Ah Yat Abalone

Ah Yat Abalone

Ah Yat Abalone

at the RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA

 Ah-YatAlmost 12 months ago, the fabulous Ah Yat Abalone opened its doors at the luxurious RIMBA Jimbaran Bali by AYANA and invited lovers of fine Cantonese cuisine to join them on their gastronomic adventure on the tropical resort island. 

The frenzied media hype – based upon the brand’s huge success and popularity – went into overdrive and the restaurant was rightly lauded as something special by the island’s discerning diners.

The Food and Beverage Director (and former executive chef at AYANA) 

Giordano Faggioli said at the time, “Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant brings Chinese cuisine to a new level of quality, with traditionally handcrafted dim sum and Hong Kong-style favourites, including abalone and live seafood.” 

Now, a year later, I’m back at Ah Yat Abalone to see just how its inspirational menu has shaped up.

The contemporary styled restaurant, designed by WATF, California, has seating for over 300 guests and must be amongst the most pleasant on the island. Light and open, the pale woods meld perfectly with the light stone walls, while the masses of glass make great use of the natural light. Lifting accents are via the colours and designs of seat cushions and the large black and copper ceiling lamps that create wonderful night-time warmth. There are also nine private rooms in more traditional décor that complete the chic set up.   

The a la carte menu presented by Head Chef Cheung Kin Kau is extensive and features some exotic offerings, such as the Ah Yat Dried Green Lip Abalone, Stewed Superb Sea Cucumber & Goose Web with Abalone Sauce, and desserts like the Double-boiled Imperial Bird’s Nest with Rock Sugar. 

The Universal Live Seafood menu features Leopard Sea Trout, Polkadot High-fin Garoupa, Sea Garoupa and a selection of live crab and prawns; available cooked in a choice of styles. There are, of course, a multitude of standard dishes from dim sum to desserts all prepared and presented to the same impeccable standards, and it was the everyday dishes I was interested in. 

Advised by Dewa, the very knowledgeable waiter, we ordered a mass of food to share, sample and discuss – is there any better way to eat Chinese? From the dim sum menu came the char sui dumplings, shumai, cubed belly pork and scallop dim sum, the remainder from the a la carte choices.

It was a late lunch and the char sui dumplings, a grab-and-go street food in China, were quickly presented and hastily devoured. A standard in many Chinese restaurants, as well as food stalls all around the world, these gorgeous buns had just the right texture and were crammed with tasty char sui filling. Even before we had finished, the shumai and scallops were on the table. Served in the traditional bamboo steaming pot, the encased succulent scallop topped off with contrasting crunchy roe, tasted as good as it looked. The shumai, too, was equally tender and extraordinarily flavoursome; the culinary journey had kicked off with a splash.   

Seafood noodles, in the e fu style, served with a heap of mixed seafood in a rich sauce were next, along with the perennial sweet and sour pork. The e fu noodle has a spongier, even chewy, texture compared to traditional egg noodles due to soda water replacing normal water in the recipe. This beautiful dish was perfection and the balance of the fresh taste, colour and texture epitomizes all that is great about Cantonese cuisine. The sweet and sour pork similarly held true to the concept of balance with its succulent strips of pork and peppers languishing in the most luxurious sauce.

The last pairing of mains caught me a little off guard – Beef and Turnip served in clay pot, alongside plated wasabi prawns. The black clay pot adds a nice contrast and the tender casserole within was magnificent. The thick sauce had an edge of spiciness that develops the beef rather than masking it and the pale and soft slices of turnip lift the dish visually and add balance. 

Probably the most attractively presented food was the wasabi prawn. The strong flavour of the wasabi fused with the succulent meaty prawn ball, which had been coated in finely shredded deep fried potato creating a textural and taste combination that, although unexpected, was tremendous. It was also an ideal dish to lead to the desserts and coffee.       

The Ah Yat Abalone brand was established over 20 years ago in Beijing by Yeung Koon Yat and the chain now boasts 25 restaurants and is synonymous with fine Asian dining. It is fair to say that its fledgling restaurant in Jimbaran continues to bang its gastronomic drum in style.

Ah Yat Abalone is open seven days a week from 11AM to 3PM for lunch and from 5.30PM for dinner. On Sundays and public holidays lunch is 10AM to 3PM. Booking is highly recommended for what may be Bali’s best Cantonese dining experience!



Little Bites of Heaven

Literally meaning “to touch your heart”, the Chinese dim sum is the equivalent of the French hors d’oeuvres, and is served as either hot or cold bite-sized delicacies. Originally a Cantonese custom, dim sum is inextricably linked to the Chinese tradition of “yum cha”, or drinking tea. 

At Ah Yat Abalone, these delicacies use only the best of carefully selected fresh ingredients, and are suitable to be enjoyed at any time during your visit. Among the traditionally handcrafted dim sum, some of the favourites include the char sui dumplings, shumai, scallop and cubed belly pork. In line with the tradition of enjoying these heavenly treats with tea, we recommend a pot of Chrysanthemum Tea to complete the experience.

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