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chocomoo

Umami on Davie

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I'm looking to try out Umami this Friday with some of my friends. Has anyone been? Should I just stick to Hapa Izakaya?

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I went recently. Very different place than Hapa Izakaya - ambiance is quiet and low key. Food is not particularly Asian - rack of lamb, duck breast, daube of oxtail, arugula salad with proscuitto and pear, sausage etc. Somewhat meat oriented which was fine for me, but a challenge for my vegetarian companion. There's definitely some Asian twists - a few edamame, shiso leaves, Asian saucing green tea tiramasu for dessert, etc. Trying more for a Bin 941 type of dish than Hapa. Short but good by the glass wine list. I didn't look at the full wine list, but I'm betting it is good too.

I think they need to do some work on the menu and the execution - it is a little hit and miss. My prawns on risotto cake with edamame did not sing - the prawns were pretty good but a little over-cooked, the risotto did nothing to highlight the prawns, and was too heavy on the cheese. The arugula and prosciutto salad tasted good but the pears were sliced way too thick and it was piled in a rather unattractive and difficult to tackle mound. Service was pleasant, but a little too hovering. I've heard some raves about other dishes so maybe they are still finding their feet. I'd go back because I see lots of potential.

If you want a Hapa Izakaya experience Umami is not trying to go there. If you want to go to a quiet spot with a little jazz playing, have a dinner of small plates along with a glass or bottle of wine, Umami is your spot.


Cheers,

Anne

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Thanks barolo! I probably won't be going to Umami anymore--I told my friend about some of the dishes and she didn't sound especially excited. Maybe I'll go some other time!


Edited by chocomoo (log)

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Make sure you consider Gyoza King for Japanese style tapas. The food is excellent and the place is cozy in a Bin 941 sort of way.


David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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Oh yes! I forgot about Gyoza King! Hmmm....

How about Yuji's? I just read an article about it in today's Vancouver Sun. Now I'm considering going there...

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We tried Yuji's when it was first opened. The restaurant was very similar to when it was Taka's - simple and modern. The food was tasty and certain items on the menu were quite interesting, eg. tofu sushi set (three cubes of tofu each with a different topping - chopped scallops, marinated tuna, etc.). Compared to Umami, Yuji is definitely leaning more towards Japanese cuisine. However, we thought the services was a bit lacking and portions were small for the price. Nevertheless, I still think it's worth a try - maybe they have smoothed out some wrinkles.

In Gastown (in the Landing building), there is another new Japanese tapas restaurant opened a few months ago - Guu Kita no Otokomae. It's along the same idea - western influenced Japanese tapas in urban setting. The food was not bad, but not as polished as some of the other restaurants, eg. En or Japone.

After trying Hapa, Guu, En, Japone, Wabi Sabi, Yuji, etc., I still think Hapa is best for food quality and variety, ambience, price and decor.

I have yet to try Umami and Dan.

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A quick question about Gyoza King--what's good besides gyoza?

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In a word: everything! I really have not had anything dissapointing there but some favourites are the corn & crab rolls, the teriyaki chicken ramen, and Mrs. A absolutely loves the Ebi Mayo. We have been there many times and always enjoy it, but get there early because it lines up.

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The shrimp gyoza, gyoza, tofu dishes, and Kimchi rice were my favorites. The Udon broth is slightly sweet, which I liked but some may not. Very likable people working there. Just be patient and wait outside.


David Cooper

"I'm no friggin genius". Rob Dibble

http://www.starlinebyirion.com/

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A quick question about Gyoza King--what's good besides gyoza?

I actually don't like their gyoza very much, but I guess I'm in the minority. I prefer the Chinese-style gyoza (pork and chive dumplings).

At Gyoza King, I like the kimchi fried rice the best. I also love the beef sashimi with the raw quail egg. :biggrin:

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