Time and time again, big name restaurants have closed down due to the turbulent economic climate but that hasn't stopped Surry Hill's latest offering- Ume from popping up amongst the ranks of the great eateries around the area. It has big shoes to fill as it replaces the former Bistrode's impressive nose to tail food affair with the technically dense seafood driven cuisine that is Japanese.
The minimalist japanese influences take centre stage immediately as you enter the restaurant as the theme of serenity decorates the restaurant with its beautiful pink plum blossoms (very befittingly called ume) and clean presentation, very much a reflection of the food that is to come. Japanese sake and beers make a dominant appearance with half the restaurant segregated into a bar and kitchen area. Not a set of chef whites in sight here as the regular attire is happi coats.
|Salmon Tartare 16|
Seared ScallopSoy brown butter, Finger lime, Wood sorrel, Organic Nori 19
Tako West Australian “Giant” Octopus, Slow Braised & Lightly Charred, Simmered Daikon, Cucumber and Sansho pepper 18
Cone Bay Barramundi Shiro dashi butter poached ‘Barra’ Baby Kabu, Crisp Wakame Sea Flora, Soy & Yuzu dressing 32
Ami-Yaki Wagyu Mayura Station Wagyu 9+ Roast Sesame Emulsion, Grilled Green onions, Native Bottle Brush, Shiso Ponzu 42
Small Chef’s Selection of Mixed Nigiri Sushi – 4 Pieces 12
|Sea Urchin Sushi 7.5|
Kaki Fresh Persimmon, Christmas Bush Honey, Roast tea jelly, “Rice cream”, Native Violets, Kinako 14
Dark Chocolate ‘Terrine’ Michel Cluizel 70% Dark Chocolate, Ginger & Rose petal ice cream, Whipped Matcha, Macadamia nuts15
Throughout the night, the pacing felt appropriate but the service can often be vaguely impassive and at the same time the waiters can uncomfortably and over enthusiastically hover a little more than necessary. However, they were always professional, informative and always willing to explain. I think what would be welcomed is a little sense of warm generosity. An amuse bouche, seaweed salad, miso soup or something a little extra on the house would have been greatly appreciated. All dishes were so incredibly balanced so it goes without saying, do taste a little before that innate urge compels you to drown your food in the accompanying soy sauce. Ume is incredibly produce driven and seasonal and the menu is so compelling with it's elegant simplicity that it might just stand out amongst it's other Surry Hill peers.
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