Sambal is a Malaysian restaurant located in the Sydney suburb of North Ryde. It is not new to the Sydney food scene and in fact, it has been established for many years now. Unfortunately I cannot remember the year I first dined at Sambal. At that time, it was just weeks into its opening.
But over the years I have been here for lunch and dinner with different groups of friends and have also had the occasional take away. But this is the first time I am blogging about it. And about time too!
My friend, SB was in town with his family. Since they were staying in North Ryde, it was the perfect venue to meet up.
When I arrived, it turned out that there was a slight mix up with my reservation. Andrew, one of the owners, forgot to write my booking down in the Booking book. Fortunately, this time, I did the reservation by email and my wonderful smartphone saved the day as I was able to prove my reservation confirmation by showing the reply confirmation email from Andrew. Luckily they found a small table at the corner near the main entrance for me. Poor Andrew was so apologetic but I shrugged it off as a genuine oversight. These things happen and I was only too happy they found me a table. Believe me, the restaurant was packed for a Friday night!
I was excited to show off my heritage cuisine to my friends from Melbourne. SB loves trying out different cuisines but I knew that for his wife and kids, spicy food was not something they would want to venture in.
So these were the dishes we had:
Loh Bak - a classic Penang dish. Minced meat seasoned with 5 spice, wrapped in bean curd rolls and deep fried.
Chicken satay - skewers of grilled marinated chicken served with a peanut sauce and servings of cucumber.
Inchee Kabin - beautifully deep fried chicken marinated in a host of spices.
Hainan Chicken Rice - poached chicken served with rice cooked in chicken stock with garlic chilli sauce.
Assam Prawns - yummy, succulent prawns cooked in a tamarind based sauce with a beautiful chilli kick.
Joo Hu Char - a classic Nyonya dish of shredded cuttlefish and pork stir fried with julienned mix vegetables.
Belacan Beans - stir fried snake beans (also known as long beans) in shrimp chilli paste.
Every dish was a hit with the family. The kids especially loved the Fried chicken. The Assam Prawns were a hit with SB and myself as we were the only two who could enjoy the spicy dish. The chicken rice was also very popular.
Believe it or not, we found space for some shared desserts. We had:
Ice Chendol - shaved ice served with coconut milk, gula Melaka syrup, pandan jelly strips and red beans.
Sago pudding - sago pearls served with coconut milk and gula Melaka syrup.
Over the years I have found the food at Sambal to be consistently good and full of flavour. I have yet to be disappointed with a meal here. However, on this particular occasion their service did leave much to be desired. It took so long for our boiled rice to be served, even after all the main dishes arrived at our table. It also took too long for our table to be cleared before we could order our desserts. The young man attending to us was obviously run off his feet and I could see he struggled to multi task.
But we got there eventually. And the pleasant surprise at the end of the meal was Andrew insisted on our desserts being free of charge. I think that was his way of apologising for forgetting my reservation. Good one Andrew!
Thanks SB and your family for joining me on this Malaysian food adventure. Thanks also for shouting me dinner, didn't expect that! I was delighted to finally meet your family. :-)
Shop 7, 285-297 Lane Cove Road
Tel: +612 9889 7977
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- Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.