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Sep 29, 2013 05:12 PM

Bali Restaurant, Richmond Hill - Toronto's answer to Indonesian Cuisine?!

Located in an obscure strip plaza across from 'World Bowl' just off Leslie, this pseudo-Indonesian restaurant was brought to my attention by ex-chowhounder skylineR33. His food recommendation to me was surprisingly NOT the popular and traditional Indonesian Satays, Meat Randangs or Gado-Gado salad but a 'not-to-miss' - Indonesian Roast Chicken dish!
Our small party of two limited us from ordering too many dishes, especially when the lady owner warned us that their food portions are pretty generous. As such, we only had the following:

- Green Mango Salad
- Yellow Prawn Curry and rice
- House Special Indonesian Roast Chicken
- Complimentary Taro, Beans and Sago dessert soup.

The green mango salad was refreshingly tasty. The sweet and not too tangy vinaigrette was spot on. Infusion of chopped cilantro was a nice touch and really elevated the taste profile.

The 'homey' curry was IMO under seasoned and a bit too mild for my liking. However, the sweet crunchy prawns was of good quality and better than a lot of bland tasteless products offered out there nowadays.

Next came the 'pieces de resistance'! This chicken dish was quite amazing! The lacquered gossamer like skin must be the crispiest piece of animal membrane I have eaten in Toronto. Meat was ultra juicy and paired well with the sweet peanut based satay dipping sauce. Great call skylineR33!!

BTW, the place was surprisingly modern, clean and cozy with neutral white and grey decor. Service was friendly and efficient. Meal came to $32 inclusive of tax.

I'll be back later on to try out their Satays and Randangs.

Bali Restaurant
19 East Wilmort Street, Unit 5
Richmond Hill, L4B 1G9
Tel: 905 882 0772

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  1. Thanks for posting this. Look fwd to checking it out soon!

    1. Oooh. I wanted to know more and there was a (very short) BlogTO article written in Dec 2011 :

      Are the owners Indonesian? It sounds like they serve Indo/Thai/Malay food. Bali is well-known for babi guling (roast pork) so maybe they use some of the same technique for getting that yummy crispy skin!

      11 Replies
      1. re: sumashi

        Interesting!! You are the second person this morning asking me whether the owner is Indonesian!! If I'd known, I would have asked our server!! Ha! On my next visit, I make sure to ask.

        1. re: Charles Yu

          I have a bit of inside scoop that there is another Indonesian place opening up really soon near Eglinton and Markham Road. I'll keep you posted!

          In the meantime, I need to find time to visit Bali Restaurant myself :)

          1. re: sumashi

            I tried Bali with a friend last Friday.

            I liked the Indonesian-style roast chicken that Charles and skyliner had recommended. Mango salad was fine. We couldn't find any rendang listed anywhere on the menu. We ordered the braised beef with coconut, which the server told us was Indonesian-style, hoping it might be something like beef rendang, but it turned out to be very thin cuts of beef in a soupy coconut curry, that was a bit like a watered down panang curry. Staff was friendly. Our 3 dishes came to around $34.

            Hoping the new Indonesian place that's opening soon serves rendang!

            1. re: prima

              So I finally made it to Bali Restaurant this past weekend. Don't know if it's because if was long weekend Monday night, but the place was packed. Since there were 4 of us, we went for the $54 set course for 4 (tom yum soup, coconut chicken soup, green curry chicken, indonesian style chicken, mango salad, pad thai, and fish in coconut milk).

              It was a lot of food for $54 and easily fed us plus leftovers.
              The mango salad and tom yum were refreshing. I liked the steamed fish. I found the chef to be heavy-handed with the salt and then compensating w sugar. I found that especially with the coconut chicken soup and curry chicken. The Indonesian style chicken did have a really nice crispy skin! The chicken was moist underneath, I am guessing it was brined.

              Though some servers can't speak english very well, the service was good. A woman, who I believe is the owner, started conversation and asked us where we were from when she realized we didn't speak chinese. I found out she is from Macau but likes food from SE Asia, hence the menu items covering Indo, Viet, Thai! She said the chef is Thai. At the end if the night, she genuinely seemed to want to know how the meal was which was nice.

              1. re: prima

                The new Indonesian restaurant is called Warung Kampung and is located inside JD's Market on Eglinton near Markham Rd. Their grand opening is tomorrow, October 17th! Owners are from Central and East Java. I'll try to make it sometime in the next week or so, really interested to try out their food!

                1. re: sumashi

                  Central and East Java, hey? If they've got gudeg and rawon, then they're cooking the right dishes!

                  1. re: BuildingMyBento

                    I don't think they have gudeg or rawon, but maybe if someone asks for it nicely they would make it! I heard they will do special orders/catering if it's a large enough order.

                    By the way, i do not know them personally but in the comparably small Indonesian community in the GTA, you'll usually know someone who knows someone who knows something. Also, I'm from East Java so I would be happy if they do well serving regional dishes that many people have never tried before.

                    1. re: sumashi

                      Sumashi, any updates on Warung Kampung?

                          1. re: smfan

                            Not yet. Hope to try it this month or next.

        2. I am intrigued by the possibility of good Indonesian food in the area.

          But.. looking at the spotty reviews on Yelp, does it mean that some dishes are much more worthy of trying than some others (which are to be avoided)?

          Thank you for the write-up and looking forward to more reviews here about the place and its other dishes. The roast chicken is now on my to-try list.

          2 Replies
          1. re: vil

            Guess this ' food guessing game' applies to the best of restaurants!! Need for a return visit to get a better picture!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              Yes it does! And I will leave it to you (or others) to be the adventurous one to get a better picture - you seem to have a bigger quota for eating out than I do ;-)

          2. Nice review Charles.

            based on the crispy skin chicken pictures, I'm wondering if they also offer Babi Guling, the famous roast pig of Bali. known for the aromatic meat and super crispy and delicious crackling skin.

            1 Reply
            1. re: grandgourmand

              Great if they do!! Worth checking out?! If they do an 'advance order' version of the piglet, may be I'll arrange a chowmeet for that?!

            2. Great recommendation, I went there on Sunday, it did get momentarily packed around 1pm. Good for a plaza tucked under a hill beside Leslie.

              I went with my parents, we had green curry beef, hainan chicken, and the roast chicken. Also came with tom yum soup, green mango salad, and spring roll. Agree that the curry was a bit mild, but my parents would not have wanted any more "zing". Roast chicken as well as the hainan chicken were very juicy and tasty. Reasonably priced. The waitress somehow didn't remember the stuff on the menu, had to look at ours and write down the price. They also had to ask the back whether the fish lunch special was available (it had already run out). We didn't get free dessert, but the food definitely overcame the mediocre service.