Caleen Chua is very much a business woman. Ever since she took over the director role of her father’s Chakri group of restaurants she has not stopped refreshing the brand. First, Hwan, a specialised Thai Dessert place; a catering division for Chakri Palace; and now, her very own brain child Sanoook, inspired by her love affair with Thai and Japanese cuisine.
Located at Sunway Pyramid Hotel West, which is the new wing of the Sunway Pyramid consisting few F&B outlets, Sanoook is fairly easy to be spotted. It’s vibrant looking, with plenty of tables and lights for a casual ambiance, featuring an open kitchen so diners also get to see the Chefs in action.
‘Sanook’ means ‘fun’ in Thai and the extra ‘O’ to represents a circle of friendship. Hence, Sanoook means having fun with friends! Caleen kept her in house Thai Chef and hired a new Japanese chef to bring a creative twist to their dishes. Therefore, most of the dishes here would have elements of both Thai and Japanese cuisine, which can be a refreshing combination when done right.
We began our dinner with the Soft shell crab sushi (RM34.90), served with Thai Mango Chili Sauce. Soft Shell Crab sushi isn’t that uncommon in this country, but the addition of tangy sweet mango work well for the dish.
Be spoilt for choice by this 4-season platter RM37.90 (Salmon Cream Croquette, Thai Fish Cake, Crispy Calamari, Crispy Thai Chicken Ball, Vegetarian Spring Roll). I only tried the Chicken Ball because it looked the least deep-fried, and it’s tasty with a nice kick.
Caleen’s personal favourite is the Pan fried tuna steak with spinach & mixed mushroom served with teriyaki sauce (RM28.90). While the tuna is lovely seared on the outside with perfect pink centre, I felt the dish to be one-dimensional in taste. Perhaps a touch of citrus will lift this.
The Tom Yum Soup with River Prawn (RM23.90) here is served with the soup in Sake bottle. Good amount of succulent prawns and buried underneath, some mushrooms as well. The soup is sufficiently tangy but can be a little spicier (maybe a good idea to tailor the spice level to personal preference?).
Another sushi arrived on the table and this time it’s Tuna Sushi served with Tom Yum sauce (RM27.90). I think the presence of Tom Yum isn’t strong enough though, maybe they should try flavour the actual sushi too for a more fusion feel.
This has to be the first time I’ve tried Wonton served in Thai Coconut Soup with Chicken (RM16.90). It’s a basically modern or fusion take on Tom Kha Gai, the luscious wonton skin against the smooth coconut broth is a lovely sensory experience.
I guess it must be an Asian thing, whenever I see a Rice burger I must try it. We had the chicken burger with teriyaki sauce (RM17.90). The Chicken patty itself is tasty, though I think the rice patty is a little dense, which makes the whole thing very filling. This is definitely not something you can pick up and eat due to the size. The burdock chips (at the back) proved to be widely popular that night. A nice and healthier alternative to usual potato fries. The other sushi burgers include Beef with Thai Chili Sauce, and Salmon with Wasabi Mayo.
And then we had their signature: Skewers. The skewers here are probably more Mediterranean (size wise) than Japanese. There are quite a few varieties here. My favourite would be the Salmon Belly (RM77.90).
For the vege intake we recommend the Vege skewers with Sanoook sauce (RM28.90). Each skewer filled with tomato, broccoli, mushrooms, capsicum, yellow and green zucchini, finished with a creamy spicy sauce. Good way to dress up plain vegetables.
We also had the Beef skewers, which comes with the same Massaman sauce (RM34.90). Here the beef is slightly dry and tough, I think the chicken is still a safer option, or ask them to undercook the beef a little.
We also tried a few of their drinks and while the alcoholic beverages aren’t yet available, this Red Ruby drink got the big thumbs up from the both of us.
If you are a lover of Thai Milk Tea (chayen), this Thai volcano (RM18.90) will send you straight to heaven. It’s aromatic, not overly sweet but super refreshing. Best to share amongst 3-4 people because it’s huge!
Thank you Sanoook for hosting us!
Lot 4, Ground Floor,
Sunway Pyramid West Hotel,
47500 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Mon – Wed (10AM – 11PM)
Thu – Sat (10AM – 12am midnight)
Sun (10AM – 11PM)