Today, Kevin and I check out Warung Nasi Iwak Itik Mama Baiti Gambut, a 24-hour restaurant with a menu mostly based on duck meat and rice but you have to try all their recipes! Later we will walk around the floating houses of Banjarmasin’s canals.
Tucked away off the street is Bu Mangku’s, a tiny little warung serving up Bali’s favourite kind of local worker’s breakfast – babi guling.
Babi Guling Bu Mangku
Foreign tourists favourite, “babi guling” is made from piglets whose stomach is filled with herbs and vegetables such as cassava leaves and then roasted while rotating until cooked, marked by changing the color of the skin to brown and crispy.
When I got here at 9:15am, she’d already almost sold out. All that was left were a few remnants of the suckling pig she is famous for. Luckily there was enough for us, so we did get to try a taste anyway.
While I was eating, Bu Mangku is bundling up 100 bungkus (triangular shaped paper takeaway parcels) for delivery that morning.
They are on their way to the airport for staff catering at the canteen there. I find out that she sells up to 300 bungkus – and makes up to 9000 small sates – per day. Shocked, I realize that this humble holy man’s wife is a real culinary entrepreneur, giving new meaning to the term ‘quiet achiever’.
The Balinese can create thriving little businesses like this for much less of an investment and effort than Westerners do. Even high-end restaurants can learn a thing or two from this kind of enterprising side to their main gig. There is definitely something to be said for doing takeaway!
Nyuh Kuning Rd, Singakerta, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571 (view in Google Maps)
BABI GULING GRENCENG
Another great option for lunch is Babi Guling Grenceng (just a few metres up the road from yesterday’s warung tip, Tipat Tahu Grenceng).
A relaxed affair, it’s shoes off at the front steps here, with ‘lesehan’ style seating on rattan floor mats.
The babi guling is good and offers quite a variety of accompaniments to the traditional slow-roasted pork. The paper-lined basket offers up lots of flavours, with young coconut braised in bumbu gede sitting alongside sausage and fried curly intestines (which I quietly pass on).
Instead of heading off into the outer reaches of Asia, the last few weeks have been all about discovering some of the hidden secrets of my own island home.
A popular dish
Street-side eating here is all about one thing only – tahu tipat. Originally from East Java but hugely popular here in Bali, tahu tipat consists of freshly made tofu pieces that are pan fried so that they become slightly golden and warm, before being mixed with bean sprouts, lontong (soft rice cakes shaped in plaited banana leaf parcels) and spicy peanut sauce.
I visited this Warung in November 2012. Though they changed their frontage, the recipe, taste and twist remain the same !