Bara has always been one of the places that we have wanted to make a visit to, though also one of those places that we just seemingly keep pushing back our plans on. Best known for their Nasi Bakar, the establishment which used to operate just a single location at Icon Village had recently expanded their operations with the opening of their newest outlet at Eastpoint Mall — just a stone’s throw away from Simei MRT Station. The new outlet is not only just bigger than their very first space ar Icon Village, but does seem to serve a wider selection of food as well. Their Eastpoint Mall outlet now features a dine-in area that is more spacious; the interior being decked with a traditional touch that is rather similar to the setting at their Icon Village space. Whilst the menu at Eastpoint Mall features pretty much the same Bara Set, ala-carte dishes and side dishes that are already served at their Icon Village location, the physical menus at Eastpoint Mall do not reflect the availability of desserts that are listed on the online menu of the same. Prices have been kept pretty reasonable — the Bara Sets, which consist of their signature Nasi Bakar, the patron’s choice of meat, Melinjo crackers, fried tofu and tempeh costs between $12.50 to $16.50, depending on the set ordered.

Skimming through the menu, we found ourselves being pretty drawn towards Set E from the Bara Set — the set featuring Sate Lilit (i.e. Balinese Chicken & Prawns
Satay) and also coming with Sambal Matah (i.e. Balinese Raw Sambal). The Nasi Bakar (i.e. Grilled Rice) comes wrapped in banana leaves — digging into the rice after unwrapping the banana leaves, we found the Nasi Bakar here to be pretty fragrant; the Nasi Bakar carried a flavour that was almost akin to that of our Hainanese Chicken Rice with rather prominent hints of garlic, while the rice also came lightly smoky. The grains were also suitably moist, with each grain being distinguishable from each other — all loosely packed within the banana leaves that it was packed in. The Sate Lilit sees the chicken and prawn paste being wrapped around stalks of lemongrass and then grilled — the consistency of the Sate Lilit suggested that there could be a higher proportion of chicken used over prawn; the texture was particularly meaty, while the satay does seem to be glazed with Kecap Manis for that slight sweetness it carries. The Sambal Matah wasn’t particularly spicy, but we felt that the medley of herbs and spices that it comes with provided a refreshing flavour profile that could be well eaten on its own or with the Nasi Bakar. Other elements such as the Fried Tofu and Fried Tempeh do come pretty appealing as well – the batter being sufficiently crisp and the texture of the batter almost similar to that of well-made chicken nuggets; the Belinjo Crackers also being crisp whilst carrying its distinctive note of bitterness and works well with the Sambals that the dish came with.

Having only tried the Set E — Sate Lilit and the Set C — Ayam Bakar Bara from the Bara Set menu at Bara, we could understand why they are such a well-loved brand by folks whom have visited their Icon Village outlet. They do seem to be able to provide a taste of Indonesian fare that is big on flavours and execution — whilst we have not much exposure to the Indonesian fare to comment on its authenticity, we did like what Bara has to offer; the flavoured rice being nothing short of being fragrant, while the meats are actually nicely executed. Coupled with its reasonable price point, Bara really is an appealing option to go for even sth in the heartlands to solve those cravings for Indonesian fare that is relatable to the masses. It is without a doubt that we would consider dining at their Icon Village outlet for lunch on days that a trip back to the office is needed — their food is something which might probably develop a craving for. That being said, those living in the East whom have yet to check them out can possibly consider giving their Eastpoint Mall outlet a go — a more convenient location with bigger premises that makes visiting them just a little easier than before!

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