Nona Bali

Nona Bali is a Balinese restaurant at Promenade 28, facing the scenic Penang Strait and Seberang Prai mainland. Its location avoids customers from dealing with traffic congestion and limited parking in downtown areas. It has opened its door for several months already, but we did not have a chance to visit it until today.
Unlike most provinces in Indonesia, the people of Bali island is predominantly Hindu. Therefore it is not surprising that Balinese cuisine tends to be somewhat unique within the rich diversity of Indonesian cuisine. A particular distinction is that beef is absent in Balinese cooking. Although pork is sometimes used, Nona Bali does not serve pork because it is halal certified.

The store facade of Nona Bali stands out differently compared to the other shops in the "ghost town" Promenade 28. Actually, only a small handful of shop units in Promenade 28 has ever been occupied since it was built.
The interior decor is well thought-out. While you cannot expect the same degree of experience as sunset dinner on a beautiful Balinese beach, Nona Bali provide a serene atmosphere for a nice, peaceful dining experience. The furniture, fixtures, artwork and even tableware are sourced from Bali. According to our host, some artwork is also available for sale.
Some outdoor seating is also available, but we wanted to experience the aromatic spice incense inside. Normally, such fragrance is only available in Balinese massage centers.

Our table is furnished with an interesting-looking salt shaker and pepper shaker. Instead of giving numerals to each dining table, a piece of carved wood is used. The wood has a unique name to represent a different place in Bali.
Our host of the day is very friendly indeed. Besides patiently taking our orders, he also gave an introduction to the food selections, including the dinner menu. A word of "Matur suksma!" or "Thank you!" in Balinese is well in order.
Set lunch is available for around RM20.00. It comes with a choice of drink, either Iced Peach Tea or Iced Lime Drink.
Our first selection is the Nasi Goreng Nona Bali (RM18.90). Like typical Balinese food, this dish comes with a variety of side dishes, and tends to use less gravy compared to Javanese or local Malay cuisine.
A conical heap of fried rice takes the center stage. The rice is seasoned with spices, giving it a yellowish color and nice smooth taste.
The Sate Be Siap (chicken skewer) is also delightful to our palate. The chicken is mostly lean meat grilled carefully to perfection.

As for the fried chicken, it is rather normal and unsatisfying. It tastes similar to deep-fried chicken sold in night markets. Perhaps the taste can be improved if there is more flavoring to it.

Other side dishes include fried egg rolls, crackers, fried anchovies and the ever-essential sambal (chili pepper paste). Second helpings of sambal is available upon request, and our host is more than happy to accommodate.
The Nasi Campur Be Siap (RM19.90) is the next dish on the table. "Nasi campur" in Balinese refers to rice with assorted side dishes, while "be siap" refers to chicken.
Unlike dinner where quarter chicken is served, the meat serving during lunch is much smaller. In this case, it is a bowl of chicken yellow curry. The taste still has room for improvement, but still decent nevertheless.
Other side dishes include Sate Be Siap, boiled egg, crackers, and several types of vegetable such as long beans and bean sprouts. White rice is served in a conical heap at the center of the plate.
The set meal comes with a serving of Kolak, a sweet cold dessert made of coconut milk and sago. Refreshing and delightful, the dessert serves as an ideal finale of our meal today.
Overall, the food at Nona Bali is reasonably gratifying, but still pales in comparison with other established Balinese restaurants such as Ole-Ole Bali. The ambiance of the restaurant makes it ideal for a nice business meal or romantic date. The table service is highly professional; an experience usually associated to fine dining.

The food portion is quite sufficient for lunch, but the pricing is skewed to the high-end of spectrum. No doubt, its upscale atmosphere can command higher price, but Promenade 28 is not the best location for this niche market. It would have been better if the restaurant were to operate in a shopping mall, such as Gurney Paragon.

Regardless, we will be back shortly to what Nona Bali has to offer on its dinner menu.

4 comments:

  1. thanks for sharing, i have seen that restaurant, but never step in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They have set lunch menu for now. Perhaps can try and see? :-)

      Delete
  2. Sounds very positive, maybe i should give it a try

    ReplyDelete