There’s something to say about Malaysian food in London: there just isn’t enough of the good stuff. Even the Evening Standard’s showcase of London’s Best Malaysian Restaurants is a little embarrassing. I mean, there’s stuff, sometimes there’s a lot of it, but it isn’t any good.

And then you get places like Sedap. The food is good stuff, but the portion sizes! Or lack of rather. There just simply isn’t enough of it.

It’d been a while since the tweat-up crew had caught up for dinner. We’d all been running around the world, pretend-globetrotters that we are, and right in between me coming back from Hong Kong and Mark taking off for NYC, we snuck in a dinner at Sedap, somewhere we’d all never been but had all heard wonderful things about.

We ordered roti with chicken curry for starters and while the taste of the curry was spot on, I was a little shell-shocked by the actual roti. Firstly, it was quite thick – not thin, airy and flaky like traditional tossed roti (in fact it doesn’t look tossed at all, more like rolled), but what shocked me more was the price (and ok, I’m cheap but not that cheap).

One serve of roti with chicken curry is £4.80 and comes with a teeny tiny bowl of curry, including one piece of chicken meat and one slice of roti. Additional slices of roti cost £2 each. I mean really. £2??? It’s flour FFS and you don’t even toss the thing properly!

Anyway, starters were somewhat saved by the spicy kerabu prawn salad, which was recommended to me by the wondrousness of the twitterati. This dish was fantastic – fresh prawns tossed in a cucumber and mango salad, dressed with lime, herbs and chilli.

We ordered a selection of other mains such as sambal okra (top photo), beef rendang, sambal fish, char kuey teow, lamb curry and sambal brinjal. Yes there is a sambal theme but (a) we all love it and (b) it’s one of the best Malaysian flavours!

I loved the sambal okra and brinjal (or eggplant or aubergine for those of you playing at home) and wanted to love the sambal fish too but the fish was a little too dry. My favourite of all of my mum’s dishes is fish curry with okra and eggplant, and though it’s curry based, not sambal, the flavours of my mum’s sour Malaysian curry is very similar to sambal and ah, these dishes just brought back a touch of homesickness.

The curries were good too, although in my opinion, not nearly spicy enough. Beef was tender (and so it should be as rendang is a slow cooked curry dish) as was the lamb… mostly.

Char kuey teow is one way to compare Malaysian restaurants as they all have this dish and it’s probably Malaysia’s unofficial poster child hawker dish (well, at least up there along side nasi lemak). Sedap‘s attempt gives everyone else a good run for their money, with the inclusion of prawns which is pretty standard and lup cheong (dried Chinese sausage) which is not so standard and oh so yummy! I’m yet to find someone who cooks theirs with clams, the way they do back home.

Desserts at Sedap were really good. Being a Nyonya house, they only offer home made nyonya kueh (traditional Malaysian cakes) at £2 for three pieces. They had two types of kueh the night we went and we tried them both ~ one was coconutty and sweet, the other was salted glutinous rice with layers of pandan jelly WHICH WAS DELICIOUS.

Anyway. The quality of the mains at Sedap were pretty good but portion size. Well.. more like lack of. We were all pretty surprised at the tiny little (literally small bread-plate sized) plates the food was served on and plain and simply there just wasn’t enough. Granted each main ranged from £6-£8, it’s not expensive but without naming names (oh ok, say at Kiasu), you’d get quality food and more of it for the same price.

I keep trying to find good Malaysian places when really, I should just stick to what I know. Speaking of which, we went to Awana for dinner last night and *urgh*. Highly unrecommended but that rant is for another post…

102 Old Street
London, EC1V 9AY
0207 490 0200

Sedap on Urbanspoon

20 Thoughts on “Sedap: that was good but um, is that all we get?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Sedap: that was good but um, is that all we get? « thecattylife – up close and personal to all things… edible --

  2. Quite a wide range of Malaysian food available in Sedap…

  3. That is exactly the problem we had earlier in the year when we visited Sedap, the food is good but the portion sizes are ridiculous! I was a little embarrassed as I had invited a few friends along, we ordered a fair amount but we were still hungry at the end of our meal. My thoughts here:(

  4. peteformation: There is a decent range of food and the food is good – don’t get me wrong I’m not knocking that… just that I wish the portion sizes were just a little bit bigger!

    The London Foodie: Oh I’m glad I’m not the only piggy out there saying I wanted more hehehe… yeh, we were hungry at the end of ours too *sigh*

  5. Oh no, that is indeed very disappointing when you have to wonder where the rest of your meal is! 😮

  6. Don’t think I’ve ever eaten Malaysian food but if this is what it is then boy I’d be glad too! That’s a lot of food there and it all looks delicious!

  7. ooh man i havent had kueh serimuka in aaages

  8. Lorraine: I know! And it sucks even more when the food is actually good cos you just want moreeeeee….!

    Jamie: I think you’d like it! Spicy and flavoursome. It’s my favourite cuisine, not that I’m biased or anything 😉

    chocolatesuze: which one’s kueh serimuka? See what a shit Malaysian/Chinese person I am??

  9. Know feck all (only know the basics like rendang but want to learn!) about Malaysian food but this looks amazing – LOVE okra (and it’s good for the gullet, bonus!) and also ate heaps of awesome roti when I lived on the Thai/Malay border…every time I did a visa run ;P Have actually been there, went to the Cameron Highlands, KL and been to Penang quite a few times but mainly ate yum cha and chicken rice, hehe.

  10. Sigh…that was the same problem with Nyonya (same cook) but the CKT was so good! Looking forward to your Awana post as a few people have recommended their roti canai to me!

  11. Coming out of a restaurant is never good, unless the food is so brain meltingly unbelievable it takes your mind off your belly (which surely defeats the point, and I’m not sure any food could take my mind of my belly).

    So i have read your review with pleasure, and the food sounds good, but i think i’ll take my Malay cravings (and soon to arrive Malaysian food discount card) over to Bayswater and Kiasu.

  12. Sasa: Ahhhhh i LOVE Malaysia and lived in Penang and KL for some years so I got to eat all the yummies on a daily basis. But as usual, didn’t appreciate it as much while I lived there…

    Su-Lin: Yes, someone said it was the same owner. OH yes Awana… the food was ok but the service, SHOCKING and the price? CRAZY. Will post soon 🙂

    Grubworm: It’s even more annoying when the food is actually good so you want more! If the food was bad I probably would’ve just though… whatever… but I actually wanted more 🙂 Enjoy Kiasu!

  13. Small portions are not good! Have you been to Satay House in Paddington? My mate’s gf recommended it to me the other week. Without sounding proper blogsnob, I take many of the recs I receive with a pinch of salt but this place looks decent enough. And yes I do hate myself a bit for becoming such a terrible snob.

  14. I shoulda known you’d been to Satay House. Food looks a bit watery from your pix. Mind you one dish is a soup! It’s staying in the ‘?’ section of my list!

  15. Good right Sedap? Took you long enough to get there. It’s still the ultimate go-to place for CKT cravings in London. I think the problem with the portion sizes is more that they’re the same as portion sizes back in Malaysia, which is smaller than here. I tend to double order stuff in Msia.

    Mr Noodles: If you’re still reading this, I’ve been to Satay House quite a few times and I would recommend you giving it a try too. It’s a different style of cooking to Sedap/Kiasu so don’t go expecting the same.

    • Yeh good call about portion sizes being the same as in Malaysia. Problem is, price isn’t! But anyway, I really did like everything, I’m just a glutton and wanted more! I think Satay House is more Malaysian DISHES as opposed to Straits hawker style food, would you agree?

  16. I shoulda known better than to visit your blog at near midnight when my dinner has worn off and now I’m just craving that okra curry! My oh my! I’ve never had Malaysian food before but am very keen to!

  17. When I was first going to Sedap, the char kway teow had 5 or 6 prawns on it. Last few times, it’s had three. Once, they even sliced the prawns to look like six.

    So I’m with ya on the portion size.

    All that being said, it’s all pretty freakin’ delicious.

  18. bethany: LOL I hope I didn’t make you make CHRIS go hunting for okra curry at midnight! Gotta say, nothing much beats okra in curry, one of my favourite things ever. Hey, lemme take you to M’sian after the stress of FBC is over!

    Krista: Well there definitely weren’t many prawns in it this time – there were five of us at dinner and we definitely didn’t get a prawn each. Shame about the portion size because the food is pretty tasty!

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