Reminiscing Balinese Flavours!
I can hardly believe that it’s been four years since I have been to The Uma at The Strand in Kota Damansara. The first time I had a taste of Balinese cuisine was at The Uma and it had certainly left me so impressed with the flavours of the cuisine. In addition to its gorgeous flavours, The Uma serves pork in their menu, just like how it is in Bali.
The Uma is the heart and soul of owner and Chef Ho Yau Chan, who fell in love with the country after working there for 8 years. After returning back to Malaysia, he was still reminiscing about Bali and its culture and decided to pursue his dream of owning a restaurant. He wanted to share his amazing Balinese dining experience with the locals here hence The Uma was born.
Walking into The Uma, I was immediately reminded how beautiful the restaurant looks. Designed in theme to its rich Balinese heritage, The Uma has filled with many Balinese paraphilia. The ambience is soothing and almost romantic with its soft glow lighting and Balinese music in the background. There are two levels of dining with the upper one perfect for private functions. As Uma translate to paddy field, the upper level has wallpapers of endless beauty of paddy fields.
I was pretty excited as I vividly recalled my previous delicious experience here. The menu hasn’t changed much but I was told that Chef Ho has tweaked his recipes to near perfection over the years. We quickly ordered our drinks of Jus Apokat (RM10) and Minty Cucumber (RM9). Jus Apokat is avocado smoothie laced with chocolate while the Minty Cucumber is a vibrant concoction of cucumber juice, lime and mint. I love my Minty Cucumber because it’s so refreshing and kept my palate refresh from all the heavy flavours of the food to come.
Since there were only two of us, we decided to share some appetizers and main course. Sate Celeng Asem (RM14) is Assam Pork Satay that is so well marinated that it didn’t need any satay sauce. Skewers of pork with bits of crisp fat that amped up the umami flavour are beautifully grilled till tender and smoky. I can taste the spices in the pork and it is just enough to create a wonderful palate of flavours. It is definitely a dish you won’t want to miss.
We were also recommended the Urutan (RM15), a housemade fried pork sausage stuffed in pork intestine casing. Since I am gamed for most part of the hog, I knew I would enjoy this appetizer. The sausage has a delicate hint of spices. The outer skin is nicely crisp while the sausage meat is moist and tender. A side dark soy sauce packed with heat and sweetness is the perfect condiment for the sausage.
Nasi Ratus with Grilled Pork Rib (RM27) is the house signature and this is what everyone orders when they come to The Uma. Nasi Ratus is Balinese version of mixed rice and can be served with various main dishes. We choose grilled pork ribs because I vaguely remembered that I had it before and it was delish.
Besides grilled pork ribs, there are plenty of other main dishes that one can choose such as Babi Kecap Manis, Pork Rendang, Balinese Steamed Duck, Crispy Fried Duck, Balinese Grilled Chicken, Tuna Sambal Matah, Prawn with Coconut in Banana Leaf, Balinese Lamb Curry and more.
Our Grilled Pork Ribs are indeed as good as I had remembered. There is a nice crisp char and caramelized note on the ribs and yet the meat remained tender and moist. It has a good balance of savory and sweet with hints of spices. The ribs are just so tasty that you will want to make sure that you lick all your fingers and the ribs too. One can also order the ribs as a la carte.
The Nasi Ratus comes with lots of sidekicks. First up, Nasi Saur is pale turmeric tinted rice with coconut and black eye peas. The rice itself is light in flavours and is a good base for all the other stronger accompaniments. The rice came with Plecing Kangkung, Lawar Kacang, Kentang Goreng Bali, Be Siap Plalah and two sambals of Sambal Mbe and Sambal Tomat together with a skewer of Sate Lilit . Plecing Kangkung is stir fried water spinach while Lawar Kacang is long bean salad with coconut and Kentang Goreng Bali is thin potato sticks deep fried till crispy and spiced up. Be Siap Plalah is shredded chicken salad with lime and chili dressing while the Sate Lilit is fish satay. What diners want to watch out is the two sambals that is guarantee to hit your taste bud and light it on fire. Sambal Mbe is crispy fried shallot mixed with chilies while Sambal Tomat is a tomato chili sambal with shrimp paste that rocks!
When you savor every condiment with the rice, it is a kaleidoscope of flavours! Super spick and shiok…
Since we had a grilled meat, we opted for Bebek Betutu or Balinese Steamed Duck (RM28) as a la carte. Surprisingly I had forgotten about this dish till I referred back to my old post and saw that I had also ordered this dish. This round, it looks a little different but the taste is vaguely familiar. A whole duck Maryland is steamed in spice stock for hours to achieve the tender falling apart duck it is famous for. It has strong robust and salty notes with a good hint of heat. I loved the aroma of the spices. The duck is nicely moist, tender and tasty. It may be a tad too salty eaten on its own but when savored with rice, the flavours are just spot on.
Nasi Kuning (RM3) is a side order because I wanted to try different rice. I enjoyed this one very much as it reminded me of our nasi lemak with its coconut cream.
I am really glad to be back at The Uma. Chef Ho showed that his passion for Balinese cuisine is still as strong as ever, in fact, he has devoted much time to keep improving the flavours of his dishes. We hope he introduces new dishes soon such as Babi Guling and more simply because we cannot get enough of the flavours of The Uma. If you want to try authentic Balinese cuisine, The Uma is the perfect place to start. And then there is the addition of serving pork at The Uma… need I say more? LOL…
7-G & 7-1, Jalan PJU 5/21,
The Strand, Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-6142 2771
N3 09.283 E101 35.541
Lunch 12:00 pm - 03:00 pm
Dinner 06:00 pm - 10:30 pm
Closed on Tuesdays
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