Sun, Buffalo's first Burmese restaurant, opened a Williamsville satellite several weeks ago, serving Burmese, Thai and Asian fusion dishes for lunch and dinner.
The restaurant, 5759 Main St., was formerly Great Northern Pizza Kitchen. The space stretches from the Main Street side of the building through to the rear.
When I arrived for lunch recently, the Main Street door was locked, with a sign directing customers to the building's rear, which faces a large parking lot and Garrison Park.
In Williamsville, Kevin and Stephanie Lin offer the same menu that has brought crowds to their original location, 1989 Niagara St. A grand opening is set for the week of Jan. 23.
Our server was game, but new. When the beer I requested wasn't available, I asked what was in stock. He shrugged and handed me the digital tablet he was using to take my order so I could see for myself.
A beef tataki roll ($12.95) was an able representative of Sun's hybrid sushi offerings. The black rice used for its foundation is slightly chewy and nuttier, giving black rice sushi feel more substantial. The tataki roll was avocado, mango, sweet potato and black rice wrapped in a wisp of beef, burnished with sweet soy sauce and a sprinkle of fried shallots. The combination was satisfying but I wished the mango was ripe.
The tropical fruit in the mango roll ($5) was fine, though, making it a light, amiable vegan snack with avocado, sweet potato and a dab of sweet chile sauce.
I've considered Sun's black rice salad ($8.95) one of its most accessible dishes for its healthy dose of grains augmented with salad greens, bell pepper, avocado and mango, in a tangy dressing.
This version had plenty of rice, but was light on the other stuff, including dressing, making a dull impression. A bowl of Burmese coconut chicken noodle soup (owno koksware, $6.35, small) was muted as well.
Unlike most Thai restaurants, my coconut curry order went in with no inquiry as to how spicy I would like it. Thus it should not have been a surprise that red curry with pork ($12.65) was particularly tame. Lots of tender pork, green beans, zucchini and vegetables, though.
I finally found some heat in the kat kyay kite, Burmese flat wide noodles stir-fried with bean sprouts, egg and beans. It's marked "spicy" on the menu, but the glow came from the fishcake add-on, little discs of fried fish sausage jacked with chile.
The traditional mango sticky rice dessert ($6.30) had all the essentials - mango, coconut cream and rice (plus an unexpected bite of sweet potato). Its pleasure was diminished because the crunchy mango called for a knife and fork.
The restaurant's been in operation about two weeks, so it hasn't fully settled into its character yet. That said, my first-impressions lunch at Sun Williamsville gave me a glimpse of Burmese favorites, but left me wondering if the cuisine was toned down for the suburbs. And if so, if that's necessarily a bad thing. The good people of Williamsville and environs will be the judge of that.
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