Sandra's has closed down.
I agree with @coco1 about not being impressed. I was told how great it was by alot of friends. But was really dissapointed. I recently heard its being going downhill from someone who gave it 5 stars. Maybe it was a 5 star place before but certainly is not now. I didn't feel Ill or anything(atleast you got a salad).
It is being sold now, So @peterkunming you may have to deal with cheap Kunming quality food a little more.
"The steaks are also imported so they're not full with antibiotics and hormones" I don't agree.
@Sandra seems like a nice woman, And a good host.
We go to Sandra's quite often and the last review (coco1) made me almost angry. I am not an internet person, but this made me sign up to tell you the truth.
Sandra's steaks are the best in town. It's as simple as that, no discussions needed; and at about 450g they're definitely not small, maybe a little too big for me. Also none of that pan fried crap I had so often in China. The steaks are proper grilles to the point (my wife likes hers medium, I prefer mine medium-rare and you could see a difference between them every time. Did that ever happen to you in Kunming?)
The salad was good too, with a brilliant dressing and fresh feta cheese (real feta, no RuBing). As dessert I had a chocolate mousse which I'd call the best I had so far.
Yes, you might not pay the usual (cheap) "Kunming-Price" but therefore you also won't get the usual (crappy) "Kunming-Quality". This is real, proper, delicious, western food.
The steaks are also imported so they're not full with antibiotics and hormones as Chinese meat is too often.
Average meal, it was ok but i can cook better food at home. be prepared to pay a high price, 230rmb or so for chewy potatoes, bit of steak and salad. The next day I felt very ill and vomited, maybe something in the salad.
Makes my mouth water, I have been to Kunming many times but have not found this. I shall have to seek out the one they call Sandra and her fine restaurant!
Men spend their whole lives trying to find a place on earth worthy of names such as Elysium, Heaven, Xanadu, Paradise, Shangri-La, Nirvana, etc. They waste their lives and often the lives of others in quests that usually end up a futile waste.
How fortunate am I, how lucky I feel, to have found such a place at my own young age. Sandra's restaurant is an unparalleled wonder, and marvel of the age, a shining beacon of hope and love that dwarfs all other attempts at traditional Western cuisine.
Other reviewers have shared their impression about Sandra, but here I will note that there are several things that make her restaurant Optimus Prime: The first and the greatest.
1) Customization: Every day, Sandra takes down her blackboard and creates a new, divinely inspired menu based on what delectable meats and vegetables are in season and available. Succulent imported steak, as well as potatoes and salad are almost always available, but several other dishes are usually present, with international variation (Persian lamb stew? Wild boar roast? Greek Moussaka? American Thanksgiving? Yes to all!), all made with a creative and unique recipe. Heraclitus was right, you cannot step into the same Sandra's twice.
2) Atmosphere: Sandra's is small and personable, with no more than 10 tables, sometimes more outside if it's a warm summer night. The decor is simple and well-arranged, complete with beautiful pictures, an awesome dark wood floor, mellow sound system, and tasteful decoration. Everything fits well together to create a homey atmosphere. Need I mention the huge rack of imported wines sitting against the wall? These wines are fairly priced and well selected, and are one of the main sources of my satisfaction with Sandra's. Sandra herself knows wine quite well, and is always willing to make a recommendation on what wine would go best with what dish.
3) Personable: At most, there are three people working there: Sandra, Pierre, and Xiao Hua. All three work taking orders, preparing food, and cleaning up. One quickly gets to be on a first name basis with all three. For a restaurant this size, it's perfect. You know exactly who is cooking your food, and they ensure that it is all made with a heaping helping of love and care.
Sandra herself is friendly, honest and direct. She is well-informed on all matters food and drink, and will usually tell you exactly why she has made her dish the way it is. If you have experience in gourmet cooking, go ahead and talk to her about food, and then be amazed at her level of expertise. Furthermore, she will always tell you what she thinks, which is so damn rare in this world. There is so much bullshit around that it is a blessing to finally find someone who will tell you exactly what she thinks. If you ever want to have an informed, honest conversation, head over to Sandra's.
4) Special events: Holidays, custom orders, birthdays, or any sort of celebration is worth a trip to Sandras. If you let her know in advance, then she can custom order some ostrich, bake a special cake, put together a traditional OU-MEI roast, or even close the restaurant for you and your party if it's necessary. One part restaurant, one part awesome made-for-you catering.
5) Desserts: They make my eyes roll into the back of my head and shudder with, um, glee. Trust me on this.
6) Pizza: Some of the best, crunchiest pizza in town. So good. If you have two people, have one order a meat steak and the other order a pizza, and share between you two. You'll thank me later.
I always leave Sandra's stuffed full of food, a little tipsy, in a great mood, and smiling. I have NEVER had a bad experience there. It's one of my favorite places in Kunming, and there's nothing else like it. Sandra's should never change, because if it ain't broke, don't fix it.