Sumiya is a brand-new concept restaurant, housed at the rooftop of Orchard Central. The huge floor area was put to good use with the creation of various ‘spaces’ – 1950s Garden Sumiyaki, 1960s Orchard Yokocho and 1970s -80s Dining Izakaya – within the same restaurant. Immerse into a world of retro Japanese charm of yesteryear as Sumiya spares no expense in dressing up the spaces. As the restaurant name would suggest, Sumiya specialises in yakitori, with a vast menu choice that even includes tapas-style dishes!
1970s -80s Dining Izakaya: Communal tables and high chairs against the skyline.
When customers enter the restaurant, the staff would start drumming to welcome them and chorus ‘irashaimase’ (‘welcome’ in Japanese). The old-school candy floss machine takes centrepiece at the Dining Izakaya space where you can have a go at $5! If you look at the background, it is actually a tentage set-up for the Orchard Yokocho space. I have to say that I was pretty impressed by the authentic theming!
Sweet Pumpkin Salad ($5) – This was delicious and I’ll be sure to order it during my next visit! The natural sweetness of pumpkin shined through this salad and the texture was creamy and smooth. Tiny chunks of pumpkin were scattered through the mash. It was flawless.
Miso Beef ($4) – Nicely seasoned, the meat was simultaneously tender and chewy.
Miso Pork Belly ($4) – This was my favourite out of all the yakitori sticks I tried. The miso sauce had a nice balance of sweetness and saltiness, which complemented well with the crunchy and fatty pork belly! The layers of fat would partially melt in your mouth, leaving a chewy texture from the combination of fats and meat. Sinful yet irresistible! I also liked how the chives were not completely charred.
Bacon-wrapped Asparagus ($5) – This was tasty as well. The asparagus remained crunchy and the charcoal fragrance was really evident here!
Beef-wrapped Foie Gras ($9) – Nah, don’t bother about this. I had no idea what I was eating as the taste of foie gras was so mild I wondered what they put into the fillings.
Sweet Potato ($4) – Sweet potatoes are best served char-grilled! I thoroughly enjoyed this stick of well-cooked carbs.
Lobster Salad Roll ($7.80) – This dish could be skipped as well – way too much rice in the sushi!
Deep-fried Squid w Chilli Sauce ($6) – Batter was light, though you shouldn’t expect the same crunchiness as your calamari rings. The squid were drenched with sweet chilli sauce, which could just make or break this dish, depending on your preference.
Fried Gyoza w Chilli Sauce & Mayonnaise ($6) – Heck if these were frozen gyozas, they tasted delicious after a soak in the oil! The generous mayonnaise and spring onions was a bonus too.
Cod Fish & Mushroom Chan Chan Miso Sauce ($9) – The essence of the fish was trapped in the foil-wrap, resulting in really tender and smooth fish meat. The sauce may come as a little too salty but just dab it off and it’ll be good to go. I liked this so much that I ordered a second round, with salmon fish instead.
Salmon & Mushroom Chan Chan Miso Sauce ($7) – Too bad the salmon turned out overcooked.
Deep-fried Rice Cake in Tonkotsu Soup ($8) – The broth was the ultimate! Served piping hot, the soup had a strong peppery flavour to it, yet you could not deny the richness and sweetness from the pork bones. The rice cake was gooey, soaking up the goodness of the soup, together with slices of mushrooms. I wished I could throw a handful of ramen noodles into the soup!
Tonkotsu Pork Broth Porridge ($7) – Made using the same broth as the previous dish, this was the epitome of comfort food. This could possibly be the best bowl of porridge I’ve had yet. Every mouthful of porridge grants you fluffy grains of Japanese short rice, tender diced meat and amazing egg drop soup. Must-order please!
The entire ambiance at Sumiya was fun and light-hearted – great after a day of work or school, or simply to let down your hair. Food was very reasonably prices and the staff were extremely friendly and attentive.
Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya
#12-02, Orchard Central
181 Orchard Road
Tel: 6509 9618