Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Birthday lunch at Sumiya, Orchard Central

The year is coming to an end and we had celebrated the last birthday of the year with fellow evil sistas. The venue of choice was Sumiya, or rather the second choice cos The White Rabbit was reserved for a wedding event.

Sumiya, literally means 'charcoal house' in Japanese, is a casual dining style Japanese beer house that serves up premium charcoal grilled dishes to go with beer and/or sake. This place was formally a Japanese fine dining restaurant Kuriya Penthouse. The newly revamped establishment has an obvious retro vibe that transports the patrons back to the 50s - 70s with old school zinc cladded walls adorned with retro posters and ads. This place is dotted with vintage accessories such as the rotary dial telephones, copper crockery, plastic Coca Cola crates, shave ice makers etc. There is a traditional drum hanging on the wall by the entrance where the staffs would sound a round of drum for every visitor stepping into the restaurant.

The menu is presented in a roll-up newspaper style with clear description of food in pictures and elaborate text. They also have all-in-one set meals for groups of 2pax to 4pax, set lunches and other ala carte items. And, a separate menu for everything alcoholic.

We ordered different combi of all-in-one set meals to share among 9 adults. The kids had set lunches to share.

Yokozuna set (serves 3-4pax) $168++
Includes assorted kushiyaki items, a grand looking sashimi moriawase platter, kani tempura, age dashi tofu, bikkuri chawanmushi, mini tonkatsu ramen, garlic rice, Singapore maki, assorted dried seafood w/ grill, soft shell crab spring rolls, pumpkin salad and desserts.

Assorted kushiyaki
Squid, cod fish & prawn, pork belly & chicken on skewer, saba fish & mixed veggies.

The ingredients used here is of superb quality and freshness. The chefs had made sure that every item is perfectly grilled with eye pleasing charred exterior and retaining the succulent juices in the food at the same time. Oiishi desu ne!

Sashimi moriawase platter
This impressive looking platter has fresh premium king prawns, seared Hokkaido scallops and 3 kinds of thick cut fish slices. Everything in the platter was intricately presented and utterly fresh to eat. Thumbs up!

Kani tempura
Nice, sweet and fresh with slight crisp batter...good.

Age dashi tofu
Silky and smooth...slurp!

Bikkuri chawanmushi
This is very special, it is a Japanese style steamed egg with udon as one of its main ingredients. Topped with king prawns, assorted mushrooms and greens, this dish was luxurious and surprisingly delish!

Tonkatsu ramen
Simple looking but big in flavor. The broth was divinely flavored and the ramen was perfectly springy...yums.

Garlic rice
Very fragrantly fried with simple ingredients, it didn't disappoint as well.

Singapore maki
Localized version of the popular California maki...nice.

Assorted dried seafood w/ grill 
Several types of dried fish, squid and cuttlefish served with a hot charcoal grill for patrons to DIY their own 'beer snacks'. Its fun and yummy at the same time.

Soft shell crab spring rolls
Refreshing cabbage rolls loaded with crispy soft shell crab, mildly sweet crab stick, crunchy cucumber and tobiko roe. A perfect dish to freshen up the palates inbetween courses. 

Pumpkin salad
The mushy Japanese pumpkin is oh so sweet and creamy...such a delight to eat!

This set comes with 3 kinds of desserts, Kuzumochi, pudding & matcha ice cream. We liked the kuzumochi very much, its lightly fragrant and chewy in texture...quite addictive to eat. The pudding and ice cream were not too bad as well.

Sekiwake set (2pax) $68.00++
Consists of Assorted kushiyaki (Pork belly, chicken, saba & vegetable), Salmon sashimi, Fried items (gyoza & chicken wing), Tonkotsu ramen, California rolls, Mix dried seafood, Pumpkin salad & desserts.

This set is less luxurious but has nice fried items that goes well with beer!

Overall dining experience was pretty good, service has been toned down from the fine dining kind of attentiveness to a more casual and friendly approach. Food quality did maintained its high standards and so are the prices. This is still a recommended place for good food and great service, definitely worthy of repeated visits.

Orchard Central, #12-02, 181 Orchard Road S238896
Tel: 6509-9618

Operating hours:
Lunch 12:00 to 3pm (Last Order at 2:30pm)
Dinner: 6:30 to 10:30pm (Last Order at 10pm)