Beef Rendang Set Lunch – Sedap, Old Street

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Sorry folks! I have been on hiatus for a couple of weeks between jobs and also took a well earned holiday along the way. Now I’m back and I’m glad to say I’ve moved location and hopefully the better, newer and varied food available will give me the kick to eat and write more!

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Lunch today is just a trot down the road and I’m proud to say I steer cleared from the laksa on offer and opted for the set lunch. Sedap is a small restaurant along Old Street which I have visited awhile ago. My experience previously was not too bad though I thought the portion was a bit on the small side. Read other food blogs about the place and it would seem the standard and portion size has taken a plunge recently so I’m keen to verify my fellow blogger’s observation.

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For the set lunch, you select a main course from item 16 to 41 of the main menu with prawn, duck or fish dishes costing £1 more. I tried the Beef Rendang the last time I visited and if I recall, it was not perfect but totally serviceable. So I ordered the Beef Rendang as my main, the Kerabu Vegetable Salad as the starter and Egg Fried Rice as the protein. Total came up to £7.80.

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I think everything I’ve ordered was pre prepared as I was served within minutes of placing the order. Can’t complain as rendang needs a lot of stewing while the salad is more of a pickle. I was really looking forward to the Kerabu Vegetable Salad and thus was a tad disappointed at the minute portion. Taste wise, it was good though. Thin slices of cucumber and wood ear mushroom pickle in a sweet and slightly sour dressing which I think contains tamarind. Crunchy and refreshing, wished the portion was bigger.

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For those of you aficionados of Beef Rendang (Boom, I’m referring to you!), you would think that the colour of the rendang is slightly off. I thought so too as the version I’m accustomed to is usually dark brown and rather dry. This was green and had quite a good amount of gravy. Taste wise it was reasonable, the whiff of pandan leaves was prominent and the gravy went very well with the egg fried rice. Once again, portion size was my main gripe. 5 pieces of stamp sized beef which could be stewed more till tender was not worth the £7.80 price tag.

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The Egg Fried Rice was the surprise of the meal. Almost all rendition of Egg Fried Rice I have encountered is just rice fried with scrambled egg. One will be lucky to get some garlic and seasoning. As you can see, Sedap’s version added some dark soya sauce which adds an extra dimension to the otherwise easily boring rice dish. Simple, basic but I really enjoyed it. Could eat another big plateful with no problem!

In all, I think my fellow bloggers were correct. The portion and standard of Sedap has indeed took a nose dive since my last visit. But I will check out their laksa in the near future before I give my final verdict. Will be sure to report back!

Sedap Restaurant
102 Old Street
London EC1V 9AY
0207 4900200

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Pre shopping lunch – Reindeer Cafe, Wing Yip, Cricklewood

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The weekend past, I decided to make a trip to Wing Yip on Edgware Road as I was running low on Asian groceries and I got a request from a fellow blogger which I will fulfill in another post. Not sure whether it happens to anyone else, but I know if I grocery shop on an empty stomach, I tend to end up buying more than I need! So decided to have some lunch at Reindeer Cafe which is located next to the supermarket area.

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Like many typical Chinese restaurant in Chinatown, the roast meats are hung in the glass showcase. Look at all the shiny and gleaming roast duck! Within the cafe, there is also a small bakery area selling both savoury and sweet confectionary. I think the highlight of lunch for Furry was the slice of fresh cream cake he bought as dessert.

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The extensive menu though not as large as some of the other Chinese restaurants can still be daunting. I guess the first decision to make is whether you are happy with a dish/carb combi for yourself versus order a number of dishes to share. From a cost perspective, my recommendation would be if you have a party of more than 3, it make sense to order dishes to share. But if there are only 2 of you, you might be better off ordering a dish/carb combi each and sharing that instead.

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Despite my own advice, I decided to order the 3 Roast Meat plate, Stir Fry Morning Glory with garlic and a Prawn Dumpling Soup to share. The Prawn Dumpling Soup came a bit later so no pics of it, sorry! For the 3 Roast Meat, I went with Soya Sauce Chicken, Honey Roast Pork and Crispy Pork Belly as Furry was not into duck. I was looking forward to the Soya Sauce Chicken as it has been a long time since I had it. Unfortunately, I was disappointed 😦 The Soya Sauce Chicken was not braised enough. The sauce barely penetrated the skin of the chicken. I was expecting a deep, rich soya sauce flavour through the skin and into the flesh. Think I can do a better job myself. Even when the portion given was the drumstick (most Chinese love the drumstick) did not save the dish. The Crispy Pork Belly was adequate with the expected crackling while the Honey Roast Pork was too tough and sinewy. Furry nearly choked on a piece!

The Stir Fry Morning Glory was nicely done but I tend to prefer when it’s stir fried with Sambal Belacan. The highlight of lunch was the Prawn Dumpling Soup. The dumplings were filled with generous pieces of prawns, bamboo shoot and shredded dark fungus. The bouncy prawns combined with the crunchy bamboo shoot and fungus is an enjoyable mouthful sensation. Don’t attempt to drink all the soup though! It’s laden with MSG and made us thirsty the entire day.

Back to going against my own advice. If I was to order 2 dish/carb combi which I think is around £7 each, the Prawn Dumpling Soup and Morning Glory are also around £7 each. That will only be £28. Then you add in the drinks, that will still be under £35? Not too sure what happened but the bill came up to £42+ and service is not included. Unfortunately, the bill was not itemised and I did not bother to query it. Well, at least now I know what not to do in future.

Reindeer Cafe
395 Edgware Road
Cricklewood
London NW2 6LN
0208 450 2333