Restaurant Review: Sunda in Chicago
5 girls living in 5 cities come together for a weekend of fun.
This year’s reunion of friends was in Chicago, but we have all gotten to see a lot of one another because of my wedding! Also, Gina came out to Rhode Island in November so this is maybe the 5th time we have all been together in the last year. Impressive for living in different places! On Friday, after flying in from 3 places (Ili, Day & I- LOVE Southwest) and driving from one (Lynne), we all arrived in Chi town happy and hungry! We checked into our amazing ECO FRIENDLY Hotel Felix and got ready for a night on the town, but before that I had to take photos of our pretty room!
Did I mention this hotel is eco friendly and meets silver LEED certification levels? Even better. And it wasn’t pricey either. Very reasonable.
On to dinner! SUNDA!
Gina made the reservation and had bottles of champagne ready for us when we got there! It was such a sweet and bubbly way to start our weekend! Also, we were seated at the chef’s table which was so special. Sunda is a restaurant that boasts a New Asian cuisine, a clean and modern design, and a packed weekend crowd. At 9:30 PM on a Friday night the restaurant was still completely packed!
The decor was really beautiful- sleek and understated, yet powerful:
The chef’s table was right by the sushi bar:
Sweet, cold, champagne:
The girls plus Gina’s awesome Chicago friends!
Time to start celebrating…
And check out the menu:
Before any of our dishes started coming we were served hot cloths to wipe our hands and refresh ourselves:
Then we were served complimentary shots of ice cold sake. It was fabulous!
Gina took the liberty of ordering several dishes for the table as our dinner, and the dishes didn’t stop coming! They also kept getting more interesting and flavorful. Between the champagne, laughs, and creative meal, it was a fun and tasty night.
Here are the dishes we tried:
*descriptions from the menu online
SUNDA OCEAN GARDEN SALAD
wakame, ponzu, sesame, pear tomatoes
BURNT WATERMELON AND UNAGI “NIGIRI” (didn’t try this but they said it was awesome- sorry for the blur)
chili-caramelized watermelon, peppercress, unagi “bacon”, mango, lime
OXTAIL POTSTICKERS (I didn’t try this but the girls loved it!)
braised oxtail, caramelized onion jus, “white” wasabi cream
“TOAST AND JAM”
crispy shrimp “toast” and spicy tuna “jam”
ROCK SHRIMP TEMPURA
glazed walnuts and creamy honey aioli
wok tossed crispy soft shell crabs (2), dried chilis, shallots, scallions, toasted garlic
BAKED SNOW CRAB HANDROLL
alaskan snow crab, dynamite sauce, tempura crispies
(camera ate my photo, but this was one of the highlights!!)
SUMMER OF SUNDA ROLL
king crab, basil, mango, avocado, asparagus, soy paper, ponzu sauce
SUNDA SIGNATURE DISH:
the food Buddha’s classic crispy rice pan friend sushi rice glazed with soy sauce and topped
hand cut spicy tuna & jalapeno:
seared american kobe beef tartare:
shrimp tempura, avocado, wasabi:
And some sort of SUPER spicy tuna roll:
And after all that there was still dessert. Compliments of the chef:
And ordered by one of our friends. The Ridiculous (vanilla ice cream dipped in carrot cake batter and fried):
I really liked Sunda, and I give it a tie between the food and the atmosphere- in the best way! All of the meals we shared were really interesting and different. My favorites were those that I would never order myself: the rock shrimp (it was sooo amazing) and the toast and jam. However everyone agreed that the Sunda Signature dishes with the crispy rice were the best. They were so different than anything I had ever eaten- they had all the textures and flavors one could imagine- salty, sweet, crunchy, soft.
I also loved the vibe at Sunda. It was filled with young, successful, smiling people who wanted a fun night out and a delicious meal to boot.
Next time you are in Chicago, check out Sunda for one of their creative cocktails or dishes! You won’t be disappointed!
Sunda is located at 110 W. Illinois St. and is open for lunch Monday-Friday 11:30 AM- 3 PM and Dinner Sunday- Thursday 5 PM- Midnight and Friday- Saturday 5 PM- 1 AM. To make a reservation call 312.644.0500