The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Fombelle’s Food Finds: Sunda New Asian

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Cost (1-4): 3

Location: The Gulch

Category: New Asian

Visual Vibes: Trendy and modern

Food Quality: 9/10

Sunda is one of the newest additions to the cornucopia of upscale restaurants in the Gulch. This self-proclaimed “New Asian” dining destination is nestled into the corner of 11th and 12th Avenues, about a ten minute drive away from campus. Originating in Chicago, Sunda expanded to Nashville in April 2018. With two kitchens for hot food and sushi respectively, the menu has plenty to offer for anyone wanting to explore a variety of Asian dishes. From classics like Pad Thai and Tuna Poke to adventurous choices like Lemongrass Beef Lollipops and the Crunchy Pig, Hidden Lobster sushi roll, customers can choose from a whole spectrum of Asian fusion creations.

From the blue exterior tucked into the corner, I would not have guessed that the space is so expansive inside. Multiple dining rooms with high ceilings and mirrors, sushi bar seating with a view of the chefs and an extensive bar with fish-themed wooden art hanging above it offer ample zones to enjoy the food and company.

The menu had so many enticing options like Hamachi Marrow nigiri, Adobo Braised Pork Belly and Tuna Truffle Pizza that I had a difficult time deciding on a dish. I would have sampled everything if it weren’t for the prices, which hovered around $15 to $20 and topped out at $65 for the Wagyu beef entrée. Ultimately, my friend ordered the Rainbow roll, and I decided on the Wagyu Signature Crispy Ricea more reasonably-priced taste of the most expensive dishand the Pancit Canton.

Our dishes came out in relatively timely manner, beginning with the Wagyu Signature Crispy Rice. This was served as nuggets of melt-in-your-mouth Wagyu beef sitting atop small but flavorful chunks of rice with a delicate topping of red chili and Asian pesto. This was everything I could want in a dishtender meat, bursts of accent flavors and a hearty base and  I would definitely order it again. Theoretically, it could be shared among a few people as an appetizer if you’re willing to sacrifice having it all to yourself.

Sunda’s Wagyu Signature Crispy Rice

My entree, the Pancit Canton, boasted generous amounts of pork belly, shrimp and egg noodles with various other greens mixed in as well. The flavors blended well once I cut the squares of pork belly and mixed them into the rest, ensuring I got a combination of elements in each bite.

Sunda’s Pancit Canton

The server had explained that all food is served family-style, meaning Sunda would be an ideal location to bring a group of friends or family to be able to get a bite of more menu items. With just two people and three dishes between my friend and me, I definitely want to return to get even more of their delicious food.

If you’re looking to check out this trendy new restaurant in a more hands-on way, try their sushi rolling class on the first Tuesday of each month. Sunda additionally hosts other special events every month like Sake Social, Happy Hour and Omakase.

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About the Contributor
Corinne Fombelle
Corinne Fombelle, Former Life Assistant Editor
Corinne Fombelle (’19) was the Life Assistant Editor for The Vanderbilt Hustler. She previously interned for the Nashville Symphony and double majored in saxophone performance and cognitive studies. Outside of the practice room and newsroom, she can be found obsessing over her favorite musicians, shows and foods.
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