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The Sambal

  • Restaurants
  • Sydney
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
The Sambal
Photograph: Supplied

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A CBD Indo restaurant run by two pedigreed chefs looking to get back to their roots

If you order rendang, rice and beef ribs for two, you might be disappointed. The rendang, while aromatic and chocolatey-brown from more than four hours of cooking, is not an especially large portion. Neither are the ribs, the chilli-smothered eggplant and most things at the Sambal. Think of it more like a tapas restaurant that trades tempranillo for – everything snack-sized, designed to share and priced accordingly (most plates hovering around the ten-buck mark). 

This format provides the perfect platform to explore the Javanese style of Indonesian cuisine; even with two people, you can order what would usually be an inappropriately colossal amount of food. As the restaurant’s name proudly suggests, the main focus here is what is usually just an afterthought elsewhere, sambal. Every iteration of the chilli-based relish is made in-house by Nessiana Pamudji (a Bar H and China Doll alumna) and Ferry Tshai (ex-Fei Jai and Billy Kwong). There are seven options from an alarmingly crimson-brown tomato relish to a lighter and sweeter anchovy and peanut iteration. Eat them on their own, spread them like chunky peanut butter onto a hunk of grilled chicken or stir one into your rice cake and coconut soup.

For CBD workers looking for a quick bite and flight local, there are a few larger dishes designed for exactly that. The most conveniently smashable is a particularly smoky nasi goreng, but there's mee goreng, too. 

Written by
Nicholas Jordan


Shop A/432
Kent Street
Opening hours:
Mon, 11am-3pm; Tue-Wed, 11am-8pm; Thu-Sat, 11am-9pm
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