ABOUT THE WRITER: Katelyn likes to think of herself as a stereotypical writer in the movies; she wears glasses, her diet consists of English Breakfast tea’s, her dream flat is a studio apartment in London, and oh yes – one day she wants to publish her own book. You can find all of her musings here.
Still stuck in a food coma from last night, the official menu launch of Umami Brisbane was received with salivating mouths and adoring eyes from fellow Asian food lovers.
In celebration of the new-looking Umami Restaurant and Bar, dinner guests were prepared to witness the ultimate experience of umami; the mysterious ‘fifth taste’ in our gastronomic evolution. Bringing Asia’s vibrant food & lively drinking culture to Brisbane, Umami dishes are carefully curated and pieced together to bring a fantastic experience of flavour, texture and scent to Fortitude Valley. All dishes are unique and designed by head award winning chef Minh Le.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a bubble tea styled Pina Colada with a little hello surprise from coconut jellies travelling up through your straw. You enter a space that is dimly lit in a red and blue underground styled glow; it’s intimate and creative dressed up with a modern, urban and authentic flair.
Once seated and the cameras are brought out, the food begins. With an enticing selection and display of culinary Asia delights, Umami presented us with entrée dishes such as cheese Croquette’s, Vietnamese grilled Pork Mince skewers, Viet Fried Chicken wings and Edamame. Sounds filling? Just wait. The tables were soon cleared and magically re-filled with DIY Lemon Grass Beef Rice Paper Tofu & Asian Greens, Salmon Tartare, Vietnamese chicken coleslaw and a Brisket Red Curry. The elements and flavours were like nothing my tastebuds had ever experienced. Right when you think you are tasting something savoury and salt, your tongue rolls around and suddenly you’re in sugar heaven. It’s here that you knowingly look with an understanding realisation at your dinner mates, and simultaneously all say, “Ahh Umami, we get it now”.
At this point, everyone is hugging their tummies with complete satisfaction, and some of us still on the first Pina Colada, others well past two. As quirky cocktails were promised, they were soon delivered…in frosted smoked tea pots. In an Asian styled Mad Hatter tea party, you are looking straight into the eye of Umami’s shared cocktail, the Smoking Eye of The Dragon, a spiced passionfruit and peached concoction mixed with white and gold rums.
By now I’m getting changed to sleep in my food coma, when a few exquisite desserts get placed before us. Let me set the dinner table image for you. There was The Astro Bo(y)mb, a liquid nitrogen bomb that when cracked oozes lemon curd and passionfruit jelly, and a Berry me Pann(d)acotta, a lemongrass & coconut infused panacotta with berry consommé. The perfect ending to an innovative, flavoursome and shining menu tasting.
To try Umami’s incredible new menu firsthand, visit their restaurant located on the corner of Chinatown in Fortitude Valley. Head over to their Facebook page, Instagram and website for more information.