Sanook @ Sunway Pyramid Hotel West

Sanook Sunway Pyramid

It was a public holiday yesterday so I went out with my better half for dinner. We usually don’t eat outside on weekdays. I remember the banners advertising Sanook in Sunway Pyramid (it’s actually in the hotel beside the mall) and wanted to check it out. Sanook is billed as Thai-Japanese fusion cuisine and I thought that sounded really interesting.

Sanook

My dear likes to eat Thai food while I’m partial to Japanese so this is the perfect place for dinner. They spent a lot on branding – the entire outlet is colored in their orange trademark hue and the plates and bowls are all heart shaped. Ordering is done via an iPad on your table, which has beautiful photos and descriptions. You can also order something and set it to be delivered later, like for dessert.

Tiger Prawn Skewers with Sanook Sauce (RM 25.90)

Tiger Prawn Skewers

Sanook is well known for their skewers. This one is made with unshelled tiger prawns layered with some kebab-type vegetables. There’s 3 big prawns on 2 skewers for a total of 6. One thing about BBQ skewers is that it’s usually pretty bland and tasteless. Not this one, they have a strong garlic based Sanook sauce which miraculously stayed on the shell and added a lot of flavor to the prawns. Very good starter.

Grilled Unagi and Pan-Fried Beancurd (RM 38.90)

Grilled Unagi Beancurd

This is the main dish that I ordered. It’s unagi (saltwater eel) grilled with teriyaki sauce. There’s also two large slabs of beancurd which soaked up the sauce really well. I thought it was pretty good and the portion of eel is very generous for the price. I’ve always wanted more eel at Japanese restaurants and tried cooking my own eel once. I love the oily taste of eel.

Thai Spiky Lemongrass Tea and Thai Pandan Honey (RM 10.90 each)

Thai Pandan Honey

These are our drinks. I like my lemongrass drink coz of the lemon they put on top. It’s super sour and refreshing when squeezed. My better half had the pandan honey. It’s a little too sweet for me but it’s decent too. All the drinks are presented with a fresh pandan leaf tied to the side. It’s quite expensive for a normal drink but restaurants usually have a higher mark up.

Roasted Duck with Thai Red Curry (RM 25.90)

Thai Red Curry Duck

My dear had this coz she wanted a more Thai taste. It’s a whole breast of roasted duck that’s been deboned and put into Thai red curry. The curry is really spicy, but in a good way. There’s a lot of other things in the curry too. I thought the cherry tomatoes were a really good addition since it cuts through the richness of the duck.

Thai Volcano (RM 18.90)

Thai Volcano

This is my dessert. I was curious about the “Volcano” and ordered it to try. It turned out to be just Thai milk tea that’s shaved into a bowl. There’s also taro balls and slivers of nuts down there but it’s mostly just frozen milk tea. We like bingsu and I thought it’ll be something like that and while the concept is similar the execution is rather boring. We couldn’t finish it.

Mango Sticky Rice with Ice Cream (RM 15.90)

Mango Sticky Rice with Ice Cream

This is my dear’s dessert. It’s ice cream topped with glutinous rice and fresh mango slices inside a cone. I thought it was clever and she loved it too! It’s a well thought out dessert, a lot better than the Thai Volcano I ordered. The presentation was great, and it comes in two cones so we could each have one. Lovely stuff.

Sanook Us

I had seen the posters for Sanook last time I was in Sunway Pyramid. We were actually thinking about a Hokkaido ramen shop and a Korean celebrity chef restaurant (both beside it) before we settled here. The 3 F&B places are located side by side so we browsed the menus before coming to Sanook. It turned out to be a wonderful dinner during Merdeka. The bill came up to RM 168.65 for the both of us but it’s mostly coz of drinks and dessert. It’s good value for money though, we’ll be back again!

Unagi with Kansas City BBQ sauce and single malt Scotch whisky

cooking unagi

This is my attempt to cook the classic unagi Japanese eel dish – with a decidedly Western influence. I managed to get my hands on some really fresh belut (freshwater eel) from the wet market. The lady also sells frogs and venison meat, the latter of which I made into a venison steak tartare.

belut eel

The large eels go for RM 10 while the smaller ones go for RM 5 each. I decided to get two of the smaller freshwater eels. It has been nicely dressed by the exotic meat (that’s what I like to call her) vendor to reveal the flesh with the head and bone hanging out.

You will need:

  • 2 freshwater eels
  • Kansas City BBQ sauce (sweeter than Texas style, and thicker)
  • Single malt Scotch whisky
  • Sugar and salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

freshwater eel

I sliced the freshwater eel into something resembling unagi as usually seen in the various Japanese restaurants around town. smirk They all seem to have a similar size and serving style, most of the commercial ones anyway.

scotch bbq sauce

I also added in a healthy slug of Jura 16 year old single malt Scotch whisky into the mix of KC BBQ sauce, sugar and salt. I am particularly fond of this one as it goes well with coffee i.e. Irish Coffee. I’ve been known to enjoy a cuppa on days starting with an S with a shot of good Scotch and nothing beats the 16 year old Diurach’s Own from the Isle of Jura.

basting unagi

I’ve tried lightly peated Islay malts like Bowmore Enigma, common tipples like Glenfiddich’s 14 year old Rick Oak, and even *Irish* single malt whiskey – the Bushmill 10 Year Old but nothing beats the barely legal Jura. It just goes well with coffee. I digress. I went off on this tangent coz I was hoping it’ll go well with eel too!

caramelized unagi

I grilled/sauteed the eel with EVOO over a very low heat fire and kept on basting it with the BBQ sauce and Scotch mixture. I must have flipped, added more sauce, and flipped the small pieces of freshwater eel again at least 30 times. I kid you not. I think that was the secret to the taste. It got a thumbs up from my better half at least! :)

scotch unagi

The basting process caramelized the BBQ sauce and Scotch mixture around the eel and with the constant flips, the reduction stuck to the unagi and it tasted really, really delicious! I wouldn’t call it a traditional Japanese unagi but I made my own sauce and it tastes like how a rather inept American home cook would render it, I imagine.

Not the correct technique, but very tasty!

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