There’s something quite therapeutic about the sound of food being cooked in the wok. It’s the clanging of the spatula against the sides that seem to get your taste buds ready for a spicy onslaught. That’s exactly what happens at Sharon Kwan’s Kitchen. It’s a walk down a flavour-memory lane – bringing Malaysian street food to Petersham in Sydney’s inner west. In what was a warehouse used by Kwan to prepare ready made Malaysian meals for small grocers (we are deeply saddened we missed those) is now a soon-to-be bursting at the seams local favourite.
Kwan is a self-professed cook, not a chef, she tells us, but it’s her 30 years of cooking (and running a restaurant in Bondi for 14 years) that brings about the flavour impact.
With no-one offering Malaysian grilled chicken in Sydney, Kwan decided to offer something different on Parramatta Road in the shape of the juiciest chicken cooked in Malaysian spices, accompanied by turmeric rice and a simple – yet delicious – salad.
We started, though, with homemade curry puffs – stuffed wholeheartedly with potato, pea and the occasional curry leaf. These are moreish and an obvious favourite with the locals turning up for take-away.
The all-star meal, after the juiciest chicken ever tasted, was the rendang beef and salad “tacos”. Tender beef pieces with the recognisable flavours in the rendang of galangal, lemongrass and chilli are wrapped in a buttery, fluffy and home made roti. This should become the Australian equivalent to the English habit of a curry after a few beers.
The laksa has chargrilled prawns and tofu. The pre-grilling of the prawns makes a huge difference to the flavour impact of the laksa and it’s that type of detail that makes the whole experience at Sharon Kwan’s all the more special. Ninety per cent of all the food offered at the kitchen is home made – that’s a feat, considering the amount of sambals on offer.
We finished with the sago. The cooling effect of cream on our chili-dipped lips is perfect.
Sharon Kwan’s Kitchen is a must for locals and for anyone who wants some proper Malaysian street food at an incredibly reasonable price. Eat in or take away and enjoy in the comfort of your own home (pyjamas, movie marathon, chicken…need we say more?).
Sharon Kwan Kitchen
726 Parramatta Rd, Petersham NSW 2049
Tues to Fri – 11.30 – 9pm, Sat – 12.9.30, Sun – 12 – 8.30