Umami, Strasbourg, 9/23/2013
Umami is a true Japanese cuisine and French cuisine fusion restaurant, located along the canal bank, the prettiest part of the city, in Strasbourg. It is a small restaurant, run by the chef and a server. It served dinner only. It is considered one of the finest restaurants in Strasburg. Strasburg has grown exponentially over the past ten years because many European Union’s administrative bodies are located in Strasbourg.
I had a 5-course tasting menu. The restaurant also served a la carte at dinner.
Amuse Bouche – “Caramelized Pork Belly and Cabbage Salad”. Pork belly was cooked and browned with crispy skin and brown sauce. It was definitely a fusion of east and west. The brown sauce has slight sweet taste. Shredded cabbage salad was Asian style; I can taste the slight sesame oil in the sauce. Salad was very refreshing and balancing with the rich dish of pork belly. My only complaint was the portion could have been larger.
1st Course – “Miso and Sake Marinated Foie Gras, Pickled Plum & Spicy Plum Pulp, Dashi Gelee." I was surprised to see this item on the menu. I requested for the inclusion of this item into my tasting menu and was permitted by the chef/owner. This is a truly unusual combination. I can taste the miso and sake in foie gras. The pickled plum complemented foie gras with a unique taste on my taste bud. Dashi gelee offered a bit of seafood taste in the jelly so that sweetness from the plum was not overwhelming.
6th Course – “Quetsche Plums/Lemon Curd." This is the desert dish. It is the crumb cake with cooked plum at the bottom, served with lemon curd. It is not the most complicated dish, but it showed the chef-owner’s creativity with using plum for many different dishes. After all the guests in the restaurant were served with savory dishes, chef/owner came out to socialize. He speaks English fluently because he interned in Canada many years ago. I complimented on his creativity and fine cuisine and had a picture taken with him.