Great meals have a way of bringing family and friends together in a way that is truly special. For lovers of good food and the Japanese taste, Sumi offers a sophisticated twist on the original Japanese style of eating and drinking and it is an experience that makes you feel like you are sitting in a restaurant in London, Melbourne, Australia, or Joburg.
Sumi which is pronounced ‘soomē’ originates from the Japanese culture meaning black ink. Sumi restaurant is a dream come true for Christopher Will who has worked for restaurants which offer Japanese cuisine in countries like London, Hong Kong and Dubai for many years.
As the restaurant’s manager, Chris says that it has been his dream for more than eight years to own a restaurant with that sort of style and offers contemporary Asian food.
“Sumi comes from the many years of planning and knowing exactly what I wanted at the end of the day. I wanted a restaurant that offers food ranging from Japanese to Thai, Indonesia, Singapore and a little bit of Chinese food as well because that’s what I specialize in. I also wanted the restaurant to be contemporary with a modern twist, modern flavours, modern plating and modern cooking,” he says.
At Sumi, both old and modern ways of cooking are incorporated to offer an exquisite culinary experience to its customers. As the oldest way of cooking, they use the Robata grill which is located as a centre focal point forming the main design element in the restaurant.
Robata “Robatayaki” which originates from the Japanese fishermen who would cook their fish on their boats with charcoal and then share their food with one another. Using their oar is considered as the beating heart of the restaurant, it offers energy of warmth and enjoyment while guests admire the respect given to food.
The restaurant which only opened a month ago offers a luxurious, private and relaxing atmosphere to its customers. We want to have the first of everything, first kind restaurant with this style in Namibia and the finest restaurant.
This is why we have taken a lot of detail and attention into the sitting arrangements, the chairs, the glasses, the art on the wall and the lighting. We have gone an extra mile to make sure that every detail is perfect,” narrates Chris.
A dining experience at Sumi starts with a charming welcome at the entrance followed by an escort to your seat and a handing of a little cold towel. If you make a booking on your name the staff gladly address you name. The dining is complemented by lounge music in the background which is not too intense.
The restaurant has a beautiful interior décor which comprises of art on concrete walls, a beautiful floor, wooden counters, and leather chairs. Depending on the time that you visit the restaurant, it surely has a lot of texture and design elements that catch the eye.
Sumi has a diverse menu. From sushi to seafood, steak and salads the restaurant caters for a range of tastes. However, the best meal to taste is their Salmon Teriyaki served with prickled onion as well as the tomahawk beef rib steak with miso butter and ponzu mayo.
For dessert one may opt for the Sumi Chocolate sphere. The bar is stocked with most of the popular brands of alcohol and soft drinks. They also have an interesting array of cocktails.
“At Sumi you get the sharing concept. We don’t want someone to come and only have a single meal; we want you to have an experience of everything from the starter to the meal, the dessert and the cocktails. We ensure that our service is satisfactory right from the beginning when the little towel is handed to you and the way that the waiter serves you,” says Chris.
According to Chris they have made the effort of handpicking plates, thus all of their main dishes are made out of ceramics are hand made. “if you use factory made plates they won’t have the same feeling,” he says.
The restaurant is ideal for any occasion although it is not necessarily ideal for a baby shower ,the focus is on its social aspect. It is also a perfect place for business meetings. The sitting arrangement range’s from tables for 14 to tables for two ideally for people on a romantic date.
To ensure that they offer the best service, Chris says that the management has a lot of intense briefings with their staffs. “We constantly communicate and analyze how we can improve ourselves and how we can do better the next day.
Our kitchen is fully run by Namibians who have been trained in this type of cuisine and there is nobody else who can do this. This is a proudly Namibian company run by a proudly Namibian team. It’s a very big thing to focus on local people, local talent and local produce,” he mentioned.
Although the service industry in Namibia is not the best, Sumi’s has a different kind of service that comes from the level of detail that they put in their work.
Despite the small number of staff they are incredible because of the level of training that they have. We have focused on the interior and we made sure that it’s really nice. We also focused on our staff by making them the best that they can be in terms of cutlery and cookery,” concludes Chris.
The restaurant is situated at 77 Independence Avenue across the City of Windhoek. From Monday to Saturday it opens at 12:00 to 15h00 for lunch and from 17h00 to 22h00 for dinner while on Sunday it only opens at 12h00 to 15h00 for lunch.