The Place Located at Telok Ayer Street, Umami 10 is a few months old restaurant which focuses on European-influenced Japanese cuisine. The shophouse layout of Umami 10 is segregated into the bar seats at the front, and regular tables for bigger groups towards the end of the space. The interior design is not at all Japanese, but rather dotted with gold walls and random art pieces.
The Food The dishes are split into bites, hot tapas and cold tapas, where you can spot Japanese ingredients in most dishes. It’s mainly tapas style, as another highlight of the restaurant is its wide range of sakes and wines to pair with the food.
For a start, I had the Gold Charcoal Karaage (S$15), where the fried chicken is coated with gold spray. The black charcoal texture glistened with bits of gold, and the chicken meat is juicy. A fancy deviation from the usual chicken karaage.
The other bite I had was the Tempura Moriawase (S$19), a mix of various assorted vegetables and prawn. I would prefer if the batter is lighter though.
Another addicted bar bite is the Firefly Squid Tempura (S$25) which uses Toyama Firefly Squid. Expect a crispy fried squid texture which is perfect with some sake.
From the hot tapas section, I recommend the Buta Kakuni (S$20) which spots 5-hours braised Umami-style Duroc Pork Belly. I like the braised sauce which is very flavourful, and that pork belly is very tender and soft.
A fancier tapas option would be the Black Gold Shiro Bara Uni (S$40) where the Squid-ink Akita rice is topped with Uni & Ikura. I realise that the chef likes to use black to contrast the ingredients, in the case for this dish and the charcoal chicken earlier. It is a beautiful contrast of colours in terms of presentation as the bright Uni and Ikura stand out.
For beef lovers, go for the Sanchoku Wagyu (S$48) where you can expect succulent Japanese A4 Wagyu served with Veal Jus. Not a huge portion for the price, but it uses premium Japanese Wagyu beef.
The only cold tapas I tried was the Tuna Ceviche (S$24) which is a refreshing dish to have after the heavier dishes. You get the citrusy taste from the Yuzu Ponzu, and it is accompanied by shallots, guava and pomegranate as well.
Rants The interior design of the space is rather eclectic, and it is not a typical Japanese or European restaurant look if that is what you are expecting. Of course, it is very subjective and unfortunately, the design doesn’t resonate with me.
Will I Return Again? It is best to return to Umami 10 with a group of friends where you can try more of their tapas. Some sake drinking is good to complement the dishes for a better dining experience.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3.5/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
163 Telok Ayer Street
Tel: +65 6513 5789
Monday to Friday: 11:30am to 2:30pm; 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Saturday: 5:30pm to 10:30pm
Closed on Sundays
Ranted by The Ranter