Hidden in a hútong near the Drum Tower, Café Sambal is one of the capital’s most romantic date nights. From the owner of Bed Tapas + Bar, Cho Chong Gee has created another sìhéyuàn hotspot featuring cuisine from his native Malaysia. There are three small dining rooms surrounding an elongated covered courtyard. The mellow ambiance is set by the candlelight on the antique wooden tables and the owner’s well-chosen soundtrack. Patrons come back time and again for the high-quality authentic dishes made with plenty of sambal – a traditional chili-based condiment used in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia. Start off with the spicy tom yam seafood soup or the fresh mango rolls. Expat Indonesian and Malaysians rave that the kangkung belachan (wok-fried water spinach with shrimp paste and chili peppers) tastes just like home. If you really want to impress your date, splash out on the double-braised lobster.