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Restaurant Review: Bali Satay House October 1, 2006

Posted by Sarah in Ames Restaurants.

On Thursday night, we went to Bali Satay House in Ames. This restaurant has been in Ames since 1992 and I had never been there (I’ve lived in Ames all my life!) However, my husband recommended it, so off we went.

What They Offer
Bali Satay house offers Indonesian and Chinese cuisine. Their menu was decently sized. They offered many house dishes and had a large vegetarian section. They also have seafood dishes, rice and noodle dishes and classic Chinese dishes. There are many bottled beers as well as plenty on tap. (Bali Satay house becomes a kind of bar in the evening and they often have live bands and entertainment). They have a medium sized wine list with whites and reds. They also have fun specialty drinks like Avocado Shakes and Tapioca Bubble Drinks. They also offer the usual soft drinks and such.

Their hours were a little confusing. They boasted that they were open 7 days a week, but then said they were closed on Sunday. Maybe they don’t serve food on Sunday. Bali Satay is also a popular place for the local college students to hang out and they have live music at least 4 nights a week. Check out their website for more information on their entertainment.

Restaurant Hours: Mon-Thurs 11-3, 5-9; Fri & Sat 11-9, Sunday -closed


The building is medium sized and there are booths and tables. They don’t mind shoving a bunch of tables together to serve large groups either. When I was there, they had some nice jazz playing in the background that wasn’t to loud or too soft. There is plenty of natural light coming in from the front windows. I’m not sure what it would be like at night, but it wasn’t too dimly lit. Also, I wasn’t positive on this, but I think they have wireless internet for their patrons to use…


Our service was decent. Our waitress was very friendly and was able to recommend items from the menu with confidence. She also checked to make sure that it was okay that my dish had egg in it, which is nice. We seated ourselves and were seen by the waitress within 2 minutes of sitting down. Our drinks and appetizer were ordered and we were given menues. 7-8 minutes later we ordered. The waitress misheard my husband’s order so he had to wait awhile for his food to come out. My food came out after 15-20 minutes. My husband’s food came out 15-20 minutes after mine.


My husband ordered Mello Yello and had no complaints. I ordered lemonade and it was about the same color as his Mello Yello. When I tasted it, I was pretty sure it wasn’t Country Time because it didn’t have the chemical-y taste, but it was extremely sweet. My husband likened it to Lemon Drop Candy in drink form, which I thought was appropriate. So, I don’t think it was homemade, but I don’t think it was regular fountain Country Time, but I could be wrong. I would not order lemonade there again.

For our appetizer, we ordered the Chicken Spring Rolls. On the plate, were two spring rolls with a little dish of sweet and sour sauce. The ingredients were wrapped in a flour-type spring/egg roll wrapper. Inside was the typical cabbage, carrots, seasoning, and of course, chicken. There was also a hard to identify purplish-black thing, which I think was mushrooms, but could have been overcooked red cabbage. Overall, they were pretty good. They were a pretty typical egg roll that I would order again.

For my entree, I ordered something called Vegetable Kwetiew. It is pictured below.


It had thick rice noodles, tofu, egg, and a mix of vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green onions, bok choy, and different types of mushrooms. The tofu was not overly fried or chewy (like some restaurants make it), and the vegetables were nicely steamed. It was slightly greasy, but I’ve had greasier. The one complaint I had was that it was not flavorful enough. It had a sauce with it but I would have preferred more of it. Some of the more absorbent vegetables soaked up some of the sauce and it was a slightly sweet and flavorful. Overall, it was an okay dish. It was pretty good, but I probably wouldn’t order it again. There are better things on the menu than this… like what my husband ordered…
My husband ordered Spicy Curry Lamb. I am not a big lamb fan. However, when it came it was presented beautifully and looked delicious.

The lamb was well seasoned and extremely tender, as you can see. The meat had an excellent curry flavor that was not overpowering. You could tell that they use good curry powder. No Tones curry powder for them! The meat and sauce was not overly spicy, but spicy enough to please my husband. It was served with a pickled salad, which was spicy, and perfectly cooked white rice. I would definitely order this dish, especially if you like lamb and curry. I will certainly be trying some of their other meat and curry dishes in the future.

Paying, Price and Portion Size

Our ticket was delivered to our table by our waitress with a Blueberry Hill red and white mint. We were able to pay with a credit/debit card and we didn’t have to wait very long to get our ticket, or our card back.

They have really reasonable prices. Our meals were each $6 -$8 each and the spring rolls were around $3.00. Drinks were about $1.50 each. The total price of our meal was $20.58.

The portions were decent. They weren’t overflowing like at many typical Chinese restaurants. There was enough that you could eat and be full with maybe even some room left for dessert. I felt that our meal was worth what we paid.


Overall, I like the Bali Satay House. I would go back again and choose something off their meat menu, probably something with curry. I was pleased with their many vegetarian options and wide variety of drinks and meals. The prices are reasonable and they are friendly. I would suggest checking it out next time you are going out to eat in Ames.



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