Neighbourhood haunts; we all have one and we all, for some reason, love to flaunt it to visiting friends or family. We insist on our guests trying the place – “It’s the best food around!” – and subjecting the poor visitors to the greasy kebab joint or the mediocre curry house. These guests then don’t tend to visit again or trust any of your future food choices! However, sometimes, just sometimes, the local eatery just happens to serve up some great food and this is what happened when I decided to drop into BW’s neighbourhood last week.
Satay House is a cute, tiny building loved by many people. What I thought would be a quiet weekday evening, turned into a restaurant that was so full up that the only available booking for that particular night was at 9:30pm. Is it always like this, I wondered. To my amazement Satay House is doing something right as it always tends to jam-packed every day of the week according to BW!
For drinks, I went for a fresh watermelon juice that was refreshingly sweet and hydrating. There was no extra sugar added in – just pure juicy watermelon! This was a great way to pass time whilst we waited a whole 40 minutes for the food (yes, forty!).
Naturally, one would think that Satay House would have a menu full of satay, chicken, beef, prawn and so on, but there were just three options, lamb, chicken or veg! So we ordered a mix of lamb and chicken to share. Small flavourful chunks of juicy chicken and lamb were smooshed onto sticks – perfect for dunking into the complementing peanut sauce! Out of the two, the lamb satay reigned as ‘King of Satays’ for the night!
A huge lake of hot, spicy broth arrived to the table in which chicken pieces, squidgy tofu cubes and bouncy, egg noodles were floating around. The laksa felt like a nice, big hug that wrapped me in warmth – perfect for these bitter cold winter months coming up. I suggest ordering this to share as the portion really was large and between three of us, we couldn’t even finish it!
The name definitely has a ring ding deng to it. This stir fry beef mixed with herbs was sweet and tender where a fork could just easily cut straight through the flesh. This was in tie with the Kari Laksa as the best dishes of the night!
Ayam Masak Lemak Cili Api
This dish has possibly one of the longest names I have ever come across to describe chicken curry, but this dish was super good. The chillies were dangerously hot if eaten by itself but when eaten in a mouthful of chicken curry and rice they were able to add a big kick to your taste buds.
This was simply some seasonal greens to make the meal that extra bit healthy!
Oh yes, dessert time! After looking at the other desserts, I didn’t know whether to be safe or adventurous, and after such a great meal, I had to choose the safe option. So I ordered a crispy, deep-fried banana with sweet, sticky maple syrup and delicious chocolate ice cream. Yes, maple syrup and chocolate ice cream sounds weird – there was obviously some miscommunication between the waiter and our table but it wasn’t that bad when put all together! The banana could have been chopped up into smaller pieces to make it easier to devour, but apart from that, this was a good dessert choice!
However, a restaurant will never be perfect. For example, waiting forty minutes for a plate of satay to arrive is ridiculous considering the fact that they are called Satay House; however, their food is made from scratch once an order is placed indicating freshness. They also brought everything out to the table at once making our small table even smaller. This also caused a problem in trying all the dishes whilst hot and fresh.
Another problem was that the quality of the chicken in the curry was not great. It almost had a jelly like substance to it indicating fat/cartilage and the cut of the chicken wasn’t the best either. None of us wanted to eat the chicken by itself, but instead smothered it with the curry it arrived in which is a shame, considering how much better the curries could have been. BW confirmed that this seems to be the case with all the chicken curries in the restaurant. Upon asking them about the cut of meat in the curry, they informed him that they used thigh and not breast pieces.The chicken in the Laksa and satay were a lot tastier and had no jelly consistency!
For those who live in the same neighbourhood as Satay House, I really am jealous. Although the quality of the chicken was not that great and the service was slow, the taste was superb, which makes me want to visit again and hope for an improvement. Unfortunately for my friends and family, the best I can offer them in my area is a greasy kebab joint, which I must add have the best processed burgers known to any human!
Halal status on chicken, lamb, and beef has been verified by restaurant.
Address: 13 Sale Place, London, Paddington, London, W2 1PX
Telephone: 0207 723 6763
Nearest Station: Edgware Road Station
Parking: Available in surrounding area after 6:30pm or pay and display