[SG] Sumire Yakitori House | Affordable yakitori @ BugisSaturday, April 12, 2014
Yakitori basically means skewered and grilled food. In a way, the easy way is to relate it as the Japanese version of Southeast Asian's famous satay! This restaurant has a user-friendly iPad ordering system whereby you simply insert all your orders into the machine and it would be sent directly to the counter or kitchen. With rising labour costs and challenging operating business conditions, this certainly brought another facet to automation in the F&B scene. Could this potentially lead to a lack in personal or humane touch in customer service?
This reminds me of Ronin cafe, which has no menu and it is crucial for the owner to find a way to balance the service and efficiency at an eatery.
Chicken Meatball for Ladies (Teriyaki Sauce, Mayo & Cheese)
Interestingly, there's meatball for men and ladies which basically means that men get bigger portion and ladies smaller. I'm a super fan of mayo and cheese, so the dressing was definitely a hit for me. The meatballs were soft and tender, cooked to perfection and nicely coated with teriyaki sauce, melted cheese and mayo. However, the meat had a slightly unpleasant stale taste which was covered underneath the sauce even though the coating was so strong.
One of their signatures was this homemade potato croquette which won me over at first sight. It was a very irresistible combination of soft-boiled egg hiding in a crispy croquette with creamy potato salad. Please bear with the photo above as I was looking for the egg yolk to dissect, the soft-boiled egg was guaranteed cook to the right level although the photo didn't really show the flowy egg yolk. Surely a recommended dish for egg and potato food lovers!
Tamagoyaki with Mentai Cheese
This Japanese omelette looked very tempting with the mentai cheese oozing out but the texture of the egg roll was quite disappointing as it tasted soggy. I would have preferred a firmer hold and was expecting a stronger punch of flavours from the mentai cheese. According to Michelin 3-star chef, Jiro Ono, mastering the creation of tamagoyaki could take up to a decade and this version surely needs improvement.
Hotate Mentai Mayo
Hotate Garlic Mayo
Hotate means scallop in English, the dish above was simply to bake the half-shelled scallop together with the fish roe/garlic in mayonnaise on top resulting in the brown hue shown. You could taste that the scallop wasn't very fresh but for the kind of price you're paying it's reasonable. Personally, I would have preferred it better if there was a more generous fish roe serving to cover the whole scallop.
The cheese bean curd skewer was crispy and airy, sprinkled it with bonito flakes, spring onion and drizzled with soy sauce. This savoury dish had given a different mouthfeel and interesting taste.
The mushroom and asparagus wrapped in the bacon were juicy and generously packed to fit in the bacons. The sweet sauce slowly absorbed by the meat during cooking had also brought the savoury dishes to the next level.
I loved the fact that the cherry tomato wrapped in the bacon was so sweet, crunchy and succulent that the juice burst into your mouth once you bite which complemented well with the caramelised salty bacon. Simple and delicious!
The chicken shoulder skewer was so tender and grilled to perfection. Do note that they also serve almost all parts of a chicken including heart, liver, soft bone, inner breast, thigh, tail and skin which would certainly attract foodies with distinctive indulgence preferences.
Personally, I find the yakitori tare sauce tasty and the chef also controlled the grilling time well but it seemed that the ingredients were not marinated sufficiently as the yakitoris were unable to give a wow factor.
The bill came to about S$25/pax for 3 persons, this place certainly served reasonably priced and above average yakitori and food. Service wise, the iPad ordering system fortunately did not lead the service down while the service crew were very friendly and attentive who consistently had smiles on their faces. I will perhaps revisit this comfortable and welcoming restaurant when I suddenly have craving for their potato croquette or yakitori!
Did you realise what Chinese word their logo resembled? 笑! (means laugh in Chinese)
Overall Verdict: 7.5/10
Sumire Yakitori House
Bugis Junction, 200 Victoria St #01-88/89