Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sanur 04-13-2010

Location: 18 Doyers St.
Time: 7:30pm
People: 10 Ramen and Friends: JBH, PMont, Laura, GiselaM, Rich, BLee, PunJ, StevenC, RB and myself

Feelings: Friends of Ramen and Friends met up at the basement of Sanur, Indonesian and Malaysian restaurant in Chinatown. It is not only a little difficult to find this place but the upstairs take out portion of the restaurant looks cramped and intimidating, and you would never know that there is a basement dining area. The stairs are really steep and narrow and not preggers friendly, but once you arrive at the basement, it is spacious, and the service is quite friendly and attentive.

The menu included both Malaysian and Indonesian specialties at a very reasonable price. We usually end up paying at least $12-20 per person at our monthly outings, but we only paid $10, including tax and 20% tip! They probably have the cheapest Roti Canai around at the price of $2.25. It did not have chicken in the curry sauce as many places do, but vegetarians such as myself appreciated the lack of meat. JBH, Rich, Laura and StevenC all enjoyed these Roti Canai, but Rich and I did not feel it was as good as the ones of Taste Good in Elmhurst. JBH added that it was a bit sweeter than Taste Good. We also enjoyed the roti with eggs called Roti Telur, which is popular for breakfast but also perfect little snacks.

After ordering several dishes off the menu, it was difficult to distinguish Malaysian and Indonesian, but the Hokkien Noodles with brown sauce was the most popular and disappeared from the table the quickest. As StevenC mentioned, it was more of Southern Chinese flavor rather than Malaysian, but it was well executed. Salted Fish with Eggplant Casserole was also popular for those who enjoy the salty flavor and are used to the idea of preserved fish in a dish.

My Pearl Noodles was well cooked, but it tasted more Chinese than Malaysian. I loved the texture of pearl noodles, but I wish it had more flavor and spices. For taste and authenticity, Sanur did not come close to Taste Good. The flavor at Sanur tends to be a bit one note and not as bold as I'd want it to be. I'd have to agree with what Rich said: It's worth a visit, but you have to order carefully or you can end up with a lot of things that taste the same. But if you prefer Chinese style Malaysian, you would enjoy the flavor of this place. And who can go all the way to Elmhurst every time you crave Malaysian food anyway? It is good to have a backup locale in Manhattan, and when it's actually cheaper, that's even better.

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