Umu

14 -16 Bruton Place, London, W1J 6LX - View on a map
Telephone: 020 7499 8881

Umu Restaurant In London
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Overall 7.0
Food 9.0
Service 10.0
Atmosphere 1.0
Value 8.0
Based on 1 reviews

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My wife and I had dinner there last Saturday, as we are Japanese food and overall Japanese culture enthusiasts. The food was really great, delicate, well presented, modern, beautiful; service was extremely good; price was a bit expensive, but then again you know what you are getting into if you have booked here. However, the big problem is that tables are way too close to each other, which means that, if you are unlucky as we were and have a rude idiot sitting in the table next to you it could become a very painful dining experience. So overall, a Michelin restaurant, very expensive, should never have tables so close to each other… it ruins the great decoration, atmosphere, service, etc…
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José
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 9 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 1 | Value for money 8
Monday, May 19, 2014

Our meal at UMU was so dreadful that my husband and I actually had a big row on the way home. We are foodies and enjoy a great dining experience and fantastic food. We certainly did not get this here. The food was tasteless and bland, so bland I actually felt cross eating it. We couldn't understand a single word the waiter was saying when he was describing each dish (we had the tasting menu) and then at the end of the most disappointing tasting menu I have had anywhere in the world they forgot to signify the end of the meal, so we sat twiddling our thumbs for some time, eventually had to ask if that was it, yep, that was it, we were then handed the bill, no request if we would be interested in ending the meal with anything. This is a very expensive restaurant for absolutely no reason. In fact I felt ripped off because it was so dreadful. My stomach is still churning from the eel dish (so bland I was tempted to cry into it to season it with my tears) and then the asparagus themed desert which followed. Most certainly will never go back. Only if I wanted to end the evening with a divorce.
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larissa
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 1 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 1
Wednesday, September 04, 2013

I visited Umu recently and was very disappointed.

Firstly I entered and the general feeling was a very cold and insincere greeting and the chefs on the counter did not acknowledge us at all.

The atmosphere was still and uncomfortable.

We had a waiter looking after us that was also very stiff and did not seem happy at all.

The general feeling we also got is to much pressure by the staff from UMU to order extremely overpriced wines or sake. Up selling is annoying!

I personally dont drink alcohol so the disappointment to the staff is clearly felt.

I had the keiseki menu which is £100

I did not feel the seasons in my menu presented to me and the overall composition of the menu is to unstable ranging from nice dishes to what was this and why??

Overall the presentation and flavours are not as good as they used to be when KOBOTA-SAN was in charge of the kitchen and sadly I feel UMU is not as special as it needs to be.

The presentation has simplified and looks rather average for a keiseki menu. In japan you can get better food cheaper and more skill visible in the dishes prepared.

Most disturbing of all was really the set up and lack of warmth from the team of UMU letting the representation of keiseki principles down. In kyoto the hospitality and care is just on a completely different level so is the food. One would expect some of these elements to be present in this restaurant UMU but sadly it is not even coming close to what the culture of kaiseki really should embody.

Since the change over UMU has taken a more modern route and that is fine however key elements are also lost and overall the spirit of keiseki is not here, not even in a modern interpretation can one feel any sense of this tradition what so ever.

The front of waiters all seemed to be so disconnected from the customers and looking less informed and clumsy at there best.

One cant help feeling a sense of arrogance from some of the staff which only spoils ones evening having seen this.

I hope people who have not been to japan think this is what keiseki is as UMU is completely western in feeling and the menu has a lot lacking in order to boast any association to what keiseki is.

Just a note on the sushi of UMU, there is a tall man who has been there since the very beginning and he is not japanese, however he is the person who deliveries the best sushi and sashimi in UMU. I have been before several times and had received a very rushed and messy plate of nigiri's coming from another chef which was shameful. I was siiting on the counter and watching him work was like in a factory with no love and passion for the art however the tall man is brilliant.

I sincerely recommend people to forget about the keiseki menu but to sit on the counter and ask the tall man, I believe he is from brazil but not sure, and just let this man feed you with his sushi as it is one of the best in London. The rest of UMU is really a misinterpretation that is really overpriced served in a very stiff environment.

I would recommend TETSU a small sushi restaurant in LONODON owned by Toru Takahashi over UMU. He specialises on sushi on the highest level and it is a real intimate experience without any pretences.
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Minoro - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 4 | Service 4 | Atmosphere 4 | Value for money 1
Sunday, August 11, 2013

I had been wanting to try Umu for sometime and when my sushi chef friend was in town finally booked it.

It is quite a dark room and we didn't get off to good start as the amuse bouche was really not that pleasant, some sort of raw fish with skin on that was at room temperature, perhaps it is more suited to a japanese palate but it wast suited to mine.

Some of the things we ordered were outstanding the cornwall turbot & cuttlefish sahshimi particularly.

Overall though the portions are a bit small, we had to order more dishes, and it is just too expensive. The bill was over £200 a head and we didnt even drink that much .

It is more traditional Japanese (kyoto apparently) but the food is not better than nobu park lane or roka and and I would rather go to either of them.
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shane
Overall rating 7 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 7 | Value for money 4
Friday, May 17, 2013

This restaurant is a real disappointment, not only are the majority of staff non Japanese they are also incredibly rude, the service slow, the food small and extremely high priced, I feel you can get a much better quality all round in Soho.
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elspeth
Overall rating 0 stars
Food 0 | Service 0 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0
Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Had an absolutely amazing time at Umu on Saturday night. We sat at the sushi counter which meant we got to chat to the chef, Yoshinori Ishii. I think it would be hard to find a nicer chef in the whole of London. He took the time to explain about his "fish n chip revolution" which basically means you won't find fresher fish anywhere else (he makes sure it's served within 24 hours of being caught). Some of the waiters were a bit hard to understand at times but that just added to the authenticity of the restaurant. Can't wait to go back!
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Penny Singh
Overall rating 9 stars
Food 10 | Service 8 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 9
Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I had dinner again at Umu, and it confirmed my opinion: very average. Nice setup, extensive sake list, but sushis are so so. The traditional ones are ok, but not fantastic. The modern ones are disappointing. In particular, never order fois gras sushis or aburis, they arrive cold on your dish (even if at sushi bar). Starters are fine, but nothing fantastic. Main courses vary in quality.

When I mentioned to the manager that I thought the dinner tonight was so so, he asked whether it was because I had to pay the bill !! Poor guy... I have been to places in Japan where the bill was a multiple of Umu's, and the food was much better. I also have been to places in London for a fraction of Umu's, and the food was also much better. Honestly, I think Kiku next door is less posh, but much better food quality.
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Francois Lhabitant - View all reviews by this user
Overall rating 3 stars
Food 1 | Service 5 | Atmosphere 5 | Value for money 0
Friday, December 02, 2011

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