Sambal Kampung

Location: 234 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $10-15 for noodles, $15-25 for made-to-order mains
Cost rating: 4/5
Taste rating: 5/10
Overall rating: 5/10
Would I come back? No

A small chinese-malaysian eatery, largely a student’s haunt for late dinner. On the day we saw surprisingly many young families, it must be family friendly too. We were seated upstairs. The stairs are narrow, the tables are small and packed in as tightly as they possibly allowed. You could elbow the person next table across if you wanted. The brick walls are decorated with christmas lights. That’s the sort of place it is.
NASI GORENG
Taste:4/10
Would I order it again? No.

Sweet kecap manis/ Emperor Nasi Goreng/ Remember that ad?*

Indonesian fried rice with chicken. If you cup your hands over your ears, you might be able to hear somebody’s throat have all its moisture sucked out from it. So much salt and MSG. The carrots are almost raw too. I have nothing against raw carrots, but they don’t belong in fried rice.

*: Youtube ‘bigpond nasi goreng ad’. Great ad, pity it was for Telstra.

LAKSA
Taste: 6/10
Would I order it again? Yes.

A helmet-sized bowl/ My preferred noodle vessel/ Not a real helmet

Watch out, it’s a basin of laksa.
It’s a different sort of spicy from the other laksas, not sweet-spicy but dry-spicy. The coconut milk adds creaminess and rounds out a lot of the dry-spiciness. Again, it’s very salty. We did arrive fairly late, so the laksa broth must have been boiled down into something saltier than usual. It was still edible, as long as you drank a fair amount of water and avoided most of the soup. In the laksa there is a boiled egg, some boyshoy, dried fried tofu puffs, two small crystal prawns, sliced fish cake, fish balls and plenty of fried shallots. There is also some chicken at the bottom. Its appearance isn’t as clean or neat as the other laksas, but I don’t mind the appearance. Apart from the salt, it would have been a satisfactory laksa.

 

LYCHEE DRINK
Taste: 3/10
Would I order it again? No.

lychee tapwater/ Not as tasty as you think/ Lychees were okay

Tap water with some syrup from canned lychees, and then some canned lychees. It could have been okay, but too watery. The tap water has a metallic, minerally, chalky taste too.

 

SANBOLIANG
Taste: 6/10
Would I order it again? No.

Sugar will fix it/ Fix my drink but not my teeth/ Trip to the dentist

 

San Bo Liang is a drink made of primarily three ingredients, all of which have ‘cooling’ properties according to chinese medicine philosophy. One of them is the longan fruit, which has always been a ‘heating’ food (or so I am told). That…. doesn’t seem right. Whatever the case may be, sanboliang has canned longan fruit, some grass jelly, and a brown palm sugar syrup. It’s much tastier than the lychee drink.
But, I wouldn’t come back with company just to have laksa and sanboliang.

 

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