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Sudu

  • Restaurants
  • Queen’s Park
  • price 2 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
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Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

If you had your first taste of nasi lemak in London at any point between 1973 and, say, the late 1990s, chances are it was at Satay House. The much-loved Paddington restaurant – still going strong half a century after it was founded – put Malaysian food on the capital’s map. Now, it has a younger sibling, Sudu, helmed by brother-and-sister duo Fatizah and Irqam Shawal, children of Satay House’s owners.

To get there, come out of Queens Park station and turn left onto Salusbury Road, fast becoming north-west London’s foodiest street (Milk Beach, The Salusbury Wine Store, Michiko Sushino, I’m looking at you). Where Satay House is a riot of glossy reds, Sudu keeps it more casual with exposed brick walls and bistro-style wooden chairs. This laid-back approach is mirrored by the menu, which takes its cues from Malaysian kopitiam (traditional coffee shops) and hawker stalls. 

Meat falls apart under the fork in the richest, most aromatic sauce, which sings with lemongrass, galangal and chilli

I’m a card-carrying member of the Sambal Shiok fan club but I’ve only been to Malaysia once, so I head to Sudu with a Malaysian-New Zealander friend who’s spent part of her life in Sarawak, Borneo. She gives a thumbs up to the ikan bilis kacang – crispy anchovies and peanuts – that we order while we strategise. The beef rendang, the stuff of legend at Satay House and cooked here to the original family recipe, is an absolute triumph; meat falls apart under the fork in the richest, most aromatic sauce, which sings with lemongrass, galangal and chilli. Another hit is the char kway teow, with a masterful smoky charring on flat rice noodles along with just-so prawns, squid, egg and mustard greens. Not everything we try is as successful: a tofu and tempeh curry is a little underpowered, and although the roti are a flaky, elastic delight when hot, they lose their magic as they cool. But these are eclipsed by outrageously good sticky garlic wings. 

As we’re leaving, the bar area at the front is filling up with solo-dining students tucking into chicken rice and pandan syrup drinks. I go home feeling like I’ve just scratched the surface of Sudu – so I do what any self-respecting greedyguts would do and come back for breakfast the next morning. The kopi, brewed dark and sweet and enriched with a glug of condensed milk, is strong enough to raise the dead. Bihun kosong, vermicelli noodles stir-fried with egg and parcelled up in a banana leaf, is perfectly breakfast-portioned, substantial enough to prevent me from recklessly ordering a side of kaya toast with coconut jam. Or postpone, perhaps – because I’ll definitely be back for some soon. 

The vibe A cosy and casual family-run Malaysian eatery.

The food Hawker-style hits – don’t miss the rendang, and the noodles.

The drink Get your kopi fix. 

Time Out tip Skip the Saturday queues by going for brunch instead of dinner: the breakfast menu is served until 4pm.

Written by
Emma Hughes

Details

Address:
30 Salusbury Rd
London
NW6 6NL
Contact:
sudu.uk
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