Sumiya Suntec City is the second outlet of this izakaya styled Japanese restaurant. Their first one is at Orchard Central. According to their website, “Sumiya” means charcoal (sumi) house (ya) and “is specialized in charcoal-grilled items and fresh seafood flown into Singapore 2 -3 times a week. Master Chef Naoki Tsuzuki aims to present 2 different dining experiences at the 2 Sumiya outlets located at Orchard Central & Suntec City. ” The highlight of Sumiya Suntec City is the Irori Genshiyaki, an old style of grilling over charcoal flame. Fish on skewers are vertically grilled over an irori (charcoal bed) so that the surface of the fish stays crisp while retaining the succulence of the meat inside.
Sumiya Suntec City is quite large for an izakaya restaurant. It is decorated with a dark wood theme similar to those in Japan. But there is where the similarities end. Instead of old, traditional implements found in their Japanese counterparts, Sumiya has a modern looking kitchen and digital sake dispensing machines which enable customers to select various serving sizes from about 20 kinds of sake. Some of the vertical charcoal grills can be seen in the picture below.
In addition to their regular menu items. Sumiya also features assorted fresh items that become available. We were attracted to the scallops, abalone and fish head which looked really fresh.
Here are pictures of the Sumiya Suntec City set lunch menu and some portions from their other menus.
Our meal started with some complimentary endamame beans. We tried a small bottle (300 ml) of Nomitarite Aji Sake ($32).
The grilled shellfish Hotate Isoyaki ($11.80) and Abalone Isoyaki ($15.80) were served next. Quite a lot of money to pay for each small creature but we were curious about the taste. The abalone has a nice sea taste but was chewy. The scallop was better – tender with a pure clean seafood taste. We recommend the latter for a luxurious start to a meal.
Next were the Prawn Tempura ($16.80) Sweet Potato Kushi ($4.80) Chicken Kushi ($4.20). The tempura and chicken skewer were ordinary. The sweet potato was very good. Rich, sweet taste with a smooth texture, but the small portion made it a very expensive potato.
Finally, the main event – the Grilled fish head. I believe it was a yellow fin tuna (hamachi) which costs $48 for half a head. We paid another $8 to make it a set meal i.e. miso soup,salad, rice and dessert added. The fish was excellent. Firm flesh with no hint of fishiness at all. I am not sure if the vertical grilling made that much of a difference. The key was the freshness of the fish. Perhaps it would be more impactful for a regular fish with more skin surface area to make crispy. Quite a lot of meat can be found in the gill surrounds and the top. Perhaps one attraction of fish head is the challenge of picking out all the edible parts, including the eye which we only do if there was absolutely no fishiness.
Overall, an interesting meal at Sumiya Suntec City. The next time we will stick to the grilled fresh seafood items. The other cooked food items like grilled chicken and tempura were forgettable. Sake enthusiasts may find the sake dispensers a good way to experiment with different types of sake.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPS
Sumiya Suntec City
#03-332 / 333, 3 Temasek Boulevard
Tel: +65 6235-1816
Lunch 11:30am to 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm to 10:00pm
Nearby Stations: Esplanade, City Hall, Promenade