Thursday, October 19, 2006

Saké in Seattle: Umi Sake House

While in Seattle, I was advised to stop by Umi Saké House and I'm glad that I did. According to their website, "Umi is a sophisticated twist on the Japanese Izakaya style of informal eating and drinking. The design of the restaurant mirrors a Japanese country house, including a “front” and “back” porch." The atmosphere is great and the saké list is even better.

There were about 55 sakés offered by the bottle and 8 offered by the glass. I decided to try the Nanbu Bijin Junmai Ginjo ("Southern Beauty," Iwate Prefecture, smv +1) and I enjoyed it so much, I had a second glass. At the end of the meal, I had a small bottle of Zipang sparkling saké. I'm a fan of sparkling saké and I really liked this, which was very light with an apple candy nose, a quick finish and tiny bubbles. Rob took a sip and said, "Oh. 7-Up." To each his own... I left him to his mega can of Asahi.

I love Japanese restaurants that serve food "izakaya" style, just as I love tapas and any shared plates, really. The menu at Umi is pretty extensive with sushi and sashimi, some creative rolls and a large selection of "appetizers." The meal started out right with a small dish of edamame that Umi brought to the table to get things going. Rob and I had black cod marinated in saké for three days, toro su-miso (tuna in a nice miso vinagrette), Spanish mackerel, yellowtail, salmon and a 1st Avenue roll (shrimp tempura, avocado, cucumber, tobiko topped with spicy tuna & spicy mayonnaise). The roll was really too big and we regretted ordering it as we were too full after it to order some other things we wanted to try. My favorite was the black cod in it's sweet marinade. Yum!

If you are in Seattle and you love saké, you must go to Umi Saké Lounge. You will be happy that you did!

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Sounds like you had yet another fun night. How I envy you and your sake-sippin, jet-set lifestyle!

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your Nambu Bijin. I really love everything they make.