Sunda celebrates Lunar New Year 2022

Sat. February 5, 2022 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The Lunar New Year has officially begun this February and Sunda Chicago, 110 W Illinois Street, is celebrating in big ways all month long. Asian culture bases the calendar year on moon cycles, so that explains why the festivities fall at this time of year. 

Owner Billy Dec and the Sunda New Asian crew are honoring this by creating a special menu and surprise pop-ups as part of a dining experience. It is the year of the tiger but look for lions instead as dancers covered in costumes dance to the beat of their own drum around patron's tables to celebrate. 

Kick things off with some specialty cocktails like the Peared Sake which was a smooth surprise. Made with Grey Goose La Poire, ginger, pineapple and sparkling sake, this concoction is the perfect mix and slides down easy. The Blackberry Limeade tastes like spring thanks to Tito's Handmade Vodka, lime, rosemary syrup and muddled blackberries. For another Tito's inspired drink look no further than the Strawberry Fields combination of strawberries, lemon, lime and fennel syrup. These last two are easy to make into mocktails if someone prefers no alcohol with their New Year. 

For appetizers start off with the Cumin Lamb Dumplings, which are a little spicy thanks to a chili crisp, but packed with flavor. We could have eaten the Seafood Lo Mein all day with scallops and shrimp combined with carrots, peapods, shitake mushrooms and water chestnuts. Our server advised us to stir it up and we are glad we followed instructions as the XO spicy seafood sauce contained at the bottom of the dish enhanced all the flavors. 

The pan-seared rainbow trout hit the spot as the main dish in a salted black bean sauce. Our tanks were full as we approached the last course. 

The dessert special was a bit plain with an assortment of miniature cookies and sliced oranges on the side. While it tasted much better than a typical fortune cookie, we craved something a little more dynamic that night. 

Sunda's classic dishes are so strong that I would only venture over to this special menu to try something unique and different in February. The Escolar "The Great White" is offered year-round as a staple at Sunda and is a special fish dish paired with tasty truffle ingredients guaranteed to have guests begging for more. 

This River North hotspot envokes a fun weekly vibe and the party doesn't stop there. Head over to The Underground, 56 W. Illinois Street, to continue your night out on the town. Dec and the gang recently revamped the nearby space into a Cocktail Club speakeasy to relax in. Performers stretch out their vocal cords in one of the tiniest stages located in the Windy City to make a hip and eclectic vibe dedicated to the 1920s. This environment is just a warm-up to the dance party found in the nearby room with monthly guest DJs and bottle service. 

Forget your winter blues and warm up to other cultures with Sunda this month! Visit to make reservations for the future.