Being a fella from Penang, the name Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant isn’t foreign to me. The bright red signboard with a huge green lobster is a sight quite familiar to, having seen it at Gurney Drive on numerous occasions. It is also a bit of a go-to seafood restaurant for some of my extended family members.
Well, the good news is, Bali Hai is now in Klang Valley, and we went to sample their set dinner menu.
Bali Hai, now in Kota Damansara too
Bali Hai is located at Sun Suria Avenue at Kota Damansara, a stone’s throw away from Sunway Giza Mall. There is ample parking right in front of the restaurant, and we only had to pay RM 1 per entrance during our visit. It was well worth it.
Most of the tables are situated at the center area at the huge semi-alfresco dining area, but there are also some air conditioned rooms for private parties. We were seated in one such room for the session, the room comes complete with a TV & karaoke system too.
The restaurant has an impressive wall of tanks housing a huge variety of live seafood for your picking. Boster lobster from US, rainbow lobster from Indonesia, geoduck from Canada, Alaskan king crab, oyster, tiger prawns, “soon hock”, giant grouper, and even exotics such as empurau fish. You can pick your spoil, aided by clearly written prices of each spices on the side of the tank so there’d be no surprises.
I must say that Bali Hai really do live up to their tag line of “If it swims we have it”.
Canadian geoduck and lobster sashimi and steamboat
On this session, we were treated to their RM 1388 set menu which comes with 9 dishes (including dessert) for 10 pax.
Our first dish was the Steamboat Canadian Geoduck and Lobster, which were actually served raw on crushed ice with a clay pot of superior soup , tofu, string mushroom, and vegetable.
I’m a big fan of sashimi and was glad that a side of wasabi and soya sauce was provided. The fresh rainbow lobster we had was fantastic, if you haven’t had lobsters before, having them raw is a great way to really taste the sweetness of lobster, distinctly different from that of crab or prawns. I’ve had the same style of geoduck from Pantai Seafood in PJ before, and the version is equally good.
Bali Hai Siam mini lobster in claypot
After the great introductory dish, we had the Bali Hai Siam mini lobster (crayfish) in claypot. This dish has a kick, spicy and full of flavor, a welcoming change to heighten your palate after the more subtle lobster & geoduck dish. It’d go great with some steamed rice too I think. The curry has a tone of sourness to it which I really enjoyed.
deep fried thai style mackerel
Next up was the deep fried Thai style mackerel. A fish that is pretty common. The execution was good, with really crispy skin but soft, and not overcooked meat that only a high temperature fryer could achieve. The Thai style sauce in this dish is spicy and sweet, another change from the previous sourish taste.
dried shrimp with cili padi clam, beancurd with minced chicken, emperor vege
Dried shrimp with cili padi clam is as advertised, a lot of small pieces of cili padi and tiny fragrant dried shrimps in it. I felt that the clams were perhaps slightly overcooked. That or because I’m half way in my invisalign treatment resulting in uneven bite at the moment, chewing was a bit difficult.
We also had some of the softest and tastiest beancurd in the beancurd with minced chicken dish. While traditionally paired with minced pork, this pork free version actually impressed us.
Emperor vegetable with deep fried lotus root and mushroom was our green of the day, and it never disappoint, which is why emperor vegetable is among the more expensive vegetable you can get from the market.
steamed salted kampung chicken, Japanese style seafood fried rice
The lone meat dish in the set was the steamed salted kampung chicken with herbs. I love the fragrant broth, and the chicken was well flavored too. Anyone who likes kampung chicken would love this dish. As for me, I’m not a fan of kampung chicken so it was pretty neutral for me.
Our stomach stuffer at the end was the pretty unique Japanese style seafood fried rice. The blackish color you see in the fried rice is actually tiny pieces of dried seaweed. Add in tiny chunks of seafood & egg resulting in a cacophony of taste that I’ve never experienced before, it was pretty good.
The last dish on the RM 1388 set was a plate of mixed fruits, which was your typical blend of papaya, watermelon and so forth.
KY & Haze, Josen & Mei, sweet and sour lobster noodle (not part of the set)
Since it was also during their lobster promotion period, we got to sample another sweet and sour lobster noodle dish, which came with rainbow lobster drenched in sauce on top of yummy yee mee. I wish I can have this for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner actually. Was yummy!
If you’re looking for a proper seafood restaurant with plenty to choose from, Bali Hai should definitely be in your short list. From 13th Sep – 3rd Oct 2013, they also run the “buy one free ten” promotion. Buy a Boston/rainbow/Australian lobster and you get 10 free crayfish (mini lobster) for free.
Bali Hai Seafood Kota Damansara
Suria Avenue, Persiaran Mahogani,
PJU 5, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.1544, 101.5904
Tel: 016-461 2333
There aren’t very many hawkers in Klang Valley that offers the combination of these things in their offering:
The little corner stall at New Yew Sang in Kelana Jaya (also have good Thai food at night) is one of the few that scores in all three areas.
Update 20/5/2019: apparently this stall is no longer here.
the “siu chau” stall at New Yew Sang, Kelana Jaya
The siu chau (小抄) has been a staple at this kopitiam for ages. Among the dishes offered are fried rice, Cantonese fried (horfun or yin yeong), Thai style fried rice, and loh mee. They open for business for breakfast and lunch, and the kopitiam is usually pretty busy on weekday lunch hours.
Parking situation around the restaurant isn’t the best, but nothing too troublesome for those who don’t mind walking a few steps.
kungfu yin yeong with crispy fried noodle at the bottom
My favorite here is their Cantonese Yin Yeong (廣府鴛鴦 RM 5.50), a combination of horfun and deep fried noodle at the bottom covered in thick broth that is pretty similar to egg drop soup. Prawns, pork slices, and vegetable makes up the rest of the ingredients.
They definitely do a good job on this pretty difficult to execute dish, and for less than 6 ringgit a plate, the portion is definitely more than enough as well.
their fried rice is pretty good too
The standard fried rice is also priced at RM 5.50, and for extra RM 1 you get a beautifully done sunny side top egg. The fried rice comes with pork, prawn, egg, and finely chopped carrots & long beans too. The only way to make this better is if you have some awesome sambal belacan from Penang to go with, but sometimes you can’t ask for too much.
New Yee Sang kopitiam
Jalan SS 6/8
GPS: 3.106717, 101.598178
It’s been a while since I posted any home cooked dishes. So here’s one, a simple garlic fried rice with seafood recipe.
This is something that you can prepare in less than half an hour, garlic fried rice is a pretty classic Japanese dish, I just add some seafood to kick it up a notch a bit. While traditionally they also use spring onion, I replaced it with red onion due to availability and that worked out well to add that crunchiness and freshness element to the dish.
garlic fried rice with prawns and scallops
- 1.5 cup of rice for 2 person
- 2 large eggs
- prawns (you can also add squid or other seafood)
- 2-3 bulb of garlic, chopped or cut in slices
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of soya sauce, some salt & pepper
- 3-4 tablespoon of cooking oil
ingredients – garlic, onion, rice, prawns, scallops
- heat up cooking oil
- fry garlic till a shade before golden brown, remove and set aside
- using the same oil, fry prawns (with a dash of salt), then remove and set aside
- sear scallops with shells on, then remove and set aside
the key is to fry the garlic, seafood, and rice separately
Cooking instructions part 2:
- with the same oil, fry eggs till 80% cooked
- add rice, and stir for a minute
- add soya sauce, salt, and some pepper
- add garlic and continue to stir for another minute
- add garlic and prawns, stir for another minute
- serve while hot (arrange your scallops with best of your artistic ability)
start with the egg, then rice, onion, then everything
The key to this dish is to have the garlic and seafood fried separately. This allows better control and ensures that each ingredients are cooked properly since they have different cooking time. Try it!
More recipes from yours truly can be found here.
Simple meal for two of bacon fried rice and red spinach soup. This is something that I cooked up last night because bacon was calling my name, and at the same time I wanted to fix something real quick instead of making elaborate dinners.
a complete meal – bacon fried rice and red spinach soup
Total preparation and cooking time is about an hour, but that is because you need more than half that time to boil the chicken bones (for soup) and making rice in the first place. Actual active cooking takes place in less than 20 minutes.
The result is a satisfying meal that has has all your essential dietary needs (I think). There’s meat, egg, vegetable, soup, and rice. As an Asian, that’s all I need. 😀
bacon is the key ingredient here, obviously
Recipe for two plates of bacon fried rice, ingredients:
- streaky bacon (150-200 grams), cut them in squares
- half a bulb of garlic, chop em up
- 2 eggs
- rice for two person (I cooked 1.5 cups)
- chili padi (optional)
- 1 table spoon of dark soya sauce
- 2 stalks of spring onion, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- minimal cooking oil
open up the rice and crack a couple eggs in there, stir
- heat up a table spoon of cooking oil (you don’t need much since bacon will release more oil)
- fry bacon, garlic, and chili padi at the same time till bacon is cooked and garlic is fragrant
- add rice, dark soya sauce, stir
- after 3-4 minutes, open up the fried rice at center, add half a spoon of oil and crack the two eggs into it
- let the egg cooked for a bit before stirring it with fried rice for another 3-4 minutes
- add spring onion, salt & pepper and keep stirring for another minute or two
- serve while hot
the red spinach soup is real simple to prepare
Ingredients and instructions:
- wash red spinach with plenty of water and pluck off the stems
- boil 3 bowls of water with chicken bones, wolf berries optional (you might want to pre-boil once to remove impurities, I use chicken bones from chicken chop cut)
- I boil it while rice is cooking, that took about 45 minutes
- add red spinach, keep boiling for another 15 minutes (while frying rice)
- add salt and a bit of pepper and it’s ready to be served
Do check out other recipes if these are thing stuff you like to eat, they are usually pretty simple to prepare. Good eating!
One of my favorite quick meal is fried rice, and of all the different versions, one of my favorites would be the good old fashion sambal belacan fried rice.
Since it isn’t exactly a popular dish at hawker centres or Chinese/Malay restaurants, I thought a simple recipe could be helpful for those who are a bit adventures in the kitchen.
sambal belacan fried rice with prawns
First of all, to make sambal belacan fried rice, you must make sambal belacan. No brainer right?
The ingredients couldn’t be simpler, I got them from local market
- red chili
- chili padi (optional)
- belacan (prawn paste)
- around 10 red chili to 2 table spoons of belacan (approximate)
sambal belacan’s ingredients – chili & belacan
Here’s how you do it
- roast the belacan in oven at about 200 degree till fragrant (or stinks, depending on your personal interpretation)
- cut chili in halves and remove seeds, chop them further to smaller pieces
- place belacan and chili into mortar and pestle and pound away
The mortar and pestle was obtained for RM 35 at a local market. You can use a blender but it won’t taste the same though. I keep the finished product in an air tight jar in the fridge.
Haze’s pounding it the old school way
So now that you have the sambal, here is how you make the fried rice, ingredients:
- 2 servings of rice, well duh! (overnight leftover’s the best)
- 4-6 prawns – peeled and marinate with a bit of salt
- 1-2 stalks of scallion, chopped finely
- 1 egg
- half a tea spoon of dark soya sauce
- 2 table spoon of sambal belacan
stir to perfection
- heat up the frying pan with 2-3 table spoon of oil, then fry prawn for about a minute
- add rice and sambal, stir like mad
- add the dark soya sauce
- make an opening in the middle of the frying pan, add a table spoon of oil, and crack the egg
- add a squirt of soya sauce on egg, then stir like mad
- add scallions last
Salt is not needed since belacan provides the necessary saltiness to the rice already. The result is two servings of really spicy, fragrant, and rather delicious old school sambal belacan fried rice. Sambal took about 30 minutes to prepare, and fried rice another 15 minutes or so.
Of course, we made more than enough sambal for just cooking fried rice, the actual main intention was to use it as condiment for tau eu bak (braised pork belly with soya sauce), which will be the next recipe I publish here.