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Last night we found ourselves at Subang Empire Mall looking for a place for dinner, partly thanks to the rain. We walked around abit on the lower ground floor and came across Ole Ole Bali. Well, the interior looked  nice, and there’s quite a healthy crowd, on top of that, a 10% discount for Public Bank credit/debit card, so we stepped in.

Ole Ole Bali at Subang Empire
Ole Ole Bali at Subang Empire

Now I’ve walked past Ole Ole Bali plenty of times, and for some reasons, the (wrong) preconception that “Balinese food with no babi guling can’t be any good” always prevented me to give it a try. Well, I’m glad we finally did.

I always gravitate towards Ole Ole Bali whenever I'm overly hungry and can't decide what to eat at Empire Mall. With the super thick avo jus now I'm overly stuffed… *burp* . #kyeats #halal #oleolebali #empiremallsubang #balinese @oleole_bali

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As it turned out, this is the same chain that ran Bumbu Bali, a restaurant in Puchong that was featured in this blog 10 years ago. I remembered that they offered pretty good food, but haven’t been back many times since thanks to Puchong being one of the least accessible places on the planet if you aren’t a fan of getting stuck in traffic.

nasi campur, with beef, prawns, squid, fish, and more
nasi campur, with beef, prawns, squid, fish, and more

Well, anyway, the restaurant is certainly better than the one I went to 10 years ago. Decoration, comfort, and choices in menu are all superior.

I ordered the nasi campur while Haze had sup buntut.

The nasi campur (RM37) came with grilled lemongrass prawns, squid, fish, beef (you can also have chicken), and sate lilit. Then there’s lawar kacang (beans salad), rempeyek (anchovy crackers), sambel terasi & sambel matah (from raw lemongrass & shallots). It was certainly a huge offering and amazingly everything tasted rather awesome. The seafood grilled to perfection, and they also manage to have the beef soft & succulent. I really liked it. Sambel matah is a revelation and I think we’re going to try to make some at home.

avocado juice & sup buntut
avocado juice & sup buntut

The sop buntut (RM 17) is the authentic Indonesian style oxtail soup that comes with rice cakes (similar to ketupat) and vegetables, It was very flavorful too.

I had the avocado juice to complete my meal and was thoroughly satisfied.

Ole Ole Bali also serves steak, lamb chop, pasta, sandwich and burger in addition to traditional Balinese fair, will surely check them out more in the future.

Empire Mall map

Address:
Ole Ole Bali
LG  27, Empire Shopping Gallery
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
URL: balibistro.com
Tel: 03-5022 2629

A couple weeks ago we found ourselves at Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang during dinner time, the girls decided that we should dine at Serai. A decision I very much supported since Malay restaurants that serves made to order food aren’t exactly the most common type of eateries in the country, and it’s been a while since I went to one. (Alicafe TigaRasa at USJ)

Serai at Empire Shopping Gallery
Serai at Empire Shopping Gallery

According to Horng, the restaurant was pretty quiet the first time they tried a month or two ago, but steadily picked up returning customers over that period of time. By now, you often need to wait for a bit to get a seat during busy weekend dinner hours.

Interior decoration is pretty classy, menu easy to read, and the servers seemed to be quite well trained. It is quite similar in setting to some of the more successful modern restaurants in the country, ie: Madam Kwan, Ben’s, etc. Not a bad thing I must say.

deep fried brinjal with spices
deep fried brinjal with spices, our favorite of the day

The menu weren’t super extensive, but covers most of the popular local dishes you’d expect.

The first dish that was served to us was the deep fried brinjal with spices (RM 15). Thinly sliced brinjal deep fried with sugar, spices, and chili, the combination was superb and instantly became one of the very few culinary surprises that I experienced this year.

I highly recommend this dish.

steamed siakap with lime sauce, tomyam seafood, chicken with dried chili
steamed siakap with lime sauce, tomyam seafood, chicken with dried chili

Tomyam seafood (RM 22) here was not particularly spicy, but did come with plenty of seafood ingredients and carries a pretty good aroma with distinctive good tomyam sourness. This is very good for those who can’t have it too spicy and still want to enjoy tomyam closest to it’s pure form.

We were delighted by the steamed sea bass with lime sauce (RM 54.99), the fish was fresh and tasty, but the real winner here is the soup base – it was very flavorful and very sour, so much so that it actually overlapped the tomyam a little bit, not that we minded. The only problem with this dish is for the budget conscious, for over RM 50 a pop, it’s definitely not cheap.

Chicken with dried chili (RM 15) turned out to be just a kung pao chicken dish basically. It was decent, but lack the kick and spiciness that I usually expect from it.

deep fried salted egg with squid
deep fried salted egg with squid, berry pavlova

The deep fried salted egg with squid (RM 20), another classic Chinese tai chao dish that isn’t always available at Malay restaurants, is perhaps the only dish that disappointed me. It was a bit too wet, sweet, and too chewy for my liking. Your experience might vary.

For dessert lovers, the pavlova (14.8) is something to check out. It was sweet, crunchy, and simply delicious. The experience was like the best of macaroon, strawberry, and cake toppings all in one. I’m not a dessert lover, but this one I don’t mind at all, it was delicious!

serai drinks

While there are some creative and interesting drinks at Serai, they certainly don’t come cheap. Serai iced tea was RM 12 each, and milky bandung will cost you RM 8.5. Even though the iced tea comes with fresh lemongrass and a scoop of lime ice cream, I felt that it is still a bit too pricey for that sort of setting, if you don’t want to burst your budget, there’s always ice water.

Ultimately, while Serai at Empire is not the most budget friendly of restaurants, the quality of food and ambiance make it a place worth visiting, so if you are looking for some modern Malay cuisine, this is certainly a place to check out

Empire Mall map

Address:
Serai
LG  37, Empire Shopping Gallery
47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.082109, 101.582716
URL:: http://www.seraiempire.com.my>
Tel: 03-5611 3200