December 2, 2010

The Uma.. Authentic Balinese Cuisine

"Have you ever tried Balinese cuisine?" A great friend asked. "I had it only once and it was quite good!" I replied. That sealed our decision to head over to this restaurant highly recommended by my friend who promised me a gastronomical experience in Balinese cuisine.

When one thinks of Bali, one can visualize natural and exotic images of serene greenery and tranquility. The Uma envisions this beautifully in its decor and food. "Uma" translate to paddy field, thus the owner bring into play exotic and tasteful interior of Balinese culture and its natural habitat. Located in the heavily populated shops in Kota Damansara, this hidden gem deserves more visibility than it's food competitors.

First step brought immediate thoughts of a really romantic dinner with a loved one as the place had a really mysterious aura and romantic ambience with its dim lights and softly played Balinese music in the background. The upper floor is also great for private functions and it features a lesehan-styled outdoor inspired design with paddy field walls. Our friends did the ordering, hence we arrived and literally sat down to dinner.

Our waiter brought out a beautifully presented rice with various condiments arranged on banana leaf lined basket. Nasi Saur, yellowish tinted rice with coconut was also studded with black-eyed peas. There were two sambals - Sambal Mbe and Sambal Tomat and a minced fish satay - Sate Languan. In addition, there was four other condiments such as Jukut Urab (mixed veggy salad with coconut shred), Kacang Metumis (long bean in Balinese sauce), Kentang Goreng (spiced potato fries) and Be Siap Plalah (shredded chicken with chillies and lime). Condiments may vary on daily basis and set meals.

The fish satay was fish paste wrapped on a wooden skewer, grilled to perfection. Balinese mixed veggy salad with coconut shred was good as it was crunchy and satisfying. I also liked the spiced fried shoestring potato fries and shredded chicken as both really balanced the whole rice dish well.

Be Siap Megoreng (grilled Balinese chicken) was next. Half chicken marinated in spices and fried, this dish was average. I also got a taste of Be Celeng Base Manis (Pork Kecap Manis) which I found a bit too sweet for my liking.

I absolutely recommend the Sate Celeng Asem (grilled assam pork satay). The pork skewers were good enough to be devoured on its own with any sauce as it was well marinated and seasoned.

Next up, Grilled Pork Ribs which features two slabs of baby pork ribs marinated with Balinese spices and grilled. The charred marks on the ribs were a beautiful sight to behold! Smokey and sweet, the meat was cooked really well and falling off the bones. I was told that this is not on the menu and the chef prepared it especially for us... =) You may want to ask the chef for this dish!

Iga Base Kalas (Balinese pork rib curry) is another well spiced dish with bold flavours in the curry. Pieces of pork ribs braised in fresh spices and coconut milk, the meat was tender and fragrant.

One of the most interesting dish of the night was Bebek Bertutu (Balinese steamed duck). Quarter duck marinated in a very complex spice blend with an interesting taste that grows on you as you eat more, this duck is first steamed for 4 hours and grilled just before serving. I do like this dish in the end as the taste is unique and goes very well with rice.

The chef brought out another special Sambal which is also not on the menu. This is my favorite Sambal loaded with shallots, black-eyed peas, chilies and seasoning. Simple and delicious!

As we were celebrating a special occasion, our friends brought his own red wine and a Japanese plum wine.

The red wine is unique as it is carbonated. To my delight and 1st time, it is actually quite good!

The Japanese plum wine was mixed with 100 plus soda and was not too bad as well.

Great endings to a beautiful meal and Uma proved to live up to its gastronomical authenticity of Balinese cuisine. Gorgeous ambience, exotic decor and genuine simplicity in its food, I will be back!

The Uma also have special lunch offers and price is well worth the overall experience.

The Uma
7-G & 7-1, Jalan PJU 5/21
The Strand, Kota Damansara
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, 47810
Phone: +603 6142 2771

12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm

Wed - Sun:  
12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
6:00 pm - 10:30 pm

(Non - Halal)

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