Sumiya means ‘charcoal house’ in Japanese and true to its name, Sumiya uses charcoal fire to cook a variety of dishes. Utilising charcoal fire to cook dishes seals the flavour of food and makes it crisp on the outside and succulent inside.
Cooking via charcoal also evenly condenses the flavours of the food by distributing the heat evenly. We were told that the special smoky aftertaste from their grilled dishes is a result of the charcoal smoking effect.
What first struck us when we entered was the vintage enamel signages, traditional Japanese drums, copper crockery and a variety of timeless knicknacks that adorned the walls of the cosy restaurant. The décor transported us back to the 1950s, and invoked a sense of nostalgia as we moved through the dining space, Orchard Yokocho (alley) and the alfresco terrace.
First up, was one of their many deep-fried items – the Crispy Burdock. It was fried to perfection and lined our stomachs for the plethora of fresh Sashimi ($8.80) that came after.
For the more health conscious – try the Mushroom and Butter in Foil and the Agedashi Tofu served in a Stone Pot Volcano ($5 to $8). The dishes were flavourful and serve as the perfect comfort food for all Japanese food lovers.
The Softshell Vietnamese Spring Roll Salad could be said to be our favourite item on the menu as it lent the traditional sweet-shrimp vietnamese spring roll innovative twist. The exterior smoothness of the white floor is juxtaposed with the crispiness of the softshell crab.
Sumiya pleases the working crowd for their wallets will be well taken care of. A selection of 13 different lunch sets are available and it’s priced affordably from $16 to $26. The sets available include the Pork Katsu Don ($20), Foie Gras Don ($23) and Tonkotsu Ramen ($19). All you tipplers listen up, you can even get free flow drinks at the bar during lunch time by just topping up a mere $3!
To make the deal even sweeter, the lunch sets comes with a selection of char-grilled items of skewers, sashimi of the day, chawanmushi, miso soup and pickles. Be warned for a satiated post-food coma is inevitable.
We left the best bit for last – Sumiya’s Asahi Draft Beer prices are the lowest in town at a mind-blowing $4.90! Aside from beer, they have an exclusive range of sake, wines and shochu cocktails. Set against Singapore’s stunning skyline, it is certainly the perfect place for after-work drinks.
This was an invited tasting.
Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya
Opening hours: Daily from 12:00 – 15:00 and 18:30 – 22:30
Location: #12-02, Orchard Central, 181 Orchard Road
Contact number: 6509 9618