Sambal, North Ryde: Har mee

Rating: 3 out of 5

Sambal
285-297 Lane Cove Road, North Ryde 2113

har mee sambal

Laksa and char kway teow may be the most well-know Singaporean-Malaysian noodle dishes, but a stand out option for prawn lovers is always the har mee. It’s not for the faint hearted though, since the prawn stock can pack a punch. It is made from the simmering of prawn heads and shells, sometimes with the addition of pork, and the intense prawn smell and taste will overwhelm your senses.

The har mee at Sambal ($13.80) doesn’t quite hit you between the eyes like others that I’ve had.  It still has a lovely sweet, prawn flavour but it is not up there in the intensity scale.  This would be a good thing if this was your first ever har mee and you wanted to ease yourself into it, but for seasoned har mee veterens, this might be a tad disappointing.  It is a light-coloured broth, filled with the typical mix of yellow hokkien noodle and thin rice vermicelli.  It is topped with thinly sliced pork, which is a bit on the dry side, and within the soup you will find a few half slices of prawns, although you’ll be left foraging in your soup for more.  Mixed in with the noodles are fresh bean sprouts for some added crunch.

The service here at Sambal is pleasant and efficient, and even when it is jam packed during lunch service, the meals still come out relatively quickly.  There is a nice buzz and atmosphere here when it’s busy, and they have an outdoor dining section too, which would be fantastic on a nice sunny day.  Overall, it’s a decent Singaporean-Malaysian establishment.  The har mee may not be a huge hit with some, but will definitely appeal to others.  Just in case you were wondering, the laksa and char kway teow here are worth it.

Sambal on Urbanspoon

Asakaze, North Ryde: Karaage udon

Rating: 3 out of 5

Asakaze
Macquarie Centre, Herring & Waterloo Roads, North Ryde 2113

karaage udon

I’m normally not a huge udon noodle soup fan, if only because I usually prefer a fuller flavoured soup such as a tonkotsu or a laksa to the udon’s typically lighter flavoured kakejiru.  However, I was about to head to the gym for a work out and was looking for a light meal, so settled on the karaage udon at Asakaze.

The restaurant is within the Macquarie Centre shopping complex, and attempts to woo passerbys with their display of interesting and creative sushi offers.  Being a noodle fanatic, I was obviously going to go for either a ramen or a udon dish.  The service was polite, and the food arrived after only a short wait.

The bowl of steaming noodle soup was served with the karaage pieces bobbing on the top, getting soggier with each passing moment.  There were also thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms, a piece of fried tofu, kombu, shaved carrot, a slice of pink and white kamaboko, and finely chopped spring onions.  The thick white udon noodles were a little bit too soft, being noticeably chewier on the inside after biting through, but the light coloured kakejiru was not too salty with a tasty umami flavour.  The karaage was quite good, despite the soggy exterior, with the marinated chicken being tender and not too dry.

Overall, the karaage udon is satisfactory, filling a hole before you embark on a shopping expedition, or head to the movies or the gym.  It’s not particularly good value, with the modest portion size and a price tag of $12.90, however it’s hard to pick too many faults with it.

Asakaze Macquarie Centre on Urbanspoon