Sampling the Delights at Umu: A Stellar Japanese Dining Adventure in Mayfair, London

Welcome to the world of exceptional gastronomy, where each dish is a work of art and each bite a revelation. Today, I take you into the refined world of Umu restaurant, nestled in the heart of Mayfair, London. Prepare for an exceptional culinary journey, where tradition and innovation meet to offer an unforgettable experience for the senses.

A Hidden Gem in the Heart of Mayfair

Umu, the Japanese restaurant nestled in the chic Mayfair district of London, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. With its well-established reputation and ability to maintain a star Michelin for eight consecutive years, Umu offers an authentic and sophisticated culinary experience to food lovers. Japanese cuisine.

A Discreet and Soothing Decor

At first glance, Umu can be easily missed. Situated on a curving lane called Bruton Place, it blends discreetly into the cityscape. Inside, the setting is calming with its wooden panels, soft lighting and somewhat reflective walls decorated with wooden designs. You can choose to sit at chefs counter, where their skill with cold dishes is on full view, or at a table for a more distant view of this theatrical cuisine.

A Warm Welcome

The staff welcomes you warmly, offering careful attention to detail from the start, with a traditional hot towel to signal the start of your Japanese meal. This hospitality sets the stage for what is to follow; a tasting menu Kaiseki elaborate and carefully orchestrated.

The Summer Kaiseki Tasting Menu

The summer tasting menu created by chef Ryo Kamatsu is an ode to the mountainous region of Kyoto. It begins with Mukazuke, a seasonal sashimi dish, and builds in flavor intensity as you progress through the seven courses, culminating with a surprisingly delicious corn-based dessert.

The Delights of the Sea

The menu honors Japan’s island heritage, with refined dishes like Mukozuke served cold, fusing Cornish lobster claw with translucent Tokoroten noodles. This dish is an adventure in contrasting textures, although the Tokoroten noodles, made with tengusa seaweed, may not please everyone.

Subtle and Delicate Soups

Next comes Nimonowan, a clear and fine soup made with kombu and bonito, served with seabass steam, slices of zucchini and a square edamame cake. As advised, it is best to sip the soup before enjoying the fish and vegetables.

Sashimi and Sushi Dishes

The menu continues with a selection of sashimi and sushi, featuring Scottish langoustines and seabream red, garnished with beluga caviar and fresh wasabi. Each piece can be enjoyed without adding soy.

Crispy and Tasty Tempura

The highlight for many will be the Agemono “Matsukasa” amadai tempura, a fried tail fish served with crystal salt and amadai fish sauce, offering a perfectly crispy texture and exquisite flavor.

An Earthly Climax

The savory part of the meal ends with Yakimono, thin slices of Welsh lamb served with smoked eggplant, gobo, Tokyo leek and a pine nut miso sauce. This dish offers a welcome break from previous maritime flavors.

An Innovative Dessert

For dessert, the chef offers a “corn parade” featuring peach and cherry marmalade, corn custard in a corn sponge cake with crispy shards of corn. Due to a peach allergy, the chef kindly adapted the dessert so that I could safely enjoy this unique and sweet creation.

Useful information

The menu is £250 for two people.

  • Food and Wine or Sake Pairing: £120
  • Food and Sparkling Wine Pairing: £200
  • Food and Wine Pairing or Prestige Sake: £240
  • Non-Alcoholic Food Pairing: £80

Address: 14 – 16 Bruton Place, London W1J 6LX. To find out more, visit Umu Restaurant