Suminato in Sandy Bay is proof you should venture out of your comfort zone.
Scratching our heads for somewhere new to try, one of us remembered the Japanese restaurant down one of those streets in Sandy Bay. It was new.
Not quite we were told on arrival, the restaurant was about to celebrate its second anniversary. From rock star parking to the no drama bill splitting, Suminato has it in spades.
It’s a beautifully designed restaurant. There’s a few tables in the restaurant’s entrance but largely tables are partitioned by shoji for a discreet dining experience and for larger groups, this extends to a series of private rooms. A unique print differentiates each space and the furniture and earthenware is contemporary and stylish.
The menu is predominantly small plates and grilled meats. The Two Girls were keen to try a number of plates but didn’t want to commit to one of the two available banquet options.
What we ate:
- Tofu salad, $13, tofu, seaweed and mixed vegetables served with creamy sesame soy dressing,
- King fish carpaccio, $19, sliced King fish, ponzu sauce, daikon, sliced chilli, herbs
- Calamari, $16, crunchy calamari served with spicy mayo sauce
- Kushiyaki combo, $17, momo (chicken thigh), butabara (pork belly), Gyu (beef), zucchini and shitake mushroom charcoal grilled skewers
- Suminato roll $19, special sushi roll of tuna, salmon, cucumber, tobiko (fish roe), mayo, chilli sauce, spring onion
- Tiramisu, $11.
I got completely confused over which tofu dish we should try – they all sounded great – but the Other Girl kept it together and our salad arrived first. As you know potato chips are my spiritual food group, so to say I would return to a restaurant just to eat their salad means it was a seriously good salad. It was. Silken tofu, a light crunch in the vegetables and that little chew from the seaweed was great. The sesame soy dressing made it superior. So ridiculously delicious I am now in fast pursuit of Google recipes so I can try this at home.
The king of fish, King fish, is best enjoyed raw and complimented with a little bit of not much at all, a dash of ponzu and a scattering of embellishments. Nothing else is required.
Big loops of herby, crumbed calamari were perfectly deep-fried. The Other Girl warned of wasabi mayo so I left that to her.
The hibachi-grilled skewers were embedded with delicious charcoal flavour. You can try one of each of the skewers for a little less than the price of each individually in the combo and it’s really good to have some veggies in the mix with the meat.
We both thought the Suminato roll would be first to arrive and were surprised they kept it to last. Maybe it’s because it’s the specialty or maybe because of its heat, the sushi was served last. The Suminato is served with a gorgeous display of mayonnaise and chilli sauce they encourage you to smooch your sushi around in. The sauces build on the heat encased in the nori. This is super-good sushi. Full of fabulous fish and a beautiful dish.
We were too full for dessert but were easily persuaded to try the Japanese-take on Tiramisu – zabaglione with matcha cake. Unlike the Italian version, the cake hadn’t been softened by soaking in a syrup which meant it was quite firm and had the customary Matcha flavour and colour. Full points to Suminato for taking a classic and adding their own twist to it.
Sandy Bay-ites may be none too thrilled at an influx of out-of-area visitors descending on their great Japanese restaurant but too bad. Food this good deserves to be enjoyed by many.
Find them at Shop 2, 48 Kings Street, Sandy Bay.