Sanbanto, is one of the latest additions to the restaurants in SS2 that serves premium pork dishes at a supposedly affordable price. The place also doubles up as a mini butcher, selling different cuts of pork (properly packed) at the front of the shop. The outlet is small, with minimal decor and an open kitchen concept. It is advisable to reserve a place before going, as the tables and chairs are very limited. I made a trip there with Becky recently, and we dragged rif and Unka along. The BBQ pork rib (RM38), whose meat pulls free with a gentle resistance, was fatty and fork tender. It was grilled with BBQ sauce, resulting in a lovely caramelised exterior and a nice char. Sadly, the BBQ flavour was limited to the exterior of the rib; the meat on the inside was not flavoured with the smoky marinade. The mashed potato was very gluey, it felt as though I was eating starch. I didn’t care much for the grilled corn, but it tasted alright. Sanbanto Bacon N Cheese Burger (RM17) was smallish, and consisted of a pork patty, topped with a slice of cheese and crisp slices of pork bacon. It came with a side of chunky fries and a salad. Good thing the bacon played a salty counterpart to the burger, as I found the patty bland, dry and too processed. I reckon they used cheap burger buns, which didn’t do a good job in holding the burger together. I don’t like buns that break into holes at the slightest press of the finger. The pork belly salad (RM13) sounded yummy, but truth be told, it was nothing spectacular. I found it carelessly prepared — the pork belly slices were merely plonked on top of the greens. Taste wise, the pork belly was nice and crispy, but the greens in tangy honey mustard dressing were very ordinary.Some of the dishes required 20-25 minutes to prepare, including the Spinach Lasagna (RM21). Have you ever received a present that was beautifully wrapped and adorned with lovely silk ribbons, only to find a cheapo photo-frame or an incredibly ugly mug bought from a garage sale or a recycled gift? The spinach lasagna was exactly like that — really ‘potong steam’. From the menu, the description sounded deliciously promising, but it turned out to be a horrible letdown. The presence of minced pork in the filling was barely noticable, and the whole dish was terribly under-seasoned. The oyster mushrooms were of no help; in fact, I think it made the dish worse.
On a whole, I find Sanbanto overrated. While prices are reasonable, the food isn’t good enough to justify the hoo-haa. However, it might have been a bad day for them, as many people who ate there raved about the food.
Food: 5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Mediocre food, average pricing. The pork rib is decent, but the rest are a no-go for me.
32, Jalan SS2/63
03 7876 1728