Ever since Umami started teasing on Twitter that they would be adding Sushi to their menu soon, I couldn’t stop wondering when and how. But then figuring it wasn’t as soon as I wanted it to be, I asked if I could be invited for a tasting, and the management and digital team was very generous to make that happen.
So yesterday, my husband Oz and I headed to Umami at 6:00 p.m. We were greeted by a very friendly host who let us have our choice of table before being presented with the menu, which had a new addition, 9 pages worth of Sushi love.
I usually write a ‘First Impressions’ section before writing a review, but because it was my third or fourth time at Umami, it was hard to take any mental notes. But overall, you can’t help but admire the attention to detail. The lighting is low and perfectly tuned, not to dark that you can’t see the food or the menu, not too florescent like most restaurants that it’s harmful to your eyes. The general ambiance and décor is well maintained as well.
Before the Bites
Since Oz doesn’t do Sushi at all, he settled for a Teppanyaki dinner instead. We placed our orders at 6:30, and enjoyed a small talk while it was being prepared. While my sushi took 15 minutes to be served, the Teppanyaki was served at 7:00. I felt it was a bit too long to wait for half an hour, but my husband didn’t seem to find, so I figured, it was worth the wait after all.
Bites and Nibbles
The Shizoko Teppanyaki is composed of Angus Beef and Shrimp, cooked with black pepper sauce, and ginger sauce, served on a side of mixed veggies (Mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, sweet peppers, zucchini, and onions). Of course with fried rice and a side dipping sauce! The dish was well presented, and apparently equally mouth-watering and delicious. I remember Oz saying “People who don’t eat Beef would fall in love with this dish, it’s so good”. So it’s settled, I trust his judgement, and I hope you would too.
As for me, my sushi experience was quite a feast. Here’s what I ordered with my list of thoughts.
For the Salad, I chose the Sashimi Salad, and needless to say it was quite an experience. I thought I’d be presented with one that tastes just about the ones I’ve tasted all over town, but this one was pretty zesty! Yep, a delicious taste of lemon bursts into your mouth as you bite into this salad. By the way, I added sodium free Soy Sauce when I was half way through to experiment a different taste, and it was just perfect. The mix of lemon dressing with Soy Sauce brings out the taste of the sashimi beautifully.
If you are a salmon lover like me, a must have at Umami is the “Alaskan Salmon Platter”. The 12 piece platter comes with 3 slices of Salmon Sashimi, 3 Salmon Sushi (on a bed of rice), 3 Salmon Maki’s, and 3 spicy Salmon. The Sashimi is to die for, and the sushi rolls are just perfect. Sometimes because they are served with quite a chunk of rice, some restaurants over-do the vingar which gives the rice a weird after taste, Umami didn’t, it was done quite right. The Maki’s were ok, but I personally couldn’t stand the Japanese Mayo for some reason, so I simply scrapped it off. Tasted quite divine without it.
The ‘Avocado Maki’ is made of freshly sliced Avocado, rolled in Noriand Japanese Rice, and so is the ‘Avocado and Salmon Maki’ but of-course with the addition of Salmon. Both rolls were quite delightful, light, and tasty.
I’m not quite sure if I’ve ever had a ‘Smoked Salmon Maki’ before or not, and hence I ordered this Umami Specialty Maki roll. Smoked Salmon, with Japanese Mayo, rolled in Crunchy Sesame Seeds, was different, but the good kind of different. I was expecting very strong flavored salmon, and I was afraid it would put me off the rest of the food, but it didn’t, it was a unique taste that you’ve probably never had before.
The “Volcano” is also an Umami Specialty Maki Roll, made of spicy tuna, ebiko, and served with crunch and sweet soy! I loved it! I personally like any tuna roll to be spicy when ordering Sushi anywhere, so this was just a perfect addition to my dinner feast.
… and saving the best for last, my favorite roll was the “Tempura Fried California Roll”. I’ve had deep fried Sushi on so many occasions but never as good as this. Crab, Avocado, and Japanese Mayo, deep fried in a Tempura Batter. The deep fried part takes the healthy out of the Sushi equation, and so I decided to steer clear of dessert, because this roll was to die for.
What better way to end such an amazing meal other than Green Tea. The sand tea timer indicated 3 mins for light tea, 4 mins for medium, and 5 mins for Strong. The Tchaba Tea was sensational, best enjoyed sugar free, the flavor is unique and bittersweet with a distinct aroma to delight the soul.
I think this review says it all, a unique experience, great food, amazing ambiance, and the presentation and attention to detail makes this Sushi journey one of a kind, one that I would recommend over and over.
Thanks Team Umami, it was superb!