A few weeks ago I was invited to a Private Media Preview Night at Umami Japanese Bistro in Baton Rouge. U M A M I formally known as Hello Sushi, is located near the LSU Campus. The owner Chef Cong Nguyen and his goal for U M A M I is to bring inventive, modern sushi and Japanese Cuisine.
My immediate thought of the restaurant when I first walked in was a High-end, Uptown feel. The decor was contemporary with a modern touch. I really liked the simplicity of the color pallet.
We arrived early which allowed me some time to take photos and look around. As I approached my table, my name was on the table along with a nice portfolio menu.
We started with something to drink. I am a fruity girl so of course I went with a Shirley Temple. Nice touch to serve it in a Mason Jar.
During the Media Preview we were able to enjoy a few samples. First up was the U M A M I Salad.
The U M A M I Salad consisted of spring mix, cucumbers, seaweed & red onions tossed in a house made miso vinaigrette and topped with feta cheese. The salad was refreshing, light and very tasty.
Above is the Crispy Calamari with sweet Chili Aioli and garnished with sesame seeds and green onions. The Calamari was fried perfectly, crispy and with a great texture. The Aioli added a nice kick. So good.
Above is the U M A M I Roll which is a sushi roll with Tempura Shrimp, spicy tuna, jalapeños. Topped with a piece of seared tenderloin, feta cheese, fried shallots, green onions and a sweet soy reduction. Mmmmm good.
I must admit the feta cheese threw me off at first sight, but the sushi roll was delicious. The sushi roll offered different textures and the presentation was beautiful.
Our last sample was the Brussels Sprouts. Let me just say, I am not a fan of Brussels Sprouts but I tried the sample anyway. Good stuff. The flavors balanced really well and the brussels sprouts had a little crunch. The sprouts were sautéed and tossed in the house made sweet chili sauce and garnished with cilantro and red onions.
Following the Media Preview was the U M A M I ‘ S Grand Opening. Chef Cong and his staff were preparing such beautiful dishes, I was intrigued to go over and view some of the dishes.
Below are the Oyster Shooters. Fresh oysters with Tabasco Vinaigrette, masago, scallions and roasted sesame seeds. The presentation was incredible. We didn’t try these, but I wish we would have. Beautiful.
The dish below is the Enoki Mushroom. The mushroom is seared on placed over rice with a Yo sauce and garnished with green onions. The presentation of each dish was impeccable.
Below is the Yellow Fin Tuna. A beautifully presented dish. As you can see, each dish was thought out and served with excellence.
The hubby and I tried a few more items from the menu. Below is the Edamame. The Edamame was a classic Edamame nothing different than any other place I have eaten Edamame.
The Tokyo Egg Roll was a Small Plate. The roll consisted of shrimp, snow crab and cilantro, fried crisp and served with UMAMI’s house made sweet chili sauce. Golden brown, spicy sauce, but married well with the egg roll. A delicious small plate.
Being that we are huge LSU Tiger fans, we decided to try the Tiger Sushi Roll. The roll consisted of fresh tuna, salmon, snow crab, tempura shrimp, avocado, asparagus & tempura flakes topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce, masago and sesame seeds.
The sushi was tasty with beautiful colors and the right amount of eel sauce and spicy mayo.
We ordered a large bowl of the Hangover Soup but shared and they were kind enough to separate the soup for us in our own bowls. The Hangover is Fresh Japanese Ramen noodles in a spicy miso broth. Served with marinated pork, seaweed, soft boiled egg, scallions and chili garlic oil. OMG!
This was the best soup I have ever had. The soup had incredible flavors. The soup was presented beautifully. Superb!!
Lastly we tried the Green Tea 12 layer Crepe. The dessert was 12 layers of delicate Crepes filled with a delicious green tea mousse. Topped and dusted with Matcha tea. The dessert was delicate and smooth with an interesting texture. My only complaint was that presentation on the dessert could have been a little better. Maybe by adding fruit, but that’s just my opinion.
Chef Cong and his wife are pictured below. My husband and I had a chance to chat with the couple for a few minutes. They were very down to earth and very welcoming.
We were very impressed with the food, environment and overall look of the restaurant. Chef Cong’s creativity and vision is definitely delivered through the food. Each dish qs intricately prepared and served. I love seeing him and his wife working along side their wonderful staff.
Overall our time at U M A M I was incredible. Special shout out to our waitress Jeanne. She did an incredible job of serving us and answering whatever questions I had for her.
We can’t wait to go back again and again to dine with U M A M I. Be sure to go and check out U M A M I and tell them Da’ Stylish Foodie sent you!
U M A M I is located at 3930 Burbank Drive in Baton Rouge, LA. The Hours of Operation are Mon. – Thurs. 11:00 am – 9:30 pm, Fri. – Sat. 11:00 am – 10:30 pm & Sun. 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm.