On Friday, my hubby treated me for dinner at the Chinese restaurant UMA. Everyone get’s so excited about this restaurant so I was really looking forward to it.
Being…well, having been a Londoner that ate regularly at the likes of Hakkasan, Yauatcha, and the lesser known but equally excellent Dinnings - Uma had some big shoes to fill.
First impression – get rid of the leggy blond in tight plastic leggings and knee high boots that sneers at you when you dare to enter into her lair. No, I know, they need her there to scare away the riff raff. Except that night I was the riff raff having come straight from playing with my daughter in the park, with sand wedged between my toes, no make up – the list of fashion misdemeanours is too long to continue but you are getting the picture right?
And this is definitely the kind of place that you need to get dressed up for and change from your day bag to your evening bag (Ha! as if I have one). To prove this point, a gaggle of twenty something women strutted in looking like they had come straight off the set of Sex in the City. There was 80′s girl with a short crop and off the shoulder blue dress. There was a “romantic” one with her hair twisted jauntily on the side of her nape, a bilious white blouse and high waisted black skirt. And a tan barbie – I mean girl – tan bare shoulders shimmering with sparkles. Note to the wise, take a little time to dress up so you don’t stick out like a sore thumb.
Although my husband made a good point – it’s cooler to be dressed down because it implies that you visit these kind of restaurants all the time so you don’t feel you need to make the effort. A bit how celebrities are always papped shopping in flip flops and torn shorts.
We were seated behind the horse under that glass atrium. First criticism is that the atmosphere may be nice at night but as these days it’s getting dark at 10 pm it’s rather disconcerting to be eating in such bright light. Second, there is no music so I could listen in on other people’s conversation and vice versa.
Atmosphere is paramount but ultimately I am interested in the food. What did I think? It’s OK.
steamed edamame with maldon sea salt (sadly-my favorite dish of the evening, really sour and salty)
raw marinated salad of fennel with algae and apple (beautiful to look at but tasted medicinal)
japanese pizza with tuna and wasabi (Yuk! Thin potato pancake slathered with 1 mm of mayonnaise, and decorated with slices of ginger? and a few cubes of tuna – and it’s expensive!)
lobster spring roll (OK, nothing really exceptional here, it could have just as well been a bit of langoustine a waste of lobster if you ask me)
black cod with miso and leaves of shiso (120g / 220g) (no crispy top, the flesh was eerily mushy and the sauce zig zagged on top added nothing)
shabu shabu of bison filet (three pieces of succulent tender meat, delicious, the accompanying sauce is on the sweet side)
steamed rice (shameful, reminiscent of Uncle Ben’s boil in a bag)
a chocolate dessert (fine)
a hibiscus flower dessert (very pretty, very small, very average)
Apparently Tim Raue has left to open his own place so that may have contributed to the less than stellar performance. A kitchen without a head chef is just like an army with no general – it doesn’t work. And who knows, maybe Tim poached the best people for his own place. Or maybe they were just having an off day. All those guides can’t be wrong can they?
So I will certainly try it again.
And if you go – don’t get suckered into ordering that Japanese pancake!
Address: Behrenstraße 72