Umami

Hi everybody!

IMG_2857

As my previous blog post about Le Prose was so popular I thought I would do a couple more of these restaurant review type jobbies whilst I’m out in all these exotic places!

So this is the next restaurant that I want to rave about (the upcoming restaurant review blog posts are all me raving as I like to think of this blog as a positive place full of rainbows and sunshine and smiley emojis.. It took a lot of will power for me to not use the Mean Girls quote there (cakes with rainbows and smiles and all that jazz..!) gosh we’re now in a bracket inside a bracket and it’s all very confusing…! But to be honest or “tbh” as us youths would say, a bit of an annoying thing we say, I must add, I have been lucky enough not to have been to any bad restaurants yet. I might have just jinxed myself…

Anyway, I digress. Looking back at the beginning of the previous paragraph I now realise I just went off on a massive tangent when I was supposed to be telling you about the restaurant. So I shall begin with that before I go off on another tangent.

This restaurant is also in La Grande Motte in France and is a Japanese restaurant right by the seafront. In case you didn’t know what “Umami” means here’s a little story. (Sidenote: I actually knew this story already, because of the foodie expert that I am.. Just sayin’. I was so chuffed that I knew the story I must have repeated it to each person at the table individually, even though I secretly knew that they had already overheard. I just needed to make sure that everyone knew that it was me who knew the story..)

So the story is that there was once a professor called Professor Kikunae Ikeda and one day he tasted a seaweed broth. However, he couldn’t fit the taste sensation of the seaweed broth into any of the four existing categories of taste sensation: sweet, salty, bitter and sour. Therefore he called it “umami” which means “tasty” and that became the last of the five taste sensations. Awww, wasn’t that a lovely moment. Just like story time. Imagine all of us readers in a little circle, having story time together, learning about Professor Kikunae Ikeda.. Awww sweet!

Onto the food now… The good stuff! So on the very frequent occasion that we go to this restaurant, we always get the “Menu Affaires” or the “Menu Decouverte”.. I’m not certain if I got the names right but you get the gist! I know I’m such a professional blogger. In both menus you start off with the same: a bowl of Miso Soup and an Umami Salad and then you can see the differences below for the rest of the meal. If you don’t speak French.. Google Translate/Word Reference are your best friends.. I know they were mine for my AS Levels!

Screen Shot 2015-08-03 at 23.52.50

Yes! I got the names right! ^^^^^

First up, here are some photos of the miso soup. A very light, but tasty broth with some ribbons of seaweed, chopped spring onions and a slice of a mushroom. This is a really nice way to start the meal because it’s so light but full of so much flavour at the same time.

IMG_3963

IMG_3971

Before you have time to say “mmmm” the next dish arrives. (The service is very speedy!) Here we have the “Umami Salad” which is a green leaf salad, dressed with the most gorgeous black sesame dressing and topped with carrot crisps and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Sometimes salads or side salads can be a bit dry and uninteresting at restaurants but this is the total opposite. The dressing has a slight sweetness but also a really nice nuttiness. It’s such an interesting dressing and makes a really nice change to your classic vinaigrette, which you usually get in restaurants.. The crisps are light and not greasy at all and add a really nice delicate crisp together with the pop of the sesame seeds. A fantastic salad!

IMG_3978

IMG_3980

Next up, I chose sashimi! As you can see this plate consisted of salmon, tuna and some kind of unknowntome white fish sashimi, served with pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce, cucumber, lime and white radish… Wow, that was a mouthful! Haha. Get it? “Mouthful?” Because I’m talking about food.. Haha. Ha. Moving swiftly onwards with a small confession that I don’t actually like pickled ginger. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know as a foodie I’m expected to like every single food on the planet but I’m afraid I can’t fit into that stereotype. Whilst we’re on the subject, I’m going to put it out there that I don’t like raw tomatoes either. I thought I just get that out of the way as it’s been eating me up.. Hah! I’m on a (california) roll with the food idioms! Ahh, I do make myself laugh sometimes.. Good one me. *Pats self on the head* So, surprise surprise, this dish was also really great. Fish was so tender it kind of just melted in the mouth and sides complimented it perfectly by giving it crunch, freshness and a bit of a kick and seasoning from the wasabi and soy sauce combined. Fab!

IMG_3989

IMG_3991  IMG_3994

IMG_3988

IMG_3996

Now for the main course. I always choose the prawns. Not because the others aren’t yummy, in fact I’ve tried all of the others and I can honestly, thoroughly recommend them all, but just because this is my all time favourite. The prawns are perfectly cooked and not rubbery at all, they are coated in the most beautifully thin, crisp layer of light tempura batter, which is seasoned to perfection and then there are hits of fried crispy garlic and warm (not scoldyourmouthoutsoyoucannolongertasteanythingyou’reeating) chillis which give the dish even more flavour. Ugh.. Simply divine (Picture me as a really posh food critic in a skirt suit, at a table with a notebook and pen, saying that in a really posh accent elongating the “ine” bit of the word. That’s how I picture it personally but do as you wish.. It’s just quite a fun little game really!)

IMG_2859

Now for the dessert, which I can’t really call dessert, as it was a fruit salad. Albeit not very indulgent, it was very tasty and I liked the way they grated it or perhaps julienned it *insert proud face for using a fancy culinary term* and served it in some fruit juice, because that slightly softened the fruit but still kept the crunch and some bite on the inside.

IMG_3256

IMG_3254

Last and, in this case, probably least, I tried some Sake: Japanese rice wine drink. It was free at the end of the meal (and it came in a really cute, little, mini, wooden, that’salotofadjectives, icebox) so I was like, hey, why not, what could go wrong, I’ll take one. Let’s just say, Sureyya was not a fan of the Sake and some funny faces were pulled. Yes I have photos of those faces, no I am not sharing them.

IMG_4017

IMG_4014

So that marks the end of this lovely culinary trip we’ve taken through the “Menu Decouverte” however I will now just insert some photos, with captions saying what they are, of other people’s food or food I ate on previous visits to Umami because, well, they’re just quite pretty and I want to show them to you! Enjoy!

Jasmine tea:

IMG_3237  IMG_3249

Salmon, tuna and unknown white fish sushi (with a beautiful wasabi ginger rose!):

IMG_2857

IMG_2858

Chicken gyoza:

IMG_3252 (1)

IMG_3253

Moeulleux au chocolat (gooey stuff in the middle chocolate cake!)

IMG_2862

Et voila! There we have it! A little review of Umami. I hope you enjoyed it and I just want to end by saying that I’m very sorry but won’t be able to upload a post for about 5 days due to a lack of wifi in the (surprise) place I’ll be visiting (and blogging from) next! Here is also the link to the Umami Facebook page where you can find the full menu, as I only included a very small insert of it!

Bye bye! 🙂

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s