1 Hosking Place
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9231 2177
A Hidden Treasure
Suminoya is a part of the I's Holdings group of Japanese BBQ restaurants. Of course, you don't have to have the BBQ if you don't want to. You're not missing out by ordering a la carte. Far from it. Suminoya boasts an extremely satisfying and authentic a la carte menu at reasonable prices! That is IF you can find it in the first place...
It is literally in some strange creepy dark alley (I assume this would be the case if you went at night) and Melbourne's little alley dining places has nothing on this Sydney Gem. I reckon you gots to have major cahones to venture into this alleyway at night.
Okok... I don't think it's as bad as I make it out to be, but I would recommend going with someone who's already been for the first few visits just to familiarise yourself with the way to get there. Then, when you feel confident and brave enough, then, we'll see how you go...
Once you do find the place, you're first greeted by some fish tanks. Then the friendly wait staff. The service is very quick and efficient. (Probably because I didn't go at lunch time rush hour...) I decided to order the special lunch set for $22.90. This might sound like it's a lot, but for an authentic Japanese experience, this is unfortunately the sort of price you're expected to pay.
I decided to go for the salmon carpaccio, followed by the prepared eel bowl. To my surprise they served first up a bowl of edamame. This was unexpected and made the price of lunch even more worthwhile.
The carpaccio was absolutely delicious! I couldn't fault it. Yes I know I over use this phrase but it's true. The flavours balanced perfectly. This could easily be served in a much more expensive restaurant without the need to hang one's head in shame. I was so glad I decided to order that instead of the nigiri, which, I'm sure, would've been good as well, but it won't be as special.
In comparison, the eel bowl was kinda ordinary. That's not to say it wasn't good, but the entree raised the expectation so high that it was kinda anti-climatic... but it was still a satisfying meal, and I think I just need to work on my entree/main combo a little more. But I have expected the place to be good, as I really love one of their sister restaurants, Menya.
This is a restaurant I would definitely come back to. If only I can find it again...