Thursday, 3 January 2008

Satay Hut

Satay Hut is one of the newer eateries on Little Stanley Street at Southbank. It was set up by the owner and chef of Ginga, Patrick Ip.

We checked out the menu for Satay Hut on a stroll around Southbank one day and thought we should head back for dinner. We eventually made it back here for a quick pre-opera dinner. The place looks pretty impressive from the street, and you can either sit either inside or in their fairly large outside dining area.

The main reason we wanted to try Satay Hut was because of the menu, which has quite a few dishes that you don't see very often. The menu has pictures of many of the dishes, and also has a chilli rating system to give you an idea of how hot to expect the food.

Anyway I wimped out in the adventurous stakes for entree and instead went for one of my favourite starters, chicken satay sticks with rice cakes ($9.90). These were served with cucumber and peanut satay sauce. They weren't the best satay sticks I've ever had, but were fine nevertheless. I hadn't tried the rice cakes before, which were basically a little blob of sticky rice (which tasted better than my description of them). The sauce was good, and got completely cleaned up between the rice cakes and the chicken satays. The rice cakes make this a fairly filling starter.

We also had the vegetarian spring rolls ($6.90) for entree, which are described on the menu as containing cabbage, onion, carrots, mushroom and bamboo shoots, served with plum & sweet chilli dip. I didn't try one of these, as I was too busy munching away on my satay sticks, but I'm told they were fresh and very tasty. The plum & sweet chilli dipping sauce wasn't as tasty as the satay sauce. Needless to say, there was no satay sauce left.

A number of the other entrees were usual suspects, such as prawn spring rolls ($9.90), Thai fish cakes ($6.90), yum cha platter ($24.90 for 2) or you could go for the Malaysian style fried tofu ($7.90) if you're looking for a vegetarian option. There are also a few soups if you're in need of something to slurp all over your shirt to kick off the night.

On to mains. This is where the menu gets interesting - it's a pretty wide ranging one, covering Indonesian, Malaysian, Singaporean and Thai food. Dishes that caught my eye were the sambal stir fry (chicken $16.90, fish $17.90 or prawn $24.90), seafood bird nest ($29.90), coconut seafood bake ($29.90), scallop with tofu ($18.90 - the picture of this looked really good) and the kapitan chicken rice ($18.90).

Anyway, we were in a hurry, so I had to decide and went for the beef nasi lemak ($19.90). Wikipedia calls this the "unofficial national dish of Malaysia". Apparently it's a breakfast dish in Malaysia. The main reason I picked it was because it was a platter, and was the best way of trying a few new meals all in one go. The plate consisted of some Malaysian beef curry, hard boiled egg, ikan belis (dried anchovies), kacang (salted peanuts), achar (pickled vegetables) and coconut rice. Although the curry itself wasn't mind blowing, the combination of all the small dishes was great (although I don't know if anyone could eat all the anchovies). The coconut rice was also delicious. It turned out to be a good choice.

We also had the tofu with satay sauce and cashew nuts ($9.90). This was a bargain and was very good. It was little rounds of silken tofu with some tasty satay sauce. Once again, we couldn't get enough of the satay sauce, which is addictive stuff.

There is a compact, reasonably priced wine list, and you should be able to find something to accompany whatever takes your fancy off the menu.

We only had a limited time at Satay Hut, and the staff were excellent in making sure that all the food came out quickly, so we could head off to the opera.

All up, Satay Hut is a welcome addition to the eateries at South Bank. It's not the cheapest Asian food in town, but its comparably priced with many of the places along Little Stanley Street, and is by no means expensive. Satay Hut is definitely worth a try, especially if you're looking for a few dishes you might not have seen before.

What does all this mean? An interesting range of Asian food at decent prices, with loads of options to keep everyone happy.

food bling ratings
Food - Good
Service - Great
Ambience - Impressive modern Asian surroundings
Value for Money - Good
Wine - OK
Vegetarian - Good

Satay Hut
Shop 3, Little Stanley Street
Southbank 4101
P - 07 3846 6600
W -

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