Yakitori and sake make a wicked combination and when a friend suggested dinner at Sumi-ka, I was game. Sumi-ka is a yakitori bar with limited tables in SS15, Subang Jaya. Here, you get a full complement of yakitori, all of them deftly prepared. Good thing my friend made a reservation for at 7.30pm, the place was packed and there were no available tables for the next one hour.
The typeface on Sumi-ka’s menu was as plain as its décor, but the descriptions were exciting: Satumaimo (Baked Sweet Potato), Oyakodon (Chicken With Egg On Rice), Gyutan (Beef Tongue), Nankotu (Chicken Soft Bones), Tukune Orosipongu (Chicken Meatball With Orosipongu), Kawa (Chicken Skin), Ika (Squid), Teba (Chicken Wings), Gyuniku Miso and Pirikara Gyumiso (Beef Ribs With Hot or Miso Sauce) and more. Unfortunately for us, they ran out of beef yakitori that day so we stuck to ordering chicken and pork yakitori.
With the yakitori, we drank sake (RM150 per bottle). The rice wine was cold and smooth and this combination made me feel better after a day of running around like a headless chicken. I liked the chicken “oysters” (the tender bit of dark meat from the back of the thigh) and chicken thigh, both grilled till a juicy state. The chicken breast came topped with some wasabi and mentai mayonnaise (RM4 each). I liked the version with mayonnaise better. Even the edamame – lightly salted boiled soybeans – tasted good here.
Also noteworthy were the quail eggs, salted gingko nuts, chicken butt (bishop nose), chicken skin and chicken bones. I especially liked the chicken skin (RM4) and bishop nose (RM4); they were both fatty and flavoursome. The baked shimeji mushroom in butter sauce wasn’t special, but it tasted quite good. However, I didn’t care much for the sweet potatoes prepared the same way. The oyakodon (RM14) was merely chicken and egg on rice with gravy – simple stuff.
Enokimaki (Enoki mushroom wrapped with bacon) was just average; the bacon wasn’t cooked enough and didn’t have lovely crisp edges. Delicious was the pork and bacon roll; crisp on the outside, and juicy and fully flavoured at the centre. Service was swift and efficient, and we tucked into a constant supply of fresh-off-the-grill yakitori throughout the night.
Don’t expect a selection of dessert here – only crème caramel is available. Dinner was delicious, but slightly pricey (each stick cost between RM3 to RM9, depending on what you order). The bill came up to slightly over RM400 for the two of us and my eyeballs almost popped out. I never expected yakitori to cost so much! Then again, we had sake…
I wouldn’t recommend this place for first dates – ventilation is quite bad – as you will walk out smelling like grilled meat. It is however, a good place for meals with friends or for some sake and a fuss-free meal. To guarantee a seat, call to make a reservation. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until people leave. And yakitori meals are not exactly quick.
Food: 7.5/10 (non halal)
Verdict: Simple yet delicious. A bit pricey though.
Sumi-ka Yakitori Restaurant
No. 19, 1st Floor, SS15/4
47500 Subang Jaya
03-5632 9312/016-224 9312
Opening hours: 6pm-12am
Payment: CASH only