Sunda shines in a new location

Sat. March 2, 2024 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

The Southeast Asian restaurant chain known as Sunda continues to expand its brand now reaching into the west of the Windy City. Sunda Fulton Market is now the second location in the Chicago area at 333 North Green Street in the West Loop area. Sunda River North at 110 West Illinois Street opened in 2009 sparked by an influence of a wide range of countries and traditions while focusing on the Philippines.

Billy Dec is the owner of this small empire of establishments comprised of other Sunda locations in Nashville, Tennessee and Tampa, Florida. Planting this Sunda seed in the spring at such a hot city spot will have this business blossoming in no time.

Longtime patrons of The Underground nightclub know that Dec doesn't mess around when it comes to cocktails. The skilled mixologists featured two specialties on the drink menu for a special opening week event. The Low Thai'D made with Tanduay Silver Asian Rum refreshed attendees and Peared Sake created from a mix of Grey Goose Vodka La Poire, ginger, pineapple and sparkling sake quenched their thirst as the food rolled out.

Beverage stations away from the bar area served an Ube Espresso Martini shaken with 1800 Reposado Tequila and a selection of Rutherford Wines.

Known for some of the best sushi in the city, Sunda brought in over 100 pounds of fish to satisfy friends and family at the early evening event on March 1. The Big Eye Tuna table was packed with goodies such as sliced sashimi and tuna poke served with a little soy sauce on the side.

Head Sushi Chef Ise Matsunobu has reached new heights in the world of Edomae nigirizushi with his craft. The quality and presentation of each dish not only stirred up an appetite for more but was visually appealing to entice all the senses.

The Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice was an out-of-this-world tasty signature item and the Waygu was the way to go with a perfectly sized bite.

After attendees finished grazing on passed appetizers and buffet stations, it was time to dig in the Kamayan way. Dec climbed on top of a table above the crowd with a microphone to describe the food offering laid out in front of him. Everyone knows Billy is a showman at heart and knows how to entertain, so after thanking his team and the investors, he eagerly encouraged onlookers to dive into what was on the long table.

Kamayan means hands in Tagalog and using fingers as utensils is the traditional method of consuming the food that was laid out on a bed of banana leaves. That night the feast included snapper, pork belly and shrimp along with dragon fruit, mangos and green beans.

The communal mix of cuisine and culture was the perfect statement to end the festivities at the elite gathering. For one special party, many of the special movers and shakers of Chicago came out to support Dec for his latest endeavor. Find out what the hype is about by booking a reservation at and see why this new Sunda shines!