What do you get when you mix modest Malaysian comfort food with the tuneful substance of cool jazz?
Sassy’s Red is a Malaysian “kopitiam” (coffee shop) and the new brainchild of Simon Goh, owner of Chinta Ria, Temple of Love at Cockle Bay. This cafe serves up comfort classics that transport diners back to nostalgic Malaysian yesteryears in the spanking new Westfield shopping centre food hall on Pitt street in Sydney’s CBD.
“Ambience and the whole dining experience is just as important as what’s on the plate”, says Simon, where his new gig has been dishing out laksa and mee goreng in feeding frenzies to CBD’s lunch hour crowds.
We kick off our sassy meal with Lobak, deep fried crispy bean curd rolls stuffed with fragrant five-spice chicken mince and water chestnuts dipped into Lingham’s chilli sauce. This is one of my favourite entrees where each morsel is a tantalising mix of flavoursome crisp and succulence.
Fresh sugar cane juice is icy, refreshing and evokes images of cane juicers on roadside stalls in Malaysia.
Mee goreng comes in casual paper packets that seal in all the flavours of a fiery wok.
The egg noodles are tasty, fried tofu cubes and prawn cutlets adding that bit of decadence to what is a huge serving.
Laksa has become as popular as pizza in recent years and Chinta Laksa is a flavoursome bowl of spicy noodles with sliced fishcake , shredded chicken, fried tofu puffs and beansprouts.
Yee Mee aka Crispy noodles is the Cantonese classic where seared crispy egg noodles with prawns, fishcakes and broccoli are complemented by thick gooey egg sauce and the familiar pickled green chillies.
Each dish gives us distinct flavours and Nasi Joget is no exception. Fragrant tumeric and smoky wok aromas combined beautifully with the frothy sweetness of Teh Tarek, the iconic Malaysian stretched sweet tea.
Roti (Malaysian Indian-inspired bread) is another favourite where crisp and flaky bread is perfect for mopping up the thick and spicy sauce of a curry chicken.
“Hotel fried rice is a special dish which is not even on the menu”, says Simon. Studded with peas, carrots and lup cheong (chinese sausage), the rice breaths of “wok breath” and Malaysian nostalgia.
We finished off our meal with the signature sago gula, a delectable bowl of sweet sago pearls in rich coconut milk drizzled with brown sugar syrup.
The affable Simon Goh was on hand to explain the inspiration behind Sassy’s Red, where comfort food is akin to the flavours of your Nana’s cooking. At the same time, diners experience the familiar surroundings of a cosy eatery that blends hot food with cool jazz.
Sassy’s servings are relatively large so an equally good size take-away pack was on hand to ensure we relive some sassy flavours later.
Note: ChopinandMysaucepan dined as guests of Sassy’s Red.
Related ChopinandMysaucepan posts:
- Interview: Simon Goh, Sydney’s restaurateur extraordinaire
- Chinta Ria … Temple of Love, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney
- Chinta Ria … Mood for Love, Westfield Sydney
Level 5, Shop 5002, Westfield Sydney
188, Pitt Street, Sydney 2000
(02) 8072 8072