Food Porn: Sun Restaurant

Dining Room

While reorganizing our Master List, I had a chance to look through almost all of our past Food Porn articles. It was a little embarrassing but it reminded me of how many restaurants we’ve only visited once. When my old roommate Jay and I traveled down Niagara Street to visit Sun in January 2011, it was a very different place. At the time, the majority of Sun was shelves filled with various grocery items; there was a small seating area in the back but it was pretty rough. Back then the menu had a wide range of Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai dishes while Burmese was a small foot note with a handful of items.

Since that review, literally everything has changed about Sun. They started to get press from Buffalo News, Buffalo Rising and Buffalo Spree about their Burmese roots, especially due to the rising population in the city of Buffalo. They got rid of the grocery store as well as most of the Vietnamese and Chinese menu options and the new menu started to focus on Burmese dishes. The restaurant itself got a huge makeover and that slightly scary dive now looks like a cozy restaurant you’d visit on a first date (they even have a bar now). We’ve gone back to get take out here and there, but have been meaning to do a proper revisit for a while.

Quick Info:

  • Restaurant Type: Casual, Sit Down
  • Cuisine: Burmese, Thai
  • Location: Black Rock
  • Prices: Appetizers Most Under $10, Entrees $8-20

Arriving around 4pm on a Friday, we were able to sit wherever we liked. But when we left the restaurant around 5pm, the parking lot was packed and the dining room was quickly filling up.

The service was prompt and very friendly, about every 10 minutes someone would come over and refill our water and everything we ordered came out quickly as separate courses. The pacing really let Alli and I enjoy one thing at a time. After looking over all of the options on the Black Rice menu, we decided to try the Golden Crispy Crab Roll (below). I was shocked by how much actual crab was in each roll; you could actually bite into the roll and taste tender crab meat with an awesome crispy shell. The asparagus inside was cooked just enough to have a nice bite, the black rice had an interesting sweet and nutty flavor and the crispy soy wraps added a little extra texture to eat bite.

Our other appetizer was their Burmese Chicken Curry with Prata (gallery), a small bowl of chicken and potato that had been cooked in curry spices and served with a side of prata. The chicken was incredibly tender and fell apart with just chopsticks while the prata was a thicker, flaky bread that was almost buttery like a croissant. Together they worked great and we used every last piece of the prata to soak up any leftover sauce.

Soft Shell Crab Sushi

Tea Leaf Salad

I ordered their Tea Leaf Salad (Le Peth Thoat, above) after reading a lot about the dish online. The pickled tea leaves had an intense flavor that was delicious, I just wish there were more of them in the salad. Mixed in with the tea leaves was cabbage, tomato, chili peppers and peanuts, all providing an interesting range of flavors and textures. It actually lived up to the hype and I’d definitely order again. Their Thamin Jyaw (fried rice with pork, in gallery) wasn’t as exciting, but still very tasty. The fried rice was mixed with some spices, onion, egg and garlic and honestly wasn’t that different from fried rice I’ve had at other restaurants (or even at home). Don’t get me wrong, this would be the perfect dish if it was 3am and I had a couple drinks in me. But I didn’t notice anything about the dish that would make me order it on my next visit, it was ok but nothing special.

We finished the meal with Mango Sticky Black Rice, a dish that we didn’t realize was a dessert until our waiter gave us the heads up. Basically it’s a pile of black rice that’s mixed with coconut milk and then topped with a sliced mango. It was awesome. The sticky black rice was again slightly sweet and nutty, the mango was fresh but a little difficult to cut with the side of a spoon (I’d ask for a knife).

It was great to finally revisit one of Buffalo’s hottest restaurants and one that was long overdue for an update on our site. We’ve said this before, but we love it when restaurants take a risk and focus on a unique cuisine or idea and really “go all in”. We’ve seen more and more restaurants taking these risks over the last two years, but we still find places that are just offering middle of the road cuisines and ideas that we’ve seen before. With the success of Sun Restaurant, they’ve really shown future restauranteurs that Buffalo can get really excited for unique cuisines that they maybe have never had before.

Photo Gallery:

Sun Restaurant Buffalo on Urbanspoon

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