Bali is perhaps the little city of hangovers. The first was a post-wedding celebration and the other, a food coma. It was going to be my last day in Bali and it was not going to end without a bang! Jumping out of the bed and into our driver’s car, it was time for breakfast. On the menu today was Babi Guling. What more symbolic of Bali than the Babi Guling? Lovely spit roasted pork cooked for hours over charcoal before being chopped up and serve on a bed of rice with spicy sambal, the tastiest fried long beans and seasoned condiments. While the most popular one on the island is Ibu Oka who claims to spit roast their hog for over 5 hours, it is ultimately the 3 hour version at Pak Dobiel that has won Mei’s hearty. Very much like her husband Hendra. Maybe he was spit roasted for 3 hours too lol jkjkjk. Many people have arrived at a love it or hate it conclusion about this dish. And believe it or not, it all broils down to the crackling. Some have it perfectly done while others lament at a chewy, almost rubber like crackling. In fact, my friend who has been to Ibu Oka despised the fact that not only were they served a horrible crackling each, but a super hard and over-cooked meat as well. This in many ways had me kept my fingers crossed hoping to get the better of the lot at Warung Pak Dobiel.
Warung Pak Dobiel is no looker or a fancy restaurant. It is just a roadside Warung where locals come and enjoy a quick bite to kick start their day!
The usual suspect on standby to fight the high humidity! Teh Botol for the win! Just a little advice when eating here. The soup served is not complementary but rather a surcharge on top of whatever price you pay. Its taste was decent like a “soto” but nothing worth raving about. If I were you, I would definitely keep my stomach for the lovely rice that was about to hit the table.
When the rice arrive on our table, it looked simply delicious. All the lovely condiments on top of the rice graced by a few shards of lovely crackling and a pinch of salt. Just by looking, it was a no brainer why this dish gets so many mentions around the island! After taking a photo, I proceeded to mixing everything up. The beans, the sambal, the pork and all the other condiments. It was just so tasty. Spicy, salty, sour with little bits of crunchiness from the crackling! Yums! The pork here was really nice. It was tender and well-seasoned. More importantly, I did not suffer from the same fate other have. My crackling was crunchy, lardy and all the good things you want from the skin. Each shard was joy to chew and the meat was substantially tender. When Hendra ordered this for me, it was a $R30,000 serve with no innards. But believe it or not, this was nowhere near enough for my round belly. Funnily, even Hendra who was thin as stick needed a second helping.
The satay was only OK in my opinion. Carefully arranged meat and lards looked great but did not deliver an orgasmic blow. Coming from Malaysia, I expected more fragrant spices to serenade that beautiful stick of meat. But enough said, this meal of Babi Guling was still every bit satisfying. A continuation of great food from Jimbaran and oh did I mention we had Nasi Pedas from Ibu Andika for supper the night before? No pictures as we were in the pool and had the Nasi Pedas delivered to the deck! But many thanks to the beautiful wedding organizer! Just a little warning if any of you ever order the Nasi Pedas, the Satan’s chili paste is extremely spicy. Surely to send you to the toilet many days after eating it!
While I might have never have tasted the famous Babi Guling from Ibu Oka in this trip, I feel little or in fact no envy at all. My meal here today at Pak Dobiel was more satisfying than I could have asked for. Just yesterday I asked Andrew over Korean Barbecue whether he would have liked a serve of Babi Guling, he simply nodded and said that he could do with a Nasi Pedas too. Damn these holiday hangovers!!!!!! Anyway folks, there you have it. Pak Dobiel is definitely a place worth going to if you plan a trip to Bali! More importantly, I have to bless my fortunate visit to this Warung which was a success!