17 June 2015

San San Curly Noodle ~ Indonesian - Marrickville

San San Curly Noodle is one of the few old school 'Formica table' type restaurants left in inner Sydney. Homestyle Indo food with a bit of Chinese is the speciality here, B-Kyu at its finest.


We thought San San Curly Noodle closed years ago but here it is open Thursday to Sunday lunch and dinner. The mysterious lobsters on the doorway needed further investigation, we had to go in.

The inside is so beautifully old school hole-in-the-wall it should be preserved, it should be the canteen at the Powerhouse Museum. We wanted to take a wide-angle photo of the interior but the restaurant has that vibe of being the family's lounge room as well.

The restaurant is run by the most awesomely lovely auntie and uncle, and another super nice lady who we guess is the daughter. On week nights there might be a couple of kiddies doing their homework which is +100% ambience in our books.

The place is cheeriest during the day, especially a sunny winters day when it gets some super dreamy indirect sunlight, it feels calm and peaceful, we pretend we're in a rumah makan in some small Indo town.  This place is often empty but don't let that deter you, it has it's regulars, and sometimes it feels like an Indo social club, there's certainly enough turnover to keep the food fresh. The menu is brief with a handful of noodle and stir fry dishes.

The food is good and homely, nothing fancy, we love their unique and real at home cooking style. Unless you're a serious Indo food nerd like us, it's maybe not worth a trip across town for. We're rather stoked to have San San Curly Noodle in easy walking distance. It took us a couple of visits to really appreciate those curly curly noodles, but now we're hooked.

If this kind of restaurant is your cup of tea we recommend trying it sooner rather than later, you never know when auntie and uncle will retire. One of our favourite parts of dining here is the surprised look on peoples faces when they walk by and see you eating. "What, people actually eat in there?". Oh, yes they do!

Chicken noodle - $6 lunch special. Simmered chicken and mushrooms on top of noodles. There's a meaty homely 'savoury mince' flavour to this dish. Soup is served on the side. You can pour it over the noodles or have it as a side soup, or a bit of both.

The noodles are curly as the shop name implies, thin with a nice bite to them. They are different to the yellow 'bakmi' style noodles we usually find in this dish. We weren't so excited about the noodles on our first visit, but after a couple of visits we've developed a fetish for the texture and subtle flavour of these curly curly noodles. We dig.

Combination noodles - $14. Curly noodles with chicken, roast pork, mushroom, and a soy googie egg. The roast pork tastes house made, it is a little sweet and a lot awesome.

Chicken fried rice - $10 + $1 for fried egg. Can't go wrong with fried rice. It's more Chinese than Indonesian fried rice, simple and homely.

Fried chicken wontons - $5. Big crispy wontons, a must, especially after a beer.

Shantong chicken with noodle - $8 (lunch special). A big plate of those toothsome curly curly noodles with a quarter piece of chicken (thigh or breast). The chicken is fried and coated in a sweet sauce, like sweet and sour with an extra vinegar kick. It's a huge feed for the price and it's almost embarrassing to pay only $8 for it.


San San Curly Noodle opens and closes at leisure for months on end, so we're pleased to see them back open of late, there's a homely touch to the cooking that we've really grown to love over time, and we love the old school hole-in-the-wall vibe, it's up there with the majestic Ria Sari in Randwick.

Uncle recommends giving them a call to check if they are open should you need some curly noodle action - see above.

Chicken noodles are still great and only eight dollars.

Uncle suggested pork wontons to go with the noodles, who could disagree, especially at $2.50.

San San Curly Noodle is at 119 Marrickville Road, Marrickville. Phone 9568 1333. Open Thursday to Sunday.

This post is brought to you by the magical hiding pussycat of Marrickville.

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  1. I had to do a double take to find the cat! haha


  2. If you like their noodle texture, you can buy and cook it yourself at home. There's an Indo shop at Anzac Pde, Kingsford called "White Lotus" that stocks them at their fridge. Based on my memory, it costs around $3.50 / 500 gram.

    By the way, have you tried the new Indo noodle joint called "Enjoy Mie" near UNSW Kensington ?

  3. Hey thanks for the tip, we'll give that a try. I think we'll try Enjoy Mie next time we're up for chicken noodles. Never quite found a bakmi ayam as good as we had in Jakarta, one reader suggested they're too generous with the meat in Australia which throws the balance out.

    1. I think you'll find as close as you can at Enjoy Mie. If you visit it, try to be more daring...don't order bakmi ayam, but order "lo cu pan" especially with minced pork or BBQ pork versions. Also don't miss out on their special "sui kiaw" dumpling and deep-fried meatballs. Enjoy Mie is actually close to Pondok Buyung, which I know also one of your favorite place (my fav also).

    2. I'll definitely try some lo cu pan, thanks for the tip, much appreciated!

  4. Love your blog & enjoy referring to it when we're exploring new neighborhoods or just hungry! We went to try San Curly on Saturday for lunch but it was closed & had very little sign of life:(

  5. Boyfriend and I were driving past this Saturday morning, were surprised to see it open so we went in for lunch. He's vegetarian and the uncle and aunty were so accommodating with substituting the chicken / soup in the chicken noodle. It was truly something quite special - made me feel like I was back in Malaysia. They're now only open for booking - contact 9568 1333 or 0419216888.

    1. Love to hear this, they're good folk in there.


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).