SUMI Robata Bar
702 N. Wells St.
Chicago, IL 60654Neighborhood:
River North (Chicago)
JapanesePrice: $30 and under
SUMI Robata Bar
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.sumirobatabar.com/
- Phone: (312) 988-7864
- Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday: 11:30am - 2:30pm
Monday - Wednesday: 5:00pm - 11:0pm
Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am
- Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Barbecue, Japanese, Asian
- 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: 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
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.Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
SUMI Robata Bar - Best Restaurants in River North (Chicago) ›
SUMI Robata Bar reviews from OpenTable diners
51 reviews since July 31, 2014
- Ambiance4Noise LevelModerate
fit for foodies (37)neighborhood gem (19)great for outdoor dining (15)special occasion (13)good for groups (6)great for lunch (5)hot spot (4)romantic (4)vibrant bar scene (1)late-night find (1)Show More
- maybe bad luckweekenddinerDined on 11/8/2014Reservation at 845, to which they said opentable had a glitch and that we could sit at the bar (why not email me that?). The dining room looked like it had plenty of room. We opted to wait for a table. Waited about 25 min for a drink at their downstairs lounge when there was probably a total of 12 people in the whole room. Was asked 3 times what I wanted (whiskey neat and sake, takes 5 seconds to pour). Around 910, still waiting for our drinks, the hostess says our table would be ready in 5 min. She never came back. At 945, we went back upstairs and figured we'd leave if there was still no table, they gave us each a glass of sparkling wine for our wait. I live 2 blocks away so I wanted to like this place.
- Hidden GemDWNTNFOODIEDined on 11/8/2014I just discovered Sumi last week when I was at the Charcoal bar in the lower level having cocktails. The few appetizers I had were so good that I decided to come back with friends for dinner. We ordered the sea bass, pate, fried chicken, robata steak , gyozas, lamb chops, mackerel, panne cotta and doughnuts for dessert. Everything was superb and we couldn't decide which dish was our favorite. The restaurant is on the smaller side but very intimate and cozy. The noise level is conducive for having a coversation with friends and the staff are attentive yet not intrusive. You will not be disappointed!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Robata GrillDavidknowesfoodDined on 11/6/2014Outstanding dishes for me were: Scallops & Beef Tongue. Tea smoked duck very good too. Ask for sake recomendations, the two I had were delicious.Special Features:
- IlliniPattDined on 10/24/2014truly enjoyed Robata. Food and service were excellent. It is not cheap but the service, quality of food and professionalism are truly excellent.Special Features:
- Robata = YUMRoseVIPDined on 10/10/2014Love their robata grill selections here! I recommend the beef tongue, duck breast, and lamb. And their cold udon is a MUST.Special Features:
- A lot like JapanChestnutVIPDined on 9/25/2014Sumi Robata has an wonderfully interesting menu and serves well-prepared food made with high quality ingredients. The menu has a lot of similarities with a Japanese izakaya restaurant and is quite different from most Japanese restaurants in Chicago. It is one of my favorite places to go and never disappoints. Do not expect sushi, however: there is none. Instead, there are fantastic grilled lamb chops, great sweet potato fries and marvelous tofu. Don't miss the excellent desserts, especially the amazing donuts.Special Features:
- ughChiDinerDudeVIPDined on 9/19/2014I don't typically write reviews, but this was really a poor dining experience. Will keep it brief: - stark bright place, no ambience - Sat at counter, very tightly packed - counter chairs are very uncomfortable if you are tall (6 ft up) since you can't rest feet on ground, or if you rest your feet on chair then your knees are bumping into underside of counter - food was SALTY. I don't mind salt, but every item was horribly over salted. At the end my mouth felt like I had been swimming in the ocean for two hours - other than salt, there was no flavor to the food - service was lackluster Very disappointing experience, would never go back.
- Good food, good serviceGoodfood4meplsDined on 9/12/2014We had beautiful sea bass in a wonderful sauce; tender meat to cook on the robata and nice warm sake. We were there in an informal night after arriving from out if town, and wanted to chat with friends we haven't seen in a while, so it worked perfectly since the restaurant isn't loud, neither too fancy; food is good and the location is right in the area of many other good bars.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- superb foodDucati1198sDined on 9/6/2014Food and service met my expectations. Only con is dinner for two can get pricey especially with drinks.I would recommend this to a friend.
- CosborneDined on 8/15/2014We had to wait 30 minutes to be seated even though we had made a reservation and there were 3 tables unoccupied. The saki and beer selection seem a bit overpriced. Nice outdoor patio area.Special Features:
- Not impressedOpenTable Diner Since 2012VIPDined on 8/15/2014Portions are very small but tasty. Very expensive and for the amount we paid we were still hungry. We will not be coming back.Special Features:
- Taste is exactly JapaneseKenShimaDined on 8/9/2014All KUSHI YAKI was very good taste. These are reminded me Japan.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great foodjc123VIPDined on 8/7/2014We had excellent service, an outdoor table on a gorgeous night and fabulous food. The dressing on the Mizuna salad was awesome. We had the steak on the stone and sea bass both were outstanding. We loved the soft shell crab special and the lamb. The chicken thighs on a stick were only normal nothing interesting. We were not adventurous enough to try the gizzards or heart. Robata is sort of Japanese tapas - so everything is small and designed to share. Great place!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- FoodiemfixDined on 8/6/2014Unbelievable food experience. Went omakase and they did a fantastic job. Bartender at downstairs Charcoal Bar was very friendly and make great cocktails.Special Features:
- Highly RecommendedCeciluDined on 8/6/2014I had read a review in the Tribune when the restaurant first opened and had this on my list of places to go. Finally made it this week. We sat outside, which was very cool, but kind of wish we sat inside as it appears to be great entertainment. Great food, great service. Lower rating on food is not a reflection of poor preparation, but rather my personal taste. I can still taste the 100% Wagyu beef cube, which was a special, expensive, but amazing.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 142 reviews are from the SUMI Robata Bar reviews archive.
- Great experience. Delicious foodLiobDined on 7/23/2014Food is really great, service is nice and kind. Dishes comes one after another which makes the experience perfect. Must try : asperagus, beef slider, yakitori & gyoza ...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Terrific both for lunch and dinner!eaterholicVIPDined on 7/15/2014I 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.Special Features:
- terrific mealOpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 7/11/2014A 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Can't wait to go back!chigrlomnivoreDined on 7/11/2014I 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!Special Features:
- More than Sushi!davocal1Dined on 6/30/2014This 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 outSpecial Features:
- A great find!atlosassDined on 6/28/2014We 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!Special Features:
- Really good Japanese cuisineOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 6/27/2014Standouts 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.Special Features:
- Great as alwaysHammerVIPDined on 6/24/2014Fantastic 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.Special Features:
- Overpriced, but unimpressiveWorldlyFoodyDined on 6/7/2014Most 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!!
- Whole family loved itrwtriVIPDined on 6/2/2014This 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.Special Features:
- YumterilgVIPDined on 5/27/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Great outdoor patio!TheodoreDined on 5/23/2014We 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.Special Features:
- Awesome drink menuOpenTable Diner Since 2011VIPDined on 5/7/2014Game of Thrones drink menu theme and STRONG cocktails in the Charcoal Bar downstairs. SUPER cool and trendy, hidden gem!!!Special Features:
- CREATIVE Asian small plates!!MeaghanVIPDined on 5/6/2014The 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great Start to Wknd in Chicago!OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/2/2014Food was fresh & tasty! Loved the design; simple, earthy, clean/modern decor and a zen atmosphere. Awesome!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A Little Too Expensivecjl418Dined on 4/26/2014The 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.Special Features:
- Still Loving It.GaryAVIPDined on 4/26/2014Sumi 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- YumLLPooh1VIPDined on 4/23/2014The bento box meals were delicious. LOVED the sweet potato fries. Wish they did have more of an offering at lunch... really wanted sushi.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Very very very good!I3pingDined on 4/19/2014We've been to many Robata bar in different cites, Hong Kong, Japan, New York city, Las Vegas, Toronto...... This is the best we have.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great FindLobsterMobsterDined on 4/10/2014I 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Enjoyable!FoodEaterDined on 4/8/2014This 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 2nd visit to sumi - not goodOpenTable Diner Since 2009VIPDined on 4/3/2014-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.
- AwesometiniVIPDined on 4/2/2014Great 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.Special Features:
- Neighorhood FavoriteJBChiVIPDined on 3/28/2014My 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.Special Features:
- Awesome Authentic Japanese RobataChiMindyDined on 3/27/2014I 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!!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.