I treated my girlfriend to an evening at Suka last night. First impressions of the Sanderson are pretty good, buzzy hotel a little less shiny than its newer St Martin's Lane counterpart but still impressive. The Long Bar remained raucously rammed all night and the clientele veered towards the vulgar, but might be fun if you're in the mood.
I asked for a table in the Courtyard as there was a live performance that evening. A bit of blagging necessary as it was apparently fully booked, but we got there in the end.
The courtyard is pretty, heated and has a nicer ambience than the main restaurant. The service was attentive, although the sadly common fancy hotel restaurant upselling was a little jarring. I was not asked if I wanted water merely 'still or sparkling' and presented with £5 'artesian water' dribbled from the thighs of polynesian princesses or something. We had a giggle about it but it gets wearing. Wine starts from about £25 and I'm sure goes up to something with lots of 000's but stuck nearer the cheap end which was fine.
Anyway the food is malaysian sharing style dishes. We ordered a couple each with a couple of sides and that was easily enough. Highlights were: Rendang Beef that was so beautifully cooked it was worth the trip alone, scallops with a chilli satay sauce were also much coveted and the tuna tartare probably just beat the watermelon salad to third place.
Overall: Suka is a swish place that makes you feel special and serves delicious food, but rather hurty on the wallet (£50-£100pp for dinner with wine) so perhaps not for everyday.
This is a review of the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson, which I believe is organised through the Suka restaurant.
Although the hotel resembles a concrete lump from the outside, inside it's sleek and stylish and we were seated in the hotel's pretty courtyard garden. I'd never 'done' afternoon tea in my life, so had no idea what to expect, but when the waiter brought out our individual vintage cake stands stacked with multicoloured sandwiches, scones, cakes and lollipops, I couldn't help but squeal with childish joy.
There was no requirement for an 'eat me' label, as I tucked in straight away. The sandwiches were delicate, yet packed with flavour. The scones were light and seductively crumbly (although sadly we missed out on the clotted cream as they'd temporarily run out, and the butter substitute was too firm for the delicate scones). The cakes were really exciting to eat, with pink foam oozing from the 'Queen of Hearts' teacake, and crackle crystals making us giggle on the chocolate and raspberry cupcake. We finished our sugar fest with, errr, more sugar, this time in the form of a pineapple candy (it claimed to turn your mouth from hot to cold but I didn't experience this) and, finally, a chocolate a peppermint lolly which burst in your mouth (some great photos here). All this, with an unlimited supply of tea (albeit no rooibos), for twenty quid!
The hotel had only intended to run the Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea for a month or so to capitalise on the hype surrounding Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland film, but the popularity of it (it was full when we left) means that it is remaining a permanent fixture at the Sanderson. In which case, I can definitely see myself going back.
The modern Malaysian menu at Suka means you pick a mix of grazing dishes. The staff suggested a couple each but I'd say, depending on how hungry you are, that three would be plenty for two people. The crispy chicken salad in particular was huge, with a poached egg stirred through it when it was bought to the table.
The duck in foie gras sauce was incredibly rich (nice, but rich), I loved the scallop skewers with satay sauce, and the pork belly was great too.
I wasn't expecting as much from the dessert, but we found just about enough room to share the chocolate fondant, and all I can say is Oh My God!
So the food was lovely, but there was a down side. The restaurant was cramped and loud - not exactly what I'd expected - and the staff were so over-attentive it got annoying. I felt a bit pushed to keep on spending, particularly on drinks. I was already tipsy from drinkin champagne in our room, but they made me feel a bit cheap for only drinking diet coke and water.
Very nice, authentic food, though quiet pricy! Love the style!
Def. worth visiting, prob. not everydays choice!
Myself and two other girlfriends went for afternoon tea 'mad hatter theme' yesterday.
i have to say i am incredibly disappointed.
the scones tasted of old, almost stayle. the seating arrangments where all over the place. we might as well have sat with the group next to us we were so close although it wasnt that busy so they could have easily spread us all out.
there was a jelly table to serve yourself but everytime we went up the table was almost empty.
i think the sanderson should be tried by everyone simply to say you have been there and because of the unusual mad hatter theme but the quality of food and service is worrying.
I had dinner here last month as part of the fantastic Generation XO Tasting Session (londonist.com/2009/03/ta…) . The Malaysian inspired cuisine was really good and served as a fantastic starter to the Cognac sampling that followed. Perhaps even more delightful than the menu was the mood set at Suka. Excellent for conversation. Elegant yet relaxed. Service was top notch. I'd go back ... if only for another excuse to saunter my way through the lux Sanderson Hotel again.
We ate in the courtyard, which on a summers night is great, the long bar is over flowing with Friday night revellers intent on starting their weekend with mix of cocktails and spirits. The food is Asian in style and was superb as was the service. Our party of seven had our table from 8 - 12 and happily spent the night drowning in wine post our meal. My highlight was definitely the soft shelled crab. Great for a noisy night out on the town with friends, for a more intimate dinner I would avoid a Friday night.
OMG i love this place - we had a very nice meal in London Fashion Week and then went out to the bar and got plastered on amazing cocktails in the Purple Lounge. The food was great, a modern Thai platter with a range of different tastes and my gf had something else totally amazing but i cant remember what. The whole hotel is amazing and sooo stylish!
A had a quirky and a fun afternoon at this venue. With a few friends I attended the Alice in Wonderland themed afternoon Tea as a Birthday treat and I am happy to say that we were not disappointed. Suka (where the tea was held), is a wonderfully opulent venue. We sat out in the covered garden surrounded by plants and water features. This venue hosts some unique furniture, is well laid out and whole effect impresses a sense of grandeur and 'coolness'. Whilst we all arrived nervous that we were underdressed (as indeed some of the clientele were rather on the posh side), we quickly relaxed with help from the friendly and attentive staff. The tea itself was a unique experience, with rainbow sandwiches, popping chocolates, hot and cold lollies and tasty cakes. It was well presented, and whilst delicious, was so filling and no one in our party was able to finish it. We also received complimentary champagne with our order and tea. I would highly recommend ordering a Jasmine tea, which comes as a glass of hot water and a little bundle, that once popped in, expands to become a Jasmine flower in the bottom of the glass. The only downside to this experience is that when looking to book this I was uncertain as to what was included within the price as in some places it had mentioned free champagne, but not in others. Also they add a discretionary service charge which is quite hefty and took the price of the tea as advertised at £35 to just over £40. A number of the ladies attending were very nervous about this as they have limited incomes, but it all worked out in the end and we all left feeling that whilst the service charge was a bit of a shock, that we had still received very good value for money.
I was lucky enough to be treated to a meal at SE Asian restaurant Suka at the Sanderson hotel recently. The settling was undeniably spectacular. The restaurant is located at the end of the often celeb filled 'long bar' and looks out onto a beautiful tented courtyard, lit by candles with a central water feature and exotic planting. We were told that the menu was designed for sharing. For this style of eating I normally think of smaller, lower priced dishes that you would usually order two each of. We were advised to order one each. When the dishes arrived they were rather large and would have been more suitable as an individual portion. The crab noodle soup (£18) was definitely not designed for sharing. The satay kebabs and green papaya salad were delicious as was the grilled chicken and sticky beef. I suppose for me I just felt it was so overpriced - the larger dishes were around £20 mostly and having travelled around SE Asia I knew that a lot of the ingredients used are two a penny over there and I could have eaten something similar for a tenth of the price in Thailand! That said if you fancy a bit of glamour and adore Asian food it would be worth coming.
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