Time Out Says
With so many fancy hotels bursting at the seams with great restaurants, it’s easy to dismiss mall-based eateries out of hand. Umi Fusion, however, is definitely worth a look.
On the third floor of the new extension at Al Wahda Mall, right next to where the food court will soon be, Umi Fusion looks like a fairly blank canvas – a small kitchen in the back and then lots of tables and chairs in neat formation shows they are confident they will have plenty of custom. On the weekday lunchtime that we visited, however, we were one of only three tables occupied.
The menu is split into Japanese, Chinese and Thai – each section acting independently from the others and offering starters, mains and nibbles from that particular cuisine. It isn’t a small menu either, and when a kitchen claims to be able to cover more than one cuisine and a lot of dishes from each it often rings alarm bells for us. But we’re brave folk, so we sucked it up. We did decide to stick to the Japanese portion of the menu though.
We started with some edamame and a seaweed salad. The edamame was brought to the table seconds after it had finished cooking and was nicely seasoned with a generous sprinkling of sea salt. The beans themselves were a tad over-cooked, but only by a small margin and were still very satisfying. The seaweed salad (hiyashi wakame) is not one of our usual Japanese orders, but we might have to include it in our regular rotation from now on. It was fresh and zingy, packed with flavour thanks to a delicious dressing, with a unique, slightly slippery texture that we found very enjoyable.
For mains we ordered the niku udon soup, some salmon sashimi and a portion each of salmon and unagi (eel) nigiri sushi. The niku udon, beef with udon noodles, was not the hugest bowl but we struggled to finish it all the same. It was positively jammed with chewy udon noodles, thin slices of tender beef and flavour-bomb shitake mushrooms. It was very satisfying, although the broth itself was a little on the sweet side for our palate. The salmon sashimi was very good indeed. The salmon was fresh and of excellent quality and the slices were generously cut. Similarly the salmon nigiri and the unagi nigiri were of good quality and tasted fresh, however if we could make one complaint it would be that the rice-to-fish ratio was a little too heavily weighted in the rice’s favour.
This is not the most exciting Japanese food you’ll find in the city, but if you need sustenance while shopping or are just in the area and want a quick bite then this is an excellent option. We will definitely make a return visit and plan to explore more of the menu when we do.
The bill (for two)
Hiyashi wakame Dhs45
Niku udon Dhs69
Salmon sashimi Dhs45
Salmon sushi Dhs35
Unagi sushi Dhs50
Total (excluding service) Dhs262
By Time Out Abu Dhabi staff | 09 Jul 2013
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