We take a reader's tip on Sedap Rasa, a new-ish Padang style Indonesian joint in Kingsford.
Sedap Rasa has been open around three months and they seem to be doing a solid trade already, it was pretty busy on both of our visits made over a weekend. The front of house is run by a bunch of friendly, enthusiastic and strapping young lads. The kitchen is mum's domain, she is absolutely gorgeous and will poke her head out now and again and give you a toothy smile. The boys tell us mum is from Padang, the Sumatran city renowned for it's food.
Sedap Rasa does a bunch of cooked-to-order Indo classics, but the bainmarie-of-love is the star of the show. On both our visits (around lunchtime) the bainmaire food was super fresh and super delicous. The food is a little different to the other Padang joints we've tried around town, Ponduk Buyong in Kensington and Warung Ita in Lakemba. It's seems a bit less heavy, a bit 'cleaner', maybe more Chinese influenced (?), we're not sure, but we dig it. We went for lunch two days in a row.
If you're new to this style of food, or dragging along a nervous eater, then Sedap Rasa is a great place to start. Remember the bainmarie is your friend here, this style of food is usually precooked and served warm to cool in Indonesia, this is the real deal. All the dishes are labelled and also explained on a menu. There's less of the scary looking\tasting dishes here (Shawn still dry retches at the mere thought of the cow lung sampled at Pondok Buyong years ago, the lady did warn him...). Plus the lads are more than happy to explain the dishes to you. Even Indonesian folks ask questions, you can too. Vegetarians should ask questions as meat can appear where least expected.
Our favourite dishes are dry Sumatran style beef rendang, the cassava leaf curry and the jackfruit curry. Sweet-toothed Mr Shawn is obsessed with the palm sugar desserts in the fridge. Enak.
Three choices on rice - $8.50: from the left we have gulai daun sinkong (cassava leaves curry); rendang sapi (beef rendang); and fried tempeh.
The rendang is done in the dry Sumatran style that we love so much: the curry is reduced down until it is dry, with furry strands of coconut around the edges, big sweet coconut flavours. We tell the boss dude how much we love it and he says it is cooked by his mum who is from Padang, Sumatra, which is all we need to know. The cassava curry is also wonderful, simply greens in a yellow curry sauce, we see this on a lot of plates. The fried tempeh (fermented tofu) in sambal is great too, a zillion times better than when we cook the stuff.
Three choices on rice - $8.50: from the left we have Miss Chicken's favourite gulai nanka (young jackfruit curry); ikan goreng cabe hijau (fried fish in green chili); and potato, green beans (vegetarians take note there was some meat in there too).
Three choices on rice plus one extra: $10.50. from the left we have some stirfied veggies that are harbouring some fugitive chicken pieces (vegetarians beware!); perkedel (fried mash potato rissole); telor balado (boiled egg in chili); and ayam gulai (chicken curry).
Nasi goreng - $10. You can't go wrong with the classic Indo fried rice.
There's a range of Indo soft drinks, teas etc in the fridge. Miss Chicken loves Green Sands, it tastes like a shandy. You can also help yourself to free cold water and tea.
The desserts in the fridge are awesome. This one was like a lovely goo of palm sugar and sticky rice, make sure you grab the little container of coconut at the back of the fridge and mix it together. $3.
Another palm sugar symphony, this time with papaya and sweet potato. Oh my god. $4.
Sedap Rasa Menu - Click to Enlarge...
Sedap Rasa Menu - Click to Enlarge...
Sedap Rasa Indonesian Restaurant is at Shop 1/273 Anzac Parade, Kingsford. Phone 9662 8886. Trading hours at time of writing are said to be 11am to 10pm, 7 days.
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