Coffee or Horlicks with your pork spare ribs? Not with one. On them. And that's half the fun about the new Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam that's opened in Regent Place on George Street. The menu is littered with dishes you won't normally find around Sydney.
The Sedap dining space is smaller than it looks, made to look bigger by the clever use of mirrors, fairy lights and atmospheric murals in the short shopfront. By 6pm on a weeknight the place is heaving, packed with Asian uni students and young office workers. If the dining room is full you'll have to add your name and party number to a clipboard out the front and wait patiently in the corridor.
Fried fish ball $1.50; lo bak crispy pork roll $4; and fried homemade tofu $1 per piece
The display cabinet in the front has extra snacks that don't appear on the laminated menu. We kick things off with a skewer of fried fish balls, fried homemade tofu and a crinkly but crisp lo bak five spice pork roll.
Sedap dining room
Teh tarik $3.50
Metal plates and cups are a nice touch, and our teh tariks are frothed the proper way, poured from jug to jug at great heights until the sweet strong tea is foamy with froth.
Char kway teow $12
We plow through a series of classic dishes like char kway teow, a huddle of fat slipper rice noodles stir fried over high heat with slices of fish cake, prawns and omelette. Bean sprouts come in at the end so they maintain their crunch, and an extra spoonful of sambal gives a welcome chilli kick.
Hainan chicken $12
Hainan chicken is soft but a little on the bland side, although there's a fair amount of meat piled on top of the bed of bean sprouts. We're instantly on the hunt for the usual dipping sauces (ginger shallot oil and the dark sweet soy) but our requests are met with a blank look and we're told the chicken comes as is.
Kam heong squid $16.80
The squid section is surprisingly the longest, running with ten variations that run from assam (tamarind) to Singapore style black pepper. We order ours cooked kam heong, meaning golden fragrance, so named because of the use of dried shrimp, birds eye chilli, curry powder and curry leaves. The squid is plump and tender and the sauce is fragrant.
Horlicks spare ribs $15.80
Horlicks spare ribs sound like a childhood dream come true but they're an odd couple in the flesh, with the deep fried ribs slathered in a thick gravy that is disconcertingly sweet.
Butter prawns $22.80
Although we order the butter prawns, we're served with what looks more like cereal prawns. I'm not complaining. The jumble of sweet and salty Nestum cereal is addictive as always, adding textural crunch to the unshelled prawns. The cereal is even better on rice, and I end up scooping out last toasted oat with a spoon.
Macarons, mini muffins and mini cupcakes
The rejuvenation of Regent Place has seen a spate of new tenants move in. We head next door to Cake Generation, a deliberately fancy looking eat-in cake shop.
Mini cupcakes $2.50
The display cabinet is lined with rows of tiny desserts that include macarons, cupcakes, tarts and muffins. Larger cakes sit at the front of the store.
Afternoon tea set with tea for two $16
Indecision means we order the afternoon tea - a set range of items that can be customised by flavour. The cupcake and muffin are a little on the dry side but the pistachio domed mousse is a highlight. Fancy tea cups only add to the experience.
Earl Grey tea
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Shop 27, Regent Place (George Street Level)
501 George Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9264 0090
Monday to Thursday 10.30am - 10pm
Friday to Saturday 10.30am - 10.30pm
Sunday 10.30am - 9pm
Sedap Malaysian Kopitiam
Regent Place (George Street Level)
501 George Street, Sydney
Monday to Sunday 11am - 9.30pm
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10/21/2013 12:05:00 am