The space at 78 Stanley Street has seen many iterations in recent times. It was the home of IconPark’s Stanley St Merchants then Rupert and Ruby. The venue has now been taken over by head chef Zacharay Tan (of Devon and Devon on Danks) and business partner Derek Puah as Lucky Suzie, a permanent addition to the Sydney dining scene that is bringing Malaysian cuisine from the Penang region to Darlinghurst.
The name Lucky Suzie is a nod to the lucky Susan which purpose was the easy serving of food at the table. The space has a sleek new look with counter seating, warm timbers, gold ring lights above a marble-topped bar designed by Studio Ham and designer Matt Woods.
Marco Oscar Giron
The drinks list has diversity with creative cocktails by Marco Oscar Giron (ex Junk Lounge) using non-conventional ingredients such as yuzu, galangal, nashi pears and goji berries, as well as Malaysian ingredients that work in harmony with the kitchen. Mocktails highlight fresh ingredients, pair well with the food and there are locally made sodas from PS40. Thought has gone into the wine list to bring together wines that match Malaysian cuisine. There are wines from around the globe with organic and natural wines being well represented.
For Cherie’s Sake
For Cherie’s Sake ($16) with Manzanilla Sherry, Sake, cucumber and pineapple and Spanish Bitters creates a perfect balance between the dryness of the sherry, the freshness of the cucumber and wonderful floral notes. The cocktail is elegant on the palate, easy drinking and a perfect way to start the evening.
Rama-Rama Spritz ($18) with Tanqueray Gin, Blue-pea flower and jasmine, citrus and dandelion and burdock bitters will draw you in with its brilliant colour. But the presentation is just the start with the gin combining well with the jasmine tea and the light carbonation making for a refreshing drink. To translate, Rama-rama is Malaysian for butterfly and this drink does float like its namesake.
With Aphrospice, ($16) the straw is fashioned out of a lemongrass stalk to bring together the natural ingredients that are used here. Clarified orange juice and semi-cooked galangal combined with Ketel One Vodka and Aphrodite bitters make for a drink that is sweet, but not overly, and finishes with a slight bitter note.
The Tequila Malacca ($20) is a what a Paloma wants to be when it grows up. Made with Tequila Blanco, Pomelo and Pomegranate and Yuzu, sipping it through the sage and fennel salt rim creates an incredible combination of flavours that works so well. This is a cocktail with the wow factor.
Teh Tarik, ($20) with Johnnie Walker Black, rosemary and green tea, nashi pear and teapot bitters pays homage to what many say is Malaysia’s national drink, of what translates to “pulled tea”, which describes the way it is made. The whisky is up front but not overpowering and works in balance with the fresh tea with herbaceous notes coming from the rosemary and fruit sweetness from the nashi pear.
Nonya & Baba
Nonya & Baba ($18) is like a wonderful light dessert in a glass. The mix of Cubaney White Rum with the house-made pandan, coconut and five spice milk topped with dark chocolate shavings has created a drink that is creamy and hints at both sour and sweet. The name translates as women and men and refers to the descendants of the Chinese who settled in the Malay peninsula.
Tebu Julep ($21) is exactly what this cocktails is about, as tebu means sugar cane. Made with Bulleit Bourbon, sugar cane, finger lime, Vietnamese mint, Thai basil, Angostura and orange bitters, it is almost like a salad built over layers of the sugar cane crushed ice that highlights the sweetness of the bourbon and topped with fresh pearls of finger lime pearl.
The Penang Blazer ($22) with Cubaney Spiced Rum, dessert wine, macadamia, banana leaf, Burlesque and Peychaud’s bitters is the cocktail with which to end the night. With the flaming of the spirit and pouring into the banana leaf lined glass, this blazer has the aromas of the banana leaf brought out by the warmth of the liquid. On taste, the sweetness of the dessert wine is on the front of the palate. followed by fruit, spice from the rum and and nuttiness from the macadamia chips. In other words, several components that make up the rum
Chef Zachary Tan (ex-Aria) travelled for inspiration and to find those true flavours from the street food hawkers in Malaysia. The dishes presented may be a revelation of flavour for those uninitiated to the cuisine and a new home to enjoy for those who know the cuisine without having to step on a plane.
Kacang Putih (upper left), Keropok
From the snacks, enjoy Kacang Putih ($3) soft and light spiced chickpeas while enjoying a cocktail or wine and peruse the menu. Partner these up with Keropok ($5), which are house-made SA calamari and prawn crackers with spicy prawn sambal mayo.
Pie Tee ($16) are wonderful parcels of braised shitake, yam bean, carrot and mud crab that deliver a great combination of flavours in a light crispy shell and served with a hot sauce.
Lobster Thermidore Spring Roll
The Lobster Thermidore Spring Roll ($6 each) is an exquisite creamy bite encased in its crisp home. This is comfort food in a roll and be dared to try to stop at just one.
Prosperity Bao ($7 each) is a slow cooked Wagyu brisket with black pepper sauce, beautifully sweet tender meat resting in a soft pillowy bun.
Penang Char Koay Teow
The Penang Char Koay Teow ($25) are stir fried noodles with seafood. The noodles are soft, the sauce brings a gentle heat while the bean sprouts add texture to the dish. The supreme is shown here, which includes prawns and scallops.
Aunty Yulia’s Beef Short Ribs
This dish of Aunty Yulia’s Beef Short Ribs ($19) can be eaten with a spoon. The meat is so tender and falls apart the gentlest of touches. There is a beautiful sweetness to the meat which is brought out by the sweet soy glaze.
Chef Zacharay Tan brought back this ice machine from his travels home. Able to be run by hand if the power is off, it is used to make shaved ice for drinks and desserts which traditionally is clear ice which then has syrup added for colour and flavour. Chef has used blue pea flower so as to create a wonderful dessert.
The ABC ($14) is refreshing with the textures of the shaved blue pea flower ice combining with the bubur cha cha and the taro ice cream to make a dessert that is flavoursome, generous and eye-catching.
Lucky Suzie brings to life a fresh and vibrant cuisine in both its dishes and its cocktails. There is much here to discover and enjoy with the friendly team keen to enhance the experience. This is affordable dining with great food and drinks. If this cuisine is new to you, Lucky Suzie will be the perfect host and guide.
78 Stanley Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12pm-12am; Saturday 10am-12am
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