As much as I wanted to start this review with something like “who is Suzie, and was she really lazy?”, I think I can do a bit better than that. And by that I mean I’ll acknowledge the joke and move on to telling you about this excellent new Asian bar and eatery on Stanley Street in Darlinghurst. It’s called Lazy Suzie... Hence the reference. Bet that went right over your head.
Sitting in the venue that once housed those wonderful IconPark pop-up restaurants, Lazy Suzie combines the best of Malaysian street food with the Sydney modern dining scene.
I don’t really know what I was expecting the place to look like, but I was incredibly surprised upon walking in. It’s got that exposed brick look that just makes everything look at least 34.7% cooler, a twisty light display, and a very welcoming bar. Or was that just because my mate Marco [Oscar Oshiro] Giron was behind the bar?
Taking the Malaysian thing and running with it, Marco has created an epic cocktail list that is broken down for the simple folk such as myself. You can enjoy all manner of liquid delights, from a light, long pre-drink, to a boozier Suzie and an after-dinner tipple that will hit the spot.
The menu is a mix of Hawker-style Malaysian eats with a few modern twists thrown in to keep you guessing. I won’t go through all of them because, full disclosure, I had over six, but there are a million flavours going on in each one. Take the brilliant purple rama-rama fizz for example, with Tanqueray gin, citrus, blue-pea flower and Dandelion & Burdock bitters. My British dining companion tells me the latter is a popular English soft drink. It’s the ideal start to the evening, with a little hint of jasmine tea and just enough gin flavour to rev my engines.
While we peruse the menu, a small bowl of fried spiced chickpeas land in front of us. They were good, really good. I might get in trouble for saying this, but they were better than the ones at Ester. Moving swiftly along, there’s a lobster thermidor spring roll that is all but assured to burn your tongue, but you won’t have the patience to wait. It’s everything I wanted it to be, crispy shattering pastry on the outside with a creamy centre that is filled with plump pieces of lobster. Yep, we were off to a good start.
The menu is a marathon, not a sprint, so feel free to order as you go, you won’t be in any rush. A must, however, is the Kerabu chicken salad, a colourful mix of Pantene-silky poached chicken, crispy skin (hell yeah), green mango, calamansi and herbs. The idea is to mix it all together with the three dipping sauces (go for the coconut milk) and wrap it in a leaf for a heavenly morsel.
Like most normal, functioning human beings, I can’t say no to a well-made char kway tao. Flavoursome rice noodles stir fried and filled with a generous amount of lap cheong, scallops, and lobster meat. I was full, but it was one of those situations where not eating it would have been a catastrophic mistake.
It has recently come to my attention that saying things like “I’m not a dessert person, but THIS…” makes me sound like a bit of a douche (shout out to whoever let me say it for so long), but when it applies, you can’t help but yell it from the rooftops (or bar stool). Most desserts seem to be something of an addition to the meal, and you leave feeling way too full with no memory of what you ate. This wasn’t the case at Lazy Suzie. The ABC, a shaved blue pea flower ice with bubur cha cha and taro ice cream, was perfectly light, moreish, and one of the best meals I’ve eaten all year. 10/10 would order again.
After eating as much as possible, we ended the night with my favourite: the Penang blazer. Blazed to order (‘cause Marco is cool like that), it’s a spicy, warm medley of spiced rum, botrytis Riesling, banana leaf and bitters, served in a banana leaf-lined glass that comes to life when the warm liquid is added, and has macadamias in there for some nutty crunch. As after dinner cocktails go, this one was a bloody ripper.
Full, sliiiightly tipsy and all around satisfied, off I went into the night, messaging all of my mates with incoherent rambles about this new Darlinghurst bar. Make it your next stop, and don’t skimp on the cocktails.
If you're still hungry, you should check out all of our restaurants and cafes on The Directory. Go on, you know you want to.
Image credit: Lazy Suzie