After the successes of Devon and Devon on Danks, head chef Zacharay Tan and business partner Derek Puah have added a third venue, Lazy Suzie, on Stanley Street in Darlinghurst. The new venture continues the Malaysian cuisine theme, with a noted focus on dishes from the Penang region in the north.
A bar license means punters can snack and drink as they choose, taking full advantage of an extensive wine list and quirky cocktails ($18) that include everything from galangal to yuzu to nashi pear as an ingredient. Designated driver? There are five different mocktails ($13) as well as fizzy concoctions ($6) from Sydney-based PS Soda including smoked lemonade, wattle cola and bush tonic with lemon myrtle and lemongrass.
Lazy Suzie sits on the former IconPark site, a revolving restaurant of pop-ups that included Stanley St Merchants and Rupert and Ruby. The sleek new fit-out - warm woods, a marble-topped bar and a striking tangle of gold ring lights overhead - is a collaboration between Studio Ham and designer Matt Woods.
Pork floss cronnies $6.50
We spy the cronnies (or cronuts) from Devon on Danks on the bar counter but skip these so we can try as much of the new menu as possible.
Lobster thermidor spring rolls $6 each
Sadly they're out of the Lazy Suzie scotch egg and green mango salad, but we console ourselves with the decadence of lobster thermidor spring rolls. The creamy thermidor sauce tends to drown out the sweetness of the lobster (and I can't taste much of the promised Gruyere) but the spring roll pastry is impressive in itself, super crisp and holding its shape well.
Raw kingfish, torch ginger flower, coconut and yam bean $19
Peranakan Fizz cocktail $16
Campo de Encanto pisco, goji berry, calamansi, chocolate bitters, carbonated water and egg white
The raw kingfish surprisingly ends up being one of my favourite dishes of the day. Plump fillets of raw kingfish are curled up with delicate petals of torch ginger flowers, doused with a lightly tangy dressing. It's the surprise find of coconut cream that has me returning for more, reminding me of kokoda Fijian ceviche. Batons of yam bean at the bottom add a juicy crunch.
Pie tee $14
Pastry cup with braised shitake, yam bean and freshly picked crab meat
Pie tee are a rare dish to find in Sydney, a dish made by Peranakans, the descendants of the very early Chinese migrants to Malaysia who first arrived in the 15th century. The pastry cups are made by dipping a copper mould in batter and then frying in oil until the cup releases itself.
These elaborate canapes are even more endearing when you find out that pie tee translates to top hat. They're traditionally filled with sauteed julienned vegetables and topped with a whole prawn. At Lazy Suzie they bling these with freshly picked crab meat. Baller.
The mix of braised shiitake, carrot and yam bean are cooked so they still have a bit of toothsomeness and the pie tee shells taste like they were just fried, with a superb crunch in every bite.
Roti baby $19
Spiced pork mince in fried bread and fried eggs
Noone is quite sure what a roti baby is but it ends up like a bready version of murtabak.
Pork mince inside the roti baby
We cut into the giant disc to find a huddle of seasoned pork mince and onion inside a spongy donut bread. There's a sweet crispness to the surface. Two fried eggs and a dish of soya sauce would make this a satisfying breakfast option on its own.
Lam Mee $17
Traditional birthday noodles, pork and prawn broth
Lam mee, or longevity noodles, are almost always served at birthday celebrations in Penang. The Lazy Suzie version is heartier than usual, the long lengths of chewy noodle dotted with pork mince and delicate omelette shreds in a richly fragrant pork and prawn soup. A ceramic spoon of chilli sauce gives you the option to add as much heat as you need.
Supreme Penang char kway teow $25
Stir fried rice noodles with prawn, scallop, crab and duck eggs
You can order the standard version of Penang char kway teow that comes with prawns but we go straight for the luxury trail with the supreme option, a high octane version that includes seared scallops, duck eggs and hunks of crab. It's a tasty rubble of flat rice noodles tossed at high heat with fatty slices of lap cheong sausage, garlic chives and the refreshing crunch of bean sprouts in a sweet and salty sauce. The generous amount of plump scallops, juicy prawns, sweet crab and stir-fried duck eggs give an added richness.
Malaysian vegetarian curry with roti jala $17
Rama-Rama Spritz $18
Tanqueray gin, blue pea flower and jasmine, citrus, dandelion and burdock bitters
The Malaysian vegetarian curry might be meat-free but it would probably satisfy most carnivores. The menu describes this as containing cruciferous vegetables - I think I mostly snagged cauliflower in my mouthful. The roti jala is expertly made, a complex lattice of batter that you tear into shreds to eat with the curry.
The Rama-Rama Spritz can also be seen in the backdrop of this photo. While the blue pea flower gives this a striking indigo hue, the dandelion and burdock bitters left a strong medicinal aftertaste for the curious sippers. The person who ordered it, though, loved every last drop.
Time to eat
Shaved blue pea flower ice, bubur cha cha, taro ice cream
Air batu campur or ABC means mixed ice. In Singapore, this dessert is known as ais kacang. Across the hawker centres and food courts of Malaysia, ordering an ABC usually scores you a jumble of red beans, jellies and tinned fruits beneath a mountain of shaved ice drizzled with syrup.
Fourteen bucks seems exxy for an ABC until you realise that Tan has elevated yet another dish. It's a study in shades of purple, a bed of finely shaved ice scattered with cubes of taro, grass jelly, palm seeds, coco gel and sago pearls. Blue pea flower syrup turns the shaved ice into varying shades of lavender and purple. It's a light and elegant dessert that wins over everybody. The taro ice cream is silky smooth.
Kaya toast $13
Brioche, thick cut butter, coconut custard, slow cooked eggs with soy burnt butter
We finish, ironically, with the dish that starts the day for most Malaysians: kaya toast. Two fat slices of brioche sandwiched with lashings of kaya coconut jam and a glorious slice of cold butter. There's even a bowl of two soft boiled eggs, Malaysian style, seasoned with soy and white pepper.
Malaysians traditionally dunk the sweet toast into the eggs, making sure the sticky egg yolks adhere to its surface. It sounds strange but it works.
I think Lazy Suzie may just hit it off with Sydneysiders the same way.
Bar and counter stools
78 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 7901 0396
Tuesday to Friday 12pm-12am
Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Peranakan Cuisine - Peranakan Place, Auburn
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3/28/2016 03:02:00 am