Friday, January 15, 2010
Could Umu be Michelin’s dark horse?
The kaiseki meal I had earlier this week at Umu in Mayfair was not only the best meal I’ve had outside Japan but one of the best all year (and I mean in the last 12 months not this year, obviously) But nowhere has it been touted for a second star in the round-ups of likely suspects for the 2010 Michelin Great Britain Guide which is published next Tuesday.
Given the fact that Tokyo (I seem to recall) boasts more Michelin stars than any other city and the fact that Michelin rates high-end Japanese food more highly than any other ethnic cuisine I think it could be the surprise promotion. (Well, totally wrong with this speculation! They still have just one. Jan 15th)
Actually they deserve three but Michelin moves at a snail’s pace when it comes to awarding its ‘macarons’.
You can see my write-up of what was quite an astonishingly good meal on my Matching Food & Wine website. Unfortunately it’s not the best medium for photographs so here are a few more (rather blurry) examples of the dishes we ate.
Although its prices may seem steep Umu is nowhere near as expensive as a comparable restaurant in Kyoto, the city that kaiseki cuisine originally comes from. Their set-price menus start from £65.
I dined at Umu as a guest of KOJ (Koshu of Japan) which promotes Japanese Koshu wines)
Have you ever been to Umu and if so what do you think of it? And what's your favourite Japanese restaurant?