This South Indian spot, from Kerala-born restaurateur Seelan Sundoo (who’s also behind Seelan Restaurant and Bar at the V&A Waterfront), opened up on Sea Point’s Regent Road in December. Since then, Sundoo has developed a loyal following. Katharine Jacobs reviews.
Serves: South Indian tapas, curries, and clay-oven dishes
Best for: A relaxed meal with friends
Average main meal: R80 to 150
Parking: Try your luck on Regent Road, or park in the Spar or Checkers centres a block up and down the road.
Star ratings: Food 4, service 4, ambience 4
Kick off with a selection of smaller plates to share. The wok-fried squid heads with lime, coriander and green chilli spice have a great kick. The puri patha (a roti-like bread stuffed with greens and sweet-sour tamarind sauce) also gets the thumbs up. The trio of mini rotis could do with more heat. Perhaps it’s just too familiar – takeaway rotis tend not to come with fresh coriander. There are also mini bunny chows – three to a plate – which are reportedly very popular.
For mains, we sample a delicious biryani – subtly spiced, with perfectly cooked tender lentils – which goes very well with the buttermilk raita our waiter recommends. The beetroot curry is less impressive; perhaps we’ve ordered it too mild. The Calvinia spring lamb lamb, meanwhile, is wonderfully tasty, the flavour of the tender meat coming through the spicy sauce.
You might also try something from Sundoo’s clay oven: There’s Kerala roasted chicken, fish roe with curry leaves, and kingklip with slow-roasted ginger and coriander. They’re sadly out of vermicelli with cardamom milk and the soji – a saucy, semolina-based cake – so we plump for flourless chocolate cake, sprinkled with pretty dyed sesame seeds in rainbow colours. It’s good, but ever so slightly dry. This is comfort-food, Indian style – perfect for a chilly winter night.
The concise wine list has some good options, including some chenins and chardonnays, which pair well with curry. It’s a boon that the delicious Dorrance chardonnay is available by the glass, and for only R50. Alternatively, try an Indian apple cocktail laced with loads of ginger.
Our waiter is attentive and warm, and service is speedy. It would be nice to have some recommendations, though, rather than an explanation of the whole menu.
Sundoo is a chic space with plenty of wood, feature lighting, line-drawn murals, and great bar seating looking out onto Regent Road. Some of the tables are rather close, and even though it’s busy on the night of our visit, it still feels intimate.
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