When I first met Sheryl, she wasn’t a huge fan of sushi. We talked about it and she tried it a few times, but was never that excited about it. Things have changed over the past couple of years and she now loves the stuff. She might like it as much as I do. On a recent trip to Chicago, she discovered this new sushi joint downtown known as Sunda. It’s a hot spot, a prime celebrity hangout, and is a “reservations required” dining experience. It actually was voted as the number one celebrity hangout for the city of Chicago in 2010.
The first time we went to Sunda New Asian, it was a packed Saturday night. I grabbed a couple of drinks at the bar while we waited for our table. Eventually we sat down, started things off with an order of edamame, picked a few rolls, and had one of the best dining experiences we had ever had. The sushi was delicious, and the prices were reasonable.
Private Dining Options
For New Year’s Eve we went back to Chicago, and to celebrate our two-year anniversary decided to go to Sunda again! This time we wanted to make sure we got every ounce of enjoyment and made our reservations for 5:00 PM. We wanted to miss the New Year’s crowd. They had a private event that evening, but we were able to get a table for two.
Sunda also offers a few private dining room options. You can sit at the bar, out on the veranda, or secure a space in one of their private or semi-private rooms if you wish. Below you will find a description of each room and my personal experience with them all. This place is legit, and I highly suggest you give it a try the next time you are in the Windy City.
The Veranda Room (Semi-Private)
We have had the pleasure of dining in a couple of these private rooms. We actually just sat in the Veranda Room on our most recent trip to Sunda. This room is located just off the main dining room and is filled with Chinese Tang Dynasty-style wood tables and décor. The tables are sweet too, made from wood inspired by the Tang Dynasty, and allow for comfy seating.
This room is available for no charge and upon request. They also offer the Sunda Social menu in the Veranda Room, a half-priced menu featuring several rolls of sushi and appetizers. Note that this offer is only good from 5:00 – 7:00, Monday through Friday.
The Front Lounge
This is the place to be if you want to be seen at Sunda. This room seats up to forty guests, and has a great view of the restaurant. This is a good place to hold a cocktail reception or to share appetizers with friends after work. In this room Sunda also offers a wide range of menu options, including their full menu. You can choose an open bar option (the bar prices are a bit unrealistic so this might be a good way to save some money), as well as planned sushi and sake pairing menus and more.
We sat in the Front Lounge on our first visit to Sunda. It gets a bit crowded if you don’t reserve the room for your entire party.
Main Dining Room Communal Tables
Not a huge fan of this room. This is the main area in the restaurant and is filled with these communal tables. I am all about community and sharing in good conversation, but not when I am trying to enjoy my dinner. These tables and chairs are stuck so close together that you have a hard time ignoring the person next to you. It’s cramped, and not that enjoyable.
We sat in the main dining room once, and will not be making that mistake again. However, the main dining room features several types of seating. My favorite out of them all are the wood barstools that match the wood tables. Tables hold eight to ten people, and they will literally throw a two-top on the end of one to fill space.
This is considered to be Sunda’s main dining room.
The Private Banquet Room
Let’s head upstairs to the Sunda Private Banquet Room. This room is sweet, offering a boatload of elegance and style. If you want to show off to your friends, book a party in this room. The room is clean, classic, and is neutral in color and in space. This room also has a private entrance for those high-end guests.
The room has a sweet view of the rest of the restaurant as well, sitting high above the main dining room. The room is also sound proof allowing you to enjoy your time at Sunda without annoying the other guests. So scream as loud as you want, no one can hear you!
Sunda also offers private venue buyouts, allowing you and your party to have total access to the entire establishment.
The next time you are in Chicago, make sure to check out Sunda for lunch or dinner. The place is great, the sushi is amazing, and the atmosphere is irreplaceable. Order a Firecracker sushi roll; you won’t be sorry.