Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chai Bar @ Oasis Ara Damansara

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.

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.

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.

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.

Seek out Chai Bar beside Pacific Coffee on your left after you drive into Oasis Ara Damansara.

Chai Bar
G13, Oasis Village, Oasis Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya
Currently Mon-Fri: 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun: 11am-3pm See https://www.facebook.com/chaibarmy for the latest operating hours

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27 comments:

  1. 'California Girls' and 'Porntip' looks good to me...but will beef with peanut dressing work?...hehe =)

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    Replies
    1. Ulric: heheh, beef with peanut dressing sounds ok to me ... kinda like the flavour of beef satay with peanut sauce? or you could even combine the beef with chai bar's other dressings - blue cheese, apple kiwi mayo, or hmmm, mint yoghurt :)

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    2. I got it...beef with wasabi mayo...lolz! =)

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    3. Ulric: that's a courageous choice! i'd only dare to pair the wasabi mayo with the salmon or the prawns ... but i guess that's part of the fun of a mix-&-match salad bar ... it's all up to you :D

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  2. The food looks real healthy to me, salmon gonna be my choice ;)

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    1. Audrey: yeah, we felt good (psychologically) after this lunch .. and they do give quite a fair amount of salmon in the salad :D

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  3. Nice recommended restaurant. will love the place and the foods here.... :D

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    1. “追食富迪”: hope you manage to check it out if you're in ara damansara (and hopefully you'd enjoy the salads here) :D

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  4. Oooh, salmon!!! Very nice! :)

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    Replies
    1. Linda: the salmon was definitely a worthwhile add-on to the salad :)

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  5. Visited this awesome salad bar during the buy 1 free 1 promo :D
    http://huislaw.blogspot.com/2014/10/chai-bar-in-oasis-village-at-oasis.html

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    Replies
    1. Law: oh yeah, unfortunately I didn't qualify for the buy 1 free 1 cos the offer was only for dine-in customers, heheh :)

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  6. Oh my I would love this place! Power to the salad!

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    Replies
    1. YouHadYourLunch: power to the salad lovers! :D

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  7. I do enjoyed with all the food picture you posted~ XD

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    Replies
    1. Happy walker: glad you liked the look of these salads :)

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  8. Oh dear... this is what i have been looking for! I like Chicken Breast with salad but i am not sure if i am good with raw sprouts....

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    Replies
    1. Ken: heheh, it could be fun to try and find out, ya :D

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  9. Wowwwwww!!!! They do have some really good stuff there! Anytime better than Sunway, many people seem to like that - I'm not a fan, not our Malaysian ones.

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    Replies
    1. Suituapui: hopefully you'll get some good salad bars someday soon in sibu too, ya :D

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  10. Chai Bar but serving salad? Any good tea?

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    Replies
    1. JH: they'll be serving tea soon. Green tea, peppermint, lemon, raspberry, etc (not sure which brand) ;)

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  11. Very healthy ya, hehe.
    I will go with the Porntip, but I think I will get hungrier after having that, haha.

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    Replies
    1. CK: heheh, no la, the salads here come in very big servings, i think one will be enough for you! :D

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  12. Looks good but is it halal ?

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    Replies
    1. Anak Tanjung: no pork is served here and they do welcome muslim customers, though like many similar outlets, they might not necessarily have an official halal certification licence, since those are often very difficult to obtain for independent outlets :)

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  13. Thanks for your fast reply.will be there soon.
    😄😄😄

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