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Saturday June 2, 2007

Romancing at Bora Asmara


Relax and dine at this charming Balinese-themed restaurant nestled in sleepy Kg Sg Penchala. 

By JOLEEN LUNJEW 

BORA ASMARA
Lot 2933
Kg Sg Penchala
Kuala Lumpur
For reservations, please contact (03) 7726 0964 

Halal 

Driving along the busy Penchala Link, one would never imagine that a charming Balinese-themed restaurant , is nestled in quiet Kampung Sg Penchala, just a stone’s throw away from Taman Tun Dr Ismail. The unusual location proves to be a success as customers love the peaceful natural surroundings and ample parking of this cosy outlet. 

Serene: The enchanting gardens of Bora Asmara.
As you step through the wooden doors of Bora Asmara, you will be greeted by the sound of the gong, the Balinese way of saying welcome. Your ears will be treated to soothing sounds of the traditional Sundanese Gamelan sounds that can be heard in the background. The setting is just lovely with beautiful water features, rustic wooden tables and chairs, lit stone lamps, and Balinese decor tastefully placed around the outlet. Customers may choose to dine by the ponds at the elevated main lobby, al fresco on the open terrace, inside the formal air-conditioned Bale Gede dining room, coffee lounge, or in one of their many bisek-biseks, private huts with Balinese-thatched roofing that fits six to eight people. You’ll have to make a reservation as these bisek-biseks are very popular with the customers. 

Suhaili Abdul Wahab, Bora Asmara’s manager, said that they opened their doors to the public early May. “The management decided on the Balinese concept as Bali is very dear to them and they wanted to share this magical place with everybody. The restaurant was designed and built with a lot of love.” 

Signature drinks: Lemongrass Chiller and Indonesian Bandrek.
Bora Asmara has a wide selection of food ranging from Indonesian and local food to pastas. Try the Thai Seafood Otak-Otak which is creatively served in a swan made out of foil. There’s a generous serving of seafood cooked in aromatic spices. Another must-try is the Bali Dancing Fish. The flesh on both sides of the kerapu is sliced off the bone and deep-fried, making the fish appear as though it is swimming with wings. It goes well with the chilli padi soy sauce dip provided. Top marks too for the presentation skills.  

For those who fancy Thailand’s celebrated dish, Bora Asmara offers tom yam with coconut milk. Expect to find huge prawns in the Seafood Tom Yam. The Mango Kerabu was equally tasty, served with crisp pieces of fresh fish. 

There is also a fair variety of western and pasta dishes like the usual Fish N’ Chips, steaks and lamb. Grilled Caribbean Chicken is their signature western dish. I found the Fettucine Carbonara cooked light with just the right amount of cream. 

Bora Asmara is proud of their Ethnic Drinks which include the Bandrek, an Indonesian spiced ginger tea which acts as a soothing night cap, and Lemongrass Chiller, a refreshing Balinese drink.  

For caffeine addicts, try their delightful Cafe Mocha, a fine blend of Bora-Bora’s espresso Bellagio Turaffle chocolate with steamed and frothed milk. You may enjoy your drinks with Cuban Cigars also available.  

Red matter: Thai Seafood Otak-Otak
The local Batak Band, Picha-Picha, adds character to the restaurant. The band strolls around each table and serenades the customers with music of their choice. Batak Bands, who can be compared to the Mexican mariachis, are known for being outgoing and talented. “We love performing that is why we sing and play with such passion,” said Suhaidi Nordin, a Picha-Picha member. 

Suhaidi, together with three other friends, play golden oldies and lively Spanish beats that make you want to get up and dance. “We’ve had a 75-year old grandmother dancing to our tunes just the other night,” said the cheeky, energetic lad. They can play songs in many languages on their double bass, acoustic guitar, saxophone, conga and percussion. Picha-Picha performs every night except Sundays. The management is even thinking of organising a Poco-Poco line dancing night as there is ample space within the compound.  

Art enthusiasts will be happy to know that Itu-Ini Artshop, carrying Balinese crafts and contemporary Balinese paintings by young Balinese artists, will be opening soon within the compound. Samples of the paintings are hung around Villa Cinta, a separate area catered for large group reservations and private functions. 

Prices are reasonable, about RM8 a dish. Lunch buffet is available from 11am – 3pm in the dining room and offers local, western, Chinese, Indian and fusion dishes. Dessert, punch, coffee and tea are also included for a promotional price of RM25 nett per person. Promotion period is until end June. The outlet is open for dinner from 6pm till 1am.  

Bora Asmara can be booked for corporate/private functions, product launches, annual dinners, cocktail receptions, buffets, parties and wedding receptions. 

  • Direction: On the Pencala Link from Damanara Perdana, head towards Mont Kiara. Turn left to Sungai Pencala before you reach the Pencala tunnel. Turn left at traffic lights and go straight. The restaurant is on the left.

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