Monday, October 17, 2011

Suminoya, Sydney CBD

G'day everybuddy!

How's everyone doing? Well, I hope! So, Suminoya was one of the few meals that we were particularly excited about prior to the our Sydney trip. I mean, we were doing a Food Trip and what better way to celebrate that than to go for an all-you-can-eat Buffet. And not just any buffet... A JAPANESE buffet... Well, Japanese BBQ Buffet to be more exact. Yeaaaaaaa boy.

I was actually talking to a friend who recently moved to Melbourne after growing up in Sydney his whole life about places to eat, and one of the places he mentioned was Suminoya. My eyes lit up O_O. I actually remembered this place when I was in Sydney about 3 years ago! A friend brought us there for dinner on our last night that trip and it was GREAT. At least, from what I could remember. I immediately decided that we HAD to go there for dinner again! Even though I hadn't heard about this from food blogs or Urbanspoon.

Honestly... SO glad we did because it was actually better than I remembered it! Thank goodness... This restaurant is tucked away in a tiny alleyway just adjacent of Martin Place in the CBD. Price per person is either $41 or $49, the latter being more extensive with an additional page to the menu, which includes sashimi. You can check out the full menu: here.

We went with the $49 one because we came all the way so, "why not"? It was steep but we really did feel we ate our money's worth. Seriously.... We ate a LOT.

View of one side of the restaurant


Salmon Sashimi

You know how when you go for buffets you normally try to eat the most expensive/valued dish you can find? That means lots of seafood and the most expensive meat you can get. Yeeeeeerp.... Sashimi is usually one of them and let's just say that we ordered a LOT of these...... Hur hur hur... We're Asians in that way ;p

Prawn Salad

Prolly the one and only veggie dish we ordered that night. Even then, it was shared. It was okay, not bad. Your usual greens with a few slices of tomatoes and a couple of tiny pieces of fried prawns.


Eel Rice

Pretty good. Nice to eat and accompany the mains with...


No sauce... =(

"Salmon Flakes" Rice

Was okay. Tasted alright but a bit dry to eat (no sauce with the flaky fish)


Beef Rib Kuppa Soup or Udon

Not sure what the name means but quite forgettable hmm...

Egg Kuppa or Soup

Simple broth with egg flowers and rice. I love eggs.


Ox Tongue

SO GOOD! You have no idea how many rounds of these we ate....


We like scallops...

Shabu Shabu Style Pork Loin

Nice, thin and delicious cut of meat. But we were more interested in the beef that night...

Chicken Gristle

Curious to try this. Wasn't sure what gristle was until we realised it was the cartilage. I normally love any cartilage but this was still a bit hard because it wasn't cooked or stewed as long until tender soft. BBQ-ing them seemed a bit weird...

Mushrooms and Beef Harami

Not enough fats in the beef haha...

Pork Sausage, Pork Ribs and Beef Rib Fingers

Guys... Out of all the things that we ordered that night, those beef rib fingers (whatever they were) were hands down my FAVOURITE!!! Ox tongues were a close second. I was really surprised by how tender it tasted as soon as I put them in my mouth, as were my friends. They had good marbelisation in the meat and you wouldn't believe how good the meat tasted from the little grains of fats in them. When nicely charred and cooked to your liking... Seriously, AMAZING! We immediately ordered 5 more plates of these (and many more after that) as soon as we had the first bite.

The sausage was surprisingly nice too cause after they were grilled, the skin was so dry and crispy but the meat remained moist and chewy. Mmm =)

MORE Ox Tongue

Garlic Prawns

Cooked on the grill in the plate it came in. It was Butter. Garlic. And prawns. That's all I need to say.

FIRE!!! Can you imagine how good the meat tasted after that? It needs direct contact with fire like that to be charred to PERFECTION

One of my many, MANY ox tongues that night. While I could still be bothered taking pictures

The beef rib fingers I was telling you about. SO delicious. Had a BUTT load of these as well.

More beef rib fingers, eel rice, chicken gristle and shabu shabu pork MMMM


Green Tea Ice-Cream

Not a huge matcha or green tea fanatic but I liked this. Especially loved that it came with a tiny bit of red beans and CORN FLAKES. Really, really enjoyed the corn flakes in the ice-cream, actually.

Lemon Sorbet

PERFECT palate cleanser. Not too sour and I liked that it was shaved super fine. Really great way to end the meal.

OVERALL, what I really enjoyed most about the food in Suminoya was not just the quantity, but the QUALITY. Honestly, I was quite surprised by it. Really top notch and not everywhere maintains this standard, especially when it comes to buffets. Quite consistent seeing as it was still just as good even after 3 years. We just kept going for rounds after rounds of the beef rib fingers, ox tongue and sashimi it was crazy. We loved it so much.

As for dining experience, I must warn that the whole restaurant was seriously smokey. So many BBQs. Don't come unless you're like us who didn't mind the smoke and even smelling like it after our meal. We expected it already. Also, the restaurant has a strict time frame policy. You can only order for 60 minutes but allowed to eat for 90 minutes.

Despite the strict policy, we really still enjoyed our dinner because the food was SO good. Also, the time frame isn't actually as bad or short as you think. But then again, we were ordering, cooking and eating non stop the whole time so we were quite happy with the time. Really enjoyed this meal and if you're looking for a good place for Jap buffet or are into Jap BBQs, you'll definitely love this!

Happy eating and take care, every one! =)

Suminoya Japanese on Urbanspoon


The InTolerant Chef ™ said...

This looks great! I've been to Korean BBQ places before, and I really enjoy them and being able to cook the food exactly as I like it. Having a good edge or marbling of fat is the secret to a book BBQ though, even if it creates a lot of smoke :)

Anonymous said...

I would like to try this restaurant when I visit Sydney next time. Less than 3.

Winston said...

@the intolerant chef: it really is!! when it comes to food this good, smoke doesn't bother me as much as other people. though the fire can be a bit "hectic" but it's all part of the fun eh! glad you love BBQs too! haha

@anon: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! im sure you'll really enjoy this place. hopefully i can go there and enjoy it with you too. less than 3 =)

Ashley said...

Omggggg! You guys had so much to eat! What a feast! And that OX TONGUE. SO MUCH OX TONGUE OMG. <3 I'm not usually a huge fan of Asian BBQ restaurants, but this is quite an interesting concept and it's good to hear it's done well. :) May have to consider it for my trip to Sydney....

Katy said...

The whole lot looks delicious but I couldn't help but scroll back to the salmon sashimi and prawn salad for a lingering gaze... they look so heartbreakingly fresh and light and tasty that I want some RIGHT NOW.

Winston said...

@ashley: thanks, ash!! we really did enjoy it. i dont think ive had a lot of BBQs where the meat we were given was as good quality as this, so it was definitely memorable. its just fun to have like 10 servings of your fav thing. i only wished i ordered more of the green tea ice cream and lemon sorbet! argh... yeah def keep this in your backpocket if youre looking for a place to eat next time youre up there! =D

@katy: lol, katy! i know what you mean. i look back at food photos over and over and over again all the time! its such a fun thing to do. yeah the salmon was pretty good too. you can imagine how many plates of it we each ordered that night. i hope you get some lovely sashimi soon! your craving sounds "serious" hehehe... thx for dropping by btw =)

Michelle Chin said...

The bibimba.... is it bibimbap by any chance? Cos it looks like it. :)

Winston said...

Yes, my thoughts exactly! I felt weird calling it that. But it was spelt and pronounced that way in the restaurant so I went along anyway. Pretty sure it's the same thing haha... Good observation btw! =D

kyleen said...

Ohmygawsh everything looks so DELICIOUSSSS. I love sushi/Japanese food and if I ever visit Sydney, I'll definitely have to come to this place.

Hannah said...

Japanese is my most favouriterest cuisine, I think. Yay!

Swee San @ The Sweet Spot said...

Oh I remember eating here a couple of years ago, although I'm not exactly in Sydney now.. Ahh how I've missed sydney.. the ox tongue was good (back then)

Winston said...

@kyleen: hey, thanks! glad that you've got this place in mind if you ever happen to visit sydney. i probably want to visit canada just as much as you want to visit sydney. here's to hoping we get to do them one day! =D

@hannah: quite possibly mine, too! how can anyone NOT love japanese food eh? ;p

@swee san: hi swee san! its awesome glad to hear you tried this place too. i know right, how good was the ox tongue! im even glad that you said that it was good a long time when you went. seeing as how it was good for you a long time ago, good also 3 yrs ago and then again a month ago.. this place must be doing pretty well! all the best with everything wherever you are now. thanks for dropping by =)

penny aka jeroxie said...

So much food! And Japanese BBQ buffet? Sold!

Winston said...

Yup!! You're so lucky I feel like I can't get enough of Sydney. Instead of scratching places off my list, I end up adding more argh. Will try and visit you and Greg sometime!! Oh and you have been warned, ventilation is really poor so you WILL smell like awesome Jap BBQ haha! Have fun, Penny!! =D

msihua said...

Interesting that it has a time limit policy... I hope that Melbourne doesn't start anything silly like that :P

Winston said...

I sure as hell hope not!! It's especially hectic for bloggers cause you wanna cook and eat but you also have to take pictures the WHOLE time too... Only you guys understand my pain hahahaha.... Yeah the first time I heard abt that policy I was like, WHAT THE HECK. Even tho the time was quite sufficient for us, just didn't really like the though lingering at the back of our minds while we were eating. but still, food GOOD so we're happy =D

Maria said...

We're going up to Sydney for Christmas, staying in the CBD for 3 nights then moving onto my sister's place for 3 nights. I'm so glad you posted this review because I'd like to check out the website. My husband is against cooking his own food at restaurants (and this place seems to be one of those places)? I don't think I'd like the smoke either.. But I'm always excited when I hear the word 'buffet'!

I had a brilliant Japanese all-you-can-eat lunch in Seattle, USA. It was called the 'Niko' I think and was part of the Westin Hotel. It was $15 at lunch time only. You ordered your sushi on order forms which you handed to the waiters and had to pay for anything you didn't eat! My sister (who was paying) kept saying "Make sure you eat up"!

Winston said...

Hahahah that sounds AWESOME! Wow and only $15 for all you can eat and at a WESTIN?! What a bargain!! I'm sure it tasted fantastic too, thanks for telling us about it... Btw yes! It is very, very smokey so even though the food is good, don't go if you think it might affect you too much =/. There's so much other stuff to eat at Sydney so plenty of alternatives haha... Keep coming back to check out my Sydney posts, hopefully it'll give you some ideas when you head there during Christmas. Take care, Maria! =D

Anonymous said...

What a feast! You guys look like you had an amazing meal. I love Japanese BBQ. I am going to have to find a good local restaurant in Adelaide.

Winston said...

Hi Christina! I hope you find a good one too! Adelaide's got some pretty amazing restaurants! I remembered having some really great and unforgettable meals at Adelaide when I was there last Dec. I think of going back quite often just for the food haha. Do let me know if you've found a good Jap BBQ yeh, good luck on your hunt! =D

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, Japanese, now you're talking Winston :) the meat, seared to perfection, the sashimi (oh how I long for thee, sashimi), and the dessert. Green tea ice cream, now that's what I call a culinary discovery. I so have to visit Sydney now :(
And the ox tongue, hmmm, yup, as a Frenchwoman, I cannot resist. No seriously. I can't.
Hey, thanks for the support and the comments. As strange as it may seem (for we are all strangers on the internetz), your comments and those of the indolent cook (leaf) mean very much to me. Makes me kind of giddy really, knowing that you Australians from the far side of the world take an interest in my humble Bordeaux-based blog :) So, yeah, thanks!

Iron Chef Shellie said...

I tried the ox tongue for my first time in Sydney for supper... wasn't as gross as I thought it would be! more like a piece of steak :P

Winston said...

@marie-anne: heheheh i know right. ive been waiting to blog abt my jap meals for a while now so glad i finally did! we had so much of meat and sashimi but only wished we had ordered more of the green tea!! argh. but this meal did inspire me to put cornflakes in my ice cream now tho hahaha.

oh man marie anne i know what you mean 100%! and in all true honesty... this feeling goes both ways!! i really, really appreciate our friendship and this great comfortable, honest and supportive circle we've got going on. how we got to this point and through the internet just astounds me in every good way possible! its nice knowing that no matter what happens on this blog, ive got a friend like you all the way from FRANCE! faaaar out but so amazing =D

@michele: i know what you mean!! it DOES taste like steak. i remembered the first time i had it too. you think TONGUE and youre like what the heck cause not sure what to expect. but it's surprisingly good! but tongue is a huge muscle anyway which basically means it tastes like meat but its chewier and sliced uber thin which makes it DELISH. youve got the right idea to have it for supper. i should try it too =D

Yasmeen said...

That all looks absolutely scrumptious... you had me at the eel on rice. And salmon sashimi. Both desserts. And the beef harami (but I like mine lean so that one would work for me!).

Winston said...

Hi Yas! Thank you! It really was delicious. The eel rice was so nice to eat with whatever meat we cooked. Yes if you like lean meat, the harami is definitely for you! I enjoyed the desserts very much but both for very different reasons. The lemon sorbet was so nice and well balanced between sweet and sour, it was so fine that you basically let it melt in your mouth in no time YUM. Thanks for your kind words, Yasmeen! =)

Vee said...

Haha I've often extolled the virtues of great char on meat, myself. Fab sashimi - I would have ordered heaps too!

Winston said...

I know, right?! It's the wonderful char that gives the taste of meat an extra OOMPH eh? Glad you share the same enthusiasm, Vee!! There's nothing better than having an unlimited supply of your fav foods haha! Gluttons to the max ;p

Sarah said...

oh wow- it just all looks so, so good..

Winston said...

Thank you, Sarah! I was really hoping that my pictures would do the photos justice so your compliment really means a lot! =)

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