Date of Last Visit: Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The Victim: Me
The Damage: £15
The Background: I had a work drinks event the Tuesday before last and ended up leaving the bar around 8 p.m. I was walking along City Road thinking, “I really do not want to go to the grocery store and I’ve eaten everywhere around here” when something occurred to me: I hadn’t been to Sedap yet. Sedap sounded great. Alice liked it. Bellaphon liked it. Even Dos Hermanos seemed to like Sedap; they called it “worthwhile.” Well, you know what? I liked Sedap too. A lot.
The Entrance: They have a nice little crowd on a Tuesday night, so I’m surprised when they let me take a four-top all for myself. I’ve been to empty restaurants that force me to the two-tops. Around this time, I’m on Twitter and Kake from the Randomness Guide to London tells me to order the Kerabu salad. I follow her advice and get the version with prawns and it is DELICIOUS. It’s tart and spicy, but because it’s a cold dish, it’s also oddly (yet appropriately on a warm evening–for London) cooling. I had told my server not to go easy on the chilli and this dish is packed full of it. I end up with the hiccups, it’s so hot. Also…there are six very nicely sized prawns laid out on top of the dish. Really, this is great.
The Main: I tell my server to bring me whatever she’d recommend and it’s char kway teow. The dish arrives–with more of those generous prawns–and It’s like Thai pad se eu, but smokier. Meatier. I didn’t think a dish could taste smoky (besides for a Chicago steak, that is), but this is smoky. In the best possible way. I fall in love with Sedap right then and there.
The Follow-up Visits: I end up eating at Sedap three times that week. One take-away. And then one lunch, and I have to say that their lunch menu is an EXCELLENT value. £5.65 for a starter, rice or noodles, and a chicken, beef, or veggie main. £6.50 if you opt for a main that’s prawn, lamb, duck, or seafood. To be fair, the take-away char kway teow wasn’t as delicious as it was in the restaurant…it was missing some of the smokiness and I didn’t see much sausage in there. But my lunch visit–note that char kway teow isn’t on the lunch specials–was just as good as my first visit.
The Verdict: Cheap. Cheerful. Delicious. I’ll be back. Many times.