If the Eat Art Food Truck were to have a stationary cousin, Ume would surely be it. Opened in 2012 by husband & wife team Kerby Craig and Hiroko Muranishi, this Japanese establishment has taken over the old Bistrode site on 478 Bourke St (talk about prime real estate!). Ume, translating to plum in English has achieved quiet success in true Japanese fashion earning a well deserved One Chef's Hat in the 2014 SMH Good Food Guide.
|From an inconspicuous shopfront in Surry Hills hides this dynamite Japanese restaurant - who'da thunk it? That cherry blossom mural is the real deal, beautiful. Photo credit: Ume|
There's no need for white tablecloths, the vibe is decidedly casual but there is room for a bit of a Saturday night dress up. Muranishi does a fantastic job navigating the front of house staff. Every table gets your undivided attention, all delivered with a cheery smile. Crack open a cold Kirin or be adventurous and go for a tokkuri of premium sake (and burn from the inside). Perfect for date night, if you ask me!
Now, to the business end:
|Wagyu 'sukiyaki style' (Ryugin 2010): David Blackmore Wagyu 9+, yaki dofu (grilled tofu), shimeji, nasturtium, soy-mirin reduction, onsen tamago (boiled egg). By this point we were a bit soy-sauced out (if that's even possible). The flavours were quite mild but after a while all the soy-based dressings started to meld together. As an aside, who knew that wagyu marbling scores went up to 12? Not I. Have a squiz at this truly impressive pdf about Wagyu Grading Standards. Scary stuff.|
And to round off the evening, a spot of DOLCE:
|Making moves in a shoe-box. Ume keeps doing its thing with minimal fuss, which provides a refreshing change from all those hipster taco/burger joints spreading across Sydney like wildfire. It just shows you the power of 'trending', doesn't it. Photo credit: Ume|
I must say, my dinner at Ume was thoroughly enjoyable. For the most part I was getting good vibes, especially from that delicately flavoured and balanced Japanese fusion menu. Props must go to the Craig and his kitchen. It's a great spot to keep in mind. Welcome to the 'hood Ume, enchantée.
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