Umame has somehow always intrigued me and I have been waiting for an opportunity to sample the Pan Asian cuisine here. What better time than the week-long Times City Gourmet Week I thought, so I hopped along for a lunch.
Umame’ which means the fifth flavour, a savoury taste derived from glutamates, is an apt name for this restaurant. As the name suggests, this flavour is different from the other four well-known flavours of sweet-sour-hot and salty, Umame the restaurant too, is distinct.
The spacious seating struck me as soon as we entered. The dark wood floorings, textured charcoal-coloured ceiling and a gleaming black marble bar are majestic and appealing. The Al-fresco area that overlooks the Oval Maidan is the highlight.
The set menu for the week is by no means limited. It offers something for every palate. The Chicken Tinola soup which I tried was soothing. A clear soup, its subtle flavours teased my taste buds and the succulent pieces of chicken were delicious. My friend’s Vietnamese Tamarind soup of tender chicken was equally a surprise. It was not too spicy like normal hot n sour soups, and yet, replete with flavours. Vegetarians may opt for Roasted Pepper and tomato cappuccino or a Tom yum with tofu and straw mushrooms. Quite innovative I thought.
My pepper crusted Alaskan cod with balsamic teriyaki glaze, served on a bed of sticky rice and greens was an absolute treat. Grilled to perfection, the teriyaki flavour complimented the cod and the bland sticky rice paired extremely well with it. The flavours exploded in my mouth, yet, were not overpowering.
The Thai style barbecued chicken which my friend selected, was served with steamed rice. It had the right amount of Thai flavours and was delightful, but not extraordinary. Vegetarians need not despair. Thai Green palace curry, Cottage cheese and water chestnuts steaks in Korean sesame sauce sound equally exotic.
What do I say about the dessert- My sweet mistake? It is pure indulgence and the best I have sampled in a long time. That is a mistake I’d love to repeat. Chocolatey with a soft, creamy texture, it simply melt in my mouth. and the presentation too was outstanding.
For lunch, there are no appetizers, but for dinner, you have a vast array to choose from. Chicken sui mai, Dumpling of prawn n chive, barbecued cottage cheese and many more.
At Rs 1000 plus taxes for lunch per head and Rs 1200 plus taxes for dinner, dining at Umame is a steal. Undoubtedly, value-for-money. The team of Chefs, Dilshad and Farrokh Khambata can take a bow. Umame is a great fine dining place sans any pretense. The service however is a bit slow and the staff, a trifle confused.
Overall, a memorable dining experience. Be sure to go there this week, if you have not already and for regulars, once is not enough!