Authentic Malaysian street food in a deliciously cool hang-out


You don't spend as long in the cool lane as the Sanderson has without freshening things up from time to time - and so it is with the introduction of a pop-up street menu at uber-chic Malay restaurant, Suka. In contrast to the airy, buzzy surroundings of the iconic Starck and Schrager design hotel, Suka is all about intimacy. It's set right in the heart of the hotel at the very end of the glass-roofed, candle-lit garden terrace, but tucked away in a chic ‘hidden space’ created by Paris-based architect and designer India Mahdavi.


The food is a modern take on traditional Malaysian cuisine, and small dishes packed with flavour and quality ingredients are dished up on long, wooden sharing tables. On ELLEuk's visit, we sipped on the chef’s special chilled tea of lemongrass and brown sugar before diving into the scallops and kapitan kambing (lamb coconut curry), and the sotong goreng (crispy squid), the latter of which was one of those special dishes you dream about eating again, even before you’ve finished. The kitchen turned out these delicious creations with fast-paced, frenetic energy; they come when they come, so be prepared to pace yourself – or ask for them in a specific order. The food is complemented by an extensive cocktail menu – although be warned that the Malaysian versions prove more than a little potent.


Despite an eager waitress’ suggestion to order three dishes as well as a sayuran (vegetable side dish), two of the larger more meaty dishes such as kapitan kambing and claypot ayam are probably sufficient. With starter-style dishes starting at £10 and larger dishes at £15, it’s pretty easy to over-spend, although the personal and knowledgeable recommendations provided by the chef more than make up for it.

If there’s one thing that stands out at Suka, it’s the overwhelming luxey-ness of it all. Like the hotel, it's a smart, high-end hang-out for the rich and famous, fashion’s darlings and city bankers, which means that dressing up is key. Not that any of this takes away from the fact that the food is very good indeed, and this is one pop-up we’ll definitely be returning to before it runs its course.

The ELLEuk Score

Food: 8

Ambience: 6

Service: 8

Value: 6

Style of food: Modern tapas-style Malaysian street food

Good for: A buzzy first date or an extravagant birthday meal/special occasion

Or see all our restaurant reviews

Prices & Other Details at Suka

Address: Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG

Price per person for two-course meal without wine: £30-£40 for three dishes. There's a set menu available from 12pm-6.45pm priced at £19 for 2 courses and £23 for 3 courses.

Bottle of house wine: £24

Glass of house wine: £7.50

Bottle of house champagne: £59.50

Glass of house champagne: £12.50

Private dining? Yes. The small but luxe long table is perfect for a party.

Outdoor dining? Yes. The Garden Terrace is a tropical garden where the tables are set, and which is covered and heated during the winter.

Bar? Yes. The Long Bar is an 80-ft onyx bar that's pretty much the focal point of the hotel.

Who goes? City workers, bankers, the fashion elite and models. Britney Spears, Nicole Kidman, Lindsay Lohan and Ben Affleck have all stayed at the hotel. The private function room is a hot favourite for fashion designers' parties, so there’ll no doubt be some more celebs spotted during London Fashion Week.

Nearest tube: Oxford Circus, Goodge Street and Tottenham Court Road are within 10 minutes' walk.

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