Meatopia isn't complete without pork ribs. Think a whole rack of the porker, slathered with a killer marinade, and grilled over charcoal. Better still if you have it by the roadside in a little warung that marks its presence with a live grill staking its place on the sidewalk. The best is yet to come, my friends, as a chilled martini comes to you with no less than three shots of vodka — shaken, not stirred. Such is the allure of Naughty Nuri's Warung and Grill in Ubud, Bali.
Ubud might be the spiritual mecca for wandering Eat, Pray, Love hippies, but Naughty Nuri's is the carnal temple for barbecued meats and — strangely enough — martinis. Anthony Bourdain is right, they do serve an unapologetically strong martini — possibly the naughtiest thing on the menu. It's no wonder that founders Isnuri Suryatmi and her late husband Brian Aldinger are laughing all the way to the bank. Since Naughty Nuri's inception in 1995, the humble stall has grown into a franchise spawning eight outlets stretching across Malaysia, Indonesia, and Macau.
Thanks to lifestyle group Massive Collective, Naughty Nuri's has arrived in Singapore. Sited at Capitol Galleria, the Indonesian roadside grill sees a contemporary makeover with a 3,200 square feet space that sits over 100 diners. There's no room for nostalgia here. Gone are the quirky momentos that mark the space at the original Ubud outlet. Over in Singapore, Naughty Nuri's isn't quite naughty anymore. It's clean, comfortable, and air-conditioned. The menu here has also been heavily reworked to cater to the Singaporean palate. If we covered the logo on the menu, we wouldn't have guessed we were at Naughty Nuri's.
Yes, there are the hefty slabs of pork ribs — marinated in Balinese spices, basted with their signature barbecue sauce, and cooked till tender over a charcoal grill — that remain the star of the menu, but that isn't the only dish worth ordering. There're other nibbles to look forward to. Try the crispy pig ears coated in curry powder. Add a squeeze of lime and it's perfect beer grub. While you're at it, order up a plate of Indon buffalo drumlets — fried and coated in a sweet and slightly tangy chili glaze — to share.
Traditional Indonesian dishes such as beef rendang and chicken leg braised in a tumeric coconut gravy draw out the Indonesian side of the menu, but those who prefer more Anglicised fare will find charred corn, burnt leeks, and pulled pork burgers to pick on.
With its big, bold flavours, the food here pairs perfectly with a tall glass of chilled beer (of course they have Bintang), and the size of the outlet caters well for big groups, too. Fancy some cocktails to get the night started? Look to Massive Collective's in-house Master Mixologist Ricky Paiva — he has prepared a list of Asian-inflected cocktails to complement the restaurant's signature martini.
#01-84, Capitol Galleria, 15 Stamford Road. Tel: 6384 7966