I’ve been wanting to try Sambol Sri Lankan Kitchen since they first opened up shop. I probably say that a lot but seriously guys, there are so many good places to eat on 34 Ave! Tons of Korean, Indian and Northern Chinese (Noodle Feast – one of my favourite places to eat in town). Well, my buddy E was in town from Van so we obviously had to try something new. None of us have ever had Sri Lankan food before so we decided to check them out.
We came on a Thursday evening around 7pm and the place was pretty empty save for one other table that came in simultaneously as us. Hope they’re busier on the weekends. Interesting that they’re closed Monday and Tuesday (like Noodle Feast).
The interior is simply decorated but clean, well lit and feels quite spacious. I really liked the set up, especially the cushions along the walls was a nice touch.
There are lots of options on the menu but the waitress talked us through the menu. It’s split into a few categories – bowls, bowls for sharing, small bites/short eats, sambols/salads, roti/rice/hoppers and desserts.
We had a bit of trouble figuring out the best way to order but I’d recommend ordering a bowl or two and supplement with a couple of Sri Lanken side specialties.
The black pepper chicken was cooked perfectly and was incredibly tender. You don’t normally get that with chicken but this was top notch. The eggplant was also great (I knew I should have ordered a full dish of eggplant on it’s own. Next time). Everything was fresh and bursting with flavour. Our favourite dish of the night.
Kotthu bowl with mutton ($15.00)
Street food made to perfection. Sautéed vegetables with delicious doughy roti and a splash of curry. I was loving all of the vegetables. The side of curry sauce is very similar to what you get when you order roti at a Malaysian restaurant. Yum.
String hoppers ($4.00)
5 string hoppers served with a side of coconut gravy and sambol. The sambol gave a nice little kick to the string hoppers, which look like vermicelli noodles shaped into circles. Add a bit of the symbol and top it with the coconut to get the best of both worlds. Really interesting dish and for $4, you can’t go wrong.
Black pepper beef ($11.00)
There are three options to choose from (curry, black pepper, or devilled). We went with black pepper – the spice is prominent but not in an intrusive way. You can clearly tell that its black pepper, that’s all I’m saying. Good stuff again. Freshly ground spices makes a world of difference.
4 hoppers served with a side of sambol. The hoppers came out last and I thought it was a perfect way to end our meal. Made from rice flour and coconut milk, these were light, fragrant, airy goodies. The texture reminded me of a crepe and the slight sweetness from the coconut was like eating a light dessert. Served with a side of seen sambol (caramelized onions), it was the perfect accompaniment.
We were stuffed so we passed on dessert. Super stoked that Sambol lived up to expectations. My buddy J couldn’t stop saying how “faboulous” everything was. Seriously, it was like he was on that multiple times throughout our meal. Did I also mention how cheap our meal was??? About $20/person with all of the food we ordered. Such a gooooooood deal.
Both the owners and chef came to see us a few times during our meal to ask how everything was, which was a nice touch. Very genuine and friendly people. Everything was fresh, flavourful and fantastic. I will definitely be back to try more of their dishes.
GO GO GO.
Sambol Sri Lankan Kitchen
9261 – 34 Avenue