For those who studied in England in the 90's, many would remember coming to Satay House to get their Malaysian food fix. At that time, food was so-so and there was a karaoke in the basement. Not anymore. The original owners have taken it back and turned it into a cool eatery with a vermillion and chocolate interior designed to whet your appetities for their yummy food.
13 Sale Place
London W2 1PX
Tel: 020 7723 6763 (London)
Lunch: 12noon - 3.00pm Dinner: 6.00pm - 11.00pm
Fresh new look and great food.
Peanut Sauce is not the kind I like but I am not complaining
Our team was in London to film some of the top Malaysian restaurants for one of our online TV channels called Worlds Best Malaysian Restaurants and Satay House was not in the list. It was supposed to be a casual stroll along Praed Street, just off the Paddington Train Station in London crossing Satay House, on the way to my most ‘favouritest’ kebab shop in London called Lolita which dishes out delish kebabs for less that 5 pounds. And then I saw it. The new and improved exterior of Satay House. It looks… half decent.. stylish even. OMG! Have they changed owners? Are their food any good? Only one way to find out… let’s try them incognito. By the time we were done with Satay House, we were planning how to fit them in our already hectic schedule and filmed them two days later.
So, when a restaurant has Satay in the name, that should be the first dish to try. The grilled skewered chicken pieces come to the table with a couple of nasi impits (rice cakes) and kuah kacang (peanut sauce). Presentation wise, it looks absolutely beautiful. I am used to getting my satays over a greasy plate with the smell of charcoal smoke in the air. Not that I am complaining as that is how I like my satays to be but sometimes a different yet fresh view on our Satay is a welcome change. Authentic? Edible? Well the ingredients are all there. 'Cukup' (translates to complete) as the Malays would say. Not as good as the ones you get here in Malaysia but close. But I must say that the ingredients are definitely fresher.
In all our travels across the globe sampling Malaysian cuisine; whilst all of the good ones come close to being authentic, the ingredients used are of a much higher quality. And since Malaysian spices and herbs can be sourced easily from the nearest Chinatown, some of the dishes can be ..dare I say it... better than the ones here in Malaysia. So anyway, the only thing about this satay dish is that the peanut sauce is no Haji Samuri... but by the time we finished this dish, the sauce was nowhere in sight as well.
Next up, they have Ikan Bakar. According to Honey, this is her OMG! dish. She was lapping this up so fast, I hardly got a piece. A single Mackarel, gutted and lightly seasoned with lemongrass, tumeric, onions & spices… grilled until tender and succulent. This was a joy to eat. Highly recommended.
Their menu is extensive from roti canai, rendang, nasi lemak, assam pedas to teh tarik even ABC. The restaurant stashes a modern shaver somewhere in the basement for this. I am very surprised and glad that Satay House have pulled up their socks and are now serving food that I would proudly say represents a slice of the Malaysian Culture. They actually have someone to 'tebar' the roti canai so that it gets that fluffy texture associated with good roti. This is served a bit crispy with a side of dhal curry called 'dalcha'. Most items are reasonably priced by London standards that is (about 5-8 pounds per dish average). Authenticity is sometimes a matter of perception and open to debate. But I would say that if I had cravings for Malaysian food, this place will do just fine.
Fatizah Shawal, daughter of the current owners took back the franchise about 2 years ago and decided to manage it herself. She gave it a facelift. It now looks absolutely beautiful with an underground dining section that sports a more modern look and revamped the menu. Clientele has been both from the Malaysian and local (Londoners) crowd who now have cravings for our satay. You can finish off the meal with some desserts or go Malaysian local… order a teh tarik. Yes.. it will come to your table tasting just like the one here in Malaysia. Well done Satay House. Last we spoke… she is planning to open up a Satay House in Las Vegas. Check them out at http://www.satay-house.co.uk