I may have tried the original sister store of Umi at Capitol in Chinatown at some stage in the past, but my memories are hazy. So it was with an open mind that I wandered into the newer branch of Umi Sushi and Udon at Darling Quarter on a Friday night to take advantage of their daily Happy Hour which runs from 3-7pm. We nabbed ourselves a glass of white wine each and added a bowl of crispy fried salmon skin as a bar snack which is part of the Happy Hour deal.
Angel Cove Sauvignon Blanc 2010, $6
Crispy fried salmon skin, $1 (part of Happy Hour deal)
Umi is a Japanese sushi train with modern décor and the usual train-side seating or bigger tables if you opt to eat from their menu instead of the train. Like many other sushi trains, they have a colour coded plating system which denotes the price of each type of sushi which zooms past. We nibbled on the crunchy and rather addictive deep fried salmon skin bits as we pondered which of the sushi plates tickled our fancy tonight.
We couldn’t let the various aburi offerings go past without sampling them, so we got a plate of salmon and one of the scallop. Both were fairly nice with their slightly smoky blow torched flavour but not particularly remarkable; their aburi sauce wasn’t quite as tasty as some others we’ve tried before.
Aburi salmon, $3
Aburi scallop, $4.60
Their fresh tuna nigiri also wasn’t bad, but it was the seared scallop with cream cheese and cucumber roll which stood out as the winner of the night for us. This was a combination I have never had at any sushi restaurant before and the flavours went surprisingly well together – who would have thought cream cheese and scallops were a great match?
Tuna nigiri, $4.60
Seared scallop with cream cheese and cucumber, $5.60
I’d recommend dropping by Umi during their Happy Hour promotion to take advantage of $4 sake, $5 beers and $6 wines as well as their bargain add on of a selection of bar snacks for just $1. It’s a chilled environment with efficient service and you can eat as much or as little as you want off the sushi train depending on your mood. Side note – there are also some cute training chopsticks on sale for $5.95 next to the cashier if you spend over $20 on the meal; I bought an Angry Birds set for my cousin just for kicks!
Umi Sushi and Udon
Shop TR10 Darling Quarter
1 Harbour St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9283 2006