Monday, July 18, 2011

Restaurant Review Monday: Sun Café

Sun Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sun Café
Ste 3, 930 Old Monrovia Rd
Huntsville, AL
(256) 585-1394

Hours: Mon-Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Not the best…but not the worst…just there.

This is the most tactful way that I can describe my dining experience at Sun Café.  Admittedly this establishment is more affordable than some of the other Japanese restaurants in town; just remember that you only get what you pay for.  If you have the means, I would recommend I ♥ Sushi in Jones Valley.  The atmosphere is more relaxing, and the food is of a superior quality. 

Upon entering this little hole in the wall, I was greeted by the large face of some FAUX News anchorwoman who was trying to explain that the current problems with America can be solved by removing all of the Latinos, Asians, and Blacks…After managing to choke down the bile rising in my throat, I proceeded to the bar and was attended to by woman whom I can only presume was the manager.  She was brief in her remarks but not dismissive or rude, and her service was polite and prompt.

For my meal I ordered the seafood soup ($6.00 for a quart size) and the 6 piece spicy tuna roll ($4.50).  As a connoisseur of spicy tuna rolls, I thought that this would be an excellent way to judge the quality and skill of the tiny establishment.  However, I now think that I may want to reconsider this standard. 

The tuna for the spicy tuna roll was finely minced, mixed with a spicy mayonnaise and something that I can only hope was panko bread crumbs or tempura pieces, and then rolled in the standard fashion.  Its flavor was not un-palatable, but this mincing technique simply did not impart the satisfying firm texture and mouthfeel imparted by leaving the tuna whole.  I am not sure of origins of this method, and “who am I to judge Japanese culture?”, but from what I know about sushi preparation this was probably invented to accommodate squeamish Americans unaccustomed to dining on raw fish.  An ultimately, this is how it tasted…artificial and bland. 

The seafood soup was equally bland.  The broth was weakly flavored and artificially thickened using a more than generous amount of cornstarch (in fact it was not unlike runny Jello).  The squid, when you actually found a piece, was rubbery and severely overcooked.  The single scallop in my quart of soup was succulent and fresh, but I was left wanting more. 

Simply because something is foreign and new does not mean we should relax our standards.  I would encourage this establishment to focus more on the quality of its products. 

Eat good food.  Drink good beer.  And above all, stay classy.


  1. I'm glad you posted this...I'd suspected as much of Sun Cafe, given what I'd heard. My partner has been encouraging me to try it, but I have resisted...thank goodness for that, and for Viet Huong next door. I <3 Sushi is enjoyable, but I tend to prefer Miyako, located on South Memorial Parkway. Edo, off of Madison Boulevard, is also a commendable choice, I think.

    1. @V: Anytime (I really need to get back into the habit of posting my restaurant reviews). I too enjoy Miyako; IMHO their selection tends to be more creative, but not necessarily more consistent. As for Edo, it has probably been 8 or 9 years since I've eaten there. Perhaps it's time for another whirlwind sushi tour.


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