Roast duck curry, kerabu salad and tow yu buk

On Friday Bellerina and I had been to the Turkish baths to sweat our cares away. Or, at least, I had sweated them away. While Bellerina lounged about looking flushed and dewy, I staggered from hot room to hot room looking like a cardiac patient who’d just finished a fun run dressed as a camel.

I couldn’t stand the heat, so it was time to swap the baths for the cosseting quietude of Sedap’s dining room. A little less busy than on our last visit, we perched at a table for 2 in the front room and focussed our attention on the menu. Bellerina had been doing her research. She’d memorised a list of dishes that had been singled out across the internet for salivating praise and we decided to try as many as possible because we were starving (and greedy).

Transparent vegetarian rolls

We started with transparent vegetarian rolls. An outstanding example of layering flavours and textures, the soft skins were wrapped around batons of tender and crunchy vegetables and the fresh, watery taste of cucumber gave way to sharp mint and then sweet, aromatic coriander. I loved them and as an appetite simulating starter, they’re hard to beat.

Our second starter was roti prata with chicken curry. The roti was brilliant – flaky, buttery and delicious. The curry sauce was genuinely chickeny; either some good stock has gone into it or a hell of a lot of Knorr chicken stock cubes. But the sauce set the theme for the meal: forget about the protein, just gimme more of that sauce.

Roti prata with chicken curry

The lump of protein in this instance was a chicken thigh that could’ve done with more cooking. We hacked away at it with the teaspoon provided, but if it had fallen off the bone for easy scooping it would’ve be perfect. Instead, it seemed rangy and tough.

For our main course we’d ordered tofu, roast duck curry, tow yu bak, rice and a kerabu prawn salad.

It’s not often that I describe tofu as airy little puffs of loveliness, but that’s what the Maylasian tofu was like. Deep fried and crisp, they were spicy, light sponges with peanut sauce just soaking in at their edges. A heap of salad on top gave the tofu a veil of virtue.

Maylasian tofu

The duck curry repeated the chicken curry trick; a rich sauce with plenty of cinnamon and star anise punching through and some disappointing slices of duck floating, unwanted and unloved, in the middle. Similarly, the prawns in the kerabu salad seemed a scattering of protein too far.

Tow yu buk

The tow yu buk fought the corner for animal flesh. Slow cooked pork in a sweet soya sauce, it was a melting heap of fat and flesh idling in a moreish, umami rich sauce. Bellerina, who isn’t very familiar with the ways of pork, widened her eyes and mouthed: “Oooh” after her first mouthful. I seconded her reaction.

The bill, including 1 bowl of rice and 2 Tiger beers (but not service) was £39.30. We’d ordered too much food, but then we’d also started to eliminate dishes from the menu for our next visit. There’s only about 50 dishes left to for us to try.

Sedap on Urbanspoon

Tagged with: LondonMalaysian

9 Responses to Back to Sedap, Old Street, London

  1. Sharmila says:

    I really like this place, and need to get back. I remember liking the roti prata so much that I immediately ordered more. The desserts are really good too (if you like coconut and pandan).

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      If we hadn’t ordered so much other food, I would definitely have asked for more roti. I’d like to try it with the mutton sauce next time. And one time I’d like to not eat so much savoury stuff that I can fit in a dessert!

  2. Gav says:

    I am lucky enough to live across the road from Sedap they are always consistently tasty.

    I agree the rotis are outstanding as are the transparent rolls.

    Do try the char mee and the Tumis bream

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Lucky you to live near them. The closest restaurant to me is a King Rooster 🙁

      Good to have two more recommendations to try on my next visit.

  3. Gav says:

    Yeah I’m really lucky there’s a million and one decent places to eat around there.

    If you’re around during the day make sure you check out Whitecross Street market. It’s right near Sedap. Pig sandwich, a decent burrito (no at patch on one from Cali though) and some other interesting food stalls. reckon you might like.

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      I’d love to pick up my lunch at Whitecross Street but I work in the centre of town so the chances of me ever making it there and back in time are slim. Got to wait for my lottery win, when I can be a lady of leisure and lunch all round town.

  4. Krista says:

    You know I love Sedap. Char kway teow! Fantastic.

    But tell me–how were the baths? I live and work right down the road and am always tempted to try but never really get up the nerve to do so…

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      The baths are good. They are due to shut down for refurbishment soon and they do need it, some of the lockers are missing doors and it smells really damp when you first go into them. It feels like a council pool rather than a posh spa.

      But it’s cheap (£13) compared to all the other spas and a full body scrub is £12 – bargain. Plus, once you’re tired of sitting in the hot rooms, you can go and sit in the TV room and the lady in charge will make you tea and toast for £1. There’s a choice of jams. No one can resist a choice of jams.

  5. Chris says:

    I started work around the corner a few months ago and found your review. We even followed your choices. Fantastic food and great value too.

    If you’re ever in the area at a luncthime then head to Whitecross Street – some fantastic food stalls and much cheaper than Borough Market. One of the stalls sells whole trays of brownie…fab.

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