Upon stepping into the restaurant, you'll be greeted with loud "Irashaimase!" from the entire crew in the restaurant, a usual practice in Japan that is trending in Jap eateries in SG. There is an open concept kitchen where the chefs prepare their customers orders under the scrutiny of the public eye.
We didn't notice this at first but realized later that the kitchen hood that they are using are very good at what it does, the entire restaurant and its patrons didn't reek of BBQ smell at all.
The eatery adopts the new iPad ordering system like many modern restaurants in SG. The friendly staffs will explain the ordering process in detail for all new visitors.
Once seated, a complimentary bowl of Cabbage Shiodare was served. Fresh raw cabbage leaves drizzled with Japanese salt dressing are a good way to cleanse the palates in between rich tasting dishes, as explained by the staffs. The salt dressing was really delish.
Placing orders was a breeze after we got the hang of how the menu lists works. We ended up ordering 17 dishes in total...kinda ambitious for 4pax!
Yuzu Salmon & Avocado salad $3.90++, fresh salmon and avocado cubes served with yuzu ponzu dressing. Nice and refreshing.
Chawanmushi $2.90++, the steamed egg was silky smooth with bits of crabstick underneath, not bad.
Choco Balls $2.90++, braised quail eggs in Jap soy sauce. The tiny eggs were nicely cooked with soft creamy center, but we all find the soy sauce a tad too salty for our liking.
Sashimi Santen Mori $17.90++, 3 kinds of fresh seafood served with a slice of lemon. Its extremely fresh and juicy, we liked.
Tsukune (chicken meatballs) for Ladies $4.90++ per stick, served with Teriyaki-Mayo sauce and Melted Cheese. The Ladies version are made up of 3 bite-sized morsels for easier consumption, whereas Man's version has got two larger balls (sotong ball sized) which have a more satisfying bite for the guys.
The chicken meatball itself tastes pretty much like those sold at takeaway kiosk like ToriQ, quite ordinary but the generous topping of teriyaki sauce and creamy mayo makes up for the lack in taste, overall quite ok.
Grilled Tori Kawa (chicken skin) $2.20++, one of my fave chicken parts, a rare find in SG. This was very well executed, the slightly charred edges was crispy and non charred part was tender and springy, coupled with the savory teriyaki sauce...perfection!
Daikon Tower $7.90++, Sumire's rendition of the popular oden dish is very interesting, with chunky slices of daikon stacked into a tall tower and dashi broth with several slices of chikuwa and some konjac at the base, topped with bonito flakes. The broth was light yet flavorful, and ingredients were yummy too. Definitely recommended.
Bakudan Korokke $7.90++, Sumire's signature dish, a huge croquette ball with a whole soft boiled egg wrapped in the center. Once sliced open, the creamy yolk oozes out from within.
This dish looks special but taste so so, the potato was quite dry and bland, we were not very impressed. I wouldn't order this again.
Goma Tebaage (sesame chicken wings) $7.90++ and Crispy Gyoza w/ Yuzu dip $5.90++. We liked the chicken wings, very tasty and skin has a slight crisp, pretty addictive to eat. The gyoza on the other hand was forgettable.
Yari Ika Teriyaki $8.90++, grilled sotong with teriyaki sauce. For the price tag, we got quite a big serving of grilled squid which was delicious too, great value for money!
Kaki Fry $4.90++, fried breaded oysters. I'm not a huge fan of oysters but this tasted quite alright for me.
Ebi Mentai Mayo $4.90++ per piece. Prawns were fresh, not the best ebi mentai I've eaten but pretty darn good for its price tag. I would order this again.
Hotate Mentai Mayo $3.50++, the scallops were quite tiny and not really fresh. I would skip this on my future visit.
Tamago Oroshi Ponzu $6.90++, this dish was perhaps the only dish that we felt is not worth ordering. The egg was overcooked and didn't taste sweet which we feel is not right.
We managed to wiped out all the 17 dishes we ordered. Food quality was mostly hits rather than misses, with pocket friendly prices to boot. For the amount of dishes we had, we each paid only $38 including ++. Service staffs are friendly, helpful and responsive. We love dining at this cozy eatery and will definitely return again for more value for money Japanese fare. Do make reservations in advance cos many people had already found out about this gem, the restaurant was running a roaring business serving a full house crowd even on a weekday evening!
Sumire 笑 Yakitori House @Bugis Junction
80 Middle Road #01-88/89 Singapore 188966
Tel: 6338 9963
Mon - Thu: 11:30 am - 10:30 pm
Fri - Sat: 11:30 am - 11:30 pm
Sun: 11:30 am - 10:30 pm