The Sambal

Wednesday
11:00am - 3:00pm
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Shop A 432 Kent Street Sydney 2000
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If there’s one way to test the quality and ambition of an Indonesian restaurant, it’s through its sambal. A good one will have at least one pungent, spicy combo. A great one may have two. The Sambal has seven.

Owners Nessiana Pamudji and Ferry Tshai have worked previously in kitchens at Bar H, Billy Kwong and China Diner, but here they’re serving a cuisine they’re much more attached to – traditional Indonesian food. All the recipes are Pamudji’s mum's.

The sambals here include a vicious tomato; an eggplant version; a mild potato and chicken liver; and two different anchovy-based sambals. Each comes on a small plate to be used as a dip for the rest of the menu – recognisable dishes such as rending; sate ayam; nasi goreng; Indonesian fried chicken; and a few lesser-known specialities such as Padang-style tendon curry and lontong sayur, a rice cake-and-tempe soup. All of which, besides for the noodle dishes, are served in miniature portions with price tags to match; that way you can try more things.

The restaurant, while cutely designed by Pamudji based on the idea of a warung (a small, usually improvised street side stall), is just folding tables, a wooden takeaway counter stacked with homemade crackers, and a rolled-up garage-door entrance.

Updated: June 16th, 2020

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