Umami: The night we feast on Sashimi & Wagyu

The best of everything. The sashimi platter ($120) was the highlight of our meal and we started with a bang; there’s tuna, pink prawns, hirame, uni (sea urchin). Every slice was so fresh, I could see the glitter in my dining companions eyes. While I’m not a big fan of “raw fish”, it’s definitely a feast for the eyes and treat for the palate to have it prepared so exquisitely.

The Sakura set dinner ($58 per set) which included appetiser of assorted braised vegetables Japanese style, spicy dynamic oyster, sushi roll. For sashimi there’s tuna, salmon and oyster, and this was followed by a steamed dish of chawanmushi, with a deep fried tofu from the land behind. The two mains would be grilled chicken and wagyu beef burger, if that’s not enough, there’s hot udon served with kakiage. And finally rounding off the meal with a chef’s special dessert.

The four of us ordered two sets to share because there was so much else to order from the ala carte menu!

Fortunately, the assortment of sashimi from the set menu came early, and an innocent question “more sashimi?” led to the fantastic sashimi platter you saw on the first photo.

I love eggs, all kinds of them; fried, half boiled, scrambled, sunny side-up, poached ones, anything – except steamed eggs. There are bits of chicken, crab stick, boiled prawns, ginko nuts, and shitake mushroom within the Chawanmushi.

The deep fried tofu and cheese wrapped with soy bean skin is up next, at first sight the sticky cheese looked promising, but upon tasting there wasn’t much wow – the cheese’s not enough and the whole taste was subtle, bordering on bland.

Our first main course of the menu came piping hot, the grilled chicken was served on a hot stone which was specially brought back from Mount Fuji, to ensure the meat retained its optimum temperature – while we took photographs!

Umami’s rendition of wagyu beef burger came in the form of two “meatballs”, while there was nothing spectacular of its appearance, the meat was sure tasty!

Hot udon served with kakiage was the last item on the Sakura menu before dessert. The tasting portion of the menu covered a variety and was decent, there’s two other set dinners at $88 and $128.

And now it’s where the real dinner starts, our selections from the ala carte menu.

A simple deep fried dried cuttlefish ($8) brought us back to the appetiser stage, and prepared us for all the food coming.

I enjoyed the Grilled cod wrapped with lettuce ($16) tremendously. The fish was lightly grilled on the outside and tasted good on its own. But it’s when we wrapped it within the lettuce, Korean-style, and the crunchiness of the lettuce supplemented and enhanced the freshness of the cod.

Clearly, the spicy dynamic oyster ($16 for 3) was everyone’s favourite. Befitting of its name, it had us on first bite in the Sakura menu and we ordered again. The tangy sauce was oh my god, so good! We slurped down the delicious oyster, and did not waste a single drop of the sauce. The best oysters in Singapore, and no, it’s not raw.

The comprehensive sushi menu made it difficult for us to choose from, but in the end for the love of salmon, we went for the Avocado salmon roll ($12). An elongated plate with eight pieces of makis, was indeed value for money.

A whole chunk of it, right in front of our eyes. The scared foie gras ($33), grilled with teriyaki sauce. Oh-oh-oh! Lightly grilled on the outside yet retaining a soft pink within, I swallowed it down – gulped, and wish that time stood still at that moment.

We were all excited by the Japanese beef – Umami served top grade wagyu! A sizzling sound signal the arrival of something magnificent, the marbling was so rich & dense that the meat literally melted in our mouth. I looked around and tried to speak, but no words came; I just allowed myself to quietly finish the meat, and inside I was secretly hoping there was more of this. It’s like totally God’s gift to mankind. Our jaws dropped when we heard that it’s a current promotional price of just $38 instead of the usual $60.

My previous encounter with Kurobuta pork was enough to tell me it’s good stuff, so when we browsed through the “from the land” menu, I immediately ordered the Braised kurobuta pork belly ($12).

Eeekk!” The girls exclaimed when it was served. The fatty layers were enough to scare off the others, but not me. One bite of the braised pork belly, and one sip of beer, what more can you ask for?

The Rolled omelette with truffle oil ($8 for 5 pieces) was also one of Umami’s signature dishes. You like Japanese omelette? You will like this.

Like what the manager Nigel had mentioned, although the US Black Angus beef ($38) is great, but it’s not in the same league as the Japanese wagyu; the former is like human while the latter is god. The Angus tasted ordinary considering we had gone to heaven with the wagyu – the marbling was just not the same. But it’s not that the Angus wasn’t good, but because we had tried the wagyu first.

And finally after a very long and satisfying dinner, desserts came in the form of home made kurogoma brulee ($6), and home made custard pudding ($6). The former was a sesame version of creme brulee that I didn’t quite take to, but I love the home made custard pudding!

Umami has been around at Liang court since April and I have to admit I did not notice their presence previously when I went to Liang court. The very posh and club-like entrance made it rather intimidating for diners to step in, and they are currently making changes to the front decorations. There’s a current DBS 1-for-1 promotion for their $18 and $25 set lunches.

My appreciation to Lynda from DBS, Cherylene & Seema from Eurorscg, and the Nigel & his staff from Umami for the wonderful dinner. My third and final restaurant with DBS Foodster will be at Xin Cuisine, Holiday Inn Atrium, you can find out more information about the DBS Indulge Series here.

177 River Valley Road
#01-26 Liang Court
Tel: 6333 1166