If there is one dish I could eat every day, it would easily be sushi.
I've tried many places around town but there are only a couple of restaurants I like and frequently visit.
Umi is definitely one of them!
I was first introduced to Umi a year ago, when I was invited to their grand opening event. From the moment I walked in, I loved everything about their establishment. From their set up, to customer service and food- Umi does it right!
Since then, I've gone back for girls night, lunch, hosting an event, and even International Sake day.
Yes, that's an actual holiday. But to be honest, I'd find any excuse to throw down Umi's Pineapple infused sake any day of the year.
To celebrate their one year anniversary this month, Umi has added some fresh new menu items to present new flavors and ingredients and expand upon variety and quality to their already popular menu.
Umi graciously invited me to sample their new delectable dishes.
The delicious feast started off with a couple of refreshing cocktails, Fresh Suika and a Very Berry Mojito, edamame and a Spicy Jalapeno Roll.
The sushi chef is very particular in the type of fish and seafood he purchases. Quality is the main criteria he looks for and will not use anything that does not meet his standards. He buys the whole fish and prepares it himself. Deliveries are done up to 3 times a week in order to maintain freshness to their guests.
The sushi rice is made using the highest grade rice grains and it's prepared in traditional methods using a large wooden rice mixing tub called a Hangiri.
Spicy Jalapeno Roll: Shrimp tempura, cream cheese, jalapeño, wrapped with spicy tuna, sliced jalapeño, spicy mayo drizzle, and side of spicy kobachi sauce.
After devouring the first course, the focus shifted to the next plate.
Umi's Bento Tray! Their creative twist to the typical Japanese Bento box.
There are two versions- raw and cooked. I opted to sample the cooked Bento Tray.
My Cooked Bento Tray du Jour- consisting of the chef's daily selection of assorted cooked and small dishes was exceptional!
That day, the selection had a great variety and I was able to sample a few items I probably wouldn't have ordered on my own.
- Homestyle Bibimbap served with a perfectly poached egg.
- Cured Salmon over vegetables with balsamic teriyaki sauce.
- Kimchi Croquette
- Bacon Wrapped Cherry Tomatoes
- California Roll
I was most excited to try out the Kyo Katsu- a dish you cook yourself on a hot rock.
Kyo Katsu: Panko breaded NY strip steak (5oz)- flash-fried, served with a side of napa cabbage tossed in house-made orange dressing and a side of katsu sauce.
All sauces at Umi are homemade, even the soy sauce (which is called "Tsukuri") is modified to create a smokey flavor. It's made with Mirin which is a rice wine, sake and bonito flakes.
Another unique signature for the restaurant is the use of their Robatayaki Grill.
Umi uses Binchotan charcoal- made from White Oak. The charcoal is imported from Asia and is quite expensive. It is as natural as can be- no chemicals. It burns odorless and smokeless and burns at over 1,000 degrees Celsius. It instantly sears and locks in the juices.
The meats, seafood and vegetables cooked on the Robatayaki Grill are implemented into the sushi rolls and plated menu items. There is a section of the menu that is just Robata grilled items that are ordered a la carte and served for dinner.
Pretty much anything cooked on the Robatayaki Grill will be delicious, but my favorites so far are the pork belly, skirt steak and squid. So good!
Besides all the mouth watering food at Umi, they also carry a boutique wine list of over 40 wines, Japanese imported beer, local craft beer and Soju cocktails
Sat & Sun: 12p-3p
Mon - Thu: 5p-6:30p
Umi is the perfect place for any occasion or celebration. From lunch, happy hour to dinner- Umi will be your new favorite restaurant on Park Avenue!
525 S. Park Avenue
Winter Park, FL 32789