BANGKAL HITAM ROAST PORK BELLY
Since landing in Bali, Australian chef Luke MacLeod, who helms one of Bali’s most stylish beachfront restaurants, has displayed a remarkable talent for seeking out high-quality local farm-to-table produce and using it to present his guests with some truly stunning dishes.
His passion has also helped promote the culturally important bangkal hitam, a breed of local pig, also known as the heritage black Bali swayback that was facing extinction just over a decade ago.
Much smaller and slower growing than its commercially farmed cousins, the Bali swayback also has a problem in that it produces much smaller litters. Despite this, the pig is making a comeback due to the combination of demand created by innovative chefs like Luke and the surge in Balinese cultural revivalism. Today a small number of dedicated local farmers are investing considerable time and capital into rebuilding their stock.
Bangkal hitam differs from the usual farm-bred pork in both taste and texture. This is due in part to its slower growth and development but also because it’s a free-range pig that lives on a natural omnivorous diet including worms, insects, soft roots and greenery, a diet also devoid of the commercial preparations designed to maximise yield.
Both Chef Luke’s à la carte and his Evolve menu – one of the most impressive degustation menus on the island, feature bangkal hitam dishes, including the superb roasted bangkal hitam pork belly.
Chunks of roast pork belly are served with the freshest local sides. Beautifully presented and cooked to perfection, the juicy meat contrasts perfectly with the charred outer. For pork lovers this truly is a must-try dish.
The Restaurant at The Legian Bali in Seminyak offers discerning guests and walk-in customers a fantastic dining experience. With its popularity, booking is highly recommended.