Umami- West Melbourne- 5-Stars
"I love your sushi roll, hotter than wasabi. I race for your love, Shake-n-Bake Ricky Bobby." -- Drake
My, my, my how West Melbourne has changed. It seems like just yesterday it was naught but pastures with the odd housing development thrown in. Now? It is a veritable metropolis with all the big cities have to offer including amazing sushi. That's right. Amazing sushi. Located in an inauspicious Wickhaven Plaza on the corner of S. Wickham and W. New Haven sits a shining jewel of a sushi joint known as Umami.
Chris Chern, the owner/chef, grew up in his parent's Chinese kitchen and has since gone on to wonderful things.
I was greeted by Chef Chern's mother and warmly shown where to sit and handed a menu. The menu, as you can see, was extraordinarily bold in its offerings and if it was fresh, I knew I was in for a gastronomical treat. In order to get a valid sample for my review, I ordered: Kingfish, Yellow Stripe, Hokkaido Scallop, Soft Shell Crab, Mako Shark, 3 Line Gurt, New Zealand Salmon, Sea Bream, Golden Eye Snapper, Uni and a special order of Wagyu carpaccio.
Within a short amount of time, I was provided by Chef Chern a plethora of eye staggering fine cuts of high quality fish that created a perfect harmony between tradition in the cooking process and modernity in the presentation of the plate. The flavors were palate popping, to say the least. Everything from the Kingfish right on down to the Uni (which absolutely, positively must be fresh) tasted so fresh I would say it was caught that morning. Each dish was created with obvious love, care and most importantly, pride. A Chef who takes pride in their product almost always puts out exemplary fare and my experience at Umami was no exception. With every sample of every dish, this place kept rising on my list of best sushi places in Brevard.
While the fish and all its accouterments were undeniably delicious, Chef Chern outdid himself with the Wagyu carpaccio. Wagyu seems to be the new sushi. What i mean by that is if you think back to the 90s when sushi was first taking off in this country, everyone was talking about it and it seems sushi places popped up overnight all over the place. Wagyu is the new flavor of the month among American chef's and as everyone is using it, it is hard to create a stand out dish. Chef Chern does not have that problem. This was so fresh as to be practically mooing on the plate and the flavors were so delicate and intricate I savored every single bite as long as I could. I would give this dish a 10-star rating if I could. Wait, I am the Big Boy, I can and so I do!
From the greeting by Mrs. Chern to the final bite of rice and fish, this was hands down 5-star all the way. The traditional flavors with modern combinations and presentation really had my palate by the taste buds. This was some of the best sushi creations I've had in a long time if ever and be assured, the Big Boy will be back (if just for the Wagyu and Uni)!
The Big Boy says, "if your anywhere West of Tampa and hunkering for amazing sushi, this is the place for you!" Try it at least once and tell em the Big Boy sent you. #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout