Take a trip to Asia! Start by visiting Japan, continue to China and finish in Thailand. UMI is Mtayleb’s latest Asian restaurant proposing a cuisine from the four corners of the far-east. On the menu, the three country flags are represented.
Soups, skewers, and sushi from Japan, boats and platters, noodles and rice. Soups, hot pots, and platters from China. Soups and platters from Thailand.
The first impression: the place is cold. Restaurant logo is too white, ambiance is white and cold. Too big, the restaurant lacks coziness. The restaurant needs carpets and paintings. Lights are badly distributed leaving black spots around the restaurant. Music is too loud and leaves unpleasant echos.
Welcoming, the owner takes care of the orders, keeps going in and out to the kitchen checking on the food and following up on the orders. What’s great is that the restaurant also has Ramen! Ask for the separate menu.
Fifty minutes passed... Let’s eat and see:
- Ramen with corn; that’s a premiere for me! Overcooked ramen in their sauce. They are good enough for someone who’s experiencing this kind of food for the first time. I believe it’s not their specialty.
- Crispy Salmon salad with crunchy crisps: good quality and not too creamy.
- Crab sticks with mango cubes: a bit too sweet for my taste.
- The UMI special is interesting! Ripe avocado served warm, a load of teriyaki sauce, and a light crunch with a handful of salmon cubes.
- Maki rolls: no mayo which is good, rice that’s not sticky much, good quality of seafood but a lack of flavors. It’s fast-casual sushi quality that needs that missing extra mile. I hate seeing that green plastic leaf! Used to separate the rolls and under them, as a decorative item, they cheapen the plates.
- Order the flaming maki served on a bed of blue flames. A nice sauce, cold and hot feeling, enjoyable sweetness and fresh seafood. Dragon on another hand is loaded with mayonnaise; it’s too heavy.
- Chinese is not good: meat is chewy, the sauce is salty, and shrimp sauce is too gooey and sticky. I didn’t even like rice. Lemon chicken is way too lemony to be swallowed; I liked the chicken quality though.
Unfortunately, it's not an experience I'll repeat.
- Change the music.
- Train the waiters.
- Train the kitchen to be faster.
- Add more warmth and decor to the restaurant architecture.
- Remove Chinese food from the menu.
- Get a professional to work on every missing detail that makes of UMI a restaurant you won't feel like trying again.
I was not impressed but strongly believe the restaurant has a room for improvement.