Umi Edinburgh: A Japanese Wonderland in the Heart Stockbridge
Updated: Aug 2, 2019
Umi Edinburgh is tucked away in one of Stockbridge's many nooks and crannies, near the legendary Ping On but offering a completely different take on Asian cuisine.
If you love sushi, miso, ramen, tempura, nigiri, sashimi or don't know what any of this is - the restaurant, without a shadow of a doubt - will slide into your top 5. The chefs use a delicious balance of Japanese food with very western approaches - cranberry sauce on sushi anyone? (YUM!!).
Lets start with the decor. Whilst Umi Edinburgh might look small from the outside, it is an absolute Narnia, with sunken areas, group tables, intimate sections and loads of room to move between tables.
You might be in the heart of upper-class Edinburgh but you could be anywhere - Tokyo, New York - the interior is so all encompassing you can escape for an hour, or two... or more. During our visit, there were mixed groups - a table of six, four, one... and no one felt uncomfortable - you could eat and enjoy in peace.
Oh Umi Edinburgh, you SPOILED me - I managed two courses but they were flawless. To begin, I chose the Karage Fried Chicken but easily could have had the Aubergine Goma or any number of starter dishes. I was only there for a light tea however and managed to abstain.
The chicken was the most perfect level of crispy, with a beautifully tangy lemon mayonnaise. My only criticism was that I was able to eat it too quickly and needed about three more platefuls to be happy.
My second course, and one I had been looking forward to all week, was the Crispy Jungle Roll Sushi (Deep fried tempura roll with asparagus, avocado and cucumber, top with dill sauce & cranberry). I loved the thought of cranberry being used in a traditional Japanese dish. Right enough - it was delicious; so crispy and sweet.
I devoured the sushi - being a "total" expert with the old chopsticks (through years of stuffing my face). Those two courses were enough to leave me completely satisfied but you could almost use the tapas approach and have many little plates at once or over time. People around me had a mix of soups, Ramen, sushi... everything looked and smelled delicious.
A restaurant like Umi Edinburgh is exactly what Stockbridge needs. Yes, there is already a plethora of fabulous eateries in the area but all feel as if they are aimed at a certain demographic. The relaxed, informal attitude of Umi Edinburgh means they are packed with such a diverse group of people.
So YES - go go go! But definitely book a table in advance ;)
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