Indonesia Expat
Food & Drink

The best pork restaurants in Yogyakarta

The best pork restaurants in Yogyakarta

Pork isn’t the first thing most expats will miss when they come to Indonesia. Indeed, if you’re in Bali, you can get the delights of babi guling whenever you choose. For those living in other regions, juicy, tender pork isn’t so easy to come by.

Moving to a majority Muslim country, you prepare yourself for some things. You know alcohol isn’t going to be cheap and plentiful like at home. Public displays of affection are much more of a no-no. Eating pork isn’t something that immediately springs to mind as something you might actually get cravings for.

When you do find yourself hankering after some pig, Yogyakarta has some tasty options. Welcoming people from all over Indonesia for generations has made the foodie scene in the city deliciously diverse. Find yourself needing a pork dish and you’ve got options.

Here’s our pick of three of the best restaurants serving pork dishes in different traditions across the city.

Rumah Makan Terang Mulyov
Rumah Makan Terang Mulyo

Kak Mulyo moved to Yogyakarta from Semarang in 1965. Her family were Chinese migrants to the city and bought with them a wealth of recipes from home. Settling into their new home, local influences mixed with their traditional food.

Arriving in Yogya, Mulyo opened her first restaurant serving her Chinese home recipes next to the old bus station, Terminal Purawisata. The food was a hit – there’s a sizeable Chinese population in the city, along with plenty of other people happy to eat her succulent pork.

Fast forward to today and her grandson Iwan is the proud owner of RM Terang Mulyo, now located on Jalan Brigjend Katamso. The place is like an old-style eatery, with long tables and benches ready to accommodate family feasts.

The winning recipes that have seen the business through the last half-century and three generations have changed little, although Iwan notes some things have been added over the years to keep up with changing tastes.

Signature dishes include cap cay goreng or fried mixed vegetables, and the famous pork dish is babi kecap – tender pork chunks cooked in sweet soy sauce. Also, check out babi hoisin, the flavours are very reminiscent of British Chinese food and the balance of sweet and salty is just perfect. A side of babi tepung goreng – floured and deep-fried pork – is great to dip into the sauce if you really need your pork fix.

Babi kalobak comes with a sweet sauce and vegetables that add a nice crunch to your food. The nasi goreng babi is a winner of a dish, with deep-fried pork slices vying for your attention over the slow-cooked pork and umami notes.

It’s not all about the pork here. The menu is full of Chinese-Indonesian classics with the protein switched out for chicken or tofu, too. The prices are great, with a pork dish less than Rp50,000 each.

Contact 08812411822 for bookings or takeaway orders.

Warung Bu Komang
Warung Bu Komang

This bright and spacious Balinese restaurant was opened back in 2004 when the family moved to Yogyakarta from Bali. Located down the road from the Balinese temple, Pura Jaganata, this is perfect if you’re craving being back on the Island of the Gods.

There’s a little bit of chicken on the menu, but you’re here for the pork. The menu is packed with all the traditional dishes you’ll find in a babi guling joint just across the water.

Not been initiated into the wonders of Bali pork dishes? Head down to the kitchen end of the restaurant and check out what’s on offer – point and go, and be ready for a treat.

If you’re still unsure of what to order, pick the special padang plate. A little bit of everything is on the plate: pork sate, vegetables, sambal, crispy pork, pork liver, babi kecap, suckling pig, and fried pig skin.

The roast pork is melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the textures of well-rendered fat, crispy skin, and pull-apart meat makes the barbecue pork worth a try. Give the pork sausage a try if they’ve got it in. The herbs and spices give it a kick with just a little bit of sweet that good pork can carry well.

Deserving of a shout out is the soup that comes with your padang dishes. Dark yellow and aromatic, it packs a punch and is a swirl of flavours in your mouth. Take sips as you work your way through your delights to enhance the already great tastes.

Expect to pay less than Rp30,000 for a large portion of anything on the menu.

Contact through Facebook, Warung Bu Komang.

Tuak Mulana
Tuak Mulana

Opened in 1998 and already in its second generation, Tuak Mulana is a hidden gem of Yogyakarta. As real as street food gets, it’s a small set up on the pavement across from Panti Rapih hospital – look for the spinning disco ball and the yellow and red sign declaring “Masakan Khas Batak”.

Originally from Medan, Sumatra, the recipes are classics of the northern area of the island, all belonging to the owner who set up the stall.

Famed for their babi saksang, there’s a delightful heat to the dish as the pork melts in your mouth. Add a dash of the Sumatran green sambal to add a different spice element to your dinner.

The barbecue pork is juicy, whilst a plate of fried pork is crispy with pockets of fat that give you a textural surprise. The babi arsik is another winning dish. Made with spices and flowers you’ve probably never come across before, you get a plate with long beans and a chunk of punk in bright yellow.

The pork has been slow-cooked in all its spices and pulls to pieces. The texture is perfect with just a little bite before the meat surrenders to give up its flavours.

Give the soup a try if you’re a little more adventurous – pigs trotters in a wonderfully robust soup. Take someone braver than you to eat the feet just so you get to taste the broth that’s sure to set your tastebuds alight.

Prices come in at Rp20,000 or less per dish so fill your boots.

Contact through Facebook, Tuak Mulana

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