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SUMI Robata Bar- Permanently Closed, Chicago, IL

SUMI Robata Bar- Permanently Closed

4.4
4.4
265 Reviews
$31 to $50
Japanese
"The Art of Grilling presented by Chef Gene Kato". Recipient of the 2017 Jean Banchet Award of Culinary Excellence as Chicago's Best Neighborhood Restaurant. In 2017 Chef Kato was recognized by James Beard as a semi finalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes.

Sumi Robata Bar, recognized as an authentic Japanese Robatayaki, Sumi, derives from the Japanese word for charcoal, which focuses on the tradition and skill of Robata grilling. Noted as the industry leader of this segment of cuisine, Chef Kato will mesmerize you as he grills the highest quality ingredients over Japanese charcoal. Take a seat along Chefs counter and see how he methodically seasons bits of skewered protein and vegetable to perfection.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Cuisines

    Japanese, Grill, Asian

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Wednesday 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Sunday: Closed

  • Phone number

    (312) 988-7864

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Executive chef

    Gene Kato

  • Private party facilities

    Sumi Robata Bar’s, Tatami Room seats up to 12. The dining space is located downstairs from the restaurant’s main floor. After entering through the room’s sliding shōji doors, guests are treated to the traditional design elements including seats adorned with tatami mats, and a communal table decorated with a delicate white obi kimono belt ornamented with gold thread."Crain’s Chicago Business 2016 Best Private Dining Room Spaces",

  • Neighborhood

    River North (Chicago)

  • Cross street

    Huron/Wells

  • Parking details

    Street parking available on Huron and Wells

  • Public transit

    Brown line and Purple Line stops three blocks from the restaurant.

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 265 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.4
4.4 based on all time ratings
  • 4.4Food
  • 4.3Service
  • 4.2Ambience
  • 4.1Value

NoiseModerate

Sort by

Filters

  1. J

    James

    Toronto

    15 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on August 19, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Wow, an extraordinary meal! All aspects from appetizers, sake, entree, dessert and tea excellent! Would return in a heartbeat
  2. B

    Bocuse

    Chicago

    7 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on August 15, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place is the best Robata (yakitori) in the city. The chef meticulously bastes and baby's each skewered morsel and cooks it to perfection. Everything is good here. Try the tofu, jidori karage, tskune slider, any of the grilled vegetables, the sea bream and the crab legs are knock outs, and the tontoro , beef tounge, + chicken thigh/parts are not to be missed
  3. JA

    JAAH

    Chicago

    10 reviews

    5.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on August 7, 2017

    overall5food5service4ambience3
    One of the few restaurants I never mind coming back to and whose food I crave. More than anything else, it's the delicious food that keeps us coming back. You may read the menu and think this looks too simple, but the flavors are insane, presumably thanks to their great quality ingredients and Japanese robata grilling technique.
  4. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 3, 2017

    overall3food3service3ambience4
    The experience was a lot worse than before. Sukiyaki beef and sweet potato fries were too salty. The beef grill on a stone was not tasty. I liked chicken liver paste and grilled scallop. Overall the quality of food has gone down. The price seemed too much for what we got.
  5. y

    yosh62

    Chicago

    19 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    19 reviews

    Dined on July 27, 2017

    overall4food4service4ambience4
    Exquisite food. Waiter was very good in describing the dishes. Chef was conservative at the Robata grill as well. Some amazing Japanese whiskies as well.
  6. JC

    JCRojasI

    San Francisco

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on July 6, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    We were amazed by the flavors, an informal place with sophisticated dishes. Very well attended, small and quiet. We had a wonderful time!
  7. PA

    PaviA

    Dallas

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on July 3, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    It was awesome! Victoria was gracious and very helpful with the menu. Our waiter couldn't have been better with great suggestions. A must go to restaurant!
  8. m

    maryjane

    San Francisco

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 17, 2017

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    This is probably our favorite restaurant, I don't understand why it isnt more busy. From the fresh homemade tofu appetizer through the tsukune beef sliders, roasted romaine lettuce and robata grilled chicken thighs, all the food is so delicious! Try the Dragon's Milk cocktail, and don't forget the donatsu!
  9. FA

    FoodieA

    New York Area

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    love it. i went there at around 6pm. Not many people. The waiters are very friendly. I had a great time there. The food is really good and looks delicate.
  10. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Indiana

    1 review

    vip
    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 14, 2017

    overall1food1service1ambience1
    Left after being seated at the counter and ignored for over 5 minutes. I have never seen such a lack of hospitality or lack of awareness. This place seemed to be on a death spiral.
  11. O

    Ollie

    London

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on June 12, 2017

    overall5food5service3ambience4
    Was visiting Chicago for a few days on work and came across this place on Eater. I have to say it was fantastic. The chicken hearts were sublime and the lamb chop made me want to get my BBQ out and work on my technique. I will return.
  12. A

    Abeille

    San Antonio

    70 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    70 reviews

    Dined on June 9, 2017

    overall3food3service4ambience4
    Sedate, pleasant experience. Engaged server with good knowledge of the menu. Lots of suggestions and the food was well prepared. Liked the sea bass and strip steak. Soft shell crab on season. Nice experience.
  13. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 5, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This place is amazing. It's simple food prepared perfectly, and is well worth a visit.
  14. HL

    HellenL

    Chicago

    52 reviews

    4.0

    52 reviews

    Dined on June 1, 2017

    overall4food5service4ambience5
    We had another great experience at Sumi! We made sure to stop by during our stay in Chicago. We ordered all of the appetizer specials and a good amount of regular appetizers and some robata. The beef tsukune slider is still my favorite and ending the meal with kakigori is a must. We had a great time there but noticed that they were a bit short handed when it came to the servers. We did have a little order mix up but it was cleared and Chef Gene Kato addressed it right away. We're coming back to Chicago in July and hoping that we can get a taste of the seasonal Pineapple kakigori! Thank you for another wonderful experience.
  15. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    New York Area

    3 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 26, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Flawless - the sea bass dish was one of the best things I have ever had, and the duck was amazing!!! the cold soba noodles was amazing as well
  16. LD

    Love2Dine

    Denver

    84 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    84 reviews

    Dined on May 20, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Spectacular from start to finish. Have had robata in several other cities in the US and this one is top notch.
  17. m

    manuelp

    Chicago

    11 reviews

    5.0

    11 reviews

    Dined on May 19, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Amazing, wow Wow Terrific Great service Great food
  18. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 8, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent menu, service, outstanding presentation...our absolute favorite every trip
  19. J

    Jochicago

    Chicago

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience3
    Always fabulous.
  20. K

    Kalippisch

    Chicago

    12 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on May 4, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Awesome as always. This is our go to and sets a pretty high bar when thinking about trying someplace else. Don't miss an opportunity to enjoy Sumi.
  21. JA

    JohnA

    Chicago

    27 reviews

    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on April 28, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Finally checked out the restaurant and was truly impressed with the entire experience. The ambience and food surpassed all expectations. Can't wait to return.
  22. LS

    LSong

    Los Angeles

    14 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    One of the few authentic Japanese restaurants in Chicago. Chef Kato's attention to everything is very evident in each appetizer, each yakitori that was served to us. Was pleasantly impressed.
  23. SF

    SoxFan772

    Chicago

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 22, 2017

    overall2food2service1ambience4
    My girlfriend used to live in the area and spoke very highly of SUMI. Finally, we found a good night for her to take me for dinner this past Friday. We were both very disappointed. I am hoping it was just an off-night because she has such fond memories of the place, but it was a major letdown. It took 10 minutes just for someone to even greet us at our table. It is also a very small restaurant, so you expect relatively fast service. After we ordered, the appetizers came right out and they were excellent. The robata, however, took an incredibly long time, we would eat a piece and then 15-25 minutes later, our next one would come. We really only enjoyed the salmon, everything else was overcooked. It was not at all worth the wait. For a few small bites, the total meal took hours. I am hoping this was just an off night as they seemed to be maybe understaffed? Either way, here's to hoping it turns around.
  24. JI

    JIOUC

    Minneapolis

    6 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on April 21, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Fantastic food and great service. We will come back here again!
  25. B

    Bigdabo

    Chicago

    1 review

    vip
    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 21, 2017

    overall2food5service1ambience3
    I have been to SUMI Robata Bar several times and have recommended it to friends. Their service is always slow, but the tapas like format mitigates this issue usually. However, my most recent visit was very disappointing. The meal took almost 3 hours, the product of very poor service. The final insult was that it took 20 minutes plus to get the bill paid. Unless, the owners can solve this issue, SUMI Robata is not long for this world. I will not be recommending this restaurant in the near future.
  26. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 17, 2017

    overall3food4service3ambience2
    Great food. Wonderful small japanese restaurant. Small portions great for exploring or sharing. Everything fresh and incredibly tasty. Be bold, try something new!
  27. C

    Chigirl

    Chicago

    15 reviews

    3.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on March 31, 2017

    overall3food2service3ambience4
    We had been to Sumi on several occasions, and had good memories of the food. Unfortunately, our most recent meal missed the mark. We knew something was off when after being seated it took 10 minutes before we were greeted by our server. We kept looking around wondering if we should flag someone down. As for the food, we started with a salad that was over dressed, very vinegary. Then a piece of white fish our server recommended came to the table terribly dry. On the brighter side, the grilled vegetables were good. We're hoping it was an off night. Would hate to scratch Sumi , with its warm woodsy ambiance, off the go-to list.
  28. H

    Hammer

    New York Area

    73 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    73 reviews

    Dined on March 29, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Always superb. Finest quality. To master simplicity is perfection.
  29. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 25, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    Excellent service and outstanding food. Todd is a perfect server; cheerful and attentive but not hovering. Genuinely great experience all-around.
  30. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Los Angeles

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 21, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    The food was stellar, and acceptionally seasoned. It reminds me of being in Japan all over again. The prices where so good I almost got an extra of each dish. The chef, who actually cooked our food was great, he was able to talk to every table throughout our entire meal. It was nice to have that personal touch
  31. b

    bluechicago

    Chicago

    72 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    72 reviews

    Dined on March 20, 2017

    overall5food5service4ambience4
    We live close by and cannot imagine why it has taken us 5 years to get here. We sat at the bar and watched the chef work on his wood-fired grill while we sampled 3 or 4 appetizers and then 4 main course skewers. We tried a bluefin tuna sashimi- style dish finished with a white soya; a very light chicken -filled dumpling; an incredibly light chicken karaage...a cousin of tempura. We then had salmon, octopus, Waygu steak, scallops and shiitake mushrooms. All delicious and beautifully cooked and presented. They have an extensive sake list, but I opted for a couple of rarely seen Japanese "craft beers". What a great evening and what a wonderful change from run of the mill sushi or teppanyaki shops! We were there for dinner, but for lunch they serve a $15 bento box. Back soon
  32. k

    kalvin

    Central Coast

    3 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 6, 2017

    overall3food4service2ambience1
    good for two friends out, but this place was sooo good. But no longer has the charm.
  33. SG

    SGreviewer

    Los Angeles

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I've been here many times, and never had less than an excellent experience. The grilled items are the high point of course, but the appetizers and desserts are excellent, as are the Japanese whiskeys. The place is comfortable and not too loud, perfect if you want to have a conversation.
  34. Z

    Zerowantuthri

    Chicago

    18 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on March 2, 2017

    overall3food2service3ambience3
    Food was surprisingly bland across the board. Most dishes were not even seasoned (at all in some cases such as the shishito peppers) and they charge extra for a tiny bit of soy sauce to do what should have been done when prepared. For a robata grill I could not tell if any item got remotely close to that grill (e.g. the mushrooms were dripping wet and slimy). The chicken tails seemed deep fried, not grilled. Huge disappointment.
  35. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    9 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on March 1, 2017

    overall4food5service5ambience5
    They should find a sushi chef and bring it back on the menu. Everything else was very, very good
  36. OT

    OpenTable Diner

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on February 24, 2017

    overall4food5service3ambience3
    Food came out very slowly, server would disappear for long periods of time. Food served was delicious and that is most Important
  37. SP

    ScottP

    Chicago

    24 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    24 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience4
    In a city that continues to be one of the very best for dining in the world, Sumi Robata remains one of my favorites.
  38. e

    ejbtwo

    New York Area

    8 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on February 13, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    I took my son for a special occasion. Little did we know how unique and delicious the experience would end up being! I looked on OPEN Table for a place such as Sumi Robata during our trip to Chicago. Small plates are usually a Spanish thing in my experience but Japanese grilling was an amazing find. The Chef was engaging and willing to explain the smallest detail. The server was as informed of the menu, both sake, food and Japanese whiskey(new to us!) as any I have come across. She was willing to endure the many questions we had in learning about Robata, a simple but "WOW" invoking method of cooking. The Chef informed us that he imports a special hard-wood charcoal from Japan that burns at a high temperature. He personally cooked everything, prepared all sauces and marinades and served them in a simple and clean presentation. "WOW" a definite must try!
  39. MB

    MBLikesToDine

    Chicago

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on February 3, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    My husband , daughter and I loved this place. Bottled cocktails, a flight of sake, delicious apps and the bento box hit the spot for delicious. Our sever was wonderful. Would definitely go again.
  40. NA

    NikkiA

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on January 27, 2017

    overall5food5service5ambience5
    This restaurant blew my mind!! The food was phenomenal (definitely order the Gyutan!!). Every plate had our tastebuds dancing. The warm atmosphere and friendly customer service made the whole experience truly exceptional. I would recommend this restaurant in a heartbeat!

FAQs

SUMI Robata Bar- Permanently Closed is rated 4.4 stars by 265 OpenTable diners.

Permanently Closed

This restaurant is permanently closed.

Additional information

  • Cross street

    Huron/Wells

  • Neighborhood

    River North (Chicago)

  • Hours of operation

    Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am - 2:30pm Dinner: Monday - Wednesday 5:00pm - 11:00pm, Thursday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 12:00am Sunday: Closed

  • Cuisines

    Japanese, Grill, Asian

  • Dining style

    Casual Dining

  • Dress code

    Business Casual

  • Parking details

    Street parking available on Huron and Wells

  • Public transit

    Brown line and Purple Line stops three blocks from the restaurant.

  • Payment options

    AMEX, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa

  • Executive chef

    Gene Kato

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Wheelchair Access, Wine

  • Phone number

    (312) 988-7864

  • Private party facilities

    Sumi Robata Bar’s, Tatami Room seats up to 12. The dining space is located downstairs from the restaurant’s main floor. After entering through the room’s sliding shōji doors, guests are treated to the traditional design elements including seats adorned with tatami mats, and a communal table decorated with a delicate white obi kimono belt ornamented with gold thread."Crain’s Chicago Business 2016 Best Private Dining Room Spaces",

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