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Umezushi Manchester
4 Mirabel Street, Manchester, M3 1PJ [map]
Intimate 19 seat sushi bar next to the Manchester Arena. Opened October 2012.
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Umezushi Manchester

Umezushi Restaurant Manchester - overall readers' reviews
most popular dish: Umezushi Tasting Menu(£40)

UmeZushi Manchester ~ our review
Small fish in a big pond! (July 2014)
Trusted Reviewer "If you want to eat Japanese food in the city, then you're restricted to a handful of places, maybe less in truth, some of which are pretty good, some of which serve pretty poor, run of the mill sushi.

Now there's actually a lot more to Japanese cuisine than the typical offerings, such as everybody's stereotypical Japanese food raw fish based nemesis; Sashimi. Then there's everybody's favourite of Tempura, aka deep fried battered delights, something which the Japanese have been doing better than anybody for half a millennium. We like to think that we invented deep fried fish, but sadly it's not true.

Now for us, Japanese is one of the great cuisines of the world, and is renowned for use of daisy fresh produce, lots of seafood, razor sharp knife skills, and relentless attention to detail, creating dishes with bang on flavours, presented like a work of art. Top Japanese sushi chefs do nothing but prepare rice for the first few years of their education. That’s how sacred the art is. Add to that the fact that Tokyo has more 3 star Michelin restaurants than Paris, in fact it's got more than any city anywhere full stop, so it's clearly a cuisine with plenty to offer, yet in this country is so often represented badly.

Umezushi - Menu

So, would you then expect to find quality Japanese food in Manchester, down a little side alley, just outside the city centre over the road from the side gates to the arena, where pop star fans await their favourite artists' arrival, like crazed Ninjas? We certainly didn’t expect it. Until we were invited along by Umezushi to experience their wares.

Umezushi - Soy, Ginger & Wasabi

When you arrive, the venue doesn’t jump out at you from the exterior. You could, and probably would quite easily wander past if you didn’t know where you were heading beforehand.Once inside, you're presented with a quaint little venue, with only enough seating for around a dozen or so people, with a few more at the bar.

It's basic yet smart and cozy. We liked it, and then the attractively bound and quality printed menus arrived, we were presented with a bibliography of Japanese cooking styles.

The aforementioned Tempura, along with a massive variety of Sushi, lesser known 'Donmono' dishes, noodles, soups, salads and a whole array of options. There was nothing 'run of the mill sushi' about this menu.

We were gratefully presented with the Umezushi tasting menu, which contained a cross section of the menu's highlights, starting out with an outstanding Sashimi platter, which contained sea bass, tuna, salmon and sea bream, presented simply on ice, with some shredded veg garnish.

The freshness and accurate slicing on display here was superb. Raw fish isn’t to everyone's taste, but then not many people have tried such high quality, fresh produce. Trying it done badly will put you off for a long time. This this was a superb way to start a meal, and it looked fantastic too. Very modernist in presentation.

Next up was a platter of sushi in various guises from Maki, Nigiri and Uramaki. Again, standards were excellent across the board, and it looked more a dish from Noma than from somewhere just off Trinity Way.

Umezushi - Sashimi Platter
Umezushi - Tempura

Then came the Tempura course, most of which was another master-class. The squid, sweet potato, courgette and sole were all lovely, but the king prawn was outstanding in quality, succulence and execution. Only the slightly soft and a little greasy aubergine was a slight let down in relation to the rest of the deep fried goodies on display.

For mains we opted for Kimchee Noodle Salad and Mushroom Teriyaki. Both were worthy of high praise, and again were presented in a way which many a top end restaurant would be proud of.

By this point, it was clear that Umezushi wasn’t just a sushi house and that perhaps they didn't actually need to rely on passing custom in their covert location.

Umezushi - Mushroom Teriyaki
The next course was more Japanese tradition, with Miso soup being served after the main courses. Now I understand that this may be sacrilege in the land of the rising sun, but for our western palates and habits, serving the Miso first would have fitted better, and after such a lot of fantastic courses, the soup felt like a bit of a pointless afterthought course in many senses. It was lovely sure, but we just didn’t need it, and the savoury meal should end on a high note.

Luckily, the dessert which ended off the meal left us with a fitting end to a great meal; Tempura Sorbet. You heard me right. Deep fried ice cream. How's that possible? Heston Blumenthal style concoctions, tons of chemistry and science?

Not at all. Just Japanese Mochi sorbet, which is sorbet balls with a skin like coating, which will protect the inner sorbet from the heat of the oil whilst the tempura batter has time to cook through. Clever stuff, and superbly tasty too. For our the pudding;

Lemon Posset, whilst not being overly Japanese, was a fantastic palate cleanser, and another really solid dish. Great posset, with lovely home-made meringues and sweet strawberries. Really well balanced flavours and textures, with yet more technically excellent modern fine dining-esque presentation. A great way to end the meal.

Umezushi - Lemon Posset
We came away thinking that there wasn’t really that much to fault at Umezushi in truth. It’s a little hidden gold mine really, and does what it does very well; quality, simple, Japanese cuisine, in a cozy, unpretentious, authentic environment. Umezushi is clearly the Japanese term for 'Tasty sushi and more'.~ Restaurants Of Manchester (2/7/14 - visited on a Wednesday evening)
Umezushi - Sushi Platter Umezushi - Kimchee Noodle Salad
"razor sharp"
"top dollar fish"
"informative yet relaxed"
"quaint and cosy"
"a hidden gem"

Umezushi Japanese Restaurant - member's reviews ~ members' reviews
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Disclaimer: All information correct 01/12/2012. and can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed. All images and information 2002-2016 Pride Of Manchester & UmeZushi