With highly lauded Japanese restaurants like Zuma and Nobu rendering Dubai’s upmarket sushi sphere an intimidating one to reside, Umai has managed to maintain a strong position in the field with a fine selection of pan-Asian dishes boasting both commendable taste and character. Naturally, like all Japanese restaurants of a similar ilk, the cooking station serves as the main centrepiece of the establishment, and – unlike some similar restaurants – the staff are particularly knowledgeable on all the venue’s culinary offerings, right down to the notably impressive wine list.
While Umai may not house quite enough panache to steal the trendy patronage of the Zuma or Okku crowd, it remains a solid choice for those after an eclectic, high quality dose of Japanese cuisine with a pricetag that leans more toward the reasonable – as opposed to ridiculous – end of the spectrum.
The New Yorker roll - a sushi selection that historically restaurants tend to go overboard with cream cheese on, was served up in refreshingly light fashion. A mainstay of Japanese menus it certainly may be, but you’ll do well do find tastier example of it than here.
Spider Roll – Ignore the Wikipedia definition this highly appetising roll and trust us. The main ingredient of soft-shell crab is breaded in tempura batter, deep fried and then wrapped with a host of other ingredients. Banish from your mind any lingering arachnid images, (the spider roll gets its name from the appearance of the crabs legs out the roll’s top) and the result is fantastic.
Vina Esmeralada Torres – Given the expansive array of dishes we plumped for, our waiter did an admirable job of recommending a drop of white that managed to compliment the whole lot. Word to the wise, if you’re being as indulgent as we were in our choice of cuisine, go for a bottle of this tasty Spanish number.