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Sambal Shiok

London

Sambal Shiok

BEST NEW BISTRO

Sambal Shiok

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #12

WHO
Trading in her law job for pots and pans, Mandy Yin first opened her much-loved laksa bar as a market street food stall in 2013. She took her fiery noodle soup, a product of Malay and Chinese cooking from Kuala Lumpur – much like herself – through years of supperclubs, pop-ups and residencies. Last June, the London laksa queen finally settled down on Holloway Road, where she attracts long lines every night for a taste of her signature curry laksa.

FOOD
Stick to basics with her standard, full heat laksa, based on campur laksa from Malacca, that will set your mouth on fire (“we don't do mild, sorry” – you’ve been warned): a shrimp-based broth, fat rice noodles, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts and green beans. Slurp it all up – £9.30
Pimped out versions include chicken, prawn, both or the vegan special – £10.80-13.80
You can do vegan broth, egg noodles, and/or add as many toppings as you like. If you can’t resist, throw in some extra charred long sweet Asian aubergines – £1.50
Assam laksa special on Wednesday nights – £12
A special treat at Saturday brunch, with the traditional Nasi Lemak coconut rice plate with fried baby anchovies and shrimp sambal – £7.90
Malay sweet and sour cod with green beans, fish sauce and tamarind – £12.90
A refreshing coconut and pandan pudding, topped with toasted peanuts and mint – £5
Kids have their own mini bowls, featuring one rice or noodle base and two toppings – £5

DRINKS
Lemongrass and chili iced tea to cool things down – £3
A short wine and beer list, thoughtfully curated by Zeren Wilson (bittenandwritten.com).
Local Pale Fire, a pale ale from Pressure Drop Brewery just up North in Tottenham – £4.85
A 2016 Trocken, a dry German Riesling by Gerrit Walter – £7.50 glass, £34 bottle
A 2016 organic Sicilian Nero d’Avola by Sibiliano – £4.9 glass, £24 bottle

DECOR
The bold MSTR Gringo design studio (Breddos Tacos, Radio Alice…) took inspo from the Malaysian national flag to create a bright, joyful eatery: vibrant blue from the shop window to the walls, vivid red on the countertop and the chairs, vibrant graphic artwork, green plants and hints of gold, all under red Chinese lanterns. The stainless steel open kitchen in the left corner keeps everything low-key.

NOISE
It’s all about the sound of broth being slurped up and kitchen commotion.

SEATING
On a high stool around the open kitchen, or on a vintage-style school chair next to the front window, to soak up the sunlight at Saturday brunch.

VIBE
Packed, warm, no fuss. Old ladies, Asian crowds, hipsters, and families slurping in unison.

RESTROOMS
A cramped cupboard in the back, nothing worth noting.

SERVICE
Busy and friendly. 12.50% discretionary service charge added to your bill, as usual in London.
Payment by card only.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Yes! To anyone not afraid of turning up the heat, or to your just-back-from-Malaysia laksa-obsessed mate.

WHO
Trading in her law job for pots and pans, Mandy Yin first opened her much-loved laksa bar as a market street food stall in 2013. She took her fiery noodle soup, a product of Malay and Chinese cooking from Kuala Lumpur – much like herself – through years of supperclubs, pop-ups and residencies. Last June, the London laksa queen finally settled down on Holloway Road, where she attracts long lines every night for a taste of her signature curry laksa.

FOOD
Stick to basics with her standard, full heat laksa, based on campur laksa from Malacca, that will set your mouth on fire (“we don't do mild, sorry” – you’ve been warned): a shrimp-based broth, fat rice noodles, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts and green beans. Slurp it all up – £9.30
Pimped out versions include chicken, prawn, both or the vegan special – £10.80-13.80
You can do vegan broth, egg noodles, and/or add as many toppings as you like. If you can’t resist, throw in some extra charred long sweet Asian aubergines – £1.50
Assam laksa special on Wednesday nights – £12
A special treat at Saturday brunch, with the traditional Nasi Lemak coconut rice plate with fried baby anchovies and shrimp sambal – £7.90
Malay sweet and sour cod with green beans, fish sauce and tamarind – £12.90
A refreshing coconut and pandan pudding, topped with toasted peanuts and mint – £5
Kids have their own mini bowls, featuring one rice or noodle base and two toppings – £5

DRINKS
Lemongrass and chili iced tea to cool things down – £3
A short wine and beer list, thoughtfully curated by Zeren Wilson (bittenandwritten.com).
Local Pale Fire, a pale ale from Pressure Drop Brewery just up North in Tottenham – £4.85
A 2016 Trocken, a dry German Riesling by Gerrit Walter – £7.50 glass, £34 bottle
A 2016 organic Sicilian Nero d’Avola by Sibiliano – £4.9 glass, £24 bottle

DECOR
The bold MSTR Gringo design studio (Breddos Tacos, Radio Alice…) took inspo from the Malaysian national flag to create a bright, joyful eatery: vibrant blue from the shop window to the walls, vivid red on the countertop and the chairs, vibrant graphic artwork, green plants and hints of gold, all under red Chinese lanterns. The stainless steel open kitchen in the left corner keeps everything low-key.

NOISE
It’s all about the sound of broth being slurped up and kitchen commotion.

SEATING
On a high stool around the open kitchen, or on a vintage-style school chair next to the front window, to soak up the sunlight at Saturday brunch.

VIBE
Packed, warm, no fuss. Old ladies, Asian crowds, hipsters, and families slurping in unison.

RESTROOMS
A cramped cupboard in the back, nothing worth noting.

SERVICE
Busy and friendly. 12.50% discretionary service charge added to your bill, as usual in London.
Payment by card only.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Yes! To anyone not afraid of turning up the heat, or to your just-back-from-Malaysia laksa-obsessed mate.

CHEF

Mandy Yin

OPENING DAYS

Dinner only, except Saturday brunch. Closed on Sundays and Mondays

RESERVATIONS

Plan on reserving online a few days in advance. Otherwise, you’ll have to stand in line and wait a little while (it’s worth it).

WEBSITE

www.sambalshiok.co.uk

Cook-it-cool

CURRY LAKSA

Full recipe here

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