Food Street @ Regent Place 1 (Sedap)

Although hardly a secret anymore, Regent Place, one of Sydney’s more vibrant culinary alleyways, is hidden between the Town Hall KFC and the George Street Cinemas. I really love how they have transformed this place over the years – each eatery looks so visually appealing, each bringing a little slice of Asia and a bit of the outdoor night markets feel to this residential high-rise complex.

SEDAP

This place looks amazing. Every tiny detail in its design has been carefully thought out and meticulously planned to replicate the look and feel of an outdoor hawker stall in Malaysia. Roles of light bulbs hang across the room, as rustic as the signs dangling above their dessert and drinks display counter. Edgey Banksy-esque graffiti art on the wall adds to the outsdoor atmosphere, while the clever use of mirrors that create the illusion of extra space. The choice of stools instead of chairs and the awesome nostalgic mugs that holds their beverages… it truly feels like being transported to somewhere in Malaysia.

IMG_1076

Evidently I’m not the only one attracted by this place.  Outside, expect there to be a queue, unless you arrive early. Inside, expect to sit shoulder to shoulder with your fellow diners (don’t forget to suck in when you move in between tables).

The menu boasts some typical Malaysia fare, like nasi goreng, char kuey teow, curry this, sambal that. It also has some curiously named dishes like, coffee ribs and gwei ribs (translated from Chinese, it means strange ribs). I have yet to have the opportunity of being able to order these dishes on the two occasions I’ve eaten here. Next time!

Steamed burramundi with garlic and dried radish
Steamed burramundi with garlic and dried radish
This was recommended by the waitress as one of their most popular dishes. Essentially, it was a plain steamed fish in a sweet soy sauce dressing (like the steamed fish typically found in Chinese restaurants) and topped with radish and garlic. The sweet and tangy radish reminds me of the kind that comes in jars at an Asian grocer. I’m not entirely sure about this combination of radish and fish – its strong flavour covers the natural taste of steamed fish, nor am I sure about the crunchy/rubbery texture with the soft fish meat. So although the fish itself was well cooked; the topping was a perplexing affair.
Chicken curry
Chicken curry
The curry sauce was quite tasty, but lacked the kick of spices and was lukewarm when it was brought out. However the chicken wings were so tender and fell apart at the bones.
Hakka style pork belly
Hakka style pork belly
This was a mistake order, and I doubt it was a mistake we rejoiced over. We were suppose to order a crispy pork belly, but instead this concoction of stewed pork with wood ears and tofu skin was served. Although the flavour was interesting (red braise with hints of cinnamon and cloves), its downfall was the tough meat smothered in too much oily sauce.
Water Spinach with Sambal sauce
Water Spinach with Sambal sauce
Apparently, I’m getting this dish for my birthday. I LOVE water spinach when it is stir fried fast to preserve the vibrant green, producing crunchy stems and leaves with have an almost creamy mouth feel. And I’m not alone in loving this dish, looking around I noticed most tables had ordered this simple yet tasty dish in some variant, whether it be with sambal sauce like me or with fat bulbs of caramelised garlic.
Nasi goreng
Nasi goreng
Soy milk with grass jelly
Soy milk with grass jelly
The idea here is good, but overall the flavour of the drink was too muted for my liking. Both the soy milk and grass jelly were too diluted (something not helped by those giant ice cubes), which needed to be substituted with some sugar (can’t believe I’m saying this!) to keep it from tasting like mere water.

Sedap also makes a tempting range of rice cakes (kwei). The coconut flavoured one was not too sweet and refreshing. Contrastingly, the mung bean one looks sexy and seductive with its coral coloured casing, but was quite heavy once you ate all the mung bean paste filling.

In all honesty Sedap looks more promising than what it actually delivers, but it produces quite a decent food and what I like to call a sanitised hawker experience. I will definitely be back for those coffee ribs and strange ribs.

Sedap on Urbanspoon

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