Tops for food and service: Sanook Café is one of East London’s top restaurants


On two successive Mondays, once for lunch and the other for dinner, I visited Sanook Cafe, in Chamberlain Street, East London, and was lucky to get a table. Lucky because the restaurant was pretty full and on both occasions I managed to get the last available table and lucky because the food and service of this unproposing restaurant are excellent.

In the restaurant industry, being full on a Monday is as sure an indicator of good food as the CPI is of inflation. For the uninitiated, Sanook does not have all the glitz and glam of well-known franchised restaurants but it runs as smoothly, if not better and it is no surprise to find that the owners of Sanook have a long history in the formalised catering industry.

The restaurant is relatively small but very cosy and full of atmosphere. Much of the ambiance comes from the happy chatter of the diners who are clearly enjoying their meal.  In one of the dining areas is a large wood fired pizza oven and another is situated in a semi open area.  The waiting staff are alert, helpful and full energy. You won’t find a waiter having an idle chat or texting, they’re just too busy giving good service!

The menu is varied but one thing all the items have in common is that the ingredients are fresh and of the best quality.  I have tried the Asian Invasion salad as well as the Carpaccio salad and they are two of the best salads that I have ever eaten. Being wood fired, the pizza are full of smoky flavour and the base is crisp.  It is the burgers that have made Sanook famous so don’t be afraid of not having your expectations matched. My daughter indicated that the ribs were finger licking good.

The wine menu is well stocked with light, easy drinking reds, whites and bubblies and, this being a very happy eatery, there is list of cocktails too.  I thoroughly enjoy researching the world of craft beer and I was delighted to find that Sanook is a stockist of Emerald Vale’s refreshing brews, all of which have received my best attention.

Sanook is very popular and I would highly suggest that you make a reservation to avoid disappointment. In case you find Sanook Café full you can always try the newer Sanook Eatery, at Beacon Bay Crossings. 

To make a reservation call 043 748 2494 for Sanook Eatery or 043 721 3215 for the original Sanook Café.