Thursday, May 19, 2011
First Time at Hapa Umi
I've been looking forward to trying Hapa Umi for weeks now and after two months, I'm glad to say I had visited them two times, so this post will be a longer one combining the two visits.
One of my favourite items from the two visits was the Sashimi Salad. The baby root vegetables are too cute! There were 8 pieces of sashimi in total, two each of ahi tuna, toro, albacore and some sockeye. The light citrus-soy dressing was a great complement to the delicate greens and sashimi. It's loaded with butter lettuce, mini root veggies like carrots and radishes and even some asparagus.
Another must-try is the Kaisen Don - the bowl presentation is amazing, a bowl of sushi rice and topped with tons of sashimi as well as fish cake and tomago too. The ebi and ikura are a nice touch too. The fish is sliced nicely and evenly, with a little bit of shiso thrown in to lighten things up.
Another great dish to try is their Scallop roll. There is nori in it, as you can see but that is just wrapped around the scallop, cucumber and mayo. A layer of rice surrounds that roll, and then it wrapped again in a delicate egg crepe skin. So pretty and tasty. Large chunks of scallop and great crunch from the cucumber.
Here's a closeup of the roll. Not too large to be unwiedly, but filling if you ate all 6 pieces by yourself.
We also sampled the Dynamite Roll. I like how they used green bean instead of the usual avocado at most places. I also liked the ratio of prawn to rice...yes the prawn is quite big, but I am glad then didn't try to make the roll appear bigger than it actually was, by padding with rice.
We also got the their Bento Box which features four Umi specialties and are changing based on fresh ingredients. That day, ours came with a potato salad, with large chunks of potatoes on a mayo based dressing. I've heard that the Bento has undergone some changes so please remember that this is from a few months ago.
Another dish was the Unagi on top of a bed of greens cucumbers...really nice and tender. Don't let the size of the unagi fool you, it's got big flavours!
And another side dish was the salmon maki...with some gomae on the side. What I like about the presentation is that although there was a main component in each dish, the accompaniment is well thought out and beautifully executed.
The fourth item of the bento box is their halibut tempura. Essentially beer-battered fish, but so much more than that. The fish inside is moist and flaky, and the crunch on the batter can't be beat. The tartar sauce is creamy and nicely flavoured with dill.
Here is the full box as served. I started with the salad, moved over to the unagi, then the roll, and finished off with the halibut tempura. My aim was to go from light flavours to rich, and i think I succeeded. All items are subject to change based on fresh ingredients too.
The bento is also accompanied with their takikomi gohan, complete with carrots, mushroom and bamboo. It was unexpected but I believe their menu has changed to include simply steamed rice to go with their bento box.
And no good bento is complete without miso soup and I am happy to report this is no exception!