Oh me, Oh my, Oh Umai-ya

I always equate the Klang Valley with great Japanese food. Somehow Penang just doesn’t have as many good Japanese restaurants.

I remember when I stayed in The Eastin during one of my business trips sometime back, I savored the excellent Japanese food at the Japanese restaurant in the hotel. I was travelling by myself then. Grabbed myself the daily newspaper, traipsed down to the restaurant at about 8:00p.m., and ordered a meal fit for a queen 🙂

I also remembered having had great Japanese buffet meals in KL, with a delectable spread that left every diner for want of more.

Last Sunday I had the chance to try another Japanese restaurant, this time in Damansara Uptown. Called Umai-ya, the restaurant is sandwiched between Izzi and Starbucks. They have an area for tatami-like seating, where the tables are lowered in such a way to allow patrons to be seated in a normal way but the table height is at chest level. We chose not to dine this way because there was no way we could fit a baby chair in.

The bento sets were priced quite reasonably, and we each ordered one. I, of course, had to order the sashimi set.

Freshness is essential when it comes to eating sashimi, and I was pleased to note that each and every piece was succulently fresh. Even the raw prawn didn’t had that raw taste which was apparent in some raw seafood. I especially love the thick chunks of salmon sashimi, especially when I had them coated in wasabi.

They say the way to evaluate a Japanese restaurant is to taste its chawan mushi. And boy was the chawan mushi good! For one, it had all the mushrooms in the world. And being a mushroom lover, it was all I needed to know this was one of the best chawan mushis I have ever tasted. It also had one gingko nut in it, which was a pleasant addition.

The one thing that is an absolute must-order is the dragon maki. Tempura prawn wrapped in sushi rice with unagi and slices of avocado, each bite was made even more sensational topped with the compulsory wasabi. This was rather pricey though but very worth it.

Would I come back again? What do you think? I’m still dreaming about it, even now.  Anyone wanna courier some dragon maki over to Penang soon? 😀

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14 Responses to Oh me, Oh my, Oh Umai-ya

  1. chinnee says:

    wah….so yummy and delicious…one reason why all Jap food looks so delicious mainly also becoz of their attractive food decor hor??

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yes…pleasing to the eye and palate too!

  2. ehon says:

    oooooo.. japanese food! 😀 who doesn’t love themmm.. *slurpppp* although i do get quite a lot of jap food cos my close friend’s hsemate’s a japanese and works in a jap restaurant here. and i have keys to their hse so i always find jap food in their fridge. 😀 good hey?

    The Giddy Tiger says: That’s a really sweet deal…make sure you tarpow some salmon sashimi for me, ok?

  3. rinnah says:

    Hmm… the name Umai-ya sounds familiar, but yet not so familiar. That dragon maki looks really good!

    The Giddy Tiger says: You should go look for it and check this place out. Believe me, it’s really good. Same row as the HSBC at Damansara Uptown.

  4. michelle says:

    You sure know where to get good food. Hey do u have a database where I can look into. I am always running out of good places to eat in Penang.

    The Giddy Tiger says: My database is in my head (for now) – let me see if I can transfer it to some software application 🙂

  5. ParisB says:

    I haven’t been here nor heard of it but now I have I will! 🙂 I rather like Ninja Jones at Midvalley Megamall especially their Avocado Soft Shell Crab starter roll wrapped in rice paper with fresh salad inside. Scumptious! *drools*

    The Giddy Tiger says: Was that what you had after you watched The Simpsons? 😀

  6. Chen says:

    i love japanese food.
    *thinking of eatingsashimi dipped in the hot wasabi soy sauce*

    The Giddy Tiger joins Chen in dreaming the same thing… 🙂

  7. jazzmint says:

    wahh must go try, i know where’s izzi and starbucks….same row as HSBC kekeke

    The Giddy Tiger says: There ya go… I’m sure you will like it!

  8. misti says:

    how come human stomach can take raw food ah?
    sorry, what a ‘dampener’ question to such great food here. because obviously i don’t know how to appreciate sashimi yet. 🙁

    The Giddy Tiger says: Aisay…you should really try it.

  9. rinnah says:

    I knew I’d seen Umai-ya somewhere about and here it is! But the address is not the same though – wonder if it’s a branch or something?

    The Giddy Tiger says: Hmmm….could be. I know I read somewhere that they have branches…unfortunately NOT yet in Penang!

  10. Oh my. I have never tried the chawan mushis lao shih. I must learn this. 🙂

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yeah, it has so far been true.

  11. may says:

    D’sara Uptown? so close to my home! yummm… I must have some good Japanese food before I leave!

    The Giddy Tiger says: Have some for me too, please! 😀

  12. huisia says:

    yummy yummy, i always know you love to eat Japanese food.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Yeah, that and dim sum!

  13. zara's mama says:

    Dragon maki seems to be very famous in all Jap restaurants. But I don’t quite like it… esp if they use king prawns. Somehow I like my prawns small, not big and tough.

    I haven’t been to this restaurant.. Hubby is very reluctant to try out new joints unless someone recommends it.

    The Giddy Tiger says: Well, now you can tell him *someone* has recommended it. And trust me, it is really good. You should try their prawn sashimi. Small, cute and really fresh.

  14. chuck says:

    mmmm.. that looks great. i really love bbq eel.

    The Giddy Tigress says: So do I 🙂

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