Sumiya Japanese Restaurant is another authentic Japanese dining located inside the IT mall, STC Senayan. After I wrote my review about the “sister”, Naka Nakaya Tokyo Dining, surprisingly I received some requests to review this restaurant. Understandable, because STC Senayan doesn’t really have many dining places and these two seem to be interesting yet intimidating somehow.
For the place itself, Sumiya has the concept of bringing the environment of good old-fashioned Japan, which is based on “machiya”, a style of house in Kyoto. To be honest, the execution goes pretty well and I can feel the difference with outer surroundings the moment I stepped inside.
The restaurant is like typical Japanese restaurants with partitions separating the tables. My favorite seating area is the one in the most inner side, with booth-seating and access to natural light. It can be a little too bright when the weather is sunny but I am okay with that since the booth seating is so comfortable.
Sumiya, means a charcoal-grilled (food) shop, serves mainly food which are specially grilled with “sumi” a.k.a. Japanese charcoal, and to bring the best experience, they use the infamous Himalayan salt and traditional Japanese sauce from Kyoto.
For the food, there is a lot of selections from appetizers, sushi, sumibiyaki (grilled dishes), noodle (udon and soba), konabe (hotpot), other mains, and also the set menu.
As usual, mostly real Japanese restaurants here offer lunch set menu which is a great deal, considering the price range of IDR 88,000 to 198,000 only.
Tori Karaage Set IDR 88,000
What I love about the so-called “set menu” in Japanese restaurants is usually the serving portion and the variety of dishes included in the set. Compared to other lunch set menu, this is definitely more simple and a little “lesser”, but still, it’s a very great deal.
The first in the set is the avocado salad, which is beautiful and refreshing. Complimented with another bowl of super fresh, almost-crunchy sashimi, these were very nice starters before I moved on to the heavier main.
Karaage is probably not a special dish to begin with, but apparently one of Sumiya’s signature dish is Wakadori Karaage. The karaage looked very beautiful from the presentation, but I have quite a high standard for karaage since Mr. K has taught me how to make SUPERB ones at home. XD When I tried it, I was surprised because the karaage made this crunchy sound when bitten (means it was nicely deep-fried until crispy) and left the inner side to be super soft.
I don’t know if I can use the word “juicy” for chicken, but the meat was definitely “juicy” and smooth! I was surprised even more because the taste was amazing. It was savory with strong hint of ginger taste, an authentic karaage like we can find in Japan!
The set also comes with a bowl of miso soup, pickles, and rice (big portion).
Kakiage Udon IDR 69,000
Udon is either good or bad, and here the udon is perfect! The noodle was perfectly cooked and the consistency was great: not too soft and still a bit chewy. The broth was simple and calming, enough to bring the flavor but didn’t feel overwhelming. Kakiage (veggie tempura) helped adding taste to the bowl yet still managed to keep it humble.
Cury Rice IDR 73,000
Curry Rice was served in a big plate, with the ingredients already minced until very soft. Honestly it was my first time seeing a curry rice like this, and I didn’t really fancy it. I prefer smooth curry sauce with the ingredients in big chunks rather than being mixed altogether. This almost looked like the ingredients were blended down with the sauce and it wasn’t really pretty. Taste-wise, the curry was nice, a bit mild for my taste, but there is always shichimi (chili powder), right? Loved how they added some boiled vegetables on top!
Chirashi Sushi IDR 108,000
What can I say more about chirashi? If you love sashimi, sushi and its kind, I really recommend you to try this. Great serving of super fresh sashimi on top of delicate rice, this is truly a heavenly treat!
Gyutan Peperon Ishiyaki Meshi IDR 69,000
Ordered this because I was curious about the gyutan (beef tongue). Served on a warm stone bowl, we didn’t have to worry for this to get cold soon. For me, it was a beautiful dish but lacking in taste. The seasoning was very mild, making the whole bowl seemed a bit tasteless. After mixing the bowl well, the taste still didn’t come out and I guessed it was because the rice wasn’t seasoned at all and we only relied on the gyutan, which was also minimally-seasoned.
Spicy Tuna Roll IDR 53,000
The tuna was very fresh and cut in quite big slices, but if you ask me, they didn’t even taste like they were seasoned with any chili-related sauce, LOL. I understand that most Japanese can’t really take spicy food, but come on. Luckily the sushi was very good so I could close my eyes and ignore the “spicy” part.
Overall, Sumiya is another hidden gem in Senayan area that is waiting to get acknowledged more by Japanese food enthusiasts. Whenever I am there, it seems like the place is always crowded with Japanese people, but last weekend, many Indonesian guests were also spotted.
Service-wise, of course there is A LOT of room for improvement as the service was kind of slow and disorganized (Asking refills for tea more than 5 times before we got served? That is a major turn-off!). However, the waitresses were VERY polite and friendly, so I wasn’t completely disturbed. I don’t know what’s going on with the so-called authentic Japanese restaurants in Jakarta, some have really bad service and the owners don’t seem to care. Is it really THAT difficult to find Japanese-speaking staffs nowadays so they have to keep the bad ones in their restaurants?
Anyway. Before this post becomes another ranting episode, let’s conclude that Sumiya is worth visiting. I even like it better than Naka Nakaya for some reasons (better food, for sure!). I suggest visiting during lunch time to take the liberty indulging yourselves in lunch set menu options, you won’t be disappointed. Ciao!
*All prices are subject to 5% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
SUMIYA JAPANESE RESTAURANT
STC Senayan IT Mall
Jl. Asia Afrika Pintu IX
Phone. +62 21 5793 1826
Open 7 days a week
Mon – Sun 11.30AM – 2.30PM (Last order: 2PM)
Mon – Fri 6PM – 11PM (Last order: 10.30PM)
Sat – Sun – Public Holiday 5.30PM – 10.30PM (Last order: 10PM)