Much has changed since Sushi Umi first opened its doors Easter 2009. The restaurant has expanded from a single room eatery and takeout to two rooms with an expanded menu and a liquor licence. Despite the changes, the quality of food has remained consistent and is always beautifully presented. Don and I are frequent visitors and have introduced many friends to Sushi Umi. After doing a quick check of the foodiePrints archive, I realized that we have written very little about this great place. Determined to change that, we dropped by for dinner two weeks ago after seeing a sign on the sidewalk advertizing a new noodle special. How could I say no to that?
Like many sushi houses, Sushi Umi offers the standard maki rolls, sashimi, nigiri, bento boxes, tempura, and udon noodles (stir-fried and noodle soup). In 2011, the chef-owner created a blackboard of sushi specials. Most recently, other items were added. With so many new specials (including tuna tataki: thinly sliced seared tuna on a bed of seaweed salad – $9.95 and robata shrimp: chopped broiled shrimp with imitation crab and avocado – $5.95), we didn’t know where to begin.
After much debate, we settled on a pair of appetizers: a basket of vegetable and shrimp tempura ($5.95) from the regular menu and a plate of takoyaki ($5.95) from the blackboard.
Takoyaki (fried octopus balls or dumplings) are a favourite with Don, ever since I first introduced them to him during a trip to Vancouver. Crispy on the outside, but moist on the inside, there is a piece of octopus in each dumpling. Sprinkled with some bonito flakes, this appetizer was a nice way to start the meal. However, Don prefers the street-food style version, made with rocket-hot cast-iron molds, bamboo skewers, and really quick hands. Sushi Umi’s were deep fried.
As usual, the vegetable and shrimp tempura were satisfying.
Noodles are one of my essential food groups. In fact, I love all kinds of noodles, but there’s something about ramen noodles that just makes my mouth water. With only two choices, I decided on the chicken ramen ($8.50) while Don opted for the seafood ramen ($9.50).
Although we found the soup too sweet, the packaged noodles were cooked al dente. Mine contained a generous helping of seared chicken, while Don’s bowl was complete with shrimp, scallop, and mussels. While this was not necessarily the most authentic bowl of noodles, it was very warming on a cold winter night.
Overall, it was a very filling and enjoyable meal. We finished our dinner with some slices of orange and some handmade cookies shaped into cute birds.
Total: $33.79 (after taxes, before tip)
1311 Wellington St West
Dine in, Take-out