Umi a top Cape Town restaurant in Camps Bay
'A beautifully lit and elegant space, perfect for date night or dinner with good friends.'
Perched above the Camps Bay promenade, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean sits Umi Restaurant and Whiskey Bar. Umi, which means sea or ocean in Japanese, totally lives up to its name; by day it offers views over the white sands and crisp blue waters of Camps Bay, by night, with the sounds of the beach in the distance, it becomes a beautifully lit and elegant space, perfect for date night or dinner with friends.
Stylishly designed tables and cosy leather booths fill the space and a crystal chandelier provides a glittering centrepiece. Beaded curtains soften the walls and allow a glimpse of beautiful geisha prints behind. The space is dotted with cherry blossoms, which complete the authentic Asian feel.
Umi offers a selection of Japanese-style seafood and grill options, including tataki, teriyaki, tempura and sushi. My dining partner and I tried the Kara-age Baby Squid and the tempura vegetables to start. Kara-age is the Japanese method of deep-frying; the squid is coated in garlic, ginger, soy and potato starch and then deep-fried and served with a dipping sauce. This style of coating keeps the dish light, but is packed with flavour. The squid was meltingly tender and seasoned to perfection.
The tempura vegetables were crispy and golden and included an assortment of sweetcorn, green beans, sweet potato and carrots. The citrus soy dipping sauce that accompanied the dish was so zingy and delicious, we gave up dipping and instead opted to pour it over the veggies and the squid, we simply couldn’t get enough.
The sushi was delicate and very fresh, with the handroll packing a punch of five spice flavour. We also enjoyed the Norwegian Salmon with Black Beans, Parmesan and Truffle Ponzu. Not a traditional combination, but delicious. The ponzu added the perfect hit of acidity and flavour.
The dessert menu includes delicious sounding options such as Fuji Apple Crumble with Vanilla and Jasmine Custard and White Chocolate and Banana Spring Rolls, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have a favourite – Valrhona Chocolate Fondant. It was generously sized and passed the ‘fondant test’ with flying colours when its centre simply oozed liquid chocolate. A rich and decadent way to end a meal.
The Camps Bay strip will get progressively quieter as the weather cools, but Umi will still be ideal to visit. It has a huge, roaring fireplace that adds a warm, inviting dimension to the space. The Whisky Bar located at the rear of the restaurant boasts over 100 local and international brands so, if the fire doesn’t warm you up, a whisky or two definitely will.
For more information on The Kove Collection of restaurants and hotels visit www.kovecollection.co.za
Elegant & stylish