Sunae Asian Cantina
For a taste of Southeast Asia, residents of Palermo only have to stroll on down to Humboldt where Sunae Asian Cantina awaits. Serving dishes inspired by the food of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, Sunae Asian Cantina’s menu is a riot of flavour and colour. Some offerings, like pad Thai, will be familiar for most, others won’t be as usual, unless you’ve travelled and tasted your way around the region, much like talented chef Christina Sunae has over the years.
The dishes expertly juggle the spicy and sweet, sour and sharp. And there’s a respect on show, both for traditional cooking methods and the animals used in them – why just use bacon when you could use the snout and ears to boot? The latter cuts are used in the sizzling sisig, which is served with egg, pickles, pork rinds and garlic rice, just in case you want to know. Exploring more of the moreish menu and diners will find everything from grilled fish with steamed rice and a smoked coconut sauce, to a Thai mushroom salad with lemongrass, red onion, mint, toasted rice and chili. There are fried empanaditas stuffed with pork with spicy sweet and sour sauce. And beef pho packed with fresh herbs and hoisin sauce.
And the flavour sensations keep coming right through until dessert. Key lime pie at Sunae Asian Cantina is made with a ginger crust and served with pandan meringue and green tea ice cream, by way of example. And some surprisingly delicious ice cream is made from sweet potatoes and served with a coconut biscuit, strawberry, melon, mango and basil.
As the meal progresses and Sunae Asian Cantina works its magic, you could well believe you’re half a world away, rather than sitting in a chic restaurant in the capital of Argentina. Tasselled paper lanterns dangle above, verdant green palms seem to sway on the bright and bold wallpaper, and the slight red hues of the wooden tables are brought out by the flickering of tea lights. All that’s left is to order another drink, and enjoy.