Kampong Ah Lee Malaysian Delight
- Telephone 0131 662 9050
- Seasonal times Open 7 days during the Edinburgh Festival
- Food served Mon & Wed–Fri noon–3pm, 5–11pm; Sat/Sun noon–11pm. Closed Tue.
- Average price £15 (lunch); £15 (evening meal)
- Website www.kampungali.com/sister-restaurant/
No-frills spot which offers a taste of home to Edinburgh’s Malaysian community and locals in-the-know.
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.
Celebrating a decade of serving up traditional Malaysian fare to local students and Southsiders, as well as customers craving a taste of home, Kampong Ah Lee is as popular now as it ever was. This laid-back, café-style spot on Clerk Street may lack fanfare but that’s no biggie when the food is, by design, the focus. The huge menu offers many soup noodle, seafood and rice dishes, but it’s the relatively simple roti canai – flaky buttery flatbread served with curry dipping sauce – that is the must-have for regulars, and rightly so. Sambal chicken cooked with onion, prawn, fiery chilli and okra is as authentic as it gets, while Hakka tofu is a flavoursome dish – the soft bean curd served with minced pork and subtly seasoned with salted fish. If you favour fluorescent shop-bought sweet and sour gloop, look elsewhere – here it’s freshly made and the perfect foil for whole deep-fried crispy seabass. Wash things down with a cooling pearl milk tea or, for true Malaysian delight, a hot mug of teh tarikh – black tea made sweet with condensed milk.
- High point: Authentic Malaysian food in relaxed surroundings
- Low point: Desserts are an afterthought
- Notable dish: Deep-fried whole seabass in sweet & spicy sauce
- Provides: Children's high chairs
- Music on stereo: Malaysian/Chinese pop
- Capacity: 30
- Largest group: 30
- Open since: 2007
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 3
- House wine: £12 per bottle
- BYOB: £3 wine & £1 beer corkage