Monday, 8 April 2013

A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar @ Plaza Damansara, Kuala Lumpur

Located in Plaza Damansara is a Sri Lankan restaurant called A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar. Previously having been occupying a bangalow unit located in Jalan Dungun, they have shifted to this new premises sometime early 2011. Their specialty is Jaffnese and Sinhala Cuisine. They do not have the Halal status as they are running a bar as well, however it is pork free. I have heard so much about their great food and today I am going to try it myself. Being a Jaffnese Tamil myself, I would surely appreciate these food more.

A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar at Plaza Damansara

Their Logo
This place is quite easy to locate. If you are familiar with Plaza Damansara, the famous landmark here is the CIMB Bank and this is just a few doors away along the same block.

Bar Styled Outdoor Seating
Along the corridor, they have an outdoor seating area which is themed more towards the bar style. This is more suitable for those who are having some drinks and bites to munch. These high stool type chairs are not suitable for those who come here to have full meals, especially senior people.

Indoor Bar Counter

Us At Our Table
The moment we arrived at the door, we were greeted by the staffs. The restaurant manager personally ushered us to our table. Since I had made a reservation earlier, things were smoother. I strongly feel that should you have a large group, it is best to make reservations a few days in advance as they tend to get full house quite easily, especially on the weekends.

The Menu
Sorry I could not take more photographs of the interior of the restaurant as there were some high profile people in the house today. I must say that the interior was beautifully designed. The menu was very elaborate and had a wide variety of dishes from the island of Sri Lanka. Though the price may seem on the high side, the portions were huge and I am sure the taste would be excellent too. The manager assisted us with our orders advising us how much to order bearing in mind that there were only two of us. I was amused by the drinks menu. They had some interesting names there. Some were Blow Job, Quick F**k, Sex on the Beach and etc. Pretty weird names for drinks.  Having finalised our orders, the workers were quick to get to their feet. They are definitely well staffed and worked very efficiently. From my observation, I believe they get quite a number of high profile customers here and they had to ensure the professionalism was at the peak at all times, never allowing room for mistakes. In fact, they were even accurate in terms of having what to be delivered to you first. For example, starters were delivered first and the main course would never be sent until you finish the starters. There is a waiter assigned to each table to ensure customer satisfaction. This is the kind of satisfaction that I am surely willing to pay for.

Virgin Lemonade @ RM 9.00
The drinks arrived pretty quickly, if I recall right, within five minutes of us placing our orders. The above drink is called Virgin Lemonade. It was a pretty interesting drink that tasted lemonade and left a zingy taste at the end. Surely refreshing for the afternoon heat. I would rate this drink at 9/10 .

Virgin Mary @ RM 12.00
This was the drink that I had ordered for myself. It definitely had tomato in it as the base drink and there was also some tobacco leaves simmered on the top. Not sure what the other ingredients were but it definitely tasted great. Both the above mocktails are non alcoholic drinks. I would rate this at 9.5/10 .

Right: Fish Cutlet and Left: Potato & Peas Cutlets @ RM 15.00
This was the starters that we had. The fish cutlet was excellent. It was wildly spiced and surely would get you sweating. The Potato and Peas Cutlets was even spicier and had a great amount of spices and pepper in it. Both these cutlets were heavenly. I would rate these at 10/10 .

Spring Hopper Kothu Chicken @ RM 20.00
This was another starter that came once we finished the above dish. This is basically fried Spring Hoppers with Chicken. My late grandmother used to make this when she was around but here, this restaurant was able to make it better. An absolutely great dish which is very spicy. This dish would definitely hook you on to it. I would rate this at 10/10 .

Aliyaa Puttu With Fish Curry @ RM 29.00

The Fish Curry With The Above Set
The Puttu I must say was another excellent dish here. It came with some sides like Potato Masala, Coconut Sambal and Brinjals accompanied by the above Fish Curry. You have a choice of Fish, Chicken, Mutton, Beef or Vegetarian Curry options to choose from. We asked the manager as to what he would recommend and he suggested the fish curry. The Indian Style of having Puttu is with Palm Sugar but the Sri Lankan style is to have it with curry. The fish curry was again extremely delicious and I must say heavenly spicy and I am quite sure that they were using Sear Fish. I would rate both the above again at a flat 10/10 .

Mutton Paal Poriyal Set @ RM 29.00
Another great dish. It has been a very long time since I last had this Mutton Paal Poriyal. I know that not many people make it as the cooking process takes a very long time. Though the mutton here has a dark coloured texture, it is not as spicy as it seems. Paal poriyals are meant to be mild in their spiciness and it has been adhered to well here. This set again comes with some side dishes and you could also order the mutton as a stand alone dish. Depending on your choice, the options are available. Again, my rating for this dish is 10/10 .

Sweet Appam @ RM 6.00
A major difference between the Indian Appam and the Jaffnese Appam is the center part. The Indian style is dry and they would pour some coconut milk just before serving it. The Jaffnese Style maintains the center to be wet, soft and richer and the coconut milk is poured in even while cooking it. You have at least six variety of Appams here but we choose the sweet type each. The only addition to it would be that they would have some Palm Sugar included in the center. Another great item here. Without fail, this too scores 10/10 on my scale.

Overall, this is definitely a great place to have Sri Lankan meals. Right from simple items like Appam to every day items like Lumpris and even exotic dishes like the Colombo Crab Curry, everything is made to perfection. I would surely return another time with my parents and sibling to try a number of other dishes.I for sure know that my parents would enjoy the food here. For today, the bill came to RM 132.00 and it is worth every cent spent.

Address: No. 48 G & M, Medan Setia 2, Plaza Damansara, 
                Bukit Damansara, 50490 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Telephone: +603 2092 5378 / +6017 717 8700



Opening Hours: 1130 - 0100


  1. Excellent post which has shared the great of A Li Yaa Island Restaurant & Bar on Sri Lanka taste, another article at

    1. Thank you for the words of appreciation. It was a pleasure dining over at your place too.