Puerta Cerrada: Cocina Sunae

Last Sunday Jesse left to go on a work trip and on Friday we had ourselves a little date night. Cocina Sunae, a puerta cerrada in the Colegiales neighborhood, has gotten rave reviews all over the internet. Running the restaurant out of their home, the chef, Christina Sunae, and her husband offer an elegant and modern experience to their visitors. The southeast asian food is a perfect reflection of Chef Sunae’s background – a New Yorker with Philippino grandparents. After our meal, the chef came over to say hi and told us that a young child she had the responsibility of making the family’s rice every morning. Walking through the side door of the restaurant, I was transported to a hip little garden restaurant in Brooklyn.

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The entrance to the restaurant is through a large side door of the house. When the door is opened, there is a rush or green vegetation, twinkling lights, and colorful lanterns.  Each table is somewhat secluded and you feel as though you have your own private table at an exclusive restaurant.

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Chopsticks on the table!! What excitement! 🙂

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The wine list was wonderful and featured primarily Argentine wines. We chose a wonderful Bonardo wine from the area in Mendoza where we will be staying in only 2 weeks.

The menu includes four courses and changes weekly. Our menu included:

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First course: Ukoy from the Philippines. Crispy shrimp cakes with sweet potatoes, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions served with a shallot-garlic vinegret dipping sauce.

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Second Course: Yum Gung from Thailand. Hot and sour shrimp salad with lemongrass, mint, cilantro, cucumber, cherry tomato and onion.

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Main Course 1: Pesa from the Philipinnes. Pan fried fish in a ginger garlic broth with potates and greens, topped with a spicy tomato compote and fried shallots, served with steamed rice.

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Main Course 2: Massamam Curry from Thailand. Thai muslim curry in coconut milk with chicken, potatoes, onions, cardamon, tamarind and peanuts served with steamed rice.

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Final Course: Halo Halo from the Philippines. Lychee, passion fruit, nata de coco, oranges and grapefruit, topped with green tea ice cream, ginger cookie and pandan meregue cream. 

The food was amazing. It was light and flavorful and reminded me so much of all the delicious dishes we tried in Vietnam on our honeymoon. Each dish tingled the taste buds: sweet, savory, sour, spicy (yes! and not just Argentine spicy. real spicy!). If you are in Buenos Aires and have a chance to eat here, I highly highly recommend it. I would go back tonight if I could.

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