Balinese Babi Guling at Warung Andi Jaya

Yes, I am not yet over roasted pigs but this time it is about our pigging experience in Bali, Indonesia. On our way back from our Pura Ulun Danu visit, I asked our driver to drop us to one of those warungs (roadside restaurants/stores that sell food and grocery items and even souvenirs) along the road to binge on Balinese version of lechon, the equally sumptuous “babi guling”. I heard about this Balinese cuisine way back then and since a lot as well recommended that feasting on babi guling when in Bali should be part of your to-do-list, we exactly did the same. We actually found a lot of warungs along the way, but our driver has recommended us to try Warung Babi Guling Andi Jaya. If you’re going your way to Pura Ulun Danu in Bedugul, this restaurant is located at the right side of Jalan Raya Denpasar. Andi Jaya is like a typical “turo-turo” roadside restaurants in the Philippines.  And here in this restaurant, “babi guling” is definitely their star.

This warung is at the right side of Jalan Raya Denpasar on the way to Ulun Danu, Bedugul.

This warung is at the right side of Jalan Raya Denpasar on the way to Ulun Danu, Bedugul.

This is how babi guling meal in Warung Andi Jaya is prepared.

This is how babi guling meal in Warung Andi Jaya is prepared.

Babi means pig, while guling is grilled/roasted. Like the Philippines’ lechon which we had in Zubuchon (read my post here http://clecstrotter.com/2013/07/27/zubuchon-arguably-cebus-best-lechon/), babi guling is also spit-roasted the traditional way over open flame. Preparing the suckling pigs for roasting involves stuffing them with various ingredients which may not be limited to lemongrass, turmeric, pepper, garlic, shallots among others and/or their own special concoctions. These are apparent in Andi Jaya’s, as I could taste those in their babi guling served to us especially the lemon grass and pepper.  A plate of Andi Jaya’s babi guling comprises roasted pig of course, a piece of sausage, fried pig skin (chicharon), brown rice, vegetable as side dish topped with a very spicy coconut sauce. Comes with the meal is a bowl of soup that tastes piquantly delicious. The meat is flavorful and succulent while the chicharon is indeed crunchy. I like also the sausage, though fatty, it is savory. Lovers of spicy food would definitely love Andi Jaya’s babi guling as they will never get disappointed. The spicy flavor runs throughout but like me who could not tolerate super hot food, a bottle of cola is an equalizer.

Babi guling in Andi Jaya served in native plate.

Babi guling in Andi Jaya served in native plate.

Andi Jaya's babi guling is served with brown rice.

Andi Jaya’s babi guling is served with brown rice.

A bowl of soup that is piquantly delicious.

A bowl of soup that is piquantly delicious.

Our experience in Andi Jaya of their delicious babi guling added enjoyment to our short stay in Bali. It was another satisfying treat to food lovers like us who like to explore and taste local cuisines. I am just glad that I have tasted Bali’s babi guling that is listed second in Anthony Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork (http://blog.travelchannel.com/anthony-bourdain/read/hierarchy-of-pork/). Perhaps, the next stop will be the third in the list, Puerto Rico’s own styled lechon.

 

Zubuchon- arguably Cebu’s best lechon

The four of us who have been friends for more than a decade usually find time to spend a couple of days or more in an out-of-town trip around the country. In the list for this year was Samal Island and Davao city, but due to bad weather that caused flooding in some parts of the city, we all agreed to fly to Cebu instead. The first thing that comes in my mind when we landed Cebu city was lechon– suckling pigs slowly roasted over open fire (usually in charcoal). I was craving for this food since I arrived in Iloilo for my short break but got no chance to munch in any of those restaurants we had visited. And since I was in Cebu, I definitely grabbed that chance. It is said that Cebu has arguably the best lechon in the country and that this city is synonymous to lechon.

The four of us (L to R: Dulah, Syaoran, me, & June) during our trip to Cebu.

The four of us (L to R: Dulah, Syaoran, me, & June) during our trip to Cebu.

After we settled our things in hotel, I approached the reception and asked where to go to taste Cebu’s lechon for our lunch. She right away mentioned Zubuchon in Escario Street. Perhaps because it is near to where we were staying and a jeepney ride from Capitol site where our hotel was located. Zubuchon is a casual dining restaurant. As we entered the place, their waiters approached us eagerly and led us to our table. We scanned the menu and ordered for a start a large serving of lechon, lechon dinuguan, and ginataang langka with daing. We wanted to try more food listed on their menu but decided to reserve some for our next round of food raves.

Zubuchon's best selling lechon.

Zubuchon’s best selling lechon.

Ginataang langka with daing

Ginataang langka with daing

Instant favorite, lechon dinuguan.

Instant favorite, lechon dinuguan.

Zubuchon’s lechon is certainly their all time best seller. It was proclaimed by the famous TV chef, Anthony Bourdain, as “the best pig ever”. Bourdain said in the site, blog.travelchannel.com, “it can now be said that of all the whole roasted pigs I’ve had all over the world, the slow roasted lechon I had on Cebu was the best.” And that was in Zubuchon. This catapulted Philippines as the top in Bourdain’s Hierarchy of Pork. Proud of the distinction, Zubuchon wrote such title and Anthony Bourdain’s name on the glass in their restaurant.

Written on the glass wall inside is, "Best Pig.. Ever" - Anthony Bourdain.

Written on the glass wall inside is, “Best Pig.. Ever” – Anthony Bourdain.

But what really makes their lechon so special that a lot of people ques during meal time and those who previously dined keep on coming back? Personally what I like about it was the skin’s crispiness to which every bite sounds like bursting fire crackers. The meat is tender and juicy but it seems just the same average lechon meat I had tasted before, but the herbs that they use as stuffs are savored. I ultimately found out that their lechon is still cooked the old way. And what is good is that they don’t use glutamate nor brushes their pigs with artificially flavored sauce.

What I like about it was the skin’s crispiness to which every bite sounds like bursting fire crackers.

What I like about it was the skin’s crispiness to which every bite sounds like bursting fire crackers.

Never got enough of Zubuchon, thus we returned for our dinner during our last day but at this time in their Mango branch. Similarly, we ordered a plate of lechon and dinuguan which was our instant favorite from the first time we ate at Escario. We also got squid stuffed with Zubuchon lechon sisig and seaweed platter vinaigrette. For drinks we ordered, their kamias shake which they recommended to balance off lechon’s fattiness, though it really is a refreshing drink. The mixed flavors of sweetness and sourness were playing in the mouth.

Sizzling squid stuffed with sisig lechon is likewise delicious.

Sizzling squid stuffed with sisig lechon is likewise delicious.

Three types of seaweeds with vinaigrette in a platter.

Three types of seaweeds with vinaigrette in a platter.

Joining us are our buddy Atty. Tash and her friend, Matet.

Joining us are our buddy Atty. Tash and her friend, Matet.

There maybe other restaurants in Cebu specializing in lechon, but Zubuchon satisfied our craving. Our dining experience in both Escario and Mango branches was good that definitely deserves a come back.