Friday, July 22, 2016

Umai 鵜舞 (Hong Kong, CHINA) ★★★★☆

Ever since our beloved chef left Nishiki Yakitori late last year, I have yet to find myself a good replacement yakitori bar. I am hoping Umai (鵜舞) could be that place tonight. Located on the ground floor of D2 Place in Lai Chi Kok, this is one of those new wave of modern eateries surfacing in the area that is creating some buzz. Personally, I really like the traditional Japanese izakaya decor; let's hope the skewers are equally as good.

We were getting a little hungry right from the start so a couple of things from the sushi bar to get us going first. The hand rolls were not bad at all.

Slightly less successful were the sushi but hey, we were just buying time for our skewers anyways.

I forgot when I started falling in love with deep fried burdock but I can tell you these were seriously good, especially with the right touch of Japanese seven spice powder. Excellent start.

While Umai belongs to the same group as Yayakiya (another Japanese izakaya in TST), the food menu is entirely different. In particular, there're much fewer choices when it comes to skewers which was slightly discouraging.

Pork belly roll with asparagus - Very nice. The pork belly was very juicy and tender, meshing well with the green asparagus.

Grilled pork fillet - Initially I thought they were way too dry (and hard) for my liking but after a few bites, the lovely savory taste started to sink in. A bit like "pork jerk" if you ask me but a pretty tasty one.

Grilled chicken wings - Probably the best dish of the night (along with the deep fried burdock). I'm always a bit skeptic about ordering chicken wings at an izakaya because most often than not, there're way over-seasoned but not these ones. They did a great job seasoning these wings and the combination of crispy skins and juicy meat made this dish a clear winner.

Grilled Ox tongue - This is one dish I always order at an izakaya. Was expecting something a little more flavorful.

Believe it or not, this was what I came here for in the first place after catching a glimpse of it on Instagram. Yes, the ever-popular raindrop cake!

This was a lot of fun. Tasted very much like a flan jello (but without any flavors). I like the sesame powder and kuromitsu (brown sugar syrup) giving it a bit of texture and flavor.

Looks like I have finally found a replacement for Nishiki and this is much closer to where I hang out too!

Food Rating: 6/10
Price: $$$
Address: Shop 2, G/F, D2 Plaza, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Closest Metro Station: Lai Chi Kok
Tel: +852 2743-8011

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