Sumi-Ka Home to Japanese grill
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 22 Feb 2013
SHINING bright like a diamond in the dark, amongst the shops in the SS15 commercial vicinity sits an unassuming Japanese yakimono restaurant called Sumi-Ka.
Baked Egg Plant.
Located on the first floor right above a brightly-lit laundrette is the Japanese run restaurant which serves anything and everything grilled on a skewer.
Blink once and you are sure to miss the signboard but taste it once and you will never forget how flavourful chicken innards can actually taste.
Yes you read right, Sumi-Ka serves a long list of grilled chicken innards from blood vessels to gizzard (chicken’s digestive organ), seafood, vegetables and other meats as well.
As adventurous as we lot are, our heads are instinctively turned and noses scrunched up the second we hear word of animal organs being served on the table.
No, we are not fans of chowing down animal innards that most people might label as a delicacy, but somehow being grilled Japanese style made it sound somewhat tasty.
Before our minds are changed, off we went boldly ordering a skewer of mind-boggling items like the chicken blood vessel, gizzard, ox tongue, chicken soft bone and heart.
For courage, we got ourselves a sake set, Jyunmai-shu sake served hot in a Tokkuri (Japanese sake jug).
Recommended by the waiter, this sake is made purely out of rice and water, and is a special brew which went really well with the yakimono (grilled items).
Grilled gingko nut and chicken gizzard.
Judging from the rows of labeled sake bottles on display at the small restaurant, Sumi-Ka serves quality sake and has a number of loyal customers who come back to dine and enjoy their unfinished bottle of sake.
Finally our food was served, and placed right in front of us was the chicken blood vessel, which to be honest looks like squid on a skewer.
Sure tasted like one too, for its texture was chewy and comparable to eating squid and with every bite we were expecting to taste something gory or bloody but it just never came.
The blood vessel was very well marinated and did not have any pungent smells which will put off first-time eaters.
For the first time, we could actually mean it when we say we loved the grilled chicken blood vessel which was coated in what tasted a little of teriyaki but with something else added in it. Sumi-Ka’s special sauce perhaps.
With expectations high, we impatiently anticipated the other stuff like the ox tongue, which was equally flavourful and tender, comparable to eating a slice of fatty meat.
Then came the chicken soft bone, which was definitely something unlike anything we’ve tried before and most certainly worth trying.
With about four portions of white soft bone attached to a skewer, each measuring about an inch to two inches long, we hesitated at first.
Should we eat the bone or just suck the juices? Should we only eat the round meat-looking thing sandwiched in the strips of bone?
Oh what the heck, just eat it all!
And that we did, shoving the whole thing in our mouth, resulting in a long long jaw aching chew.
It was a soft, salty, tasty dish but chewing even a small inch-long bone took us about two minutes each.
Next, we ate the gizzard, which was also chewy like eating meatballs.
It did not have a strong smell, as it was also well marinated with their own Japanese sauce and surprisingly we were not put off by it like how we initially thought we would be.
Meanwhile, those not as adventurous can try their Momoniku (chicken thigh), Muneniku Yuzu (chicken breast with mayonnaise), Tukune Orosiponzu (chicken meatball with vinegar), scallops, Pirikaka Gyu (spicy beef) and their variety of vegetables like gingko nuts.
All the meats were succulent and tender, perfectly grilled and marinated with a variety of different sauces which we summed up to be a very flavourful dining experience.
For those interested in giving Sumi-Ka a go, we recommend prior bookings because the place is small, with limited bar seatings in front of the grill and only about no more than 10 tables for bigger groups.
Though always known to be packed with both locals and foreign diners, the service is fast, considering the grill is only manned by one Japanese chef.
Opening hours are from 6pm to midnight daily.
The outlet is located at No 19, 1st Floor, SS15/4, 47500 Subang Jaya.
For bookings, call 03-56329312.