Dinner @ Sumiya Charcoal Grill

August 13, 2014 in Japanese by thywhaleliciousfay

I cant remember how I read about Sumiya, but after I did my further research on who they are and where they are located at, I knew Sumiya would make the perfect place to bring my family for dinner. =)

We arrived on a Sunday evening at 730pm. But finding our way to the restaurant sure wasn’t simple, especially if one is not taking the lift from ground floor as the lifts at Orchard Central do not serve every storey. Our car was parked at level 8, and we had to take the lift down to level 7, change to a lift that goes up to level 11 before further taking the escalator to reach level 12.

But let’s just say it was worth all that hassle. =) And what hit us when we entered Sumiya, was how bright and spacious the place is! There are 3 different seating areas:-

1) 1970s-80s Dining Izakaya: The main dining area once one enters the restaurant. Also located in front of the grilling counter where one can see the chefs grilling the skewers, etc. Height of tables and chairs are higher than the normal.
2) 1960s Orchard Yokocho: The ‘tentage area’ where plastic sheets are hung from the ceiling and corrugated aluminium panels are used for the walls. Height of tables and stools are lower than normal.
3) 1950s Garden Sumiyaki: The alfresco area where table tops are placed on top of barrels and chairs take the form of (big paint) cans.

Menus are printed on A3 papers which were rolled up and placed on the tables. My brothers read the menu like they were reading newspapers. Ha.

And being a group of 5, we decided to order the set meal and individual mains:-

1) Ozeki set, $120 (which is for 2 to share) comprised of:-

(A) Pumpkin salad (above) – Priced at $5 if ordered a-la carte. A sweet, sticky mess. Mess only after we dug our chopsticks into it!

(B) Edamame (above) – If not priced at $6 per grab. For this, the staff came with a drum slung across her body and a big wooden bowl of edamame in her hands. We were told to grab as many edamame beans as we could with one hand. Of course, my brother was tasked with the job. Ha. And once he started, the staff would start beating the drum. And the staff went “That’s really a lot” when my brother left a huge hole in the wooden bowl. Keke. And of course, we were soon eyeing other tables when it’s their turn at it. To see if they could out do us. Haha. And yes, glove was given for hygiene purpose. I like how Sumiya injected fun into our dinner with this experience.

(C) Sashimi 5 kinds (above) – Priced at $45 if ordered a-la carte. And yes, I love how thick the slices were!

(D) Skewers (above) – Comprised of 2 sticks of chicken and leek, 2 sticks of pork and 2 sticks of bacon-wrapped asparaguss. The meat were grilled to perfection.

(E) Fried seasoned chicken (above) – Fried chicken seasoned with soy sauce and rice wine. Priced at $6 if ordered a-la carte. And yes, think juicy and tender chicken pieces.

(F) Agedashi tofu (above) – Part of our set meal, if not priced at $6.

(G) Mixed dried seafood (above) – Priced at $12, otherwise. A DIY (table) charcoal grill for dried seafood comprised of dried grilled conger eel, soft smoked squid, dried baby squid, dried shishamo and semi dried hage fish.

(H) Garlic rice (above) – Priced at $8.80 if ordered a-la carte. This tasted normal although we could smell its aroma when served.

(I) Chicken & salmon in miso white sauce (above) – ‘Grilled salmon in hot pot’ was stated as one of the items for our ozeki set meal. But upon clarification, the staff told us it’s ‘chicken & salmon in miso white sauce’. Priced at $7 if ordered a-la carte. We were surprised to find udon in the dish. A very creamy dish.

(J) Wasabi gelato (above) – We were given 2 scoops of gelato as desserts for our set menu. By Sumiya, Italian ice-cream with wasabi. Otherwise priced at $5. And I must say, compared to the other flavour (chocolate and chilli), we preferred this. The wasabi taste was constantly present with every mouthful.

(K) Choco & chilli gelato (above) – By Sumiya, Italian ice-cream with chocolate and hot chilli. The second flavour of the two scoops which we were given as desserts for our set menu. With every mouthful, we would first taste the smooth, creamy chocolate. But just as we were able to finish the mouthful of ice cream in our mouth, the spiciness of the chilli would kick in.

2) Deep fried soft shall crab, $6 (above) – This was an additional side dish which we ordered.

3) Unagi hitsumabushi, $15 (above) – Grilled eel on rice in hot stone bowl, sumiya style. And as stated in the menu, there are 3 ways to enjoy. 1, stir the ingredients in the hot stone bowl before scooping some to a smaller bowl and enjoy it in its original taste. 2, add wasabi and spring onion. 3, pour the stock (from the teapot) over the remaining rice and enjoy as ochazuke. Obviously, my brother decided to just pour the stock first. Ha. But this was good! I will definitely recommend ordering it.

4) Taka chan double soup ramen, $8.80 (above) – Ordered a-la carte, master’s chef original dried fish and pork bone broth ramen.

5) Hot soup udon, $8.80 (above) – Japanese thick noodle in warm broth. My parents who ordered these for their mains really enjoyed it.

And with that, I would totally recommend Sumiya! I really like the vibe. Bright, cheery place with really friendly staff who are always smiling. Food was good and value-for-money. Most importantly, we had a lot of fun.

And the drums? These were used not just for the edamame challenge, but also when someone entered or left the restaurant.

Because we reached at 730pm, we were not able to enjoy the great view Sumiya provides for being located at level 12. So I say, come a bit earlier and be treated to the scenic view as one tucks into the delicious food. The only grip that I have is that for the huge seating capacity, only 1 (unisex) toilet cubicle is provided.

181 Orchard Road, Orchard Central, #12-02, Singapore
6509 9618, Website, Facebook
Overall: 7.5
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Mon – Sun : 12:00 – 15:00 (Lunch)
Ambience: 7
Mon – Sun : 18:30 – 22:30 (Dinner)
Value: 8
Service: 8