Dear fellow tasters,
I’m guessing most of you have that sushi restaurant that you visit regularly whenever you crave some sashimi or unagi. For me, there are a few places in that category but I think I’m going to add Umaku as a new entry to that list. The name Umaku is a Japanese word but is chosen because it sounds similar to the Indonesian word of “rumahku” or Javanese word of “omahku” (both translate to “my house”) with a hope that Umaku may provide delicious food in a place of comfort just like in your own home.
There are currently four branches of Umaku: Cibubur, Tebet, Duren Tiga, and Alam Sutera. I have only been twice to Umaku; the first time was to Umaku Tebet and the second time to Umaku Alam Sutera but so far I have not been disappointed.
Tebet is not a familiar area that I go to often, but one fine Saturday evening, I suggested to my friend that we should try Umaku. The restaurant is not really spacious and the interior might appear to be simple compared to other sushi joints. However, the Japanese-newspaper-printed wall and round paper lanterns lining up the ceiling gave a warm unpretentious feeling that maybe taste rules over appearance.
We ordered five items from the menu to share for two: teka maki (traditional tuna roll sushi), futomaki (big roll with tamago/egg, crab stick, kanpyo/gourd, and tobiko/flying fish roe), spider roll (with soft shell crab and unagi topping), salmon grill cheese, and scallop grill tobiko. The highlights were the spider roll with the generously sliced tasty unagi and crunchy soft shell crab, and the scallop grill tobiko with fresh diced scallop buried underneath the fish roe and special mayonnaise-like sauce.
The second visit happened because of an invitation for a Cyber Dinner with other food bloggers at Umaku Alam Sutera. It is the newest outlet of Umaku and is located at Ruko Alam Sutera Town Center, at the shophouses complex just across the Living World mall and Flavor Bliss. The restaurant is decorated similarly like the Tebet branch with an addition of a second floor dining area.
Prior to dinner, we got to learn some history of Japanese cuisines through a game. Each of us was given a card with a picture and description and we had to find the relationship between the picture and a particular Japanese dish. Lucky for me, I got two cards, the first one with the picture of Japanese monk Nichiren Shonin in relation with Edamame and the second with the picture of Tokyo 1923 earthquake in relation with Sashimi Moriawase. Guess what, I actually answered the first one correctly and as a prize, I got a 50k voucher, thanks to wikipedia, yay! The answer is that the monk was the first to document about edamame in 1275. How interesting.
For the dinner, we were each given food according to the cards. Of course, as foodies, all were curious about how the other dishes tasted. So, sharing did happen and I managed to get several bites of the other items. My sashimi moriawase was a raw fresh fish delight, with slices of sake (salmon), maguro (tuna), tai (snapper), tako (octopus), saba (mackerel), and ika (squid). Meanwhile, the edamame was a tasty light snack, as always.
From the other dishes that I tasted, I would nominate two favorites, the sake kabutoyaki (grilled salmon head) and wagyu robatayaki (grilled skewered wagyu beef slices). I only tried a bite of the sake kabutoyaki but really loved how the fish head was grilled beautifully, not too dry and still juicy, and how it paired off nicely with the sweet and salty sauce. As for the wagyu robatayaki, it was simply a tender beef addiction upon chewing.
Overall, the Umaku Alam Sutera dinner was very enjoyable. The food was great and looking at their price list I can say that they really try to keep sticking to their slogan of “authentic and affordable sushi restaurant”. There were some dishes I didn’t get to try, such as the appetizing-looking karai ramen and volcano sushi, so I guess I’ll save those for my next visit. Arigato Indra-san, Harry-san, and Natalia-san for the lovely Umaku dinner.
Thank you for the food. ごちそうさまでした。 Gochisōsama-deshita!
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – spider roll, sashimi moriawase, sake kabutoyaki
What to try next time – karai ramen, volcano sushi
Damage around 80k/pax the first visit, 0/pax the second
Umaku Alam Sutera
Ruko Alam Sutera Town Center 10 No. E9
Ph: +6221 943811633