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Taste of Malaysia at Sedap, London [Restaurant Review]

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Reviewed by The Wild Boar

“Sedap” is a Malay word that roughly translates into “delicious”. Now, I think it takes a lot of cojones to name your restaurant “Delicious” but I have actually eaten at their previous incarnation so I’m prepared to believe them even before I start eating the food. A couple years back, we used to go to Nyonya in Notting Hill Gate with some regularity, only to discover it shut down suddenly. Since then, they’ve apparently resurrected as Sedap in Barbican.

Since I was fairly early (bang on 6pm) and the restaurant was empty besides me, I had a quick chat with one of the waiters (I think he was actually the restaurant owner’s brother, but I didn’t know quite how to broach that question) who picked up on my Manglish (Malaysian English). Essentially, they were a Penang family who wanted to set up their own shop, which was a nice cosy little place actually.

Sedap, London 5

They had nearly the same menu as at Nyonya, so we made our menu choices very quickly. Without a question we were going to have to order the char koay teow (fried flat noodles). I have to admit it wasn’t as good as I remembered it before, but it was still very good, probably the best I’ve had in London and still better than >70% of the local versions in Malaysia. Taste-wise it was nearly spot on with the lap cheong (Chinese sausages) adding extra tastes but it sadly lacked cockles. Also a minor point but I swear the previous version was the lighter Penang style while this is more like the KL style.

Sedap, London 2

Besides that, we also shared a nasi lemak (literally translated as fatty rice) which came with the usual assortment of some curry chicken, fried fish with sambal, roasted peanuts, boiled egg and cucumber. The curry chicken was not bad but a little bit on the mild side, a little more heat and spice would be appreciated. The fish portion was a little tiny but the sambal accompanying it was really good and really lifted the entire dish. The rice is normally cooked with coconut santan (milk) and pandan leaves which gives a distinctive aroma but unfortunately adds some extra calories.

Sedap, London 3

Another old favourite is the belachan chicken. The chicken strips were marinated with belachan powder and deep fried creating a simple but effective dish. Best eaten with the Thai sweet chilli sauce provided.

Sedap, London 4

Definitely the PigPig’s most anticipated part was the Nyonya kuih for dessert though which we loved at Nyonya. The kuih is another traditional Malaysian snack and without going into specifics, they were all homemade, fresh and mouth-wateringly delicious. The only possible downside to them is their sweetness and high carbohydrate content which made them incredibly filling.

Sedap, London 6
From left: Kuih Seri Muka; made of white glutinous rice with a layer of pandan-flavoured topping. Kuih sago. Bengka Ubi; made of sweet tapioca tapioca mixed in sweet pandan-flavoured custard.

Altogether, the bill came up to £12 each including a teh-tarik (pulled tea, traditional Malaysian drink but apparently made from instant packs according to London Chow.

Sedap, London 1

Food – 6.0
Service – 6.0
Atmosphere – 5.0
Value – 7.0

I really do feel that the food used to be better at Nyonya, but it still is pretty impressive and completely authentic Malaysian food. At under £15 a head, it represents good value for money as well and there is apparently a very good lunch menu on offer. Lastly, without sounding like a spokesman for the restaurant, they do a home delivery service as well and I wish I lived within the delivery area so I get to eat this food as and when I feel the need.

Best bit: the char koay teow, seriously, tops.
Worst bit: the new location doesn’t do it for me.

102 Old St
Greater London,
Tel: +44(020) 7490 0200
Official website

Sedap on Urbanspoon

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