Bali & Spice, Da Men Mall USJ
Matt calls this the hipster version of Ole Ole Bali because of all the indie songs playing over the radio and my sheer excitement at recognising all the songs. But I beg to differ. I thought Bali & Spice was a really classy joint with great Balinese cuisine. It was our first visit to Da:Men mall and we were both pleasantly surprised to see how modern and upscale the mall is, considering the upcoming neighbourhood.
This is the pisang bakar (RM13) - warm, grilled caramelised bananas served with icy cold vanilla ice cream, sweet candied coconut shavings and peanut toppings. There were no peanuts in our dish because I am allergic, but it worked well without the peanuts. The bananas were not too sweet and it went well with both the coconut and the ice cream. We had this for dessert, but it was one of my favourite dishes from the night, so I wanted to share it first.
We were warned that the portions would be huge but I didn't expect the siap bumbu bakar (RM29) to include 3 huge cuts of grilled chicken breast! Each slice was surprisingly tender and juicy and it went well with the chilli sauce and fried potatoes. Okay, here is where I put in a very subtle disclaimer that I had shot all of my photos with too much exposure (evidently -.-) but please bear with me as I continue to familiarise myself with the camera. T.T
Each dish comes with a sweet, sour and spicy cup of cucumber salad, which serves as a refresher between bites of juicy meat. The above is a lamb platter called the kambing bakar (RM35). It is a generous serving that could feed up to three small eaters and two moderate eaters and it would probably be the perfect serving size for a big eater.
The bali trio (RM49), which is a dish also found in the Ole Ole Bali menu is something that is a must-have when visiting any Balinese restaurant. The cumi-cumi goreng (fried calamari), the sate lilit on lemongrass sticks and chicken wings. This starter platter is perfect for at least a party of 4.
There are also dishes that are served with rice rather than potatoes. The beef ribs were pretty tender and came off the bone without much effort. But the portions were just too gigantic! For me, anyway.
This is another chicken dish, Siap Mepanggang (RM31), which is a charbroiled chicken with spicy coconut sauce. Most of the dishes had a very nice grilled taste and you can watch the chefs grilling them in the open kitchen at the back. But really, what stood out for most of us that night were the drinks.
This is the chili mango drink (RM13). It is exactly what you would imagine it to be - the sweet, cloying taste of the mango with a sharp spicy ending. I don't think I would have ever admitted to liking a drink with chili in it, but after trying this... I can't say I hate it.
This (front) is the lemongrass mojito - an absolute weakness for me. And behind it is the ice-blended pulut hitam, a coffee shop twist on the traditional local dessert of black glutinous, coconut milk and palm sugar.
I would definitely return to Bali & Spice again for their authentic Balinese cuisine. It is a lovely setting to have a party too. There is a wonderful al fresco section where smokers can dine and enjoy their meals.
Bali & Spice Da Men, USJ 1, LG-17 Lower Ground Floor