A good while ago, I wrote about Sambal Shiok on both their signature laksa and popular satay burger. It all started out as a pop-up but now they finally have a permanent home in London!
Located on Holloway Road, the Sambal Shiok restaurant is a small intimate one. After the recent publicity on Time Out London, do expect to queue. Nevertheless, if you’re going in a group of four or more, you can actually make a booking.
We went for an early dinner before the TimeOut article came out so we’re very lucky that we didn’t have to queue. Though they did say to us we needed to return the table by an hour and a half for the next reservation and a small queue did start to form later the evening.
Inside the restaurant, tables are closely packed and there are some stools by the open kitchen bar table. As such, I would recommend keeping it a small group when you visit as space is scarce. Apart from that, the restaurant is very vibrant and buzzing, though the music was a bit too loud to our liking.
As for the food, the menu is straightforward. It features a couple of starters, the laksa (with toppings options of plain/prawns/chicken/vegan), and a couple of rice dishes. As for drinks, there are a few Malaysian signatures such as Lemongrass & Chilli Iced Tea and Rose Milk (it’s pink in colour and perfect for cooling down from the Laksa’s heat).
Here is what we ordered:
Malaysian Fried Chicken (£8.30)
For starters, we went with the Malaysian Fried Chicken which is basically crispy fried chicken pieces served with a peanut sauce. The coating of the fried chicken carried a hint of satay flavour, which paired impeccably with the peanut sauce. A mild hint of spice on it played well on the palate as well. The peanut sauce was not to be confused with the traditional satay sauce. It had a sweeter touch and it’s the peanut dressing sauce for a traditional Indonesian gado gado salad.
Moving on to the main stars of Sambal Shiok, we ordered one each of prawn and chicken for the Laksas. You get to pick your preferred spice level when ordering. I find the normal spice is already quite spicy for a lot of people but if you fancy a more extreme spice, why not try extra hot.
The laksa broth was very spicy and aromatic, though I remembered it being more fragrant back when I tried it back at their pop-up days. It’s very delicious overall but seemed to lack depth in flavours compared to before. Still a good one, nonetheless.
Beef Rendang (£13.50)
Then we also ordered the Beef Rendang, which consisted of tender beef chunks in a coconut-y curried sauce. The meat was generally tender but it was slightly dry in my opinion. I enjoyed the mild spice and sweetness, which paired nicely with the steamed rice that came serving on the side. The jasmine rice was very fragrant and the dish was also served with sweet cucumber red onion pickles.
…I couldn’t be happier for Sambal Shiok’s achievement. Setting up a permanent site from being is a really huge milestone. Food was good overall though it seemed to have faltered a bit from before. By this time, I believe it’s going to be quite a queue to visit the place. So gather yourself a group of 4 so that you can make a booking!
All meats are halal at Sambal Shiok.
Alcohol is present at the restaurant.
Nearest station: Highbury & Islington / Holloway Road
Check out other Malaysian restaurants in London
I have mentioned Mei Mei on my London Bridge Food Guide a little while ago, a relatively new addition to Borough Market that has caught …
I jog past Queensway all the time and would pop by the oriental supermarket there every now and then. But I’ve never really taken any …
Save & pin this post!