Real deal lawar
Gang Harum No. 10, off Jalan Sekuta, Sanur, Bali
T: (0361) 289 230
Pak Kodi’s is an out-of-the-way, old-style neighbourhood warung serving up nasi campur babi guling made on site, with lawar on the side — and it’s the lawar in particular that this place is locally famed for. Lawar is a Balinese salad typically served for ceremonies; it’s made of minced meat with various Balinese spices and, classically, fresh blood; if you’re looking to try a genuine version, and you’re staying in Sanur, make a detour here for an authentic experience.
You’ll see people pulling in on their motorbikes to the completely unmarked restaurant located down a narrow gang right from 18:00 when doors open — it’s practically a drive-through, but a large wooden-tabled, open-air dining area fills up as the evening moves on. Think dusty, uncovered fans, an ancient TV plonked on a fridge and a simple display case holding all the dishes made from the pig — sate, pork in gravy, crackling, crispy skin, lawar and soup, plus rice. There’s not really a menu — just say how many portions you’d like.
Ibu Nyemplo started making the dish around 40 or 50 years ago here, she calculated roughly when we asked her how long the warung has been open. Her family compound has plenty of space for the meat to be cooked traditionally, unlike most babi guling joints that actually order in themselves from more centralised sources.
But it’s the lawar you come here for. The version here is a salad of chopped tasty bits of meat and mostly offal, which gives the salad an underlying deep, earthy flavour, with chopped young jackfruit, coconut, galangal and other herbs, all mixed in a fresh blood dressing. It’s possibly more an acquired thought than an acquired taste — once you get your head around the blood, the flavours are accessible and spicy. So go on, be brave!
Having said that, you do really need to be a bit of an adventurous eater to enjoy here. Hygiene, as at many warungs, isn’t top notch and OHS would have a field day here. On the other hand, turnover is fast, which is important when it comes to street food safety. We paid 25,000 for a plate, plus 4,000 rupiah for a Teh Botol. If you’d like to go all out on the lawar, it’s an additional 15,000 rupiah for a plate on its own. To find Kodi’s, head down Jalan Sekuta from the north end (reached by Jalan Tondano, just south of and opposite McDonalds) for about 500 metres or so, and it’s on Gang Harum marked on the left. Head down the gang, and you’ll have to take a right, then a left — keep going straight (not right) and it’s on your left where the road ends. If you’re staying in Sanur and like the thought of authentic Balinese, you can also check out Made Weti’s and for something a bit more upmarket, Pregina’s, which we wrote about when covering the best places to eat Balinese food on the whole island.