Located at 1704 Beacon Street in Brookline, Umami serves “Asian inspired global cuisine with a creative twist”. A smaller restaurant, the dining room can sit maybe 35 people not including seats at the bar. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, perfect for a week night meal. Thank you to BuyWithMe.com for providing us with the 4 coupons (pay $20, receive $40) – and thank you to Umami for allowing us to use all 4 in one sitting!
Bread: Instead of bread we were served crudités of red peppers, carrots, and zucchini with a dipping sauce. Not so much “Asian inspired”, but I’ll take it!
Menu: There are 2 sections: Starters and Entrées. The in-house menu varied slightly from the online version with a couple exciting additions, including a “1,000 year old egg” fettuccini dish. The couple we were with had been before and recommended a few starters that I couldn’t choose from, so we all split 4 apps. Each entrée has its own America base with a splash of Asian cuisine, whether it be edamame, soba noodles, bok choy, or sake etc. The list isn’t too extensive but I found a couple of items to ponder over and eventually went with the Seabass for my main course.
Honey, Ginger Glazed Chicken Wings, lyche / pineapple / chili puree: On the bone, so not my favorite, but the puree added a nice kick.
Hand cut Sweet Potato Fries, house made spicy ketchup: Standard sweet pot fries, could have had a bit more crisp/crunch to them.
Asian Black Tiger Shrimp, garlic butter / smoked cayenne / lemon thyme: Not a huge shrimp fan but I tried one and was pleasantly surprised. I mostly ate the veggies out of this dish – the sauce was delicious!
Pan Roasted Mussels, sauce of pomodoro / sake / fresh bay leaves / grilled crostini: I do like mussels but their texture can be creepy and I truly think I just like the sauces they come in. This dish is no exception – the mussels/sauce tasted of a light tomato sauce. A couple tasted like the ocean but that tends to happen with mussels.
Chilean Sea Bass, simmered with sake / shiro miso / sweet potato “pomme puree” / Asian greens: The sea bass, topped with crunchy noodles, was placed on top of the sweet potato puree and bok choy. I usually have problems with bones in sea bass but that was not the case with this dish. Really excellent meal – I liked having the smooth texture of the puree with the crunchy noodles!
Bathroom: One room/stall. Besides the wall ornaments, nothing special. But clean and polished, so no complaints.
Wait Staff: Our waitress was really cute/nice and patient as we studied the menu. She was also able to answer all of our questions about the dishes with odd ingredients.
Overall: You can’t beat the prices, with entrées topping out at $21! The menu is a bit limited, but I thoroughly enjoyed everything I ate. A nice quiet spot outside the city.
The Perfect Bite: Sea bass with sweet potato puree. I cleaned the plate!