Spiced watermelon salad: cubes of watermelon with chili, peanuts, spring onion and hoysin sauce. That's just the sort of cutting edge cuisine featured on the menu at modern Malaysian restaurant, Suka. This peculiarly provocative melon mix is also the hallmark of Suka's range of £15 bento boxes.
Situated in the glamourous Sanderson Hotel, Suka provides a chic setting for fine London dining. We've been here before - and were awful chuffed to find ourselves schmoozing in such a snazzy joint - but only sampled a bit of their albeit delicious canapes on that visit. So, we were more than pleased to accept an invitation to mosey in for a proper tasting of Suka's menu.
A starter of scallop skewers marinated in chilli oil (3 per portion for £14) and a plate of the traditional Malaysian classic, nasi goreng (fried rice with shrimp omelette - £11), peaked our appetites' interests just in time for us to dive into Suka's bento boxes. Our favourite of the three bentos was probably the Malaysian Box with its yummy roti canai, ribeye skewers marinated in sesame and chilli oil, a small spicy lamb burger with house pickles and sambal aioli, green papaya salad and spiced watermelon salad. Sadly, the green papaya salad didn't quite live up to our standards of tangy, but the other elements of this box were exquisite in flavour. The morsels comprising the Suka Box and Healthy Box were good as well. We especially liked the Suka Box's tuna tartare served with soy lime vinaigrette, ciabatta crisps and black pepper pineapple pickle. Suka certainly has plenty more tempting options than these three bento boxes, but the bentos are an excellent way to enjoy the best of Suka's fare.
For dessert, the oozlingly gorgeous Kaffir chocolate fondant was a winner as was the rice mousse with sour cherry sauce and mango sorbet, while the pumpkin tart tatin (spiced butternut squash tart with gula melaka syrup and crystalized ginger ice cream) was a homey reward. All puds cost £7 (with orders of ice creams or sorbets at £6).
Suka is located within the Sanderson Hotel at 50 Berners Street (W1T 3NG). Visit their website for more information and bookings.
Photography by Chris Osburn