I chose to indulge in Umi’s new seasonal menu on a crisp winter’s evening. It was immediately warmed up by the sensational waiter, who set the tone for the evening. At first glance, the winter menu is delectable and well rounded. The combination of fresh Japanese elements and intense winter flavours is balanced out impeccably.
By Chiara Turilli
The 3-course menu is an absolute treat and also moderate in price. The vibrancy of the restaurant and smooth music allowed the bottle of Pinot Noir to flow effortlessly. I tasted an array of dishes from the menu, and here are some of the highlights.
The succulent octopus carpaccio was dolloped with velvety garlic aioli, fragrant paprika and elegant wafers of toasted ciabatta. Octopus can be a difficult seafood to handle and get right, but this dish had a soft texture (no rubberiness!) with a delicate seafood flavour.
THE MAIN AFFAIR
The impeccably char-grilled hake was surrounded by a popping cucumber and coconut sambal. The dish was accompanied by velvety bonito mash (bonito flakes are thin wisps of dried smoked tuna). This was the hero dish for me, a seemingly fresh dish that warmed my soul.
Because of my deep Italian roots, my expectations weighed heavily on the panna cotta. To my delight, Umi’s lemongrass-scented panna cotta did indeed have that vital wobble, indicating a perfect texture. The mango and candied-chilli components brightened the dish and added a complexity in texture against the dreamy, creamy panna cotta. We finished our meal with a short order of liquid gold, a ristretto.
This meal met every one of my expectations. The contemporary Japanese nuances perfectly intertwined with the food and decor really made my evening there linger in my mind long after it was over.
When: Every day, 8 AM – 11 PM
Where: 201, The Promenade, Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8040
Reservations: 021 437 1802