We cycled to Eveleigh farmers market for the very first time. The upside was that it was quicker than driving and eliminated the frustration of trying to find a park in the area. The downside is not being able to get everything I wanted as there is a limitation of how much we can carry on our bikes! However, it also made me more conscious of what I really needed to get and not over indulge and waste. It felt good and we will definitely bike to the markets more often now. And we can reward ourselves with yummy goodies from Bird, Cow, Fish.
Some of you that do follow me on twitter or somewhere may have caught up that we are moving again. Our next door neighbours are renovating for the next 8 months and more. There is no way that we are paying quite high rent and having to put up with noise and dust. Weekends are now filled with house hunting activities. We hate to move because we have do much S**T! House hunting makes us hungry. We were just round the corner of Ume and thought “Why the heck NOT?!?” How can I ever leave Surry Hills? No camera? No worries. Skip and hop and I’ve got my camera while Mister headed in first and sorted out a nice and bright seating spot.
I need to improve on my location type photos. I am not doing this place any justice. The space is quite narrow and has a nice sheltered outdoor area at the back. The music is very….. tranquil. The interior is simple and Japanese.
I looked up Ume and it means plum flowers. And plum flowers in Japanese also means devotion. There is painting of plum blossoms on one side of the wall. Pretty, delicate and is this what we will be expecting from the food?
The first dish set the tone for the rest of the meal. It was a pretty, delicate and mouth watering salmon belly sashimi. I think the wasabi is freshly grated. The colour is more pale and tastes so yum! The rolled belly at the top has a fine seaweed rolled in with it. I want more of the pickled ginger. And the white miso paste with the fatty fish and a dash of wasabi soya made @jeroxie a very very happy girl.
Shameless plug – If you have not followed me on twitter and instagram – PLEASE DO! @jeroxie on both twitter and instagram
The next dish is the only dish that we thought was a little meh. We should have listened to P.J. Choroomi (Manager and Sommelier) and ordered the Kingfish instead. But the seared scallop carpaccio has been a popular choice and I was intrigued by the soy brown butter and thought the finger lime would add a nice zing to it. It was a very pretty dish but lacked body if that made sense? But I do like the textural difference between the almost crunchy wood sorrel and soft and thinly sliced scallops. Why did it taste a little bland? Not sure? It might have been missing the almost charred or seared taste or just needed a light touch of seasoning? However, Terry Durack thought otherwise. Personal preference maybe?
The tako or octopus dish is amazing. The octopus was slow braised or was it sou vide? Anyway, it was very tender, slightly charred and held its shape very well. What is Japanese dish without daikon. It was al dente which means it still has a nice bite to it. The sauce was sweet and salty from the octopus. It is very seldom that I come across a place that cooks octopus well and perfectly. If you need a benchmark for octopus, then take it from Ume. This dish may look simple but it need perfection to make it delicious.
I love the rich and fatty and comforting pork belly. Don’t expect to get this at Ume but it did not disappoint either. The pork crackling was wafer thin and a light crunch. It’s like thin pork cracker. The pork belly and the skin itself was slow cooked for 13 hours. The skin was soft and jelly like. Not everyone will be accustomed to this texture but I love it. It reminds me of a Chinese technique and it does require a long cooking time. The flavour of the pork shone through but not in an offensive way. I love the hot miso mustard (karashi) dotted on the side. It was actually pretty hot! We were warned. The pork belly sat on a sweet dashi broth and sweet potato puree? Delicious.
We decided not to end with any sushi rolls which is the way they do it here and the Japanese do it as well. We decided that a dessert each will end this meal in weekend bliss. No green tea ice cream here! Hooray! I ordered Kaki. It’s roasted persimmon with Christmas bush honey. The 3 little half balls are roast tea jelly. And it seems that rice ice cream is now everywhere. The second time this week I had rice ice cream. The freeze dried raspberries gave this dish the tang to cut through all the cream and richness. The sprinkling dust is kinako or rather soy bean flour. I love the lightness of this dessert and how it has steered away from the usual and uninteresting Japanese dessert.
Mister went for the dark chocolate terrine. It was accompanied by whipped blood orange, ginger ice cream, matcha powder and chopped Macadamia nuts. This is also the second time I had ginger ice cream this week! Hmmmm…. is Asian flavoured ice cream the new it flavours? The dark chocolate terrine was very dense and rich. It needed the blood orange and ginger to smooth it all out. And I love the touch of candied lime zest. It brought a sense of freshness to the dish. If you love dark and rich chocolate, this is for you.
Mister and I love Ume. And we shall be back to try the rest of the dishes.
478 Bourke Street Surry Hills NSW 2010 Tel: (02) 9380 7333
View Larger Map