CBD - Paying homage to Hong Kong in the 1980s, Sum Yi Tai is a quirky Cantonese eating house and designer bar set in a three-story shophouse in the heart of Boon Tat. Each level has a different vibe, so you’ll find a dimly lit tapas bar decked out in dragons and vinyl roast ducks on the first level, an elegant dark green dining room with Chinese-style botanical paintings on the second level, and a cosy rooftop bar with views of the surrounding CBD on the upper level.
Why you should come here:
The name Sum Yi Tai means ‘third wife’ in Cantonese, which hints at the cheeky vibes going on here. At first glance it may seem like a decadent den for clandestine meetings, but actually the spot has fast become a popular hangout for the after-work crowd looking for a chill place to throw back whiskies, wines and beers and snack on tasty Chinese culinary creations. If you work in the CBD and want somewhere casual and contemporary to wind down after work, this is a good bet.
What we love:
The rooftop bar is definitely our preferred hangout spot, as it’s cosy and private, but still open to the stars and the surrounding buildings. Grab a seat on one of the wicker lounges and order up a few cocktails from the list like the Chinese Mojito with chrysanthemums, mint and lime or the Morning After with vodka, toffee liqueur, espresso and caramel. There is also a sizeable selection of rare Japanese whiskies and other premium pours.
The tapas are also worth trying, as they have a great selection of Cantonese favourites and the flavours are authentically Asian. Think Candied Crispy Pork Belly Chips, King Prawn Wontons Tossed in Chili and Fried Golden Mushrooms with Chinese Spices. If you’re in a sharing mood, go for the clay pots filled with goodies like Chinese sausages, salted egg and beef brisket.
If it’s a rooftop spot at Sum Yi Tai you’re after, reservations are essential because they’ve only got so much seating to go around. Book on their website in advance, because it’s pretty rare to walk in and find an opening. However, that might not be such a bad thing because they have a pretty sweet happy hour special going on at the tapas bar everyday from 5pm to 8pm when you can get great deals on select draft beers, bottled beers, wine and sake.
During happy hour, draft beers (Asahi, Kronenbourg Lager and Kronenbourg Blanc) are just $10++, a bucket of five bottles of Asahi Dry or Tsingdao go for $40++, and glasses of wine and sake are $10++. Tapas start at $9++.