Orchard Central’s Best Kept Secret: Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya @ Level 12

Photo 18-3-16 2 35 38 pm (1)

Remember Joie By Dozo at Level 12 of Orchard Central? If you don’t, you better read that article again hor. HAHAHA! Located just opposite Joie By Dozo, lies Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya! Yet another noteworthy mention in this very, very FnB oriented mall.

Sumiya means Charcoal (sumi) House (ya), and hence we can expect them to specialize in charcoal grilled items and being a Japanese restaurant, sashimi. Yes I’m such a stereotypical person. HEHE!

The Place

Sumiya has 2 outlets in Singapore. Their outlet in Orchard Central has 3 main spaces that features the 1970s Izakaya, 1960s Orchard Yokocho and a 1950s Garden Sumiyaki. I believe I’ve only gotten just 2 of the 3 spaces.

Photo 18-3-16 2 20 05 pm 1970s Izakaya-ish where you can see the chefs doing the grilling of the charcoal, as well as slicing the fresh slabs of fishes.Photo 18-3-16 2 19 45 pm 1960s Yokocho where the tables are lower than usual, and as you can see, aluminium panels as walls. Quite pretty!

I’ve also visited their Suntec City outlet before as well, and it takes on an entirely different concept with a more modernized retro take, and they even have a Sake dispensing machine – a FIRST in Singapore!Photo 24-8-15, 6 46 12 PM Photo 24-8-15, 6 47 30 PM Photo 24-8-15, 6 49 11 PM30 kinds of sake hor, don’t play play. Slot a card in and get your Sake dispensed to the amount you choose!

The Menu

Here’s featuring the menu at Sumiya, Orchard Central. They’ve got crazily affordable lunch menus as well. Here it is,
Photo 18-3-16 2 32 45 pm $20.80++ for a Bara Kaisen Don set which comes with appetizer, salad, pickles, miso soup, chawanmushi and dessert. NO WAY.

Here’s their Lunch Time A la carte menu!Photo 18-3-16 2 32 21 pm

The Food (P.S. Pardon the less than acceptable pictures, the table was quite cramped HAHA)

1. Sumiya’s Signature “Kushiyaki” – Charcoal Grilled SkewersPhoto 18-3-16 2 24 37 pmPork and Enoki Mushroom ($5++ per stick)
Chicken Tsukune Skewer with Sweet Soy Sauce – Minced Chicken Balls ($6.80++ per stick)
Unagi Skewer ($6.80++ per stick)

These skewers are grilled over charcoal flame upon order to ensure the taste and rich flavors of each skewer! They were all pretty impressive, but if I had to choose, go for the unagi one since it’s less common one amongst the 3!

2. Mixed Bluefin Tuna Sashimi Chunks ($48++, UP $68++)
Photo 18-3-16 2 41 09 pm This platter consists of 3 different cuts of Tuna – Otoro (fatty tuna), Chutoro (middle fatty tuna) and Akami (tuna red meat). Obviously, I thought the fattiest part was the best, but it was a nice platter for me because I get to experience the different cuts of tuna, something that is pretty rare in Japanese restaurants here in Singapore. The experience is always worth it for me!

The good part about ordering this from Sumiya is that they use farmed tuna right from Japan to support sustainable fishing! Limited portions available each day! Photo 18-3-16 2 41 39 pm Here’s a second look at this platter. And these cubes are pretty darn chunky and FRESH!Photo 24-8-15, 7 36 31 PM (1)They serve this too in the Suntec City outlet too! Hehe!

3. Air Flown Fish of the Day – done 2 ways: SASHIMI and Tempura (Open Price) – Ours was $25++. SUPER AFFORDABLE.
Photo 18-3-16 2 18 37 pmThe fish that arrived on that day was the Tobiuo, i.e. FLYING FISH. I was so excited because I’ve never had flying fish sashimi before.. I think. Here’s chef showing us the fish we were going to devour in minutes.Photo 18-3-16 2 34 42 pm Look at that presentation. 10/10. Photo 18-3-16 2 35 38 pm (1)Look at these fresh slices of flying fish! Sashimi was done 2 ways, one is in fresh slices and the other is marinated with ginger and shallot! You could also enjoy the sashimi with the Ponzu Citrus Sauce provided for an extra bit of flavor instead of the usual soy sauce!

TempuraPhoto 18-3-16 2 54 33 pmI’ve thoroughly enjoyed this one. Well battered and evenly coated. You’ll be sure to taste and feel the actual fish instead of FLOUR. What a great experience! I didn’t even get a chance to have such a meal during my trip to Japan!

4. Original Can Can Mushi (Ryoshi Mushi) with Soy Sauce and Miso-base Soup with Garlic and Chili (Open Price)
Photo 18-3-16 2 58 51 pmThis was MY FAVORITEST dish, and its portion was good for 2 or even 3! Within this can, it consists of Hokkaido Scallops, Hiroshima Oysters, Prawns and Kanpachi Kama (amberjack, with ALOT ALOT ALOT of meat). The pricing of the fishes and seafood differs, and this one cost $56.80++!

I loved the salty and spicy broth A LOT. I wish I could drink it all day. Hahaha but then again, that’s just me and my love for miso based soups. If you’re not a fan of miso, you could choose either the Original Clear broth or Tom Yum soup as well!

Pumpkin-Filled Karinto Manju with Matcha Ice Cream ($8.80++)
Photo 18-3-16 3 16 48 pmThis was definitely better than I remembered it to be! This plate consists of a huge scoop of Matcha Ice Cream served with deep fried crispy Japanese cake with pumpkin filling.

It’s hard to imagine any one disliking this dish honestly. It was super yummy, and I LOVED THE PUMPKIN CAKE the most!

Closing Remarks

Sumiya at OC does not only have a unique experience to boot, I thought the entire experience at Sumiya was different from what I usually have at Japanese restaurants. While they do serve the usual Japanese food, the efforts in their presentation scored, as well as their unique ways of serving up the otherwise common Japanese ingredients and dishes.

I’d highly recommend Sumiya if you’re looking for an authentic Japanese fare and if you’re in the area for lunch, YOU DEFINITELY GOT TO CHECK OUT THEIR SUPER AFFORDABLE LUNCH MENU. I’ll BE BACK.

How to get there?

Orcharc Central, #12-02
181 Orchard Road
Singapore 238896

Opening Hours

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

Reservations: 6509 9618


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