasted sandwiches), and omelette. A side serving of fresh fruits was complimentary, as was a beverage of your choice. Not the most filling options, but still having your breakfast cooked on the spot for you, without the need to search high and low for some grubs in the most unGodly hours in the morning sounded almost akin to two-months’ bonus to us.
(Yeah, on that note, I’m still trying to stay as prudent as humanly possible, in order to accept in grace, and fully utilize the terrific amount of RM500 bonus at the end of the year. Peanuts? We ARE civil servants after all. And don’t go jumping on the bandwagon and proclaim that ALL government servants are lazy, they deserve nothings, yada yada …… for you are DEAD wrong. Some of us really worked our a$$es off sometimes)
Our fourth day was a Free & Easy day in Ubud. We started off by flagging a taxi, or rather, MPV-cum-van (?) to ferry the 10 of us over to Pasar Ubud, about 15 minutes of walk away. Yeah, lazybums I know. But it’s supposed to be a RELAXATION day, okay? And our bones were creaking from all the walking. IDR30,000 / RM 11 / USD3 for the 3 minutes’ ride. LOL.
It so happened Ubud was ushering in the Readers and Writers Festival, a literary celebration that spanned 5 whole days. If you’re one who appreciates literary, poetry and sharing the same enthusiasm over some good reads, then this festival may be the “Woodstock/Live Aid/Lollapalooza” for ya!!! The theme for 2009 celebration was “Suka-Duka: Compassion & Solidarity”
We strolled leisurely around the Pasar Ubud (Ubud Market) area, covering the Lotus Pond/Saraswati Temple with NO lotus flowers in view, Ubud Palace whereby there were more restricted areas than Forbidden City itself, and the tranquil cultural village leading to the scenic green rice fields in Ubud. Along the pavement, there are carved stones embedded onto the grounds, with messages, shoutouts (though I highly doubt they call them that!) translations (English to Indonesian language and vice versa) and images.
Although I think this may be a road less-travelled, unless you’re a seasoned backpacker, or has nothing better to do than walking 20 minutes along the one-track path leading to the fields. Yeah, that gave a whole new meaning to the phrase Free & Easy, albeit there was nothing easy about stretching the limits and walked miles after miles under the blistering sun.
Cutleries? What cutleries?!! =P
For lunch, we had a place set in mind, even before arriving in Bali. The most famous Ibu Oka in Ubud, serving their signature Babi Guling, or roast pig. As they say, if you did not try the Babi Guling in Bali for even once, (a thin sliver may do, if you’re not a fan of fatty pork cooked with spices, with a chewy/crispy skin) then you have NOT tasted Balinese food yet. Some may beg to differ, as there are so many more traditional Balinese dishes, but Babi Guling has to be THE most recognized one.
The killer pickled green chillies and fried shallots condiment, the Teh Botol, and the colourful offerings even on the table, to bless the patrons of Ibu Oka?
The place opens from 11am daily, until the pigs are sold out (rumoured to be TWO pigs per day, but our driver claimed that they’re roasting more than that nowadays), usually at about 2pm. So try to go as early as possible, say about 11-11.30am for the place is not the most spacious nor comfortable you’ve seen. You’ll be seated on the wooden floor, with cushions to reduce sore butts, and eating side by side with strangers, who do not give a damn if you’re eating with your hands, fork/spoon, or even feet.
That piece of skin is the star of the dish, and underneath that ‘rubble of a portion, there was a piece of crispy fried pork skin, a most obnoxious looking offal (reddish, almost like coagulated pig’s blood – blood sausage?), some mixed vegetables, and that fiery ‘sambal’ on the chunks of tender pork.
Although we ordered different types of Babi Guling, the Daging sahaja or Kulit sahaja comes in meat-only (former) or crispy skin-only (the latter), in the end, everyone was served with the same Babi Guling Special (IDR25,000 / RM9.20 / USD2.60). The place was bustling with activities even at such early hour (we arrived at about 11.15am), hence don’t try to confuse them with funny, funny orders. Stick to the usual one, and wallop away.
The pig was not the small suckling pig of infantile age, like our Chinese diners’ version. But instead, the pig slaughtered, roasted, shredded and served was of a larger size. Hence the skin was not that fat, but a little thicker than the suckling pigs here in Malaysia. Not as crackly as I’d imagined for the skin of the pig was not poked repeatedly (like our very own roast pork aka siew yoke), with more pieces of meat which was tender and marinated with spices and herbs., as well as coconut oil (!)The accompanying sambal elevated the heat up a notch, hence be prepared with a drink at hand.
Talking about drinks, the Teh Botol (bottled tea) is a staple of the Indonesians’, tasting like our Teh O albeit served in a classic bottle.
You can see the items they serve at Ibu Oka, on the board on the wall …..
Many of us could not accept the pungent, almost vile flavours of the suckling pig, but I had no qualms for I expected the Babi Guling to be different from our roast pork (siew yoke). Like they say, you just can’t compare an apple to an orange, can you?
Babi Guling Ibu Oka (opposite of Ubud Palace)
Jalan Suweta, Ubud
11.00am – 2.00pm daily
Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to IBU OKA in UBUD
# Ibu Oka has a second branch in Ubud on Jalan Raya Teges, so you can dine in a slightly more comfortable seating area without jostling with the immense crowd come lunch hours #
We went for a few rounds of shopping in Pasar Ubud after the meal, to burn off calories, kill some time, as well as awaiting the NEXT big event in our agenda for the day,
But the goods sold at Pasar Ubud are a little pricier than its counterparts, notably Tanah Lot which we went to a few days before, and Sukawati which I’ll write about in the coming posts.
And after an hour or so of aimlessly walking around, we proceeded with our plans. Wild guess, anyone?
to be continued ……..