There's been a few times when I haven't been able to think of anywhere to eat in the city. Sure, it's my everyday hangout during term and I know the cafe lunch scene back to front but come night time when I want more than a salad/wrap/yogurt, I get a bit stumped.
To get around, that one night we made the effort to trek to Southbank Parklands. I think Southbank is a bit underrated and tends to be type-casted as some kind of tourism gip but it's really a lovely place to hang out. If you manage to go at a time when there aren't invasive hoards of school children on holiday, the dining and entertainment is not bad at all.
I went from one extreme in the city where I didn't want anything to the other end of the scale in Southbank where there were just too many options and not enough decision-making. In the end, we opted for the first restaurant we walked past that we hadn't tried before.
Satay Hut is located on Little Stanley Street on the end of Southbank away from Cultural Center. True to its name, there's a small wooden hut in the middle of the restaurant that serves as a bar. Most of the seats and tables are outdoors.
The menus were brand-spanking new and we sort of debated whether or not this was a 'good' indicator for restaurant popularity. The items are significantly more expensive than that at your local cheap Asian dig but the rationale here is that you're paying for location, superior service, sparkly menus and nicer table wear.
We ordered some drinks to start with. I got a boozy coconut milk cocktail which was quite heady, not from the alcohol but from the coconut. It's so creamy it's like drinking dessert. The lime cocktail was like a more citrusy version of LLB.
Entrees were curry puffs. My friend is a bit of a curry puff connoisseur and seemed disappointed by the type of pastry and lack in size.
I didn't mind the shortcrust-style pastry so these were pretty good to me.
Malaysian Nyonya pumpkin curry lamb - coconut cream, coconut sugar, galangal and diced lamb, served with steamed rice
For mains, I chose the lamb and pumpkin curry based purely on the fact that that combination contains 2 of my favorite food items ever. In a curry! And curries are fab (even though it was stiffing hot that night). The curry was reasonable but I've had a lot of curry in my life so this one didn't manage a lasting impression. About halfway through, I got distracted by the satay noodles...
It was decided that we would be silly to dine at Satay Hut and not order a satay dish. Interestingly enough, there weren't many satay items in the mains section of the menu. I think these satay noodles were the only option. Whatever the case may be, I totally dig the noodles. I've only had satay with meat and rice before but let me tell you, when combined with crispy bits of fried noodle, it sings. The satay is on the sweet side, which isn't for everyone... but I like my sugar. I've got satay noodles on my mind, even now!
Satay Hut is pretty typical of Asian food in Southbank, from my experience. It's probably best not to think about it from an economical point of view because you'll get the best bang for your buck at authentic eateries, which also don't compromise on taste/quantity. Rather, you can appreciate the extras and enjoy the environment. All the same, I would give them THAT many more points if they had developed some kind of outdoor aircon system.