Some updates about life in Sydney! Yes I have started working for close to 2 weeks now, and recently found a place of my own to stay! Believe me when I say that the rental market here is extremely competitive! I had gone through at least 5 rejections before finally landing this apartment but I have no complaints. This place is close to work, clean and is not too expensive. Perfect! Now after being here for more than 6 weeks, I do have cravings for Malaysian food. Thankfully, there’s Sambal to the rescue. The restaurant that boasts of Singaporean and Malaysian cuisine is my favorite joint to cure my char kuey teow fix.
Penang Char Kuey Teow
Located along Lane Cove road just minutes of walk from the Macquarie Park train station, Sambal is always packed especially during the weekends. They have weekend specials during lunch, with different dishes offered every week on the month. KL Hokkien Mee is one of the dishes that is only offered during the weekends, so we gave that a try. Fried to a silky black finish, I found the noodles to be a tad too sweet. The noodles were chewy and nice, although slightly different from the ‘dai lok min’ we usually have. I think it would have been much nicer with some pork lard? But I realize that in Australia, generally people are more health-conscious and food tend to be less oily.
KL Hokkien Mee (AUD$14.80)
The Mee Rebus was commendable, with actual egg noodles being used and all the usual deep fried suspects present. The only thing I found amusing was that they used lemon instead of lime for the dash of sour. I thought the combination was slightly weird at first, but grew to accept it. Apparently it’s quite hard to find lime here, hence the replacement by lemon.
Mee Rebus (AUD$13.80)
My favorite dish of all has to be the Penang Char Kuey Teow. There was a choice of either mild, medium or hot that one could choose from, and being me, of course I went for the hot option. I didn’t regret it. I have always liked my char kuey teow to be spicy and hot! The version at Sambal was spicy enough and had a nice aroma. I thought it was done pretty good considering I did not find any pork lard used. The only difference was the flat noodles ‘hor fun’ used here was thicker than the ones found in Penang. That perhaps affected the flavor and texture a little, but it’s quite close to the real thing. I was definitely satisfied.
Penang Char Kuey Teow (AUD$12.30)
Teh Tarik is another of Malaysia’s specialty, so it was also offered here. This was a little lacking in terms of the flavor from the tea, for I only tasted the milk instead. I found that the tea from another Malaysian restaurant called Mamak, was much better and thicker too.
The Tarik (AUD$4)
Last but not least, we shared a bowl of Cendol for dessert. When the bowl was served, I didn’t expect much but it turned out to be pretty good. The cendol pieces were fat and chewy, not starchy like how some would be. Most importantly, the gula Melaka or palm sugar used was fabulous. It was very aromatic and went extremely well with the santan. They were definitely not stingy with quality ingredients.
Overall, I’d say that the Malaysian food here is surely above average and Sambal deserves a pat on its back for doing such a good job. The dining environment is fairly spacious and comfortable, service is prompt and food is genuinely Malaysian. I’ll be back to try out their roti and nasi lemak, when the craving comes.
Sambal along Lane Cove Road
285-297, Lane Cove Road,
North Ryde 2113,
New South Wales, Australia
Tel No.: (+612) 9889 7977