On the Web
Time Out - Eating & Drinking Guide 2008
“In 2006 this tiny 34-year-old veteran received a sleek makeover from the designers of Wagamama and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Prices may have increased as a result, but Satay House remains popular with Malaysians, including the royal family, who appear to regard it as a home from home. The new design, led by stencil cuts of the country’s national flower (the hibiscus), supports rather than detracts from the food which remains exemplary. The satay, served in the traditional way with cucumber, onion, rice cubes and a fantastic peanut sauce, continues to be a treat. The nasi lemak (coconut rice), with its fiery prawn sambal and crisp accompaniments (roasted peanuts, deep-fried anchovies), also remains the best in town. We loved the golden squares of roti telur (Malaysian bread with egg and onion) and adored the richly flavoured rendang daging, where large cubes of beef had seemingly melted into the accompanying spices. Bursting at the seams, we finished with a comforting glass of es kacang: a pleasingly sweet and refreshing mix of shaved ice, rose syrup, red beans, evaporated milk and jelly. Tucked down a residential side street, this is one of London’s culinary wonders.” Read full review...
“The open kitchen still churns out great heaps of sizzling satays and a huge selection of authentic curries, with the inventive combinations of ingredients that have resulted from Malaysia's cultural melting pot.” Read full review...
In the Press
Harden's Guide - City A.M
"Its prior lack of profile may result from a not totally unreasonable assumption that it’s all about meat-on-sticks. But this is far from true. The satay are good, but form a tiny introduction to a menu that’s long, varied and bordering on incomprehensible. Don‘t worry, though, everything is good. The bread was interesting. There are deep-fries (squid was a standout), there are curries (we enjoyed the eggs very much), and there’s all manner of unfamiliar concoctions (the best of which in our meal included aubergine and anchovies, though whether they came separately or as part of the same dish, our recollection blurs)."
"As exciting (and spicy) culinary adventures go, you could do very much worse. It’s high time this veteran oriental was placed firmly on London’s culinary map."
Evening Standard - A REVAMPED STREET SENSATION
"Hawker food (street food) is at the heart of the cuisine and it is what gratifies Malaysians themselves, for whom Satay House is one of the comparatively few homes from home in London. Even although it now sports oak tables, leather-upholstered seating, dewdrop lighting and a plasma-screen television, it has not lost the core clientele of regulars. Probably the closest I'll come to owning a pair of Jimmy Choo's is knowing that the Penang-born shoemaker is also a customer here."
"The more casual ground floor was fully occupied when we visited last week and so we found ourselves in the basement with the TV screen and banquettes. I defy anyone to keep their eyes averted from moving pictures. I gave up and watched inexplicable Malaysian costume dramas interspersed with travelogues depicting the beauty of the area."
"A notably sweet and friendly woman, who may have been one of the second-generation owners, took our order which turned out to be far too much food, as everything is served in quantity ideal for several people sharing."
"Unsurprisingly, the house speciality is satay. Six skewers - we chose three of chicken, three of lamb - are served with rice cubes, cucumber, raw onion and the peanut-based nubbly, spicy sauce for £6.10. They arrive branded and fragrant, hot from the charcoal grill. With them we ate the rich layered bread called roti canai served with dalca - similar to Indian sambar."
"Nasi means rice, mee means noodles. Both are the basis of various, subtly different, equally delectable assemblies. The word goreng refers to stir-frying as the cooking method. Nasi goreng, which includes shredded beef, shrimp, egg and vegetables, was good but not as incredibly good as kway teow (flat rice noodles) goreng sayur with seafood, egg and vegetables bathed in a dark, moody sauce."
"Other items which proved almost superfluous included udang (prawns) galah goreng berlada, kingsized creatures fried in ground chillies and rendang daging, beef slow-cooked in coconut milk and spices."
"A vegetable dish seemed sensible. We tried kangkong belacan, water convolvulus fried with shrimp paste - less tangled than you might imagine So far, Malaysian food hasn't been traduced by supermarkets and most of us are unlikely to rustle up the dishes at home - more sound reasons to visit the revamped Satay House."