UPDATE: Sambalacha Cafe Bangkok is now called Good Nonya Food Delivery. No longer a dine-in restaurant they can be reached by the same Facebook address in the article and deliver AMAZING Singaporean fare throughout Bangkok.
I am no expert in Singaporean cuisine. But after reading foodie reviews from both The Roaming Cook and Stranger in Bangkok (both excellent resources for discovering new Bangkok places to chow!) about William Pang and the Sambalacha Cafe Bangkok by Uncle Pang Singapore I became very eager to try it. This being my first experience with Singaporean dishes did not disappoint!
Mr. Pang (or Uncle Pang) is incredibly warm and hospitable. He is very informative about the dishes, and eager to make recommendations based on what your food preferences are. The meals are prepared fresh (with the kitchen being out in the open so that you can watch them prepare it if you like) and delivered hot and steaming. It makes you feel like you are receiving a home-cooked meal.
We ordered the beef rendang with roti pancakes, hokkein mee noodles (with shrimp and squid), a little side dish of coconut rice and savory snacks, and (not pictured) a couple of fried mashed potato pancakes (I don’t recall the name).
The beef rendang is made of incredibly flavorful and tender chunks of beef in a curry like sauce that has so many layers of heat and flavor. The spices will make you sweat, but they don’t leave you feeling like you just ate a bowl of razorblades. It’s heat and it’s flavor that’s balanced so perfectly you smile and wipe sweat from your brow. It’s like spicy crack in that each bite leaves you wanting more. In fact, the waitress brought us another dish of beef rendang mistakenly (and we nearly dove in to it before both us and the waitress realized it wasn’t for us).
Anna and I recently went to Phuket (Karon Beach) and while we were there we fell in love with a dish that was on nearly every menu called Phuket Yellow Noodles. When this plate of steaming noodles arrived on a bed of banana leaves we thought, “Oh yeah!”. It looked, and smelled, and was very similar in taste to the Phuket Yellow Noodles we’d eaten, except this dish really knocked our socks off! Tender shrimp and squid, perfectly cooked noodles, and a sauce that had you scraping the banana leaves. This was definitely a hit!
The little side dish of coconut rice and savory snacks was on the menu as “My Mother’s Nasi Lemak”. This is a family recipe that William (Uncle Pang) is proud of and therefore it MUST be tried. I would love to be able to eat this every morning for my breakfast…with beer. It’s perfect as a little meal to get you going, and yet it’s also perfect to snack on with a frosty malt beverage. It’s got everything for breakfast: a portioned bit of sweet coconut rice, pickled vegetable sticks, cucumbers, a hard-boiled egg. It’s also got everything for enjoying that beer: bits of dried fish (shipped specially from Penang for its mild and less salty flavor), a cracker, peanuts, and (not pictured) a perfectly fried chicken wing.
The dishes at Sambalacha Cafe are in the mid-range of pricing, and certainly a good value for the quality and quantity of food that is served. This meal which completely satiated myself and my partner Anna, along with milk tea, water, and a homemade barley drink was 800 baht. This is definitely a place worth going to if you enjoy Singaporean food or just want to try it for the first time.
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