Friday Night Out: Umi

After watching Alton Brown’s show Good Eats about Tempura, I had a craving for the same. Now, I thought, would be a good time to try out Umi in Shadyside.
While I like sushi, I quickly get bored with it and start to wish I ordered something else halfway through the meal. Not at Umi! I actually was wishing I had ordered more sushi instead of the tempura that Mr. Brown drove me to.
Getting up to Umi was quite an experience. You need to climb three flights of stairs painted with a fun house-like fish mural.
While we had reservations, we still needed to wait over 30 minutes to be seated. That wasn’t a real a real issue except there was no place to wait except for going next door to Soba. We chose to walk around Shadyside and found some other restaurants to try next week.
After finally being seated, I ordered the Seafood Tempura and Min ordered the Sushi Dinner. I also added a Spicy Shrimp Tempura roll to our meals. The dinner started with the usual miso soup, which was very tasty. That was followed by the traditional ginger salad which was also very flavorful.
But the highlight of my dinner was the spicy tempura shrimp rolls. It was so fresh and clean tasting. The order only had 4 rolls, but I was craving more the moment I first tasted them.
The seafood tempura dinner was very good and looked like Alton Brown’s tempura that I watched him make the night before. It even had the little folded paper triangle on the plate. What is that for anyway? The elegant battered shrimp were excellent. They tasted like bacon for some reason. I don’t know how that’s possible, but I wasn’t complaining. Min’s sushi dinner also was very tasty. I tasted some of the tuna maki and they also were fresh and flavorful.

Being still hungry, we sprang for dessert. I had the chocolate maki and Min had the sesame espresso ice cream sandwich. He said the sesame crackers were so delicious, just like the ones from Japan and which you can’t get in the U.S.  Along with my chocolate maki , I ordered a Dubonnet Rouge only because it’s in the lyrics to the theme song to La Cage Aux Folles and I wanted to see what it tasted like.  But I wasn’t “sipping my Dubonnet in the nude” as the lyric go.  The drink wasn’t anything to write home about but the chocolate maki was amazing. It used melon for the ginger, sesame mousse for the wasabi, and a chocolate filled roll for the maki. Very tasty.
I whole-heartedly would recommend Umi. The sushi was probably the best I have had in Pittsburgh. And am still thinking about those spicy shrimp tempura rolls even hours later.

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