A few days ago, my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. Every year, my husband strives to make it special. This year, in addition to the regular white orchids he sent me, he reserved a table at Umi, a modern Japanese cuisine restaurant in Atlanta. I cannot overstate how delicious the food is at Umi’s. The restaurant, one of the top eateries in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, features Japanese flavors in a sophisticated, contemporary setting.
Chef Fuyuhiko, who began his culinary career at the age of 17, demonstrates what many restaurants don’t have--ravishing dishes prepared from the purest and freshest ingredients. The dishes you find at Umi are unique by their flavors and presentation. Yes, you probably can find raw tuna, but I would be amazed if you would tell me if you had elsewhere tuna carpaccio. I started my dinner with this delectable appetizer—thinly sliced tuna with paper-thin onion and avocado soy vinaigrette. My husband went his own way and ordered the Chutoro—three pieces of medium fatty tuna served in sashimi style. Still, he could not resist my appetizer and ordered that as well.
Among the splendid and flavorable dishes we shared, there were two to mention, the first the Lobster Toban-Yaki, which was delivered to our table on a small cast iron stand. The sizzling lobster was glazed with a soy butter sauce. The first bite took our breath away—a flavor like never before—moist, tender lobster tail that melted in our mouths.
The second dish to mention was a fun dessert—Chocolate Kyu (Q), made by the Chef Lisa Ito. This chocolate sphere creation is filled with fresh berries, red bean pastry cream and mascarpone cream, infused in Yamazaki 18 year whiskey sauce. This dessert comes with two challenges: One, you are given a wooden hammer to crack the sphere (this is the fun part—the sphere is totally edible), and your second challenge is to order it on time—there are only 12 servings available per day.
The bottom line: my husband and I shared a splendid meal in the dining room surrounded by dark walls, blond floors, and ambient lighting. The atmosphere and feel of the restaurant was trendy and modern—a great place to spend an evening. If you want to know just how trendy Umi is, I’ll tell you: We spotted Robert Downey Jr. across the restaurant. And the nice thing, nobody bothered him…I guess it must be very trendy if people like him feel comfortable to dine there.
At the end of the night, the food was phenomenal, customer service by the well-known manager, Amyn Bana, and his staff, was beyond expectations, and seeing Robert Downey Jr. was exciting. But, going home with my husband was the best part.
Oh, and did I mention the gift my husband gave me? How could I leave this out?—the exquisite piece of jewelry… now residing on my finger.
What a wonderful anniversary we shared—I can’t wait until next year.