Last Updated: February 28, 2021
I’m sure most of us are familiar with Bali Thai, the famed Indonesian-Thai food chain currently with nine outlets around Singapore. What many may not know is that they have a sister-restaurant serving traditional Indonesian barbecue delights at River Valley Road, called Bayang.
Home to a team of endearing Indonesian chefs, Bayang prides itself on its delivery of authentic flavours by showcasing the distinct and homey taste of classic Indonesian fares. Focusing on barbecue as its primary cooking technique, the restaurant aims to captivate the hearts of diners with the natural flavours of fresh ingredients, while harnessing the power of spices and herbs.
Tucked within the serene alleys of the once-bustling River Valley Road, the restaurant exudes a sense of sophistication and spirituality with its magical balance of lush colours and the use of hand-crafted pieces made with a variety of wood, bamboos, rattan, and earthy ceramics.
I arrived at Bayang excited and ready to feast. Having missed lunch, I was all set to relish in the restaurant’s Beef Rendang, Ayam Panggang and Satay sets—just to name a few.
The moment I laid eyes on their Supreme Nasi Campur (S$48), I instantly knew that this was the one and only dish I need to conquer in order to share with all of you that I have truly tasted the flavours of Bayang.
And thus, Supreme Nasi Campur it is, the star of the night along with my side order of BBQ Oyster (S$3.50 each, minimum order of two) of which I was highly recommended by the service staff since it was ‘highly nutritious for my pregnant body’.
The plate of Supreme Nasi Campur was a meticulous piece of art. A warm heap of yellowish turmeric rice takes centre stage with small portions of side dishes arranged in a tight circle. At Bayang, their Supreme Nasi Campur is similar to that of a communal surf ‘n’ turf; a dish combining the best of seafood and meats.
It starts with their Sate Madura, a combination of beef and chicken satay. Here, the heavily spice-rubbed cubes of meats were fired to a crisp on the grill with charred bits that exude a deep smoky flavour.
Accompanying these delightfully tender sticks was a requisite sauce that hits you first with the sweetness of peanuts and keeps you going with layers of spice and aromatics. Too bad there wasn’t an extra serving of the peanut sauce, if not I would be spooning almost every other dish with this heavenly concoction.
My next protein was the Bali Ayam Panggang, a hefty serving of spiced chicken thigh which sadly fell flat in both flavour and texture.
Despite the deep robustness of the charred chicken skin and beautiful yellow hue from the use of turmeric, the same flavours failed to penetrate into the meat, leaving it bland and dry. An extra hour of seasoning would have done the Bali Ayam Panggang more justice.
The Beef Rendang was an element in Bayang’s Supreme Nasi Campur which I almost missed out while penning this review—that was how unforgettable it was.
Unfortunately, the beef cubes were dry and jerky-like, breaking into tasteless shreds as I worked my fork through. The only saving grace was the curry it was generously coated in. It was to the least of my expectations—a rich herbaceous taste that reminded me of my gastronomic trip to Bali.
Now, onto the seafood. Thankfully, Bayang did not disappoint with the use of fresh seafood products. Both the BBQ Sambal Prawns and Grilled Boston Lobster were chewy and bursting with natural sweetness from the sea. But it was the Grilled Squid that stood out.
Marinated with a sweet seasoning, each slice of squid was plump and succulent. Here, the sweetness of the sauce complemented almost perfectly with the charred smokiness from the grill, leaving me desperately crying for more.
Friends and family who know me know that I’m an avid stingray lover who takes every slice of stingray I consume with utmost seriousness. Bayang’s Stingray With Sambal might not be the best, but it was a decent attempt on this zi char favourite of mine.
Not only was it filled with the fragrance of the banana leaves it was cooked in, but the layer of sambal brought the entire dish together with its spicy kick, making the fish all the more decadent and toothsome.
Oyster lovers will enjoy their Grilled Oysters—meticulously cleaned shells of goodness fill with intense briny flavours and a deep creaminess. Eat it alone to relish the oyster’s natural umami, otherwise, add a dollop of their garlic chilli for that extra oomph and kick of spice.
Whilst I enjoyed several barbecue and grilled items at Bayang, this meal left me a little crestfallen as they had little to no Indonesian-inspired sides for me to pair with my mains. If you are looking for seafood, Bayang is a great place to dine, but when it comes to their meat items, more improvement is definitely required.
I will return solely for their grilled seafood; this alone is enough to make me a satisfied diner.
Expected Damage: S$9.80 – S$25 per pax
Our Rating: 2 / 5
3A River Valley Road, #01-05, Singapore 179020
3A River Valley Road, #01-05, Singapore 179020