Perhaps the Malay tiger has been tamed a little too far at this cheap, cheerful entry from Samsudin Yunus (Sam Satay). The Eggplant Sambal ($10) failed to raise even a bead of sweat, but the silky wedges of eggplant were pleasurable anyway. In contrast, the Penang Laksa ($12) was sour and fishy enough to scare away the unfamiliar. Forewarned is forearmed though, and the concerned staff were emphatic: “You won’t like this.” Among the success stories were Abang Sam’s Famous Satay Sticks ($9 / 6 pieces) accompanied by a good peanut sauce, cucumber, onion and neat little squares of compressed rice; and the rich and complex Rendang Daging ($14) with falling apart hunks of beef. My love of roti has almost become a fetish, so believe me when I tell you that they’re good here; the Roti Canai ($9/2 piece) is best with the chicken curry dipping sauce over the bland dhal. While the pink and purple lighting are eye-catching from outside, inside there is a function centre feel – but as the name suggests, you’re welcome to bring the kids. They’ll probably want an Ais Kacang ($6) because it looks like a shave-ice; it’s surprisingly complex within from palm seed, crushed corn kernels, grass jelly, red beans and brown sugar syrup.
Abang Sam Malaysian Family Restaurant
Shop 1, 214 Anzac Parade, Kensington
Ph: (02) 9662 6554