A Li Yaa, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

A Li Yaa, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry,
Restaurant entrance, A Li Yaa, in Bukit Damansara
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, barSri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, bar, drinks
An agreeable boost to begin –  Lycheetini – homemade lychee vodka, lychee liqueur, fresh lychees (soaked in vodka). Plain Lassi – a flawless mate for spicy food – tastes just like vanilla ice cream
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, bar, drinks
The Jaffna Bling Bling – vodka, baileys, chocolate vodka, sugar, milk – named after the Sri Lankan city Jaffna, is worth a visit all on its own – a lovely bitter sweet balance and creamy finish. This Virgin Mojito – mint, brown sugar, lime, bitter lemon – was surprisingly acceptable without alcohol – even though I’d usually prefer it with a kick.
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, bread
Plain Doosara Roti (Pol Roti) – pan grilled flat bread with grated coconut, onion and mild chili – give me a Jaffna Bling Bling and a plate of this roti and I’ll be a very happy gal
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food,
Fish Cutlets  – a thin crispy lightly fried bowl sustains a soft stuffing
spicy
Sambal Set: Kata Sambal (spicy) – red chili; Seeni Sambal – sweet onion; Pol Sambal – coconut; Karupillay Sambal – curry leaf pesto. This set of spices can be used at any time throughout the meal adding further complexity to your palate.
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, wine,  Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, wine
This aromatic New Zealand sauvignon blanc was a befitting partnership for the variety of dishes we sampled
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food,
Lumprais – a popular Sri Lankan dish with Portuguese influences – oven baked rice wrapped in a banana leaf and served with the meat of your choice (this one chicken), fried egg, roasted cashew nuts and vegetable of the day. Originally eaten separately, as you unwrap the parcel a wonderful aroma wafts out, now however many like it mixed together, more like a fried rice, so you can ask to have it combined before serving, but you’ll miss out on the nose tickling sensation if you do.
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food,
Brinjol Moju – deep fried eggplant, mixed spices and a dash of vinegar
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food,
Eggplant Sambal
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, fish
Chef Publis Pol Kiri Thuyal (Fish Sothi) – a mild and creamy curry of fish cooked in coconut milk, lemon grass, garlic, shallots, and curry leaves
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, lamb
Mutton Paal Poriyal – slow cooked mutton in aromatic spices
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, noodles
Plain String Hoppers (Idiyappam) – spaghetti like strings of unprocessed rice flour dough squeezed through a sieve onto small woven trays and steamed – ideal for slathering with curry
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, prawn
Prawn Masala – cooked with onion rings, green chili and home made masala
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, rice
Plain Puttu – rice, very lightly roasted, mixed with grated coconut and steamed in a bamboo mould
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, crab, seafood
800g Sri Lankan Mud Crab Columbo Style – With robust flavours, it’s recommended to order the crab as the last in your dish line up. Be prepared to get dirty as the generous allotment of curry will leave you licking your fingers and wiping up the last drops with bread.
Sri Lankan, Bukit Damansara, restaurant, curry, food, desserts, coconut
Appam Galore – This Sri Lankan style pancake comes with a variety of fillings – the variation above proved a sweet ending, holding coconut milk and brown sugar, there were no leftovers.
Simple design and warm reggae beats inspire relaxation from the first moment you enter A Li Yaa in Bukit Damansara. Recently moved from a bungalow near Jalan Dungan to this shop lot in Plaza Damansara, parking is not a problem and dusk is a picturesque time to visit with a gentle breeze, quiet street, grand trees and the change of light from day to night all witnessed from the front patio. A petite outdoor balcony with potted greenery, guarded by stone elephants, is a
pleasant spot to sit on a cooler overcast day with wall fans breezing the area. The
long cement bar is an inviting place too for a pre or post dinner drink and the snug downstairs/ upstairs dining areas possess a homey appeal. Black and white dressed tables and matte paintings add a subtle artistic charm. Ambience aside though, the crowd puller at A Li Yaa is authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.

From red chili style Tamil curries with tamarind and bountiful gravy from the north, to drier Sinhalese curries characterized by black pepper, coconut oil, and goraka (a sun dried fruit giving a sour note)  from the south, the Sri Lankan chef at A Li Yaa, serves up traditional cuisine just as mum would serve at home. In consonance with the simplicity of local culture, decoration and garnishing is kept to a minimum, with the sincere focus being on the taste of the food. The chef has his own recipe for curry powder and roasts this in house. All curries have one base and are adjusted through the addition of different spices to create a range of dishes. The heat of food ranged from mild to fiery. Sri Lankan crab is undoubtedly the most popular order amongst Chinese regulars, while expats gravitate towards the coconut curries and mildly spiced items. The Plain Doosara Roti (Pol Roti) – pan grilled flat bread with grated coconut, onion and mild chili – and the Brinjol Moju – deep fried eggplant, mixed spices and a dash of vinegar – were both items I’d be happy to munch on more than a few times a week. Hubby wanted second orders of the tender Mutton Paal Poriyal – slow cooked mutton in aromatic spices – and the sweet coconut and brown sugar version of the Appam Galore. Codign for group dining so as to benefit from trying a number of dishes in one sitting. A Li Yaa’s homestyle street foods lend themselves to some interesting drink pairings too for a heightened experience.

Begin your evening with Tanni, slang for drinks – particularly alcohol – in Sri Lankan/ Tamil. We tasted a cross section of A Li Yaa’s spread from virgin, to cocktails to wine. It’s rare to occur, but in this case I recommend everything we tried. The Plain Lassi tasted of vanilla ice cream and is a perfect soother to rely on during a hot curry session. The Virgin Mojito was surprisingly acceptable without alcohol – even though I’d usually prefer it with a kick – and makes a refreshing appetite opener.  The Lycheetini,  with homemade lychee infused vodka, is just as good as any I’ve tried around the city, and my personal pick, the Jaffna Bling Bling with it’s chocolate and coffee impressions proved a bitter sweet balance with a creamy finish – worthy of a return visit for this cocktail alone. Their best selling wine, a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, was a suitable appurtenance to the medley of seasonings we encountered throughout the meal.
Having pleasing food, drinks and ambience, it’s no wonder A Li Yaa is a popular dining locale. Reservations are recommended, especially for weekend outings.
Reason to visit:  authentic Sri Lankan food in a casual comfortable setting
A Li Yaa
48 Medan Setia 2
50490 Bukit Damansara
Malaysia
+6 03 2092 5378
Open noon – 1am 7 days
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4 Comments

  1. I like the name Lycheetini..
    it surely a good starter boost..

  2. what a feast! before a li yaa came along, i think most of us were pretty clueless about sri lankan food. but it's just as delicious as the best of indian cuisine, isn't it 😀

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