This Asian-inspired restaurant from friends Alex Pan (Sober Ramen), Nathan Johnston (Coffee Cartel) and chef Kyle Wang (Vue Grand) is a casual spot influenced by the izakaya-style dining of Japan. Almost everything on the menu here is cooked over a smoky robata charcoal grill.
The menu is mainly Japanese, but Wang, who is Chinese, has fused it with flavours and dishes from Thailand, Malaysia and even the United States. Mainstays worth trying include chicken yakitori skewers served tsukune-style with a raw egg yolk and sweet dipping sauce, crab san choy bao with apple and cucumber, and the lobster roll bao with slaw and spiced butter.
With concrete walls and only 26 seats (a long pale timber bar plus a couple of extra tables to the side), Sumi has a minimalist feel that’s proved popular with Geelong locals since it first opened in 2019. Also going down well is the extensive drinks list, featuring a range of Japanese beer, saké and whisky.