A roofed but open air outlet in the midst of a Malay village, Sambal Hijau offers kampung (village) style Malay cuisine and a mix of Minang recipes.
The kampung (village) environment is a bonus and the outlet’s regulars love it precisely for the laid-back ambiance.
It is perfect for those who prefers not to be reminded too much of the city.
A recent facelift has turned the outlet into a proper premise with LCD TVs installed, ceiling fans and hygienic wash areas.
Tables and chairs are placed quite close together so be prepared to share tables during peak meal-times.
Being spoilt for choice is a massive understatement here at Sambal Hijau. Though business starts at 7am, the best selection of dishes is laid out by about 11:30 a.m; just in time for lunch.
The crowd gets crazy during lunch so it’s best to be early. Besides, the early bird gets choice pick.
I estimated about 50+ dishes at Sambal Hijau on a typical day. These are all fresh and adeptly prepared, laid out in a long buffet-like spread.
It is self-service so grab your own plates and heap on your choice of dishes.
The staff goes around taking beverage orders and will calculate the prices of your meal at your table.
While the ubiquitous curries of fish, chicken and beef rendang are present, I would recommend to start with the freshly grilled fish. Selections include stingray, mackerel and siakap.
This is best paired with their famous sambal, the black spicy kicap and a squeeze of lime.
Their crunchy yet tender paru is also a winner, so scoop those onto your plate it before it runs out.
The delectable Minang specialties here are the Gulai Tunjang (braised beef tendon with spices and coconut milk) and Daging Salai curry.
The tendons are soft and the creamy curry packs a punch. However this is pricier at about RM10 – RM12 per serving due to its long process of tendering the tendon. Still, this is not commonly available and if you love your spare parts, heap a generous serving on your plate and enjoy!
Another plus point of the spread is that there’s no lack of greens to accompany your meal.
So if you’re a vegetarian, you will still be spoiled for choice. Go for the green herbs and vegetables in form of ulam and flavour them with loads of sambal. Else pile up on the cooked vegetables which are mainly stir fried, cooked in soups or steamed with chilli paste.
After you have polished off that last bit of food on your plate, saunter over to the dessert counter and take your fill of some local Malay desserts. Some are warm, some cold and most are made locally.
There are packaged cakes in small boxes, steamed and baked pastries and jellies to cool down the heat of the day.
Sharing of tables is common since most of the tables here are the long canteen types. However, everybody is accustomed to the sharing policy and most considerate diners do not linger after meals especially during peak hours so if it’s full house, a patient wait of 10 minutes should get you a place to sit.
Payment is at the cashier counter and pricing is reasonable for the portion and quality.
Our meal of 3 plates of rice with chicken, fish, vegetables, drinks and desserts came up to about RM40.
The taste of food is consistent over the few visits I have had over the past 6 months so I was hardly ever disappointed.
My only grouse would be the temperature of the food (stone cold) especially if it’s after 1pm.
So it is best to go early so you will be able to enjoy piping hot food as it comes out from the kitchen.
Restoran Sambal Hijau
Location: Lot 2990 Kg. Sg. Penchala, Kampung Sungai Penchala, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 77312045
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 2:00am (Monday – Sunday)
Muslim Owned: Y
100% Halal Ingredients: Y
Cleanliness Grade – B
Serves Alcohol: N
Extra Comments/Notes: Prices are nett. Self service for food, service available for beverages.