Whether it is the first date or the regular night out with someone special, the old school wine and dine routine in an interesting restaurant is always a safe bet to a good evening. It is not just the food and drinks though. The decor, the atmosphere and the music are all important elements to help set the mood. From a cheeky tapas bar on the ground floor to an intimate dining hall on the second floor and a romance-ready rooftop bar, Sum Yi Tai offers three great spots in one venue with all the necessary ingredients for a great night out. Sum Yi Tai should surely make the Singapore list of fun date ideas.
Sum Yi Tai occupies a three storey shophouse along Boon Tat Street. “Conceptualised to pay tribute to the decadent glamour of 1980s Hong Kong”, Sum Yi Tai has a tapas bar designed to look like a Hong Kong underground bar complete with dragon head, vinyl roast ducks and mahjong tiles as decorative elements. It serves Chinese snacks like fried tofu, carrot cake and wantons. The rooftop bar is decorated with coloured glass screens and rattan furniture to create a cosy intimate space for cocktails, whiskies and wines.
Sandwiched between the two bars is the elegant Dining Club on the second floor. It is dimly lit and atmospheric with a distinctly Chinese style decor. Chinese art pieces adorned the deep green walls. In keeping with the light-hearted theme of Sum Yi Tai, the decorative piece on the ceiling of the Dining Club is created from empty bottles of beer and other beverages and wooden crates. It is like a hint that there are drinks upstairs.
The Dining Club at Sum Yi Tai has a Dinner Set Menu at $68 per person but there is a requirement for a minimum of 4 pax. So unless you are on a double date, the a la carte menu is the only option. The menu is a Chinese affair with predominantly Cantonese dishes. A number of dishes sounds quite interesting. You can start off with Crunchy Chilled Jellyfish Head, have Father-in-Law’s Fried Egg and Whisky King Prawns before ending with a sweet Boiled Glutinous Sesame Rice Dumpling with Ginger Tea.
We had dinner at the Dining Club and ordered Deep Fried Oysters with wasabi infused mayonnaise ($16), Mushroom Melon Cups ($22) and Sweet & Sour Pork ($28) to go with steamed rice ($2 per bowl).
We were quite disappointed when the Mushroom Melon Cups dish was served. It was braised mixed mushrooms and bamboo pith in cut-out winter melons placed over a lotus leaf. The look was plain and the taste was bland. Not recommended unless your date is into extreme clean eating and does not pay too much attention to flavour of food.
The Deep Fried Oysters were quite good. The battered oysters were fried to a golden brown with a thin crispy coating. The oysters were creamy and had a mild flavour.
The Sweet & Sour Pork came in quite a large portion size. It was of the expected standard – crispy and tasty. The lychees added a pleasant sweetness and contrasting flavour to the classic sweet and sour pork dish.
The food at Sum Yi Tai Dining Club is fine; but if we really just want good Chinese food we would look elsewhere. However, on the whole Sum Yi Tai offers a unique and interesting dining experience and should surely be added to the list of fun date ideas.
Sum Yi Tai is picturesque and charming. There are so many conversation starters to be found in the various floors of the designer restaurant and club. There is a playful atmosphere about the place. The service is good and unobtrusive. A great range of beverages is available to help soothe nerves and overcome inhibitions. With or without wine, it is easy to relax and be merry at Sum Yi Tai. It is a great place for a fun date but if you have marriage in mind, be aware that Sum Yi Tai means “Concubine” or literally “Third Wife” in Cantonese.
当爱成了往事 Theme song from Farewell my Concubine
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Sum Yi Tai
25 Boon Tat Street
Tel : +65 6221 3665
Monday to Friday
Lunch – 11.30AM to 2.30PM
Dinner – 5.00PM to 1.00AM
Saturday : 5.00PM to 1.00AM
Sunday & PH : Closed
Nearby Station : Telok Ayer