September 20th, 2019
Chai Bar at Oasis Ara Damansara: Restaurant Review
Salads often get a raw deal from the meat-preferring public – ‘rabbit food,’ some folks scoff – but a fresh set of salad bars is sprouting to change that. Our favourite in the Klang Valley so far: Chai Bar, planting itself this week in Oasis Ara Damansara.
Mix & Match Combos
Chai Bar is helmed by friendly young entrepreneurs Dennis & Edward, who aim to serve meals that can be simultaneously satisfying & wholesome. Customers looking to turn over a new leaf currently have a selection of 75 ingredients & 15 types of dressings to mix & match for seemingly infinite combinations.
One of the challenges for salad bars is ensuring that each offering tastes like a cohesive recipe – not simply random leaves & toppings slapped together – but Chai Bar has a solution, offering 10 tried-&-tested recommended combinations. Our favourite: ‘Superfoods’ (RM16) – rocket leaves & spring greens with sweet potatoes, beets, avocado, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, quinoa & peanut dressing. Add RM6 for smoked salmon.
Each salad we bought was absolutely worth the price, packed with irreproachably fresh ingredients. Our sole regret: We probably should have eaten at the outlet instead of ordering take-out, since these salads might have looked much better composed properly & photographed in bowls.
‘Chicken Rice’ Salad
Another thoughtful twist: Many of Chai Bar’s recipes are playful interpretations of classic Asian favourites – we’re fans of ‘Chicken Rice’ (RM14), a minimal-guilt creation that showcases the outlet’s own-poached chicken breast with crunchy red rice, bean sprouts, onions, cucumber, baby spinach & a soy sauce dressing.
Korea receives its due with ‘Bibimbap’ (RM18) – thick, hearty slices of slow-grilled lean beef with hard-boiled eggs, carrots, mushrooms, kimchi, Korean anchovies & gochujang sauce – an illustration of how a nutritionally complete lunch or dinner can be enjoyed here. Plus, Chai Bar makes its own dressings daily – no Thousand Island, thankfully.
The ‘California Girls’
Stick a fork in it: A Japanese influence is woven through ‘California Girls’ (RM23), which pairs kaori-hako sticks with the likes of butterhead lettuce, red coral leaves, pickled seaweed, cherry tomatoes, capelin roe, roasted seaweed & creamy wasabi mayo.
Think Thai: The lightly piquant, mercifully-not-too-spicy ‘Porntip’ (RM19) mixes glass noodles with springy boiled prawns, young papaya, roasted peanuts, dried shrimp, som tam sauce & more. Could go well with the kaffir lemonade, ‘berrynana’ smoothie & other juices & teas that Chai Bar expects to serve eventually.
Amid all the Asian sensations, this Tex-Mex ‘Sombrero’ (RM20) might seem out of place, but it still manages to hold it own with a three-bean mix, peppers, grilled chicken, tortilla chips, corn, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, avocado dressing & salsa.
Convenient hours: 11am-9pm daily. Seek Chai Bar beside Pacific Coffee on your left after you drive into Oasis Ara Damansara.
Location and Contact Details
G31, Oasis Village, Oasis Square, No. 2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Oasis Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Tel: 013 209 9189