Zacharay Tan is on to something. Lazy Suzie, his new Stanley Street venture, goes beyond the ever-Instagrammed taro scotch eggs and azuki-filled cronuts of his other locations and falls somewhere between his experience in fine dining and his Penang heritage.
“It’s a totally different animal. We’re getting away from coffee and breakfast, and focusing on street-eat vibes and cocktails and bar stuff,” he says. “And that’s why we’ve really invested in attracting some of Sydney’s leading hospitality people.”
That team is strong. Tan is in the kitchen alongside head chef Berron Kim and the former Devon by Night team. Michael Baronie is restaurant manager. Marco Oscar Oshiro Giron is at the bar making eclectic Asian-inspired cocktails, including a kaffir lime, galangal, orange, lemongrass and vodka number, and a carbonated cocktail of Pisco, goji berry and calamansi with egg whites and chocolate bitters. Sommelier-by-trade Baronie curated the wine list.
“Zach said, ‘I just don’t find wine works with South East Asian flavours’. I said, ‘That’s because you’re drinking the wrong wines, buddy’,” says Baronie.
Tan is staying true to his Malaysian heritage with a menu rich in hawker components. There’s a synchronicity to his dishes, a common thread of textural adventurism that connects the scrolls of raw kingfish (heightened with a ginger flower vinaigrette); the yam bean, shitake and mud crab kueh pie tee; and the Green Fish Salad, a salad of jellyfish and whole fried school prawn accented with matchsticks of cucumber, bean sprouts and yam bean. Brunch – which includes a roti BLT with egg; Penang char koay teow stir-fried noodles; and rotating congee options – is offered on the weekends.
“If it’s smashed avocado you’re after, you can go somewhere else. If you want congee, we’ve got it here for you,” Baronie says.
The fit-out is clean and crisp. Matt Woods’s design, with subway tiling, exposed bricks and roof beams and neon hoop lights by Studio Ham hanging from the ceiling, complements the all-glass frontage and Stanley Street hum.
“We’re trying our very best to offer Sydney a new experience of Malaysian,” Tan says. “One step at a time.”
78 Stanley Street, Darlinghurst
Tue to Fri 12pm–12am
NOTE: The restaurant has now changed its name to Lucky Suzie.