Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sambal: The Malaysian Food Experience

When someone mentions the word 'sambal', what does it remind you of? If you are not Malaysia or Indonesian or Singaporean, it probably does not remind you of a thing. It probably would not even sound familiar. But to us Malaysians, it is the most important element of our very much loved nasi lemak.


Sambal is also the name of an eatery serving Malaysian cuisine situated along the busy Lane Cove Road in North Ryde. On the other end of the row of shops from McDonald's, you would not be able to notice it if you do not purposely keep an eye out for it.


If you ask me, the place exudes a rustic 'Penang-ish' aura. I do not know what that means exactly but that is the feeling I get each time I visit. Even by browsing through the menu, it feels as though I am standing at Gurney Drive trying to decide which stall to head towards. Mee Siam, Har Mee, Laksa, Char Kway Teow, how not to imagine you are encapsulated by hawker stalls inhaling the smell of charcoal and wok?

They serve slightly different things for lunch during the weekends but I still ended up ordering the same thing as every other time I come here: Char Kway Teow...


I swear by it. Haha.. it tastes exactly like what it should taste, just served in a super large portion compared to those you would takeaway from the pasar malam. Oh, and without the cockles, too. I noticed that the portion served for dinner is bigger, which probably explains the price difference in the lunch and dinner menus.

Their Mamak Mee Goreng was not too bad, either...


You could adjust the level of spiciness and I would say it is a passable imitation of what you would get from the real mamak stalls back home.

Remembering the extremely large portion of fried rice Justin had one time we came for dinner, I recommended their own Sambal's Nasi Goreng to my dear housemate...


Fried with egg, bean sprouts, tomato, onion, chicken pieces and lettuce, it was extra spicy and fragrant. He balanced it will a cool and refreshing bowl of ice kacang...


Unfortunately, we could not find any pieces of atapchi in it.

Let me show you what I once had with my grandaunt and cousin for dinner:


A very big serving of sar hor fun...


Fried yam ring, something I have not had in I do not even recall how many years...


Chicken curry garnished with bright green mint...


And ikan panggang! Okay, it was slightly burnt but I had it before with Justin, Xin Wen, Govin and Deidree and it was fab! Wah, the chilli sauce you see is mouth-watering, with or without the limau kasturi juice you squeeze.

If you are Malaysian and live in Sydney, I fully recommend this place. You just have to come and relive those gastronomic moments!

Sambal on Urbanspoon

Sambal is found at Shop 7, 285-297, Lane Cove Road, North Ryde, NSW 2113. For bookings, ring them up at +61 2 9889 7977 or fax them at +61 2 9889 7955. They are open for lunch and dinner throughout the week, provides wheelchair access and the option of outdoor seating.

NB: If you are driving, please find your way to Talavera Road and turn right onto Lane Cove Road. Remember to keep to your left, as the entrance to the parking lot of the shops is shortly after you make that turn at the traffic lights. You are unable to turn into the parking lot from Lane Cove Road if you are coming from the opposite direction. If you are taking the train, get off at Macquarie Park Station and walk down the hill towards the big McD's signage. You would be able to see Sambal as you get closer.

6 comments:

CY said...

Where's the place la? U only said Sambal...

Please include address lor...

Chrys said...

Haha, sorry la.. I thought the photo of the menu with the add on it would suffice - apparently not! Haha... I'll add the address onto the post - check it there! Thanks!

ashley said...

OMG they looked soooo goooooood *drools*
i wonder if they have a branch in Brisbane..

Chrys said...

haha.. erm, i don't think they hv a branch in bris... this is the only place they run...

Julian Wong said...

I just had yam ring a few weeks ago in KL. Now that I am back in Sydney, I had a sudden craving for yam ring today! Thanks for your blog post. I will go check it out.

Chrys said...

Hi Julian, thank you for reading. I wrote this 6 years ago and hadn't been there recently. Hopefully, they didn't change their menu and kitchen staff. :)

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