Suminoya Japanese BBQ

June 23, 2017

Suminoya is an authentic Japanese restaurant specialising in yakiniku aka "grilled meat" since 2000. It is literally tucked away in Hosking Place because we walked past the little alleyway at first before realising we had missed it.

During the day they have a lunch menu consisting of a range of a la carte dishes, BBQ sets (select up to two to four choices of meats and it comes with rice, miso soup and salad) and bento boxes. However their buffet dinner menu is where you can get the best bang for your buck. Choose from three types of buffet: gourmet ($50pp and only available Mon, Tues and Wed), premium ($60pp) and premium with unlimited beef tongue ($65). There is also a regular a la carte menu too if your stomach is not prepared for all-you-can-eat with a selection of sashimi, premium cuts of beef, salads and sides, seafood and more.

Upon being seated at our table what caught my attention was the extractor fans installed on each table. It can be pulled down closer to the grill to create an effective vacuum so the restaurant wasn't stuffy at all from smoke which made for an even more pleasant dining experience.

iPad ordering
I'm sure we've all been to a buffet restaurant where getting the attention of the wait staff can prove to be difficult and tedious. At Suminoya this inconvenience is eliminated as ordering is entirely done on an iPad which you will receive once you are ready to begin the buffet. The buffet duration is 90 minutes and the last order is taken at the 60 minute mark. Don't fret about how much time you have remaining either as the iPad has a timer counting down those precious minutes for you.

All-you-can-drink soft drink
Feeling thirsty? Then for $6 extra on top of the gourmet or premium buffet you can drink as much you want for one hour. To be honest I would rather reserve my stomach for all the grilled meats. 

Calpico water
DT and I got half a jug of Calpico water which was actually really nice and refreshing. I secretly wished we had ordered a full jug instead.

Beef tongue
DT and I had the privilege to sample the premium buffet menu ($60pp) which allowed us to have more wagyu cuts to choose from, sashimi, duck and extra side dishes too. A must-order is the beef tongue which is limited to one order per person however pay an extra $5pp and you can have all the beef tongue you could ever want. The beef tongue, thinly sliced, was drizzled with a delicious peppery, sesame-laced sauce and being so thin it also meant that the grilling time was short so it could be enjoyed almost immediately.

Wagyu beef rib finger (left) and wagyu beef loin right)
Their premium buffet offers four wagyu meats to choose from: wagyu beef rib finger, wagyu beef harami, wagyu beef loin and wagyu beef rib. All the meats come pre-marinated in a sweet soy.

I particularly enjoyed the wagyu beef rib finger but take care to cook it properly. We didn't do so with one of the pieces and as a result the collagen in the meat was still too tough to bite through. When grilled long enough though the collagen turns into gelatin which translated into a juicier piece of meat that was so delicious with the tare (dipping sauce).

Wagyu beef loin with lettuce
The wagyu beef loin did not come out looking anything like the picture on their menu but still tasted great and was especially so when wrapped in lettuce and eaten with the accompanying house made miso dip. Do order the lettuce if you want to balance out the heaviness of the grilled meats. In addition the miso dip also made for a nice change of flavour from the tare.

Wagyu beef loin (bottom left), wagyu beef rib (top left) and wagyu beef harami (right)
We also ordered the wagyu beef harami (skirt steak) which was very juicy once cooked due to its fattiness. The wagyu beef rib was also a good choice because of how flavourful it was. However, the wagyu beef loin was probably our favourite simply because it was the most marbled of the cuts thus was the most tender and so we had to order it again.

Do take note that when you order any vegetables for grilling enter in the quantity desired otherwise you will get one piece by default and you will end up with a lonely mushroom.

Duck seasoned with soy and sesame
The duck arrived cut up in thick pieces so it required a much longer time on the grill than the beef. Our lack of experience in cooking duck also meant we were clueless to how long it needed to be grilled for. The adequate browning of the fatty skin was my visual indication for when it was done cooking but because of the thickness of the pieces it was still quite chewy.

Corn with butter
I highly recommend ordering the corn with butter as the combination was just heavenly - warm buttery pops of sweet goodness best enjoyed by the spoonful.

Crab meat cheese salad
A refreshing bowl of crab meat salad made its way to the table and was much needed due to our rather carnivorous meal. The creamy mayo dressing was very good and I appreciated that the croutons were actually crunchy and not already soggy or even stale.

"Tuna tataki" rice
This was essentially a bowl of rice topped with minced raw tuna seasoned with soy sauce. Mix the tuna thoroughly into the rice and it can be enjoyed as a snack. It also paired well with all the grilled meats.

Salmon and tuna sashimi
With the premium buffet you have a selection of five sashimi: salmon, tuna, white fish, squid and scallop. We ordered three of each of the salmon and tuna. Just like with ordering vegetables for the grill enter in the quantity otherwise you will only get one. The sashimi was decent when taking into consideration that it was a buffet with the slices being on the smaller side.

Potato salad
Do order Suminoya's potato salad. It was incredibly creamy and perhaps one of the smoothest potato salads I've had.

Curry rice
I was quite full by this stage but I couldn't leave without eating some hearty Japanese curry with white rice which I could easily enjoy on its own without any protein. I added in some grilled beef rib and corn for aesthetic.

Slushy and ice cream
Don't forget to save some stomach space for dessert because the ice cream from Suminoya is pretty darn good. There was green tea, black sesame and vanilla ice cream with the standout flavour being the black sesame but they were all good so why not try them all. I'm usually wary of ice cream from buffet restaurants because they often taste like cheap supermarket-bought ones and are quite icy but that wasn't the case at Suminoya. The slushy was worth trying too (I can imagine it being a must in summer) but we couldn't discern what flavour it was.

DT and I found the service at Suminoya extremely efficient and even our empty plates and bowls were cleared frequently. I was really surprised by how well ventilated the restaurant was considering there were multiple grills operating at the time of dining. You seriously can't go wrong with the BBQ buffet here due to the wide selection of meats and vegetables available and side dishes too. If you love sashimi then your needs are also covered with the premium buffet menu. Of course there are other restaurants with more premium quality beef (obviously more expensive) but for a fuss-free and delicious yakiniku buffet, at $60pp it's a reasonable price to pay.

1 Hosking Place
Sydney NSW 2000

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday
Lunch: 12:00pm - 2:30pm (last order 2:00pm)
Dinner: 6:00pm - 10:30pm (last order 9:30pm)
Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays
 5:30pm - 10:00pm (last order 9:00pm)

Suminoya Japanese Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

DT and I dined as guests of Suminoya and SDMG Marketing

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