Is food one of your priorities while travelling? For me, I would say yes.
Online searches on recommended dining options in the Land of Gods led me to Bebek Tepi Sawah – a chain restaurant famed for its fried and grilled duck. When we visited the original diner during a long weekend, we were told that the waiting time would approximately be 2 hours. Surprise? Maybe not.
We would have waited if not for our grumbling tummies. Stomach over experience, and deciding that it would be unwise to spend two hours waiting, our awesome driver recommended that we head over to another eatery nearby called Bebek Bengil. I am extremely glad we did.
Bebek Bengil is the first restaurant in Ubud which serves fried duck dish. It was very well-known among local and international tourists, and was always crowded. According to our driver, founders of Bebek Tepi Sawah were originally part of Bebek Bengil. For some unknown reasons, they parted ways and established Bebek Tepi Sawah just across the street. It became famous after guides and drivers redirected their guests from Bebek Bengil due to its crazy waiting time, and words spread. Our driver insisted that Bebek Bengil was nicer than its counterpart, and the oldies would very much prefer this diner.
The word bengil means dirty and the restaurant’s name translates to Dirty Duck in English. It does not mean that the ducks they used to prepare the dish are dirty. Instead, it refers to ducks that swim inside paddy fields, hence making them “dirty” from mud.
Although proper tables and chairs were available, we opted for lesehan where we sat on the floor and eat. A gorgeous view of paddy field accompanied us as we ate with our hands.
We ordered four Fried Duck sets (which came with a piece of watermelon, two slices of orange, and a plate of vegetable), Sate Lilit (mixture of beef, chicken and fish served on a stick) and six glasses of unsweetened iced tea.
I personally preferred Bebek Bengil‘s fried duck to Bebek Tepi Sawah‘s, but I shall talk more about the latter next time.
Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck Diner)
Jalan Hanoman, Padang Tegal, Ubud, Kec. Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia