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  • SUMI Robata Bar

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SUMI Robata Bar
SUMI Robata Bar

SUMI Robata Bar Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.sumirobatabar.com
  • Phone: (312) 988-7864
  • Hours of Operation: Lunch
    Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
    Monday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 11:0pm

    Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Japanese, Asian, Barbecue
  • Executive Chef: Gene Kato
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: holds up to 12 people (tatami room)
  • Special Events & Promotions: New Year's Reservations
    5:00pm - 8:00pm / 8:30pm - 11:30pm
    $60 for 6 courses / $80 for 8 courses
    *Tax and gratuity additional
    Complimentary champagne toast at midnight
    P: 312.988.7864
    E: info@sumirobatabar.com

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Huron/Wells
  • Public Transit: Brown line and Purple Line stops three blocks from the restaurant.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: Street parking available on Huron and Wells
A word from SUMI Robata Bar
Welcome to Sumi Robata Bar. Chicago's first true Robatayaki (Japanese BBQ). Enjoy the highest quality ingredients cooked over Japanese charcoal and cooked in front of you! We look forward to seeing you soon.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
Diner Reviews
  • "I was at Suni Robata Bar for two lunches and one dinner. Will go again. Great, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly service. Terrific interior. Lovely patio. And, of course, the food: everything from the miso soup, through the salad, the whole bento box concept, the raw mackerel, the duck, the chilean sea bass... to the soy panna cotta and yuzu curd desert is just perfect. Favorites:mizuna greens, duck breast, and jidori karaage. Least favourite: lamb -- too fatty, but still very tasty. Bottled cocktails are delicious... and strong. Loved Dragon's Milk. For lunch -- the ice tea."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "A terrific overall meal, certainly among our recent favorites. Nice well-spaced tables in contemporary wooded atmosphere. Very nice and knowledgeable staff – when we said it was a bit cold, they raised the temp. Our waiter’s suggestions were the best plates. The dishes were of unusually uniform excellence in preparation and taste. Not “fancy” but perfectly seasoned to allow the quality ingredients to shine. Looking forward to our return visit."
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "I had a great experience. There were so many unique and tasty items to try and items for anyone (vegetarian, carnivore). My friend and I ordered a bunch of stuff and had a great time. I highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 7/11/2014
  • "This is a foodies delight. I went for lunch and was blown away by the freshness and creativity of this food. It's beautiful inside and out"
    Dined on 6/30/2014
  • "We went here for a short-notice date-night and we had a wonderful time. Staff was friendly and attentive. It was fun to sit at the "chef's table" to watch them work. They were by no means chatty (which was totally fine), but they were happy to answer questions we had. Cold tofu appetizer was absolutely delicious - I'll honestly never think of tofu the same way. Food off the robata grill was juicy and tasty - I had shiitake mushrooms, skirt steak, & duck. All delightful. Chocolate-filled donut with matcha semi-fredo ("donatsu") was a wonderful way to close out the meal. Highly recommended!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Standouts were the tofu appetizer and chicken thigh skewer. I would like to try the hot stone steak appetizer next time. Very pleasant ambiance, sleek and unpretentious."
    Dined on 6/27/2014
  • "Fantastic as always given the high quality of Gene Kato. Excellent service as the staff was extremely accommodative continuing to serve us outside in the rain under a large umbrella."
    Dined on 6/24/2014
  • "Most dishes were either overcooked and dry (grilled shrimp, chicken karaage) too sweet (burdock root, tofu) flavorless, tinier than my pinkie (but cost $20) or just plain bizarre (tofu tasted like soy milk). At this price, I expect perfection and that is not on the menu ! I've had better karaage at Lawson's or 7/11 in Tokyo. My date and I went around the corner to Union Sushi to fill the void that was left by our experience at SumiRobata. Union was excellent!!"
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "This is our 5 year old's new favorite place! Don't let that fool you, though -- she's quite the foodie and has been to more Michelin starred restaurants at 5 than I had at 30. This is a legit robata bar. Been to many in Japan, and am excited to have found one that meets the bar locally. High quality ingredients shine through here - if you're looking for big chicago richness with more pork belly than you can shake a stick at, this probably isn't your #1 place. Ishi Yaki is fun; shisito peppers we simple and perfect; chicken thigh was excellent; etc. Will def be on our regular rotation."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "I had never been to a robata grill before. The food was delicious and inspired. And the bottled cocktails were delicious as well. I look forward to going back again."
    Dined on 5/27/2014
  • "We had a great lunch on the patio today. The fried chicken was exceptional. It was super crispy and not at all greasy. The same with the soft shell crab. The bento box was just okay with the exception of the mizuna salad which was really delicious. We would go back and try their dinner menu for sure to try more of the robata items."
    Dined on 5/23/2014
  • "Game of Thrones drink menu theme and STRONG cocktails in the Charcoal Bar downstairs. SUPER cool and trendy, hidden gem!!!"
    Dined on 5/7/2014
  • "The food here is extremely creative! One of my favorite dishes was the Asian "slider" - out-of-the box and delicious. Great place for all different occasions - date, business dinner, mom in town, girlfriend dinner. Went to Charcoal Bar in the basement after, which was an awesome loungey space, with creatively inspired cocktails."
    Dined on 5/6/2014
  • "Food was fresh & tasty! Loved the design; simple, earthy, clean/modern decor and a zen atmosphere. Awesome!"
    Dined on 5/2/2014
  • "The food was delicious, the service was great. The problem was that the portions were very small - usually one skewer or juts a few pieces of the item - and the dishes were expensive for the size of the portions. There was a variety of very good tasting things on the menu. I consider it a special occasion only restaurant because of the high prices. We have been to the Robata restaurants that were not this expensive and the food was almost as good. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "Sumi Robata Bar is one of my favorite go to places in Chicago, Chef Gene Kato's grill work is nothing short of outstanding. Evident with the simplicity of grilled asparagus, to the elegance of the Abalone (a special the night we were there). But do not allow that simplicity be confused, these are elements, sourced from the best purveyors to allow you to taste a just a bit of the quality found in Japan's Robata / Izakaya culture. Make sure to try the specials! It was also great to get a chance to try the Charcoal Bar downstairs, Michael Simon is an excellent addition to the mix, we had one drink off the menu and another "Dealer's Choice" both of which had simplicity and elegance that was an outstanding end to the meal. "
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "The bento box meals were delicious. LOVED the sweet potato fries. Wish they did have more of an offering at lunch... really wanted sushi."
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "We've been to many Robata bar in different cites, Hong Kong, Japan, New York city, Las Vegas, Toronto...... This is the best we have. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "I had not known a thing about Japanese BBQ but figured I'd give it a try. Delicious. And as an added bonus...perfectly seasoned sweet potato fries."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "This place has a very nice ambience and a decent view of the city from the window. The food was very tasty and the chicken Benta box was amazing."
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "-heat was blasting -salmon way undercooked -savory mochi was so salty it was not edible We stopped ordering and went to Boardinghouse down the street."
    Dined on 4/3/2014
  • "Great food, everything was delicious. The BBQ meats had the most aromatic and yummy taste. Plates are really, really small, basically not really even sharable. Sharing for 2 is about the max. We were 3. With that said, do not go if you are really hungry or else you will pay a "small" fortune. I would highly recommend it though. Service was very good,and atmosphere was nice, very fung shei."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "My stomach is never big enough to enjoy all the favorites here. Too good on many levels and nothing else like it. This has been and will continue to be our favorite neighborhood spot though we would go out of our way to come here even if we did not live nearby."
    Dined on 3/28/2014
  • "I can't say enough good things about this place. The food is AMAZING. High quality ingredients highlighted by simple, but expert preparation - surprisingly hard to come by in a city that loves food so much. We've come here at least 6-7 times in the past few months and it has always been on point. My only complaint is that the service, while friendly and attentive, can also be a bit intrusive as servers are required to offer the chef's instructions for how to eat many of the dishes. This is definitely helpful the first time you dine there, but becomes a nuisance after the 3rd or 4th time you've ordered a dish and just want to carry on with your conversation. Regardless, this is still in my top 5 for restaurants in all of Chicago! Go now!!"
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "Everything we ate was outstanding. I went with two friends and we shared a handful of appetizers. The greens and sea bass were my favorite. The sea bass is an outstanding experience it is cooked in an aroma of flavors that smell as delicious as they taste. For the main course you choose various items from the grill. The teriyake salmon and the lamb were incredible. This would be an awesome date night and the bar downstairs is incredible. Such a cool spot to grab a drink!"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "My fiancé and I dined for lunch, and the Bento Box & Japanese beer were outstanding. Our server was enthusiastic and provided first class service. The interior is gorgeous. It has a very calming ambiance. It's seriously one of a kind for Chicago. The Robata bar chefs are clearly culinary artists. We will be back!"
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "I have come to Sumi multiple times and every time the service is great; they are very helpful and friendly! The food is just outstanding. The sliders are amazing! One place I can take anyone and be sure that they would love it."
    Dined on 3/10/2014
  • "They have a lower level cocktail lounge, that serves very good, but very expensive drinks - and they will suggest you go down there first before sitting down to your table in the main floor dining. What they neglect to tell you is that whatever you order down there can't be brought up to your table because they don't serve those drinks up stairs, only beer and sake. So if you are sipping on a delicious $20 single malt and suddenly find the rest of your party is there and wants to start eating - you will have to abandon your drink and go upstairs. Weirdest thing is how they handle challenge to that policy when you press them on its reasoning. They need some staff coaching in that arena."
    Dined on 3/6/2014
  • "I have been 4 or 5 times. every time the food has been outstanding. This time my favorite the sliders were my favorite. i always get the crab which is also very good. This was the first time that we had a dessert - the donutsu - excellent. The bar downstairs which only has 11 seats is amazing - the bartender listened to ingredients that I like and made me the perfect cocktail."
    Dined on 3/5/2014
  • "This is one of my very favorite places in Chicago."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "I have always searched specifically a Robata restaurant after an experience in Japan. I was so excited to find Sumi. This place exceeded our expectations. Each dish we tried was elegant, mindful and memorable. Chef Gene Kato and his staff were so friendly and hospitable. It was recommended to check out the Charcoal Bar, luckily we did. That was another fantastic experience. Mixolo-genuis Michael hand carved blocks of ice right in front of us into perfect spheres for unique libations. The atmosphere was definately created to mirror a contemporary, but authentic Japanese style experience. Sumi has become a top favorite place for me. I'm excited to learn what the upstairs will become. Thank you!!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "I went with girlfriends and we tried just about everything on the menu! So fun! The lamb here is the best I have ever had and the duck too! Definite favorites! Reasonably priced too- unless you go crazy like us girls did, but so worth it and really fun! After dinner go down to the Charcoal Bar- SO FUN! Great bartender, dark and feels like an underground secret which is fun! Also, the drink menu was awesome- All the drinks were themed around Game of Thrones which is fun for the fans of the show and they were super tasty! AND- we saw Iron Chef Morimoto so it was an awesome added bonus! I will be back for sure."
    Dined on 2/25/2014
  • "Simply outstanding in every way, especially the downstairs bar!"
    Dined on 2/19/2014
  • "I wish Sumi had a wider lunch menu (that is, more of the robata, or grilled skewers of awesome), but the bento was 15 bucks for a set, filling lunch--your choice of grilled skewer and soup. High on quality and flavor, especially for this price in this area. Will be back, and often. The grilling provides a sweet kiss of a different kind of wood from most American, Middle Eastern, or Korean bbq styles, subtle, but present and delicious. Don't miss out."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Seriously, this was easily one of the most accurate interpretations of Japanese cooking that I have seen in the states. This includes Places like kyo ya and masa, but this was actually the real deal! We left very impressed with the cooks, waitstaff and the entire idea of what they do here. Can't wait to return!"
    Dined on 2/4/2014
  • "An abbreviated lunch menu is available with only a few of the robata grill selections on the dinner menu. I was not aware of this since the lunch menu is not available on Sumi's website. However, I did enjoy the bento box with a poached egg, salad, choice of soup, seafood croquette and choice of robata main course with rice. I thought it was a decent value at $15. Just wish my salmon was more medium-rare, but I should have asked for that. Very empty on a weekday for lunch, so a good, bright space for potentially a business meeting. The windows let in great light and you can sit at the robata bar if you want to watch chefs prep for dinner (and be jealous that you can't order scallops!) or a table."
    Dined on 2/3/2014
  • "The food was ok, but not outstanding. The seafood was not their strength especially if you expect the level of the food served at "robata" restaurants in Japan (but I know we are not in Japan). The flavor was dull since nothing tasted much of charcoal or smokiness (which should be the best part of sumiyaki food). The price was incredibly high for the quality and quality of the food, especially $16 for one small piece of crab leg. I wouldn’t call it sumiyaki as it was heated "crab salad in the crab shell.' The "donatsu/donut" dessert was ok, but it was simply a chocolate filled donut with matcha/green-tea flavored whipped cream on the side. I am glad we went to check out the restaurant, but we will not go back."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "I came with a group of four girls for a birthday. I thought the food was all really good, but I wasn't a huge fan of our waiter. While he was helpful, I think he suggested we get more than we needed. The bill was quite expensive considering none of us drank. I also thought it was rude he didn't pick up on the fact that it was her bday and chose not to do anything for that. I feel most restaurants would be happy to bring out a small dessert of some kind. I'd definitely come back as the food was fantastic."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Sumi is consistently fantastic. Chef Gene is extremely meticulous with every detail (and he is there everyday to cook for you) on the wood fired Robata grill. Pure perfection! I will eat the entire menu! Don't miss the tontoro, satsamaimo, and the jidori karage- holy smokes good! Oh and all the specials are always on point Love this gem!"
    Dined on 1/20/2014
  • "Elegant atmosphere, beautiful presentation and truly delicious food. Grilled octopus, chicken thighs, tamago, are a must. For dessert, the Omiyage (gift in Japanese) cannot be missed. The persimmon apéritif is outstanding...and selfishly, I wanted a pitcher of it."
    Dined on 1/18/2014