Stepping into Bali Hai, I feel like I have entered one of those Seafood Market Restaurants in Bangkok. The only thing missing is the cacophony, and the hordes of people dashing about trying to pick the best seafood. Things are a lot more dignified and calm at Bali Hai.
And you can’t help but notice that there’s a veritable fish market out front, in the form of a 50 meter length display, of 26 water tanks, of both local as well as imported seafood, that’s very much alive and kicking. It is here, that you may choose your catch of the day, specify how you would like it cooked, and a small army of waiters will march to deliver the freshly prepared and cooked seafood, piping hot to your table.
It’s all one big massive aquarium out front, and folks like to admire the seafood before it ends up on the dinner table
Yes indeed, Bali Hai is impressive with its seawater tanks featuring live Rainbow Lobsters from Indonesia, Boston lobsters from the US, Rock Lobsters from Australia, Alaskan King Crab, live Crabs, Tiger Prawn, Oysters, Shellfish, Geoduck from Canada and Live Local Fish too. There is also a good selection of fresh vegetables and tropical fruits on the menu, so we were definitely looking forward to dinner.
Our catch of the day – this lobster was about to be ‘sashimi-ed’ and served on a plate
the one that got away!
the phalic looking geoduck that squirts water indignently at on looking guests.. is no more than a very large, edible, saltwater clam
Steamboat Canadian Geoduck Lobster
You may choose to have your lobster and geoduck sashimi style, therefore raw, or you may “shabu-shabu” it in Bali Hai’s unique Superior soup or consommé which tasted rather herbal.
I don’t like overcooking my geoduck because it becomes rubbery, so I generally eat it raw or just slightly blanched in the soup. The herbal soup that comes with tofu, mushrooms and vegetables is fantastically sweet, having been slow boiled for a day with chicken, vegetables and even dong quai (Angelica sinensis) root. Once enough lobster and geoduck gets cooked in it, it becomes even sweeter with flavours from the sea. Great stuff.
Bali Hai Siam Style Claypot Freshwater Lobster
The raw freshwater crustaceans before they hit the wok.
This Bali Hai Siam Style Claypot Freshwater Lobster is like a tomyam dish only thicker with a heavy coconut milk base. The curried sweet sour sauce is so flavourful, we had to have it with a bowl of steaming rice.
Deep fried Thai Style Mackerel
I generally don’t like deep fried fish, and prefer steamed fish. This Mackerel lacked enough meat for all the diners and was over fried. Not my cup of tea.
Clams with dried shrimp and chili paid
Spicy and fragrant, I found the clams delicious to the last shell.
Beancurd with minced chicken and radish
Can’t go wrong with tofu. House-made silky and custard-like white tofu beneath the brown skin, with the generous toppings of minced meat and preserved radish.
Salt-Steamed Chicken with Shaoxing wine
I didn’t enjoy the salt steamed chicken because it was bony and lacked meat – obviously a kampung chicken (village chicken) and not my cup of tea. The addition of shaoxing wine is an acquired taste.
Japanese style seafood fried rice
The interesting color on this fried rice is conferred by nori seaweed. There were chunks of crunchy prawns evenly distributed in the rice. The unusual flavour was great but I was so thirsty after eating this dish. Must be the natural MSG found in the nori.
Stir-Fried Dragon Chives and Shimeji Mushrooms with Crispy Lotus Root
This vegetable dish was incredible! A must order. The Dragon Chives consisted of young and sweet shoots and the shimeji mushrooms were plump with juices. Loved the crunchy texture of the crispy lotus root that reminded me of kerepek (vegetable crisps)!
Mixed tropical fruits to sweeten our dining experience – a customary practice in Chinese banquet restaurants
Bali Hai – colorful and well lit exterior, located next to the Tune Hotel in Kota Damansara, it is hard to miss from the main road.
Bali Hai is definitely a comfortable place to enjoy the bounty of the sea, in the Petaling Jaya vicinity.Follow me on Instagram : @agentcikay
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Suria Avenue, Persiaran Mahogani,
PJU 5, Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor