Sambal Kampung is located in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown. It is one of the few Malaysian restaurants that have opened up in recent years on Little Bourke St. It’s probably my most visited Malaysian restaurant in the CBD as there aren’t many Malaysian restaurants to choose from in the city.
I believe there have been changes in menu and cooking over the years though so it can be a bit inconsistent and well, I went there a couple weeks ago and it definitely wasn’t as good as before.
The image on top is of their variation of the Mee Goreng, and to be honest, it was actually quite good. I’m not a big fan of the sweet and strong tomato tasting Mee Goreng’s, and in this dish it isn’t overpowering. It also has hints of chilli with it too, so that’s a plus. Squeezing some lemon juice on top also gives this dish an added layer of freshness over the slightly oiled noodles so overall it’s a balanced Mee Goreng.
We ordered a Tom Yum Nasi Goreng, with seafood. I expected it to have a a really fake tom yum taste but again I was pleasantly surprised with how it tasted. It wasn’t too overpowering but you could definitely taste that it was tom yum and it had a great balance between the spicy, sweet and sour elements of tom yum. Matched with the nicelycooked seafood, it was quite a nice dish.
Their satay snack dish is one of their newer menu items and it was again, surprisingly tasty with loads of flavour.
The few negatives I would say about this was the actual meat was overcooked and a tad dry, and since there wasn’t really enough satay sauce to dip into, parts of the meat went without sauce and it didn’t taste as good.
Also the fresh cucumber was soft when it should be crunchy with some bite to it. You could tell it was probably not at its peak ripeness.
However, the satay sauce was the hero of the dish. It was packed with flavour. It had a strong nutty flavour, slightly sweet balanced against a great nutty and slightly viscous texture.
I was a bit disappointed with their drinks menu. The black jelly drink had no sweetness to it at all, and was just ladled with ice so you didn’t really get your monies worth.
Same goes for the Three Colours drink, which had red bean, cendol, syrup and ice. It didn’t have the sweetness to make it nice, as the red bean and cendol aren’t sweet at all. The loads of shaved ice also made this a difficult drink to well…drink. It just made what sweetness was existent disappear when the ice melts and so it was just kinda bland.
As mentioned before, we ate here again and it was disappointing to see that their dishes just lacked the flavour that it used to have.
234 Little Bourke Street
(03) 9663 2666