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Satay House (Restaurant)

Picture of Satay House in Paddington, London

13 Sale Place, Paddington, London, W2 1PX
Cuisine: Malaysian
Tel: 020 7723 6763 | Email to Satay House | Transport: Edgware Road (Circle/District/H&C) | Write review

Satay House Review

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As you step from the quiet Paddington street and in through the door of Satay House you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d entered the wrong door. This is THE Satay House? The Malaysian dining experience to the stars? Where Malays come for Malaysian food? Where stars as famous as Jimmy Choo, Don Johnson and Michelle Yeoh are reputed to have eaten, as well as Malaysian royalty? But it’s more like a bathroom showroom! Surely there’s been some kind of mistake. It seems they’ve poo-poo’d the idea of a reception area or welcoming desk as you’re immediately stood right in someone’s dinner. The acoustics are ideal; for screaming babies that is - hard floors and hard ceilings, eeek - and the decor isn’t too spicy either. Apparently there was a refurb back in 2006 but a bit of soft lighting, a few hibiscus flowers stenciled on the walls, and some newly-upholstered leather doesn’t maketh the giant it claims to be. So you ask yourself why you came here in the first place. What is it that attracts them? Then you notice the staff turning customers away at the door as they’re fully booked. You decide to stay and call their bluff.

You’ve heard the only way to choose a starter is to go for the one the restaurant is named after, so you opt for six skewers of tender chicken and lamb served with a peanut sauce, cucumber and rice cubes. So far, so satay.

Moving onto the main you’ve heard that things must be done in the right order. You don’t want to be spoiling your sweet tomato lush lamb stuff (Mutton Mysore) by then having the frankly-not-up-to-scratch deep fried chicken (Ayam Goreng Bawang Putih) so you leave it till last. It’s probably for the best. In fact, you skip the fried chicken altogether and say hello to the unmistakably-fragrant whole mackerel in tamarind sauce (Ikan Panggang). You crack her open, squeeze on a bit of lemon and job done. You supplement this with a small, repeat SMALL, portion of rice and a small, repeat SMALL, serving of stir fried choi sum in oyster sauce and chilli (Sawi Goreng) just so your five-a-day are covered. Things are looking up.

Next, you move onto the aromatic prawn dish (Udang Galah Goreng Berempah) and discover it’s got a yummy after bite. Suddenly, phrases like ‘top notch’ and ‘flippin marvelous’ seem redundant and you aim to start comprising a brand new dictionary first thing Monday morning. Overall, jobs a goodun.

But wait, the young, affable waiter is trying to ply you with desserts. Thank goodness you went small on the rice. A tall knickerbocker glory monstrosity approaches you. It’s the Ais Kacang (sweet red beans, creamed sweet corn, shaved ice, red syrup and evaporated milk). It’s refreshing after that spicy, but not too spicy, mountain you just munched through and you say ‘WOW’ in appreciation. Had it been chilly outside you would’ve gone for the Bubur Pulut Hitam hot purple glop with coconut milk and black rice because that’s what gets results, you’ve heard.

Satay House is a tiny establishment and the additional seating in the basement is much needed (although the distracting TV isn’t). This family business does everything the bigger boys do, almost. Aside from not having a tasting menu (shame), in an all-out taste race between Satay House and Kensington’s Awana, the sprint gold would be a photo finish. If it were the dressage event, however, Satay House would be going home with silver.

If you’re slepping around zone 1 looking for somewhere to eat, don’t bother just turning up! BOOK before you go! People get turned away and there are hour-long waits. One big birthday party downstairs and the whole kit and kaboodle is messed up.

Overall, it’s a bit like Amy Winehouse: not much to look at, but hidden qualities definitely lie within.
...read more

Customer Reviews for Satay House

Average (based on 2 votes): 2 Atmosphere: Value: Quality:

The following customer reviews are not endorsed by Fluid London and are simply those of users who wish to publish their independent experiences of Satay House.

“I give 5* for the Malaysian food at this restaurant. The flavours in our dishes we had were amazing and so tasty. Highly recommended for those who love Malaysian foods or even those who want to try it for the first time because this restaurant won't disappoint!”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
[ Unknown ], London (10 years 6 months 13 days ago)

“The food is sublime - this is simply the best Malaysian restaurant in London.”
Atmosphere: Value: Quality:
Steff Green, London (10 years 7 months 12 days ago)

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Food

Satay House Malaysian Restaurant serves traditional authentic malaysian cuisine.

Updated 05/06/2008

Additional Information

  • Cuisine Type: Malaysian
  • Dress Code: Not Specified
  • Group: (Unknown)

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Venue ID: 16959

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