For round II, the birthday girl insisted on Sun Restaurant– a place that specializes in Burmese cuisine in Black Rock (just on the outskirts of downtown Buffalo). Located in what would look like a dead spot of the city, Niagara St. is actually one of the most exhilarating areas of downtown. Opening in 2010 as a grocery store with take-out, Sun has morphed in to an ultimate hotbed of Asian cuisine enthusiasts. Now a sit down restaurant, Sun’s menu boasts incredible Burmese and Thai dishes.You just don’t know how to limit yourself.
Sun Restaurant 1989 Niagara St. Buffalo 14207
food: Burmese, Thai, Black Rice Bar // cost: $-$$$ (varying on how you want the night to go) // Mon.-Thurs. 11:30-10pm, Fri. & Sat. 11:30-10:30pm, Sun. 11:30-9:30pm
If you judge a book by its cover….you’re wrong. No, no. You see the surprise of stepping in to Sun right away- glistening chandeliers, Asian decor, white linens, large seating, bar and dining room. Luckily, we walked in (sans reservation) on a Monday and were seated immediately- the dining area was already filling up. Peering the extended menu, we could barely contain our excitement! With the birthday girl’s mother and father in tow, we knew this evening would be filled with new dishes. We started off with a few items off the Black Rice* menu.
*((Wait, what is Black Rice??
Once called the ‘forbidden rice’, this rare Asian grain is high in nutritional value: high level of antioxidants, Vitamin E (more than blueberries!), Iron, Vitamin B, double amount of dietary fiber found in brown rice, low in fat, gluten free, and low in cholesterol. During ancient China, only emperors were allowed to eat it because of its rarity and nutrition- hence the nickname.))
Our three picks: Mango Roll (mango, avocado, sesame, sweet potato, and sweet chili sauce), Coconut Shrimp Roll (coconut shrimp, red peppers, cilantro, cucumber, and Milky Way sauce….yea, we don’t know- but it’s called Milk Way sauce so…you can imagine. wow.); and a sashimi plate.
The black rice had a nutty yet sweet flavor and the combination of rolls was addicting- we could have dined on these all evening. Think about it- Sun is the only restaurant in WNY to serve this. Why wouldn’t you go and feel like an emperor?
Each of us ordered a different Burmese dish: Mont Hin Gar (Catfish Chowder): a Burmese fish noodle soup with banana stems, vermicelli, ginger, onions, lemongrass, garlic, and chana dal pea- a huge bowl (probably good for two!) filled to the brim and piping hot….Sun’s Loaded Fried Rice: fried rice with calamari, meat, vegetables, egg, and cashews- a mounded plate of everyone’s favorite side dish…Sun’s Eggplant Dish: eggplant with onions, bell peppers, basil, and sauce, calamari and meat- also available as a vegetarian dish…and Kat Kyay Kite (Burmese Flat Wide Noodle): flat wide noodles with hot & sour sauce (a bit of a spicy kick), garlic, vatana beans, sprout, and garlic. (***note: the seafood is calamari, unless specified)
Our server, Aye, was happy and on her A-game. You can ask recommendations and any other questions with ease here- they are willing to help! The dining room was packed solid by 6pm and people were waiting at the door. It’s that good. By then end of black rice sushi and main course plates- we didn’t stop. Obviously. Dessert. Overhearing that a lovebird was celebrating her birthday, three servers carried over a Steamed Banana Rice plate with a birthday candle atop and sang ‘Happy Birthday’. Now that is what I call a celebratory feast! Another plate displayed fried banana and sticky rice and the two men chose the Black Rice custard. I’ll take 7 of those to-go, please.
We think you are already drooling a little bit- and that’s ok. It happens at Sun. This is the perfect place to head for date night, birthdays, out-to-dinner, cravings…we cannot wait to try more. Step outside your comfort zone- head to Niagara St. and try something different.
date night // birthday approved: close to downtown, perfect Burmese and Thai cuisine, beautiful inside, black rice bar, doesn’t break your piggy bank