Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sassy's Red by Chinta Ria - Westfield CBD, Sydney

One of the things I hate most about renting is waiting for repairs to be done.  You may ask why this post has started off with a rant, but our stove elements have been out of order for a more than a week, and it's becoming an awful pain.  Cheesecake Boy and I love our home cook meals as much as our meals out, but there are times when nothing beats a home cooked meal, especially when you're having a rough week.  

We were roaming the CBD last Thursday night after work, trying to be inspired by something quick and easy.  When Cheesecake Boy guided me towards Westfield, I was thinking that he'd lost his mind, as I know what it's like at lunch time, but to my surprise it was reasonably busy and not packed at all.  When Cheesecake Boy and I walked passed Sassy's Red by Chinta Ria and there was a spare table, we knew we had found our place for a simple no fuss dinner that night.

If you're been following our eating and drinking habits, then you may recall that between the two of us, Cheesecake Boy is the one who loves his Asian drinks.  I am definitely a lot more reluctant and like to stick to boring water.  Naturally, Cheesecake Boy decided he was going to try the sugar cane juice.  However, for once Cheesecake Boy and I agreed that sugar cane juice is an acquired taste, and definitely a taste that Cheesecake Boy and I have not learnt to appreciate yet.

Freshly pressed sugar cane juice, $5

While I was minding our precious table, I asked Cheesecake Boy when he was heading up to the counter to order, to choose an entree that I could nibble on.  It had been a long day, and I can definitely eat lots after a super long day in the office.  Cheesecake Boy struck gold when he ordered the lohbak rolls.  As soon as he heard that they had something to do with bean curd, he knew it was right up my alley.  I loved the delicate morsels of crisp bean curd skin with the moist and juicy minced chicken filling.  There were actually two rolls, with a total of six pieces, I think I had four of them.  Okay... I will actually admit that I ate four of them.  They were just so fragrant and moreish, I couldn't help myself.

Lohbak rolls, $6

Cheesecake Boy has this habit of asking for recommendations when we are eating out.  Sometimes it works in our favour, and other times I have to sigh.  This is how we ended up with Donny's chicken rice, as it is apparently the most popular dish on the menu.  Donny's chicken rice consisted of crispy chicken served with a ginger infused rice and two sauces.  One sauce being ginger and shallot and the other chilli sauce.  I liked the rice, really subtle, but flavorsome.  However, I found the chicken to be too dry and there wasn't enough sauce.

Donny's chicken rice, $11

After reading a post from Noodlies about the beef rendang here, I knew if we ever came here, I was definitely going to order the beef rendang as it looked so moist and saucy.  I really was set on  just ordering the beef rendang, but I wasn't feeling like a whole plate of meat and rice only that day.  However, just before we were about to order I spotted the nasi lemak.  The nasi lemak gives you the option to choose between either the beef rendang or chicken curry served with coconut rice, a sliced egg, achar salad, peanuts and sambal bilis.

The moment of truth arrived and I had my first bite of beef rendang.  The beef rendang was sweet, tender and it melted in my mouth.  I really liked the rich and thicker consistency of the sauce of the stewed beef.  I was expecting the sambal bilis to be salty than it was, but the anchovies weren't actually that overpowering at all.  The achar salad was not overly pickled in this case either.  The only thing I was disappointed with was the coconut rice, as I couldn't detect any richness of coconut that I had been looking forward too.  This  nasi lemak was certainly different to other versions that I have tried.  However, I like sweet overtones in my savoury food, so I enjoyed the overriding sweetness that this nasi lemak had. 

Nasi lemak, $11

I was after some dessert, so Cheesecake Boy said he was going to surprise me.  I think I only spied two choices on the wall, and so I wasn't surprised when I saw a bowl of bo bo cha cha, it had the catchier name of the two desserts.  The bo bo cha cha was served warmed, and was a nice way to end our simple stoveless winter dinner.  The coconut milk was sweet and slightly salty.  I loved the bits of sago and the chunks of sweet potato and taro.  Cheesecake Boy also gave this dessert his seal of approval. 

Bo bo cha cha, $5

Sassy's Red by Chinta Ria really was the perfect simple and no fuss dinner we were looking for.   However, they really do tend to cater more to the lunch crowds, and I would be more than happy to have lunch here too, if I wanted to be bombarded by the crowds at lunch.  More importantly though, the food came out quickly and it was actually better than what I was expecting.  Sometimes it's good to be surprised, especially if they come in the form of lohbak rolls.

Munching away, Dumpling Girl.

Sassy's Red by Chinta Ria
Westfield, Level 5 
Pitt Street
Sydney  NSW  2000
Ph: (02) 8072 8072

Sassy's Red by Chinta Ria on Urbanspoon


chocolatesuze said...

ooh love the look of the beef rendang with your nasi lemak!

Simon Leong said...

i can't say i liked the Donny's chicken rice but i didn't mind the Lohbak rolls. might have to try the rendang next time.

chopinandmysaucepan said...

Glad to see you;ve finally got your lohbak fix as I know you;ve been eyeing that for a while. The best dish is the "hotel fried rice" which is not on the overhead menu.

Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

I think Thurday nights at the food court are pretty convenient. Last time I went it was so packed! Nice review :)

joey@forkingaroundsydney said...

Donny's chicken rice dish is definitely disappointingly dry. I'd prefer if they stuck with the Hainan chicken instead.

Mel said...

I wish the food court was open later on school nights (Thursday's aside mind you) as it's a good option for a quite bite in the city. I love Beef Rendang and think I'd get it with the Nasi Lemak too.

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello Suze, the beef rendang was delish.

Hi Simon, I wouldn't hesitate to have the beef rendang again.

Hey chopinand, lol you and Cheesecake Boy sure have a good memory, I actually forgot last week about the lohbak rolls, it has been that crazy. Hotel fried rice sounds intriguing though, wonder why it's called that.

Hello Tina, seems like I was lucky that Thursday night then. Aww thank you, means a lot coming from you.

Hello Joey, I would defnitely prefer Hainan Chicken rice too, but I think the fried chicken tries to westernised the dish.

Hi MissPiggy, I know exactly what you mean about school nights :) I think they should open later too, especially with the food available as it's easily things people eat for dinner too.

Jen said...

I've never had lohbak and I want one right now! :)

chopinandmysaucepan said...

It's because many hotels in Malaysia back in the 80s have fried rice done that way, distinctively with chinese sausage which adds flavour to the rice.

Dumpling Girl said...

Hi Jen, it was so crispy, but moist at the same time :)

Hello chopinand, I never knew that, thanks for clarifying. I always thought lap cheong was the way to go with fried rice, it's not the same without it :)

spiderman said...

Hi Dumpling Girl,

The Bo bo cha cha is one of my fave desserts - well, anything with coconut milk + sago/taro/sweet potato is ! Have you tried this dessert (or similar) at any other places, and if so which do you recommend ?

Dumpling Girl said...

Hello spiderman,

I usually only get the chance to eat coconut milk and sago when my family goes to Kam Fook and it comes as the complimentary dessert afterwards.

The only other place that I have the chance to try it was a place called the Singapore Heritage Restaurant about 5 years ago but it didn't leave an impression on me.

Sorry can't be much help this time, but I did enjoyed the one at Sassy's, it's just not a dessert that you can find at many places.

Seems like more research and test tasting is in order :)

john@heneedsfood said...

I know it's still relatively new but I've forgotten all about this place! I started having lunch there the same week they opened but got side tracked and forgot about it. I need to return and try a few more things so I can blog it.

Dumpling Girl said...

Hi John, we forgot about this place too, until we walked passed :)