Monthly Archives: March 2012

“Umami, also known as savoriness, is one of the five basic tastes together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami is a loanword rom the Japanese umami (うま味) meaning “pleasant savory taste”. -Wiki

Denmark is a small country as a matter of population. A nation of slightly under 6 million people, it is remarkable that the country is a world-beater at many things. Of late, this foremost bastion of industrial and aesthetic design has turned its creative attentions toward food. Umami is one of a few establishments that have sprung up in recent years to challenge and tease your culinary palate.

Taking its inspiration from its namesake, this Japanese-fusion restaurant does everything within its culinary arsenal to evoke the fabled 5th flavour on your tongue. There was a healthy dose of kelp, tomato and seaweed in our dishes, a natural approach to a flavour that we normally associate with the ubiquitous MSG found in all sorts of Chinese cooking. Umami was perfectly competent in its conventional Japanese dishes such as the unagi and it’s sushi and maki platter, but it is to its innovations that we shall turn to.

The salmon and deep fried kelp was a revelation of sorts. The savory one-two punch that the salmon and kelp dealt to my tongue left us gobsmacking our lips in delight, nibbling away at the crispy ends of the delectable seaweed like umami addicted squirrels.

There was a clever use of edamame beans and baby tomatoes in the vegetable dish we ordered, once again a combination of flavours and textures to tickle and tease the tongue. However, the foam that covered the foregoing dishes left us somewhat bemused – tasty, no doubt, but a little bit of a retrospective-throwback to the nineteen-nineties, when Gordon Ramsay as a chef was still worth his salt.

The restaurant itself is separated into the bar and lounge area downstairs, and the main and private dining areas upstairs. It is a wonderful place for a social or business drink, greet, wine and dine occasion, and a swanky night out for people of Copenhagen to see and be seen.

København is a beautiful city and we were lucky to spend some time there with the best food and company. We will do a post on the Danish capital real soon, so keep your eyes peeled. In the meantime, here is something to whet your sweet tooth on. Before we left, we popped by the bakery next to our hotel and managed to taste some of these. Are you drooling already?


66 Kampong Bugis
Singapore 338987 
Tel: +65 6467 3987 ‎

Kilo is exactly the kind of place we like to frequent. What used to be the Raw Kitchen Bar at the old Bukit Timah fire station has decamped to a converted light-industry warehouse along the banks of the Kallang Basin. It is a far flung outpost dedicated to casual dining – low-key, quiet, with food served in hearty bistro portions. The restaurant makes the best use of its surroundings, opening up the premises to the evening breeze and keeping decor to a minimum. In Singapore, where space is a precious commodity, it was liberating to sit in a restaurant where the next table was not an elbow-jostle away.

We started the evening with starters of pan-fried scallops in mushroom and sweet tomato; and tuna tartare with wasabi. The scallops were magnificently succulent. I was surprised at the healthy size of the molluscs. The variety I have grown accustomed to were mostly the bleached, slightly anaemic type served in Chinese restaurants all around the world. The mushroom jus, so liberally drizzled around the plate, was in turns sweet, savoury and tangy, a fitting complement to the scallop.

The tuna tartare in wasabi paste was nice, and we enjoyed pairing it with the pappadum crackers on the side. However, the kick-factor that the wasabi had tantalisingly promised was disappointingly understated. It was detectable in trace amounts, but a little more of that delectable green poison would have done the dish marvels.

At Kilo, it seemed evident that the only distinction Chef Javier makes between food portions is Large and Larger. We shared a main of lamb racks together. The individual racks were reassuringly chunky, with four ribs in the serving instead of the customary three. The lamb was served with a liberal accompaniment of jus, with some extra sauce at the side in case we wanted more.

We went to Kilo for a private, quiet way to spend Christmas together, and the dinner was a memorable one for us. It is rare to find a restaurant with such an unadulterated dedication to serving good food at affordable prices, and we are definitely going back again to have a go at their signature duck leg and cordon bleu.

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