The reason I stopped at this particular eatery for Nasi Babi Guling (roast pork rice) in Tanah Lot, Bali, was because I was returning from sightseeing in the area. I was very hungry and there was a bit of a jam on the road.
There are many such hole-in-the-wall warong along the road, all selling the same dish, and I picked one. There were no expectations nor was I overly concerned about Warong Men Agus' fame or reputation. All I knew before sitting down was that this was a family-run eatery and I could see that it was a no-frills sort of place.
Warong Nasi Babi Guling Bali is a simple hole-in-the-wall eatery. Photo: Eric Ian Chan
There was a table of family members chatting away and eating happily - a good enough indication for me to sample the food. Ordering Nasi Babi Guling was easy: there were no variables, I just said what I wanted and they prepared it.
Teh Botol is exactly what the brand says: bottled tea. Photo: Eric Ian Chan
While waiting, I ordered the drink advertised on the posters in the humble shop. I wanted it because it was so simply named, Teh Botol, and that's what I got, sweet tea in a bottle.
The Nasi Babi Guling (Rp25,000, or $2.60) came on a plate with a small bowl of soup. Sitting on top of the rice was a stick of pork satay, two sides of vegetables - one spicy, one not - and the signature roast pork. The meat was shredded and some were cubed and sauced. Of course, Nasi Babi Guling would be incomplete without the glistening square of crackling, roasted till crispy with just a layer of silky fat under it. The owners lingered, waiting for me to take the first bite, as if wanting an immediate reaction.
The Babi Guling was fragrant and tender, although a touch on the dry side. The meat added bite and texture to the dish and when eaten with the other condiments, it was a rustic dish with a delightful blend of local seasoning and spices.
I spied on the neighbouring table again and mimicked how they ate - a bit of everything on a spoon and into the mouth. I followed, and from now this is the taste I will always associate with Bali.
The flavourful plate of nasi babi guling comes with a chilli condiment of you want more heat. Photo: Eric Ian Chan
Warung Nasi Babi Guling Men Agus
Jl By Pass Tanah Lot
Tel: +6 203-6178 72361
Parking: By the narrow roadside