Kampung Ali Malaysian Delight
- Telephone 0131 228 5069
- Food served Mon–Thu noon–2.30pm, 5–11pm; Fri–Sun noon–11pm.
- Average price £7.80 (set lunch); £11 (evening meal)
- Website www.kampungali.com
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This review is taken from the current (2013) edition.
Kampung Ali is the younger, more westernised sister of the original Kampong Ah Lee in Clerk Street. Larger in size and presented a little more for western tastes, she appears that bit more sophisticated than her smaller, plainer sibling. Both excel in the preparation of Malay street food but Kampung Ali’s menu appears somewhat more streetwise, with lists of dishes based around rice, noodles or ‘big bowl’ soups and the odd wonderful surprise, such as a starter of Marmite ribs from the inspired specials board, which is sticky-sweety-meaty and something that older sister might frown upon. A main of salted fish with aubergine and pork belly is packed with flavour and feels like a bridge between the two restaurants. More traditional sambal beef is generously sized, tender, fully spiced with plenty of chopped red chillies and is probably the dish of many family cook-offs. With seafood and vegetarian options on offer, as well as a great weekday ‘lunchbox deal’, little sister serves something for everyone, modern or traditional. Big sister should be very proud.
Takeaway is available from both branches of the Kampung mini-empire on Clerk Street and Fountainbridge, so if Malaysian floats your boat (and it should) it’s a great option for a cheap and tasty pick-up. Specialities include stir fries, noodly slurpy soups and spicy curries. Sambal chicken is particularly good as is roti cenai, a flaky flat bread with a spicy sauce which has practically attained cult status. It’s all pretty reliable stuff, although some dishes do seem to betray that cheaper cuts of meat have been used. With no delivery service, take-away means calling into the restaurant, where friendly staff will happily explain the ins and outs of what remains a relatively unfamiliar menu.
- High point: Inspired specials board and surprising fusion cooking
- Low point: Uninspiring dessert menu and bought-in ice-creams
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
- Provides: Vegetarian options (at least ¼ main courses), Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access
- Music on stereo: Eastern pop and classical
- Capacity: 100
- Largest group: 100
- Open since: 2011
- House wine: £12 per bottle
- BYOB: £4; beer £1.50 corkage
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