Sambal is one of only a small handful of Malaysian restaurants in Manchester and it’s the only one in Chorlton. It has an excellent reputation in the Malaysian community with loyal customers driving for hours to eat there – but you can get the tram to Barlow Moor Road. It doesn’t look like much from the outside but book ahead if you can because it is very popular.
Inside, it looks a bit like someone’s front room only with more tables and chairs. That is exactly the vibe. It’s a family-run restaurant and the food is homely and authentic. The owner and matriarch is a force of nature, explaining menus and Malaysian food culture whilst simultaneously bossing everyone around to make sure the tables are cleared fast enough.
The menu is quite concise with variations on nasi lemak, nasi goreng, mee goreng and sambal dishes but the flavours are so deep and rich and vivid. It’s like going from black and white to glorious technicolour in one mouthful.
Sambal is not fancy but it is fantastic.