Penang Dim Sum – Yum. A visit to Bali Hai.

There are two Dim Sum restaurants I particularly like. Today I will cover one of them,  Bali Hai – very touristy, but very popular with locals, too. After Dim Sum is finished, it is a seafood restaurant, and is open until late.  In the mornings almost all of the patrons are locals, but in the evenings the proportion of tourists is much higher.

Bali Hai

Bali Hai is located around the middle of Gurney Drive, and it has parking, which is usually quite full when the restaurant is at least half full.  They serve Dim Sum in the morning from 7AM to 1PM every day, but the earlier you arrive the better selection there will be.  And Sunday mornings is best, as it is the most popular time for locals to go, so the selection then is best of all.  But it can be a little difficult to get a table – you may have to share a table with others.

Bali Hai inside - this morning was very quiet

The food quality had declined by last year (2011), and I more or less stopped patronising the restaurant, but towards the end of last year the quality markedly improved, and since then it is very good.

live seafood

live seafood

There are more blogs about food and restaurants in Penang, seemingly, than any other topic, so I won’t reinvent the wheel, but rather talk about it from a slightly different perspective.

Chopsticks, tissues, chilli sauce; teapot, cups, sauce dishes, bill

Firstly, you need to find a table.  If there are no tables you can ask to share with another table where there is space. On the table you will find tissues, a stainless steel container with chopsticks, and a plastic chilli sauce container.

hot water

An attendant will bring you the bill card, a flat plate each, and if you ask for tea or hot water, an empty teapot, and a bowl with very hot water containing two teacups each, and small sauce dishes.  We bring our own tea, which saves 70 sen per person – but allows us to have a tea we like. If you want separate bills, just ask at this stage and you’ll get a card each.  Put your tea in the teapot and go and get hot water from the machine.

you can select from a trolley

There are ladies with trolleys circulating, and you can ask for what you want, and your bill will be marked appropriately.  You can also go to the counter, where there is a much bigger selection, and take the dishes you want.  They will cut the bigger food into smaller pieces.

select also from the counter

And take away your goodies on a tray.

yum;anti-clockwise- egg tart,prawn, fish with bitter gourd, chives and prawn, scallops,

Once you have finished you can easily calculate your bill.

This bill comes to RM22.50

Another delicious meal.


90, 90A, 90B, 90C & 90D, Persiaran Gurney
10250, Penang

Telephone:     +604-228 8272 / 228 1272
Fax:     +604-228 8273

Hours: 7AM until 1PM for Dim Sum, and until late evening as a seafood restaurant.

Free WiFi – no password necessary, just find the Bali Hai broadcast.

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