by The Foodster on Sat, January 12, 2008

Fancy an Unamango in the middle of the day? It's not on the menu but they'll be happy to oblige at Umaiya

The sweet and smoky unagi flesh was made even sweeter by the mango

Foodster's Verdict

  • Business
  • Air Conditioned
  • Credit Card
  • Address

    G-3A, The Place, Bandar Damansara Perdana, Jalan PJU 8/5D, 47820 Petaling Jaya
    Tel: 03 7729 0015

  • Open

    11.30am - 10pm

  • Pros

    Private with food you'd be happy to bring your family or clients to

  • Cons

  • Price Range

    RM 150 - RM 400

  • Parking


  • Certification

    Pork Free

When God created the world, He made sure that our palates were well taken care of. And He most certainly had a hand in the creation of one of the most loved cuisines of all time – Japanese food. Here in Malaysia, Japanese restaurants have been mushrooming by the dozen and quite frankly, many of them are good simply because a lot of care is taken in ensuring that the food is fresh and that the presentation is attractive. Of course, there are a few rotten sashimis here and there but rest assured that none can be found at Umai-ya Japanese Restaurant at Damansara Perdana.

When eating Japanese food, sashimi is normally a requisite order for me. At Umai-ya, freshness is assured and the platter is worthy of a place on the altar complete with myrrh and incense. After all, when so much care is taken to ensure that the wasabi is shaped in the form of green leaves, when cucumbers are carved out to form tiny receptacles as cradles for the taco wasabe (marinated baby squid), and when tropical flowers are placed between the pieces of sliced fish – red tuna, yellowtail tuna, white tuna and salmon, how can one not spend a good five minutes in awe? And how can one resist the sweet pieces of scallop requiring hardly any other condiment for flavour, and the creamy sea urchin so protectively wrapped by firm pieces of sea bass? Worship these pieces as you savor each piece slowly and allow the flavour to linger in your mouth.

The maki (roll sushi) here is also beautifully presented. Ask, and you shall receive – which I did, and I was rewarded with a special maki (not on the menu) consisting of unagi and mango, called quite uncreatively Unamango (perhaps somebody needs a copywriter). I liked the combination of these two ingredients; the somewhat sweet and smoky flesh of the unagi was made even sweeter by the fruit. It was actually very refreshing and contrasted well with the crunchy fried anchovies. A slightly different and more popular version is the Dragon Maki. This maki consisted of vinegared rice rolled with unagi, avocado and ebi. However, in comparison I felt that the Unamango was a lot more outstanding and hopefully it will get its deserved place on the menu.

I didn’t think much of the Shishamo (grilled pregnant smelt) having tasted better ones in other restaurants. I had better luck with the Fried Kaki (Oyster) which created a pleasant burst of flavour as I bit into it. If you like soup, try the Dobin Mushi, made of steamed vegetables, mushrooms and gingko nuts in a clear broth and served in specially designed crockery – a teapot with a lid which when turned over, becomes a cup. Served with a spritz of lime, this makes for a refreshing drink but nonetheless, does not steal the attention away completely from the lovely vegetables and mushroom within.

The dessert selection wasn't very exciting, so we settled for ice cream. Being accustomed to traditional ice cream flavours (chocolate, vanilla, etc), I was a little hesitant to try the wasabi ice cream. You know how it is when you combine very different flavours? However, I loved how the sweetness and creaminess of the ice cream worked so well with the wasabi, causing a contrast of sorts between the icy cold temperature of the ice cream and the heat from the wasabi. The green tea ice cream was also pretty good. I was told later that the ice cream was home made.

Opening hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 6.00pm - 10.30pm