Sydney continues its love affair with Malaysian food with newcomer Sedap opening its doors at Regent Place recently, just a couple stores down from Chanoma Cafe. To create an illusion of an authentic Malaysian street stall in the heart of Sydney, they have gone for a canteen set up with a mock stall counter at the front and simple furniture. The decor complements the range of hawker style dishes on their menu and there’s even some signs up above their counters which proclaim that they sell the usual suspects of Laksa, Hainanese Chicken Rice etc. but be warned that they do not serve these dishes all day long. We arrived for an early dinner at 5.30pm and were told that we could only order off their dinner menu which doesn’t include the dishes on the signs we had spied.
We order a few mugs of Teh Tarik to start and notice the waiter “pulling” the tea behind the counter by pouring it from high up above the bench, as they do so in Malaysia. We’re looking forward to tasting the drink after seeing that demo of “pulling” technique and when the milk tea eventually comes out we see that the servings are huge as they come in oversized enamel mugs! Great value and it tasted fantastic in all its comfortingly sweet, milky goodness.
Teh Tarik, $3.50 per mug
Sedap have dedicated a whole section of their menu to the “Taste of Penang”, so of course we have to order something off that part to see what it’s all about. We settle on the Penang Assam Laksa and Penang Wad Tan Hor to share. The Assam Laksa comes out first served in a (deliberately?) chipped enamel bowl and is smaller than I had expected, considering how generously sized their Teh Tarik had been. Not sure how the bowl is already chipped, as Sedap is pretty new but I’m going to guess that it’s all part of its bid to look like an actual Malaysian street stall. The Assam Laksa isn’t quite as intensely flavoured as the one we tried at Petaling Street and while the fish broth is sour, it lacks depth of flavour.
Penang Assam Laksa, $10
The massive plate of Wad Tan Hor is well done, with plenty of tasty sauce drizzled all over the fried ribbons of rice noodles and silky strands of egg woven throughout it too. It’s a comforting dish with familiar flavours of prawn, vegies and processed fish balls.
Penang Wad Tan Hor, $12
From the non-Penang specific part of the menu, we had ordered the Char Kuey Teow fried noodles and I wasn’t expecting much from this dish as has been done to death in many Malaysian restaurants around town. But it was easily the best dish of the night, full of flavour and incredibly addictive despite its simple ingredients of flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, chives, prawns and sliced Chinese sausages. This may even be the best Char Kuey Teow I’ve ever had in Sydney – I would come back for this dish alone.
Char Kuey Teow, $12
The dishes are well priced at Sedap, as we have come to expect from Malaysian restaurants. It’s sure to become a popular fixture in Regent Place thanks to its quick service, variety of dishes on its menu and affordable pricing. My tip is to go get in early, as the crowds started building around 6.30pm and there’s not a lot of seating inside the restaurant.
Regent Place, 501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000