Set on the ground floor of the Sanderson Hotel and extending out into the greenhouse-like Garden Terrace, Suka is a restaurant that serves 'modern authentic' Malaysian food in small dishes, to be enjoyed with sharing in mind.
When done right, sharing one’s food is an ideal experience – the roaring success of the Venetian-inspired Polpo on Beak Street relies on just that concept - and Suka has got the balance pretty spot on. Highlights of the new menu include the crispy garlic squid – lightly charred, intensely flavourful and without a hint of rubber – and, remarkably, the tofu – fried, succulent and silky smooth, served on a bed of soy beans and spinach.
Dishes vary in size – the claypot chicken, served with rice and shiitake mushrooms, could serve as a modest main course in its own right, whilst the char sui BBQ pork – rich, creamy and genuinely delicious – can basically be inhaled.
The food arrives as and when it’s cooked, which is an unforeseen pleasure when eating with a large group, as dishes arrive that you’ve inevitably forgotten about. Service is attentive but unstuffy, with waiters equally happy to suggest complimentary wine or chat about their day, according to preference (yours, not theirs).
It’s all conducive to a relaxed, convivial atmosphere; Suka is populated with families and groups of friends, taking their time and enjoying themselves. Businessmen out on sterile ‘client dinners’ are, thankfully, nowhere to be seen.
Suka’s current menu is a ‘pop up’ (that slightly opaque, wearying, catch-all appellation for all things temporary) so drop by before it pops down again. And, with the Sanderson’s accurately-titled Long Bar just around the corner, there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy a cocktail before, during, or after your meal. And why not - it’s practically Christmas, after all.
Suka at the Sanderson Hotel, 50 Berners Street, London W1T 3NG - 020 7300 1444