I’ll be frank. This restaurant has no name. It doesn’t even have a proper address. What makes this restaurant so noteworthy? They server the best lawar babi (pork and coconut rice dish) on the entire island. This traditional Balinese dish is not something you’ll find listed on a menu at a tourist restaurant. In fact, as far as Balinese cuisine is concerned this is a very special dish because it takes many hours to prepare.
Lawar babi is a local dish served out of houses and typically cooked by grandmothers. Each village in Ubud has their own lawar babi restaurant, and this one just happens to be the best of the best. In this Balinese cuisine article, I’ll tell you how you can find this secret restaurant and dine like the locals!
My love for Balinese cuisine
It all started when I asked the host at my homestay for some Balinese cuisine recommendations. At the time, I was working on filming some new videos for my Youtube channel which focused on authentic cuisine all around the world. I was hoping to put together a balinese cuisine video so that other visitors could enjoy the same meals that I found so exhilarating to eat.
My host, Made was excited about my proposal to create the ultimate Ubud Bali food guide. He wanted to be a part of it and showcase the wonders of Balinese cuisine on our video.
He really wanted to show me his favorite place to eat pork, but he warned us that it didn’t have an address or a name. “You won’t be able to find it, he paused, but I can take you there!” he said with a smile.
Our Hunt for Authentic Food in Bali
Made drove us to the place, his motorcycle leading the way down the narrow streets and us following behind him.
We parked our motorbikes on the street and walked up to a tiny house illuminated by a single yellow light bulb. The house had it’s doors open and besides a single picnic table, there was nothing else to look at.
“Hello Made!” They greeted our host and as their eyes made their way towards the two foreigners they looked completely shocked. They smiled and made us feel comfortable, welcoming us to enter and sit down at the only table available. There were many people standing around waiting for their to-do orders and they were looking at us with a poking curiosity.
“They don’t get any foreigners here.” Our host said to break the awkward silence. “You first foreigner to come here.” He said laughing and then he placed our orders in Bahasa.
“Is there a menu?” I asked wondering how the restaurant operated.
“No,” Made giggled, “You just get a set meal for a small price.”
Eating lawar babi
Two minutes later, an elderly lady exited out of the kitchen doorway in the house and handed her middle-age daughter two bowls filled with rice. Soon enough our table was covered with chicken soup, rice, and bowls of steaming pork.
As we ate with gusto, our host explained that this lawar babi restaurant is the most famous one in the entire village.
“Everyone knows that this is the place to go. Everyone in the city comes here, to this one place. They normally start selling the food at 5pm or when it starts to get dark. They will sell out very quickly. I have sometimes come here by 7pm and there is no more food. All gone. If you want the best lawar babi, you come here to eat. They are famous.” He wiped the juice from the pork off his lips, and ate a spoonful of rice.
How does Lawar Babi taste?
I took a bite of the pork and the flavors were intense. This lawar babi consists of a mixture of minced pork, jackfruit, grated coconut and vegetables. The sweet and sour pork dish reminded me of my Grandmother’s pork dish.
Although my grandma’s version was Ecuadorian, and this one was traditional Balinese cuisine… the spices were very similar. I’ve always had the flavor of my grandma’s pork dish hibernating in the recesses of my mind. After her passing, I hadn’t tasted a pork dish quite like hers, but today was that day.
I savored the nostalgic flavors and took a sip of the salty chicken broth filled with pork pieces (soto ayam). The portions were small, and this forced me to take my time eating one morsel at a time. I also really enjoyed the deep fried pork skin that came with our meal.
Price of Meal
When we all finished our meal, Nate asked the host if he could pay the bill as a small thank you for showing us this place. The total came out to $1.12 per person (14,880 IDR) which is pretty incredible considering I had three dishes all to myself for dinner.
We thanked Made for showing us this place and allowing us to explore such an off-the-beaten track, locals only joint with him. He really opened up his culture to us and shared a very secret place with us which made us feel special.
We were super happy that we were able to visit this place. Although it was slightly awkward and intimidating, we are grateful that we were able to experience our first lawar babi in Bali.
Ubud is filled with authentic Balinese cuisine, but this restaurant definitely tops the charts! If you’re in Ubud and are looking for a place to eat authentic Balinese cuisine, it doesn’t get much better than this.
If you do plan to visit this restaurant, please bring cash as they don’t accept credit cards. Also, the table is communal so you might be dining with people you don’t know. It’s all part of the experience, though. They also don’t serve any beverages except for bottles of sweet tamarind juice. If you want to bring your own water bottle, that is perfectly fine. Enjoy!
Watch the Video
I created a short video about my experience eating at this restaurant in Ubud to document the food and atmosphere. It’s a very quiet restaurant with the occasional sound of a neighborhood dog barking in the background. I felt out of place, and I love it. Sometimes you have to challenge yourself in order to see the “real side” of a culture.
In this video, I’ll show you all the different dishes that I ate and explain what each one tastes like. If you end up going to visit this restaurant, please leave me a comment on Youtube or on this blog and I’ll make sure to reply. I would love to hear about your experience eating lawar babi in Ubud Bali!
Can’t view this video? Click here to watch it on Youtube.
I hope you enjoyed this article about the most authentic meal I ever ate in Bali! I encourage you to try new dishes during your stay in Bali as it is a very enriching experience to eat what the locals eat. Lastly, I had a terrific time exploring Balinese cuisine and I can certainly say that it was the highlight of my trip.
How to Get There
This restaurant is located outside of the center of Ubud. You’ll need a motorbike to get here.
Lawar Babi restaurant, Kabupaten Gianyar, Ubud Bali Indonesia 80571
Update: This restaurant has recently been documented on Google Maps as “Family Restaurant: Suli Restoran”
Click here to see the Google map location.