Does your mistress know? Sum Yi Tai, which means third wife in Cantonese, is a Chinese tapas bar at the gentrified Boon Tat street serving up food and drinks for dragons. Over classical Cantonese ballads. If it sounds slightly gimmicky, it is, but fortunately this is one gamble that paid off. In the sea of tungsten lightbulbs and wooden mismatched furniture, Sum Yi Tai managed to look like a 80s speakeasy for Chinese mafia to gather with their KTV hostess mistresses. Of course in reality it's just Singaporeans and expats working in the area gathering for a few expensive cocktails and Chinese food, which luckily was surprisingly tasty!
All the CDs on the wall.
Here's the menu. All the good stuff we Chinese people love, in smaller portions so you can have more variety and share the sin.
Research showed that the XO carrot cake ($12) is a must-order, so we did. It was good. Had a slight wok-fried taste to it. It's easy to eat, but it has character in the combination of soft carrot cake and crunchy veggie accompaniments.
Then there was the Salmon Skin with Salted Egg and Lime Zest ($9). Crunchy and appetizing. The salted egg coating was a fine dusting of grainy goodness that I wished could be more (but won't be a good idea). This was super addictive and definitely goes well with drinks!
We took a chance and got some Shrimp Roe Tossed Noodles with Chives and Choi Sum ($6) since it was only 6 bucks. A really simple dish but good as a carb filler. Noodles were not too 'alkaline' either.
The noodles served as a foil for another of their 'must-try', the Roast Platter ($32). Unfortunately if I were to be really critical about it, none of the meats here are super exceptional. But as a Chinese tapas to go with cocktails, this platter is genius. There's just something about roasted pork and duck that hits the spot.
Lastly, a Chicken and Chinese sausage claypot rice ($26) to share. T'was hearty, flavourful and easy to eat. All the dishes were really authentic tasting, almost what you'll get from the Chinatown food centre, except for the price of course.
Drinks can be had at the restaurant and also upstairs on their rooftop bar. Choose the rooftop bar if you can because you get a great feel of the CBD amidst fairy lights and Peranakan tiles. The owners of the place really got the feel of the place down pat. I had a Golden Dragon ($19) and it was yum! All the drinks looked so elaborate and cool we had a difficult time choosing.
Sum Yi Tai is definitely one of the hottest bars on the block that you have to check out for the atmosphere, food and drinks. Order their carrot cake and claypot rice for sure, and a Chrysanthemum cocktail.
Sum Yi Tai
25 Boon Tat Street, Singapore 069622
Lunch Mon-Fri 11.30am to 2.30pm
Dinner Mon-Sat 5pm to 1am (last order 30 mins before closing)
Closed on Sundays