Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya, Singapore

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Category: Japanese

I have a feeling that one day I’m really going to regret having posted this. Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya has been around for a while but I don’t think many people have discovered it yet – which is why I have feelings of both fear and excitement (which, I know, sounds a little extreme for feelings towards a restaurant but legit nonetheless); fear for when it gets popular, I’m not going to be able to get a seat for a long time to come, and yet, excitement, at how much potential Sumiya has.

181 Orchard Road, #12-02 Orchard Central, Singapore 238896, opens daily 12-3pm and 6.30-10.30pm

Sumiya is located right at the top most floor of Orchard Central – the rooftop, to be exact. I’m not even sure many people are aware that there’s this top floor because the lifts only go up to level 11, where Tung Lok Seafood Restaurant is situated, and from there you’d have to turn left and walk all the way to the end. Go around the corner and you’ll find a set of escalators that are otherwise pretty obscure, and that will lead you right to Sumiya‘s doorstep.

Damage: $$-$$$

I think Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya possibly has one of the most ridiculous (in a good way) lunch sets in Singapore. The lunch sets are served daily (including weekends), and range from $15.80 for a Chicken Teriyaki Don to $58 for a King Kaisen Don which has a ridiculous amount of sashimi. The sets we had were about the $20 price range, and were of fantastic value, and just thinking about it is making me salivate. The grilled items, which are served based on a skewer count, are very popular and will spike your bill a little but are still competitively priced when compared with other charcoal grill places such as the ones at Cuppage Plaza.

To go: YES!!! (And soon…)

The food is incredible – sashimi slices were thick and fabulously fresh (just read on for the detailed review below), the tempura was also delicious, and everything was just- fantastic. Service was impeccable as well – they were friendly, attentive, and polite. Plus, there’s the great birds-eye view of Orchard and Somerset if you take a stroll on the balcony. Note to self: Go back ASAP.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review

Sumiya has the feel of a laidback slight old-world market-style charm with wooden tables on unfinished metal legs and high chairs, which were surprisingly comfortable. The charcoal grill was being worked to our right as we came in through the entrance, and the staff nodded politely in welcome.

The Fish of the day Charcoal Grill Set ($16.80) was made from mackerel, and was fresh, coming off in flakes. The outside was grilled to a golden brown with the lightest crisp, and was cleanly seasoned with sea salt which supported the natural flavours through.

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog

Assorted Tempura at Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog

The Assorted Tempura set ($17.80) was a generous serving of five prawns and vegetable tempura in the loveliest batter. It was served piping hot and held it’s crisp to the end of the meal, and was well complemented by the light but flavourful dipping sauce and a generous serving of freshly grated radish. They definitely didn’t stinge on the ingredients – the vegetable tempura was made from asparagus.

My dish was the Mix Bara Kaisen Don ($18.80) and when I saw it, I went wow, and the waitress couldn’t help but break into a smile at my enthusiasm for the dish. I mean, seriously, look at it-

Sumiya Charcoal Grill Izakaya Singapore Food Review Blog Mix Bara Kaisen Don

BAM! Heaps and heaps of thick juicy sashimi which were so fresh, with generous bits of avocado (!) and a mountain of ikura and roe. It tasted absolutely divine! Each set came with a salad, an appetiser, chawanmushi, japanese pickles, soup, and a green tea mochi (which I totally fell in love with). OMG is all I can say, my tastebuds were absolutely singing afterwards – to the top of my list!

Aeon Supermarket, Hokkaido, Japan

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Category: Japanese – Takeout (Everything from sushi to yakitori to bento boxes)

EVERYWHERE

Yeah, I know – who in the world takes a note about a supermarket? But if it’s a Japanese supermarket, I’m going to take note and that’s because there’s usually a food hall, and in that food hall, the food is likely to be Super Awesome.

Damage: Really varies depending on how much you buy because I know you’ll want to try everything, but a meal typically costs $

You can easily get a bento meal with hotate (scallops) or teriyaki salmon at around $6 or $7, or a box of karaage (fried chicken pieces) for maybe $3. They often have bakeries near the entrance too, selling all sorts of little pastries, japanese pancakes (including my favorite dorayaki; a red bean filling stuffed between two small pancakes), etc. At the first Aeon stop, they even had a melon-filled taiyaki, which is a sort of waffle that’s cooked on grill (sometimes in a fish-shape) until golden brown (featured picture).

To go: Yes! Whenever I spot one! 😀

It’s full of delicious treats and the product offerings are never the same at different branches. After that first Aeon stop, I’d gone to each subsequent Aeon eagerly looking for the melon-filled taiyaki but alas, there weren’t any. My advice is if you want to try something, just do it, because you might not be able to find it at another branch.

It’s a great way to go if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal or just want something convenient, or even if you’re looking for a more affordable meal. The standards are high – the Japanese supermarkets are truly like no other – and each time I go into one, I could easily spend hours just browsing the wide selection. I’m not a fan of getting food off the shelf but I’ve had countless good meals just having Supermarket takeout because Japan is just… Japan.

Matcha pancake with azuki red bean hokkaido japan