Umami Restaurant & Bar | Shop 2, 624 Ann Street, FORTITUDE VALLEY QLD 4006

noun. a category of taste in food (besides sweet, sour, salt, and bitter), corresponding to the flavour of glutamates, especially monosodium glutamate.

Umami, a word so foreign yet it’s already created a buzz amongst food lovers in BrisVegas. Allow me to introduce you to one of the Brisbane food scene’s newcomers - Umami Restaurant, a place that will allow you to explore that fifth taste with dishes presented in a share plate format curated by award winning Chef Minh Le, who rose to fame quickly with his talented creations at The Foraging Quail

Nestled at the corner of Ann and Duncan Streets, Umami is dark and mysterious. Stepping inside the restaurant the first thing that you will notice is a glass panel which provides an insight into the action of the kitchen. Dark walls surround an intimate and sleek setting with touches of timber and copper accents. Upon arrival, I was greeted by the maître d’ and lead to my table, a circular booth cradled by wooden panels. I browsed through the drinks menu as I waited for rest of the party to arrive. Amongst other drinks, the restaurant has an impressive selection of both classic and modern cocktails with Asian influences, including the Vietnamese Espresso Martini which has condensed milk (yum!), and Ginger Bite. I asked for a lychee & rose mojito - white rum, lychee liqueur, rose syrup, lime juice and fresh mint topped with soda; it was deliciously refreshing. 

Snacks quickly came out when the rest of the guests arrived. We were there to try the yet to be released new menu at Umami and Chef Minh Le had us intrigued all night as we had no idea what was coming out next. Before we received the share plates, we snacked on some coal grilled prawns with herb oil and dill, Nam Neung - grilled pork skewers as well as some lightly fried edamame with ponzu sauce; seasoned with nori and black salt.  Those edamame beans were so addictive, the entire bowl was pretty much gone before our next dish. Although I must admit that I personally loved the grilled pork skewers as well. 

The menu here is designed to be shared (but hey, no judgment here if you want the dishes all to yourself). As our culinary journey continued, we were presented with confit pork jowl, celeriac, eggplant, edamame, miso emulsion, salt bush lamb belly, young pickled vegetables, chilli jam, sweet potato, as well as the wagyu strip loin, duck fat potato, carrot, zucchini, with a chicken w’ Asian slaw on the side. All the dishes were presented in such an immaculately delightful way, and it was hard to pick a favourite as each dish had its own character. If one had to be picked, I’d go for the confit pork jowl, as the meat was incredibly tender, slightly sticky, rich but not fatty, and last but not least, extremely flavoursome.  

If by the end of your main course, you still have room for dessert (I mean, who doesn’t?!) then the signature nine textures of chocolate is not to be missed; or if you would prefer something slightly more refreshing, try the piña colada cigar with rum pineapple gel, coconut panna cotta, spiced coconut ice cream. 

I really couldn’t fault the experience, including the service that we received which was attentive and always with a smile. I’m already looking forward to taking the other travel bunnie there for dinner one night so he can share the same joy that I had when I devoured every single dish I had on the night.

Umami is a new era for Chef Minh Le. If The Foraging Quail was where this chef tested his skills and moulded his career, not to mention earned a Chef’s Hat, then Umami will only lead this Gault & Millau Awards Chef of the Year Finalist to something even more outstanding. 

Disclaimer: with thanks to Umami Restaurant for welcoming DolceBunnie to the property as an invited guest. Please note that my opinion is as always, my own.

Umami Restaurant & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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