*Sambal Shiok now has a permanent shop at Holloway Road*
I’ve been seeing Sambal Shiok sweeping all over social media for months now. It might have taken me a while, but I’ve finally managed to find time to pay it a visit.
It all started from being crowned as one of the best street foods in London, sweeping people’s feet with robust Malaysian flavours, which then led to taking up pop-up residencies across the city. So far they have been setting up their pop up restaurant at The Sun & 13 Cantons in Soho for lunch and dinner sessions (see the end of the post for opening days and times).
My afternoon event got cancelled last minute while I was already on the way. Since I’m already out anyways, I thought I might as well spend the day wandering around the city. Then it occurred to me this could be the perfect chance to head down to Soho and pay Sambal Shiok a visit over lunch!
Lunch session starts from 12 to 2:30 pm. It was a Tuesday and it was quite quiet there as I arrived at 12 pm. There weren’t any other customers in there when I first arrived but a few tables started to fill up very soon.
There is a standard menu which offers Malaysian classics such as Laksa, Nasi Lemak etc. On the specials menu, to my absolute delight, there’s Hainanese Chicken Rice! You can order the rice in snack size or in full portion – after knowing the option is available, I decided to go all out and ordered one Laksa and one snack-size Hainanese Chicken Rice for myself.
There were a few laksa options available on the menu. I ordered the Kari Laksa Udang, i.e.with a prawn topping. As the dish arrived at the table, its stunning fragrance and aroma swept across the table and the room.
The laksa was spicy and hot, which was very exciting. The texture in general was quite thick. While the laksa I usually have are more coconut-y and milder in general, this one has more intense lemongrass and herb-y flavours. The bowl consists rice noodles, tofu puffs, bean sprouts, prawns and garnished with parsley. The prawns are nice and big, and they are cooked just right to an al dente texture. As for the tofu puffs, I feel they could be soaked in the soup for a bit longer to absorb more flavours so I left them last to eat and by that time they have soaked up the essence and flavours of the tremendous laksa!
Hainanese Chicken Rice
As for the Hainanese Chicken Rice, it smelled absolutely stunning as well. In a nutshell, the Hainanese Chicken Rice here consists poached ginger chicken, garlic butter rice & ginger chilli sauce. It is also served with some pickled cucumber and bean sprouts. The chicken was incredibly soft and tender. It tasted really refreshing and clean. It felt healthy and clean either as it’s skinless and non-greasy at all.
That swift of aroma mainly comes from the rice, which is mixed with garlic and butter. Personally, I would like the rice to be fluffier but it’s all in all pretty staisfyingl. The pickled cucumber and bean sprouts tasted incredibly refreshing and were super appetizing. To be honest, if taking the rice out of the dish, since the chicken tasted so clean and the vegetables so appetizing, they could make one amazing starter dish alone. It’s a bit different from the typical Hainanese Chicken Rice I’m used to growing up having but this new twist on the classic dish works perfectly fine either.
Sambal Shiok Pop Up Opening Times
Sambal & Shiok is only opened at The Sun & 13 Cantons until 2nd October. Lunch session runs from Tuesdays to Fridays from 12-2:30 pm and 12:30-3 pm on Saturdays. Dinner runs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays 5:30-8:30 pm. From my knowledge, they also do a street food stall at the South Bank Market selling their award-winning Chicken Satay burger. They’re definitely worth checking out!
My Rating: 4.3/5
[…] around London (the only other one I know of is from Sambal Shiok – check out my previous post), that’s why I immediately get really excited about it when I saw it on the […]