“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.