I have recently discovered that if you don’t mind eating somewhere that doesn’t look anything special, drinking beer not wine, and eating relatively quickly; London has incredibly good cheap and authentic Asian restaurants that can rival those in any other major cities. Yes, I’m talking about you Paris.
Fresh from some great Vietnamese food at Mien Tay, El G and I tried some Malaysian food at Sedap on Old Street, inspired by rave reviews from Londonelicious and The London Foodie. Like Mien Tay, it isn’t that inspiring from the outside, and inside its cafe style – clean, relaxed, bright. I’m beginning to like this sort of dining though – its cheap, quick and easy, and I’m getting a taste for bottled foreign beer with Asian food. And luckily at Sedap its also very, very good.
Taking heed from the wise Mr Noodles’ comment on my post on Mien Tay that you should avoid Anglo-Chinese style dishes at places like this, we avoided the chicken and cashew nut-esque menu choices and went for more authentic dishes instead. This is what we had (Mr N, do we approve??):
Archard (Malaysian vegetables pickled marinated in spices with peanuts and sesame seeds) – never had this before but it was delicious – light, delicately flavoured and slightly sour.
Malaysian chicken satay – yes obvious choice but bloody good, better than your average resto – really succulent chicken and tangy peanut sauce.
Lemak prawn (prawn cooked with spices, herbs, green chilli and coconut milk) with steamed rice – probably the best dish of the night, nice kick of heat, tasty prawns and yummy coconut sauce. I would have licked the bowl if etiquette allowed.
Sambal Okra (stir fried okra and prawns in chilli shrimp paste) – I just love okra, this was juicy and sweet.
Penang Char Kway Teow (stir fried flat noodles with prawn, beansprouts, chinese sausages, egg, fishcake, soy sauce, chive and chilli paste) – like a Thai phad thai, this was delicious, if a wee bit sloppy (which is what I think its supposed to be anyway).
The portion sizes were perfect – on the small side but we ordered the right amount and were full without being stuffed afterwards. All food, washed down with 3 veh nice Asahi beers came to only £40, or £20 each. Yes, we didn’t stay very long and there wasn’t a candle in sight; but it was a delicious and cheap dinner and perfect for a quick bite to eat with friends or partners.