Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Li Yaa Restaurant & Bar @ Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

Located in Plaza Damansara is a Sri Lankan restaurant called A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar. Previously having been occupying a bangalow unit located in Jalan Dungun, they have shifted to this new premises sometime in early 2011. Their specialty is Jaffnese and Sinhala Cuisine. They do not have the Halal status as they are running a bar, however it is pork free.I have previously dined at this restaurant sometime in April this year but since I had my family along with me, I wanted them to try this place out too as it surely would be something that they would love. Being a Jaffnese Tamil, I was very sure that they would surely appreciate these food more.

A Li Yaa Restaurant & Bar in Plaza Damansara

Entrance to the Restaurant

Bar Style Tables Located on the Outside

Interior of the Restaurant
This place is quite easy to locate. If you are familiar with Plaza Damansara, the famous landmark here is the CIMB Bank and this is just a few doors away along the same block. Along the corridor, they have an outdoor seating area which is themed more towards the bar style. This is more suitable for those who are having some drinks and bites to munch. These high stool type chairs are not suitable for those who come here to have full meals, especially senior people. The moment we arrived at the door, we were greeted by the staffs. The restaurant manager personally ushered us to our table. Since I had made a reservation earlier, things were smoother. I strongly feel that should you have a large group, it is best to make reservations a few days in advance as they tend to get full house quite easily, especially on the weekends.

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

The Menu

My brother checking out the menu
I must say that the interior was beautifully designed. The menu was very elaborate and had a wide variety of dishes from the island country of Sri Lanka. Though the price may seem on the high side, the portions were huge and I am sure the taste would be excellent specially from me having tasted their food in the past. The manager assisted us with our orders advising us how much to order bearing in mind that there were only three of us.

The Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu

The Drinks Menu
I was amused by the drinks menu. They had some interesting names there. Some were Blow Job, Quick F**k, Sex on the Beach and etc. Pretty weird names for drinks.  Having finalised our orders, the workers were quick to get to their feet. They are definitely well staffed and worked very efficiently. From my observation, I believe they get quite a number of high profile customers here and they had to ensure the professionalism was at the peak at all times, never allowing room for mistakes. In fact, they were even accurate in terms of having what to be delivered to you first. For example, starters were delivered first and the main course would never be sent until you finish the starters. There is a waiter assigned to each table to ensure customer satisfaction. This is the kind of satisfaction that I am surely willing to pay for.

Coca Cola @ RM 8.00

Ginger Beer @ RM 8.00
The drinks arrived pretty quickly, if I recall right, within five minutes of us placing our orders.We decided to go for soft drinks and they were served by the cans and were priced at RM 8.00 each. 

Cutlets Mixed Platter (L to R: Crab, Mutton, Fish & Potato Cutlets) @ RM 23.00 

Closer Look at the Fish Cutlets
This was the starters that we had. It was an assortment of their Cutlets which gives an option to try all their Cutlets. From left to right, they were Crab Cutlet, Mutton Cutlet, Fish Cutlet and Potato & Peas Cutlet. All their cutlets were excellent. They were was wildly spiced and would surely get you sweating. The Potato and Peas Cutlets was even spicier and had a great amount of spices and pepper in it. All of  these cutlets were heavenly. I would rate these at 10/10 .

Spring Hopper Kothu Chicken @ RM 20.00
This was a mains that came once we finished the above dish. This is basically fried Spring Hoppers with Chicken, something that is very common in Ceylonese homes. My late grandmother used to prepare this when she was around and it definitely brings a lot of memories and here, this restaurant was able to make it as good. An absolutely great dish which is very spicy. This dish would definitely hook you on to it. I would rate this at 10/10 .

Plain Appam part of the Appam Galore Set @ RM 20.00

Sri Lankan Sambals Served Along With The Plain Appam
Appam is another traditional Sri Lankan dish and it is quite different to the Indian Style of preparation. We wanted to try a variety of Appams and it was great that they had this set called Appam's Galore which is a choice of four different Appams. We chose one Plain Appam, one Egg Appam and two Sweet Appams. The Plain Appam comes with four different Sri Lankan Sambals. The Appam was good but the Sambals were excellent. I would rate their Plain Appam at 8.5/10 and their Sambals at 9.8/10 .

Egg Appam
The Egg Appam was well prepared, in fact it was better than their Plain Appam. I would rate this at 9.7/10 .

Sweet Appam
A major difference between the Indian Appam and the Jaffnese Appam is the center part. The Indian style is dry and they would pour some coconut milk just before serving it. The Jaffnese Style maintains the center to be wet, soft and richer and the coconut milk is poured during the cooking process. The only addition to this Sweet Appam would be that they have added some Palm Sugar in the center. Another great item here. Without fail, this scores 10/10 on my scale.

Aliyaa Puttu with Fish Curry Set @ RM 28.00

Ceylonese Style Fish Curry
The Puttu was another excellent dish. It came with some sides like Potato Masala, Coconut Sambal, Seeni Sambal, Okra and Brinjals accompanied by the above Fish Curry. You have a choice of Fish, Chicken, Mutton or Vegetarian Curry options to choose from. We asked the manager as to what he would recommend and he suggested the fish curry. The Indian Style of having Puttu is with Palm Sugar but the Sri Lankan style is to have it with curry. The fish curry was again extremely delicious and prepared according to the Sri Lankan style. I must say it was heavenly spicy and I am quite sure that they were using Sear Fish. I would rate both the above again at a perfect 10/10 .

Overall, this is definitely a great place to have Sri Lankan meals. Right from simple items like Appam to every day items like Spring Hopper Kothu, everything is made to perfection. I would surely return another time with my parents and sibling to try a number of other dishes.For today, the bill came to RM 126.50 and it is worth every cent spent.

Address: No. 48 G & M, Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, 
                Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 2092 5378 / +6017 717 8700




Opening Hours: 1200 - 2300 Daily

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