A secret restaurant in Buenos Aires…

It’s been a bit quiet on the blog as late, recently it seems that forming words into some sort of coherent sentence has been a bit beyond me! But this post fits in nicely with What I Ate Wednesday, so here we are 🙂

WIAW button

On Saturday night the girls and I treated ourselves to a puerta cerrada, for those of you who don’t know there is a big trend in Buenos Aires for closed door restaurants. These are often based out of the chef or owner’s home, you book ahead and then are given the address once you have made your reservation. Typically it is a set menu – perhaps with a choice for the main course – and you sit round group tables, a great way to meet people! We went to Cocina Sunae which was slightly different as it was more in the style of a traditional restaurant with a separate table for each party.

We were greeted with a warm welcome by the doorman who called for a waiter to show us to the table and give us the (essential) extensive wine and drinks list. Being in Argentina we opted for a mid-range bottle of vino tino (plus a few more as the evening went on) to share between the five of us. Obviously, it was delicious.

The first course was a couple of heavenly shrimp spring rolls with a sweet chilli dip. We were instructed to wrap them in the lettuce and then dunk away. Now, when we get Chinese takeaway in the UK this is one of my favourite things. These spring rolls did not compare – they were unreal. Totally ruined spring rolls forever for me as nothing will be as good!

Cocina Sunae Spring Rolls

Apologies for the bad lighting in these pictures!

Next up was a chicken salad course…

Chicken salad cocina sunae

Followed by the main, for which we had a choice of three. I went for the shrimp again and it was incredible. It came with thin noodles, heaps of veggies and some sort of heavenly sauce. Super classy to eat but so worth the mess. Those did that didn’t have the same as me went for the pork which I was told was melt in the mouth good.

Chicken noodles cocina sunae

Finally, we had dessert. It’s a good job I was having a hungry day that’s for sure! This was a tropical fruit concoction with some sort of biscuit and a scoop of pistachio ice-cream. Just wow.

Dessert cocina sunae

One thing I particularly loved about the restaurant was that we could go as early as 8pm (most don’t start till 9pm in Buenos Aires) which was perfect for me as I’m a rubbish Argentine – I still like to eat at 7pm!!

Closed door restaurants are such a great concept as the chef really gets to show of their talents and the best of what they can do. (They also tend to be super accommodating for vegetarians and any other dietary requirements as you are booking in advance). To quote from the restaurant’s website: “Some call me Christina because it’s easier but I prefer Sunae, my name handed down to me from my grandmother. I’m simply an Asian-American woman who believes that the epitome of Asian culture is through its food. I bring you the flavors of my childhood memories of Pampanga, Filipinas and my New York restaurant experience in my very own home in Colegiales, Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

Afterwards we went to a millonga – basically where people meet to dance tango. This was my first time watching tango not in a touristy setting and it was great to see. Don’t think I’d be very good though…


Have you ever been to a closed door restaurant?


5 thoughts on “A secret restaurant in Buenos Aires…

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