Pelangi is on Jln. Dewi Sri, in Kuta, the road that connects Kuta Galleria with Sunset Road. This stretch has seen the death of many new restaurants, only now are a couple starting to work, one of those mysteries of the business. Pelangi is very large with a popular Chinese Bakery at the front entrance, there is ample parking at front and at the rear of the premises. Original chef/owner was from Jordan and the food a mix of Mid Eastern and European, very good but restaurant never seemed to work. Six months ago the management changed and they added a young talented Surabaya Chinese chef, switched the cuisine, and now busy, busy!
All day [from 9.30] Dim Sum is served, not just for the traditional lunch time. More importantly this restaurant is NOT halal! I can not understand why so many Chinese restaurants in Bali, including some of the most popular, insist on being Halal. It may be necessary in Jakarta although even there I am sure that the vast majority of customers are not Muslim.
Chinese food without pork is like eating a bread roll without butter.
All the standard dim sum is available, dumplings, Cha Siu of pork, prawn or chicken, BBQ pork pastry puffs and even Chicken Feet if you can handle all those small bones, and some fusion specials such as green steamed dumplings flavoured with wasabi and a few others that are more Singaporean in style.
The Tim Hakao Udang are very good, plump steamed dumplings stuffed with prawn meat. Tim Xiao Long Bao I like very much, the soft casing necessitates much care in lifting up to eat with your delicately poised chop sticks, the sauce is inside the dumpling in traditional Beijing style, great taste! The Hong Kong style [very Cantonese] Sio May can be with chicken or pork meat
Kwo Tie are steamed dumplings that are also pan-fried on one side, the Chinese dumpling that has been adopted into the cuisines of Japan [gyoza] and Korea [gun man du], all versions provide a soy based dip on the side. Chasiu Bao is a steam bun, stuffed with either chicken or pork. Lumpia Saos Lada Hilam are a set of three Chinese style spring rolls, Udang Kulit Tahu are prawn versions and my favourite is their Cheong Fun Lumpia, a soft almost pancake like casing is wrapped around prawn meat surrounded with a crunchy crumbled pan fried tofu, three in a serve all cross sliced for easy eating.
The best part of all day dim sum availability is that you can also start your main meals with a few, never being able to escape from the western eating habit of starting with entrees or appetizers.
Day and night there is also the full a la carte menu, and as is the norm in Chinese restaurants world-wide, the list of options is endless. All possible meats, poultry and seafood are on offer, done every which way. Szechuan style Jelly Fish entrees, Lobster and Singaporean Chilli Crab their specialties. Again, as is the custom, one of the best and most varied vegetarian menus to be found in Bali.
One of their standout dishes is the Ayam Panggang Pas Mas, also referred to as Chicken Golden Sands. It can be either a half or whole chicken roasted but in that incredible Chinese style of having a very crisp skin whilst retaining flesh that is soft and juicy. This dish is totally covered with a crunchy coating of pan-fried garlic and onion that has been finely chopped, incredibly tasty! Normally this dish is prepared to order and at those times is really outstanding. However, sadly, it is also sometimes pre-prepared and then it can be quite disappointing by comparison. Other Chicken dishes can also be from the BBQ in differing styles or stir fried with a multitude of sauces [including mango, honey, butter, sesame, chilli, peppers, Thai and Vietnamese flavours and of course the original Cantonese sweet & sour].
What could be more traditional and common place Cantonese than Sweet and Sour Prawns. At Pelangi they are given the more Indonesian title of Udang Asam Manis. They do not come in the normal sauce but rather each large juicy prawn is coated with a sticky jelly of the same ingredients, certainly making it easier with the chop sticks. Large prawns are featured in many dishes here, with Chilli and Salt, with Honey - sweet and spicy or fried with Oats and Curry Leaves.
Crispy Eel with honey sauce, Singapore Mud Crab, Soft Shell Crab with salted egg, Squid pan-fried in their special tangy sauce, an unusual Prawns fried with oats and curry leaves plus very fresh Live Gurami [from the water tanks down below, down below] done many different ways.
As usual with almost all Asian restaurants the Vegetarian choice is enormous, with noodles, rice or as a stand alone dish. Asparagus can be with mushrooms, cooked in XO sauce, or stir-fried with garlic. Tauge [bean sprouts] stir-fried with salted fish, Hong Kong style Kailan with garlic or the very tasty version in oyster sauce, Enoki mushrooms with chilli and salt or fried eggplant done the same way. All healthy and tasty!
An all purpose eatery, you can go early morning for your congee [bubur], during the day for your dim sum feast or evenings for the full table of Chinese specialties. A happy place!