Many a Londoner will have sampled some of Mandy Yin’s delicious Malaysian cooking over the years, most likely at one of her highly successful supperclubs or pop ups, or perhaps at her street food market stall in London’s Southbank.

I have followed Mandy’s journey since late 2015, when she, and wine connoisseur Zeren Wilson launched the Sambal Shiok and Bitten & Written pop up at the Newman Arms, entitled Laksa Nights, in October of that year. Needless to say I was well and truly hooked, and proceeded to follow Mandy’s culinary travels around the Capital for quite some time. Whether it was her kitchen takeover at SIN, her award winning Satay burger at the Southbank Market, or her six-month residency in Green Lanes, I couldn’t resist those spicy, fragrant, Malaysian inspired flavours.

Since then my palette, and preference has changed quite a lot, however with the announcement of the Summer opening of Mandy’s permanent base on Holloway Road, I couldn’t resist coming in for a taste of the Vegan Special.

Sambal Shiok – Gado Gado Salad

We started the meal with one of my all time favourite Malaysian dishes; Gado Gado salad drizzled with lashings of peanut sauce. The sweet and tangy flavour of the dressing mixed in with the fatty peanut sauce was delightful, and better yet it is Vegan too.

My friend ordered the Chicken Laksa medium heat and still found it quite hot. Chilli fans need only apply, this stuff is not for the faint hearted. Personally I tend love a bit of spice, though consider it more of a treat these days. I too ordered the medium heat and when it arrived thought Vegan special was divine! A comforting bowl of fat rice noodles, fried tofu puffs, bean sprouts, green beans, charred aubergine and sautéed potatoes, it was not as vibrant in colour as the meaty counterpart, however what it lacked in vibrancy, it more than made up for it in flavour.

Sambal Shiok – The Vegan Special

We’d been fortunate enough to get a seat at the bar when we arrived, though i’ve since seen via Social Media that there are queues are right out the door. And with some recent rave reviews from the likes of The Guardian now under her belt, it is of no surprise.

 Sambal Shiok is located 171 Holloway Road, London N7, Tel: 020-7619 9888. Open Tuesday-Saturday, dinner only, 5.30-10.30pm. Cards Only.

Art Eats Review:

Food 8/10
Service 9/10

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