How would you like to dine sitting next to rolling fields of green and golden rice stalks?
That’s exactly what you’ll experience when you step into The Uma’s dining area up on the 1st floor! One wall has been completely painted with a mural that depicts a typical Balinese rice field. It gives a sense of a relaxing hideout here and it reminds me vividly of the rice field slopes in Ubud.
You get to sit “bersila” (cross-legged) style on flat cushions around low teak tables brought in specially from Bali itself. To some it may be a bit uncomfortable sitting that way, but I was totally fine with this typical Balinese style of dining, known as “lesehan” – the sit-on-floor-and-eat culture unique to the Balinese and Javanese. However, if this is not your preference, opt for the contemporarily elegant set-up on the Ground Floor where proper tables and chairs will cater to your comfort. Every item of deco in the restaurant has been carefully picked and selected by the dashing young owner-cum-chef… Ho Yau Chan.
Chef Yau Chan related to us how he fell in love with Bali after spending 8 years in Indonesia. He subsequently spent 1 whole year in Bali learning about her culture, her people, the landscape, the architecture and most importantly, the food. It’s amazing how Chef Yau Chan has replicated the Balinese cuisine so exquisitely and so authentically because what we ate here was exactly how the food was when we visited Bali! The Uma serves pork and that is already a mark of authenticity as 95% of the Balinese people embrace the Hindu-Dharmaism faith. Chef Yau Chan is ever so dedicated to ensure that the food served here is not compromised in terms of taste and flavour… nothing is diluted or watered down to suit local preferences.
As in any Balinese restaurant, the “Nasi Ratus” (Balinese Nasi Campur or “Mixed Rice”) is the ever-popular choice. At The Uma, this set menus comprising main dishes, meat condiments, vegetable condiments, sambals and Balinese rice cater to individuals as well as groups. We chose the Set for 4 and we were awed by the no. of dishes that the friendly service crew brought to us on this huge flat basket-like serving tray! Priced at RM118, I think it’s really good value as there’s really more than enough for 4 people! To give you an idea of what’s on that serving basket…
Their Lamb Curry was sinfully yummy – thick chunks of lamb simmered till tender and infused with all the aromatic herbs and spices which were not ovewhelming at all. I couldn’t stop ladling on the gravy!
Satay Lilit - many Balinese restaurants here tend to use lemongrass sticks for this, which according to Chef Yau Chan, is not authentic! He actually sourced the special flat wooden sticks from Bali for his satay lilit here. The mashed mackerel used for this satay was fresh and succulent and delicately flavoured.
You must, you absolutely must try the Assam Pork Satay (RM14) here. There were a few sticks served together in the Set for 4 we had but these were so good, we just had to order an extra portion of it! Sweet succulent chunks of pork with perfect balance of lean and fatty bits were freshly grilled to just the right “char-ness”… absolute porcine delight!
I must say all the pork dishes we tried in the Set Menu were so good, we actually ordered extra portions of them. Yes! It’s not only the Assam Pork Satay which had us bowled over… we were equally bowled over by these as well…
Grilled Pork Ribs (RM22) … chunks of meaty ribs grilled to charred tender sticky splendour… we licked our fingers shamelessly for every bit of the yumminess! LL commented that this reminded him very much of the memorable grilled pork ribs we had in the famed Warong Made in Bali (and still salivating at the memory!)
This is another not-to-be-missed item on the menu… Babi Kecap Manis (RM24). Stewed pork in Indonesian kecap manis (sweet soya sauce) with a touch of chillies. You have to taste it for yourself to know how devilishly good it is. We actually had to order extra portions of rice BECAUSE of this dish!
More food… more items that were ordered a’la carte…
Besides the usual plain white rice, you also get to choose these super-fragrant versions… Nasi Saur - rice with black-eyed peas and coconut shreds and Nasi Kuning - yellow rice with coconut milk.
And the drinks come with delightful names like “Spicy Blood Mango” (RM9), “Soda Gembira” (RM6) and “Es Timun Segar” (RM7)…
The only thing that fell a bit short on expectation was their range of desserts. Generally we found their buburs (RM6) and the Brownies Kukus (RM11) on the sweet side. Perhaps the Balinese love their desserts real sweet but perhaps this is one adjustment Chef Yau Chan can make to accomodatea to most Malaysians’ preference for a little-bit-less sugar!
We definitely will be going back to The Uma for more of their authentic porky Balinese delicacies like the Iga Base Kalas (Pork Ribs Rendang), Tum Celeng (Minced Pork in Balinese Spices in Balinese Parcels and we also haven’t really sampled their seafood range!
7-G & 7-1 Jalan PJU 5/21
47810 Petaling Jaya