Umami Restaurant – Melbourne, Florida

Rating: 5 out of 5 Skulls

Date/Time: 12/26/16 ~Around 4pm

Outside:  Older plaza, neat and tidy front.  Difficult to see if they are really open as they have very dark tinting on their front windows.  Once inside I realized why.

 

Inside:  When we arrived we were the only patrons in the restaurant at.  It’s a very small restaurant that seats about 25-50 patrons.  They have the lights dimmed low and hip popular music (many modern instrumental pieces of music) playing at just the right level.  The tables are lined with white tablecloths with your bowl for soy sauce, disposable chopsticks, and a silky black napkin folded origami style in what I believe may have been a swan or a crane.  The hostess walks us to our seat near the back which is very close to the sushi bar.  She lit a candle on our table which seemed a bit corny but it added to the ambiance of the restaurant.

We sat down and begin to look over the menu to decide what delicious dishes we will order.  The waitress comes back to obtain our drink order.  Rufo ordered an Orion beer that is from Okinawa.  He tells me this is hard to find.  It comes in a very tall amber bottle and a glass.  I couldn’t decide so she brought me a water until I had made my decision.

When we go out we typically order dishes to share.  We asked the waitress which dishes were best for sharing and she showed me the appropriate section of the menu.  We decided on a dish that included a few types of nigiri and sashimi.  The platter comes with soup our salad.  We chose the salad to share. We also ordered a seafood hot pot.  Finally I ordered a Lychee Sake (cold).

Rufo describes the Orion beer has a very light scent comprised of honey and wheat.  He says the  taste is that of a lighter dinner beer with a hint of honey.

The Lychee Sake was light, floral rice wine.  It smelled wonderfully of Lychee berries and made an excellent pairing with the nigiri and sashimi.

The salad was comprised of iceberg lettuce, carrots sticks, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and a delicious ginger dressing.  They give you a normal size serving which we split between us.  It was fresh and tasty even though it was very simple.  Despite the normal size it was perfect for us to split.  Rufo keeps telling me he had some sort of lettuce referred to as “mouse ears” in his salad.  I think that sounds a bit scary and I assure you there was no meat of any kind in the salad.

Our second course was a seafood miso hot pot soup.  The waitress brought us this amazing soup in a cast iron pot with a wooden lid and it sat on a wooden base.  She placed two soup bowls on the table with 2 spoons and a large wooden ladle for serving  The soup was comprised of  chunks of fish, shrimp, squid, calamari, muscles, tofu, tiny mushrooms, and the typical greens and broth found in miso soup.  She served us even proportions down to the detail of making sure we each had shrimp in our bowls.   The smell of the soup was heavenly.  As she lifted the lid from the pot my mouth began to water.  She served me first.  In my bowl I could identify a muscle, shrimp, chunks of eel, whitefish, calamari, tofu, and greens.  There were thin slices that may have been scallops but I’m not sure.  It was delicious and that was more important.

We had a bit of a wait after we finished our soup and when we received our plate of sushi.  So be advised if you order a large plate of sushi it may take a while as it is all made to order.

Our sushi platter was comprised of 6 pieces of nigiri (sashimi on top of rice), 8 slices of sashimi, one small plain tuna roll (6 pieces), as well as pickled ginger, and wasabi.  It’s the Chef’s pick as to what he plates for your sashimi and nigiri.  I’m not 100% sure what we received.  I can tell you what I can identify.

I could of course identify the small plain tuna rolls.  We ate those first and they were delicious.  They were perfectly rolled, the rice was wonderfully seasoned and the tuna had a delicate texture that seemed to melt in your mouth.

The nigiri appeared to be tuna, salmon, white fish, white fish, shrimp, and another type of light colored fish.  The unidentified fish was light in color and tasted similar to white fish.  All of the nigiri was very tasty.  I’m not a big fan of shrimp nigiri as it tends to dry out fast.  This was a little dry but still very favorable.  The delicately sliced pieces of sashimi on top of the perfectly seasoned sushi rice had amazing flavor and was like heaven in my mouth.

I hate to be repetitive but the slices of sashimi was also very delicate, fresh, and perfectly soft.  We could really taste all of the flavors of the fresh fish.  The pieces of sashimi mirrored what we received in the nigiri with the exception of the shrimp.

The staff was attentive to our table as well as the large party and the single take-out orders that came in while we were there.  Even with a table of 8 adjacent from us the ambiance of the restaurant was still relaxing and cozy.

While we were there a take-out patron sat at the bar waiting while he watched the Sushi Chef prepare his meal.  He began to ask the chef questions about his knives and skills.  The chef was happy to explain to him what the different knives were for.  It was nice to hear the staff engage with patrons in this manner.

I would definitely return.  I would order the seafood hot pot again but I’d love to try some of their other dishes.  Perhaps next time we can try different dishes to expand our experience.

umami menu