Review: Umame – A Pan Asian Delight!

We walked into Umame on a Tuesday evening, which thanks to the Ganesh Chaturthi holiday, felt like a Friday night. As we took in the yellow chairs, the honey-combed design on some of the partitions and the funky back-lit cityscapes on the ceiling, we decided that the place definitely had a New York feel! Fancy yet relaxed. Thumbs up to Phirosa Neterwala’s interiors! Umame definitely made a great first impression and for the rest of the evening, continued to impress us.

The bar menu had a good selection of wines, cocktails, and other liquors. We were a team of two opposites – a vegetarian teetotaller and a non-vegetarian who enjoys her weekend drinks. My friend picked the classic Daiquiri (she was taken in by the description – “rum, honey, caramel sweetness”) but found it too sour and it did not live up to expectations. She proceeded to try a second cocktail called So Berry Bramble but that turned out to be a sweet concoction with little complexity in taste. On the other hand, my choice of mocktail from their “Zero Proof Cocktail” section was delicious – a watermelon and kiwi blend, where you could actually taste the flavours of each fruit. The freshness and taste was enhanced by the crushed bits of kiwi and watermelon. I also tried the plum mocktail, which was delicious and the bits of plum peel mixed in was a nice addition. Thus started our five-course meal.

First on the menu was sushi. We decided to try the Tiger Rolls (creamy spicy shrimp with Nori seaweed) and the Papaya salad rolls. The Tiger roll was delicious- soft yet crunchy, and the Papaya salad roll was light and flavourful. From the dim sum and dumplings menu, we picked the Enoki Mushroom and Straw Fungus Har Gao, the Barbecued Tofu and Scallion Pau and the Crispy Prawn and Chive Cheung Feung with creamy spicy sauce. The mushrooms were fresh and the accompanying sauces with the dim sums were very tasty as well – one was sour and tangy and the other nice and spicy. The Crispy Prawn and Chive Cheung Feung was a little dense but overall the three layers of tender prawn and chive stuffing, crisp fried batter and steamed dim sum skin made a great combination. At this point, we really felt that Umame could do no wrong, so we moved on with anticipation to try the appetizers. We ordered the Corn Curd appetizer, which was very tasty made in a tangy preparation; the Silken Tofu with cashew nuts and dark soy, which simply melted in our mouth. The Tabanan Char grilled Fish with Kafir lime was outstanding – smoky, slightly sweet and extremely tender. It had an Asian marinade that left my carnivorous colleague craving for more. Next, the Balinese Minced Lamb on sugarcane skewers with sweet chilli dipping sauce was deliciously juicy and succulent and the drizzle of sweet sauce made it near perfect. I stared as my colleague went into some form of food-induced trance and said, “It’s heaven”!

And finally, with very little room in our stomachs, but still determined to do justice to this review, we moved on to the main course. The Massaman curry with broccoli, aubergine and potatoes, which came highly recommended and we were told, “You should try it. Soon it will be famous,” was delicious and very flavourful. The Pad Thai was just all right and nothing to write home about especially compared to some of the other culinary delights we had just experienced. The Banana Leaves wrapped Vietnamese Bass was steamed to perfection and sitting in the spicy Balinese mix.

Last but not the least was the dessert. We’d thought we’d try two just so we could tell you some more, but you must spare us and try some yourself and let us know what you thought. We split a dessert named My Sweetest Mistake and did not regret a single calorie we may have consumed of this very rich final course. Inspired by a dessert recently featured on Masterchef, a chocolate disk was accompanied by a test tube of warm chocolate sauce. The sauce was poured onto the dessert at the table itself causing the cake to sink in as the sauce overflowed and covered it up. My Sweetest Mistake was transformed into a chocolate lover’s delight!

We were barely able to walk ourselves out of Umame after the heavy and delicious meal we had consumed, but we made it out satisfied and happy. A remarkable menu with ample choice for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians, using very fresh ingredients and a creative mix of Asian delights, Umame had far surpassed our expectations! We hope the quality of food and the level of service continues to be maintained. Umame is definitely a great addition to the South Mumbai food scene.

A meal for two would be about Rs. 3,000 (not including drinks and taxes).

Umame also has a party room that can be hired or booked for special occasions.

Address: Eros Theatre Building, First Floor, East Wing, M Karve Road, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020

Contact Number: 022 61110303

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