‘Ibu’ Mangku’s Kedewatan spicy chicken rice
Kedewatan hamlet in northern Ubud has gained quite a reputation in Balinese culinary circles for its unusual chicken and rice. The inventor of Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku is, unsurprisingly, Ibu (mother) Mangku.
Nowadays, there are at least five foodstalls in north Ubud selling the same dish. Despite numerous options, Ibu Mangku’s original foodstall remains the favorite destination, not only for its delicious chicken rice but also for the beautiful Balinese design of the stall.
Customers dine on their nasi ayam, among traditional Balinese carvings on stone and clay. They can sit on the floor or eat at the table. Both domestic and foreign visitors prefer to eat inside the stall.
Although, the stall’s current customers mostly order the dish without its accompanying sambal, the hot chili sauce was actually Ibu Mangku’s original specialty. The sambal, of course, remains a favorite with her Balinese customers.
The sambal is made from chopped chilies, fried with salt and shrimp paste.
Rp 15,000 (US$1.60) will buy you a portion Ibu Mangku’s specialty featuring shredded chicken meat, twisted chicken satay and half a boiled egg, with a long bean and shredded coconut salad.
Additional chicken skin crackers and fried peanuts are also available.
It’s not difficult to find Ibu Mangku’s stall with its huge concrete signboard. It’s right across from the temple Pura Melanting Kedewatan, where local traders worship.
According to Ibu Mangku’s daughter-in-law Sang Ayu Rani, Ibu Mangku started out selling pork rice at the cockpit in Ubud. Guruh Soekarno Putra, son of President Sukarno, suggested she changd the dish and made it with chicken so that visitors of the Islamic faith could also enjoy the delicious meal.
Ibu Mangku has opened a branch in Renon, Denpasar. Nonetheless, it is the atmosphere of the original stall in Ubud that means customers keep coming back.
Photos by Anton Muhajir