Absolutely stops by Sudu, Queen’s Park’s smaller sibling to the long-standing Satay House.
Words by Pendle Harte
Paddington’s much loved Malaysian eaterie Satay House opened in the 1970s and not only does it remain a family business, but it’s still growing. The children of the original founders have quietly opened a smaller Malaysian restaurant in nearby Queen’s Park, Sudu, where they’re pledging to deliver a mix of old favourites and new influences. It’s a small place with a small menu, designed to incorporate a feel of the Malaysian kopitam – a traditional coffee shop – with exposed brick walls and lots of wood.
On the menu are lots of dishes with a tamarind, peanut, lemongrass and chilli base – there are sharing plates and main dishes. We treat the sharing plates as starters, and order a chicken satay with peanut sauce and a beef rendang, both of which are flavourful and authentic, spicy and tasty. For main plates, options are mostly rice or noodle-based, with lots of variations on the theme including eggs, anchovies, peanuts and sambal. Malaysian flavours are hot, aromatic and dry, and a dish’s components are often served in elegant separate piles on the plate.
My nasic lemak, coconut rice with sambal, cucumber, peanut, fried anchovies, boiled egg and fried chicken is just that, allowing everything’s texture to be kept entirely separate. So there are small crispy anchovies, smooth egg, crunchy peanuts and a large piece of chicken on the bone, along with smooth rice, spicy sambal and cool cucumber. It’s a winning combination, all contrasting flavours and textures. We also try nasi goreng: stir-fried rice with chicken, peas and a crispy fried egg and nasi goreng kampung, which incorporates shrimp, anchovy and prawn with lots of chilli. It’s an interesting mix-and-match of recurring ingredients and hearty spice.