Umami, a good lunch for on the go

Amber quaid/The Arka Tech The chicken teriyaki was amazing. It had a good mix of veggies to meat; the sauce was a nice blend with a good coating on the food. Main meal - $9.95

Seafood overcooked, rest delicious

As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by the host who sat me right away. There isn’t much to say about the atmosphere; it looked like a normal sushi bar, complete with some Asian decorations, but not over the top. Within a minute’s time, the drink order was taken, and I was asked if I needed any help with the menu; I did not.

After the menu was looked over from front to back, I decided on Gyoza (fried dumplings) for an appetizer. The appetizer came out of the kitchen quickly on a small rectangular plate with six Gyoza arranged side by side on a bed of lettuce with a cup of sauce on the side.

Dale quaid/The Arka Tech
The Gyoza was wonderfully crispy on the outside and full of a delicious filling, which was mostly chicken and cabbage. The sauce served was a creamy sauce reminiscent of mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together mixed with some spice. $4.95

The Gyoza was wonderfully crispy on the outside and full of a delicious filling, which was mostly chicken and cabbage. The sauce served on the side was not the soy-based sauce as was expected; it was a creamy sauce reminiscent of mayonnaise and ketchup mixed together mixed with some spice, but not in a bad way; it complemented the Gyoza quite nicely.

I then ordered my main dish—Pad Thai with shrimp, a favorite of mine. I was asked how spicy I would like the dish on a scale of one to ten, I ordered a five, medium. As the last Gyoza was being consumed, my main course arrived, right on time. The Pad Thai came on a large square plate with a pile of noodles in the middle garnished with sesame seeds, green onion and an orange twist on the side.

Dale quaid/The Arka Tech
Pad Thai with shrimp came on a large square plate with a pile of noodles in the middle garnished with sesame seeds, green onion and an orange twist on the side. $9.95

The flavor was exceptional; however, the spice was almost too much. As a person who likes spicy foods, this would be a medium hot to me, not the aforementioned medium, so patron beware that the spice meter runs a little high at Umami.

Unfortunately, the shrimp were rubbery and beyond overcooked. I was only able to eat one third of my portion before having the rest of my dish packaged to go.

The portions were big, an appetizer and one noodle dish would comfortably feed two people. Overall, I had a good experience with the wait staff, and the food was great save for the overcooked shrimp. I would go back again but next time with instructions for the cook in back to go easy on the spice and to be careful with how much cook time the seafood gets.

Dishes ordered: Gyoza $4.95 and Pad Thai /w shrimp $9.95 total was $16.71

Appetizers ranged from $4.95-$11.95. Main Courses ranged from $7.95-$24.95

 

Food needs a little more tender loving care, still delicious

Upon arriving at the restaurant, I noticed the parking lot was packed, which is always a good sign for the food, not the parking.

Walking into the restaurant was just as intriguing as the full parking lot. I was met by bamboo lit up like a Christmas tree, seriously there were Christmas light hung all over this bamboo. This lighting effect and the dimmer lights of the restaurant gave it a cozy feel.

The noise level in such a small area was overwhelming. It was busy so I get that all the people have to make noise but something about it was just too much. This almost made me leave but I sat down because I was here for the food. As time passed, people left and the noise lessened; I guess I just came at the height of busy hour.

The waiter was nice and attentive even though he did keep forgetting drinks or salads but the rest of the staff had his back. Once again I am attributing this to a busy lunch hour and the staff is used to helping each other out.

Now comes the food. I started out with crab ragoons, a staple in any Asian inspired restaurant I visit. They had an interesting spin on them, not only were they slightly sweet but the cream center was orange. They were light and crispy, I would buy these again.

Appetizer= $4.95

For the main course, I order a Bento Box- chicken teriyaki. If you want a variety in small portions, with a large main portion, a Bento Box is the way to go. First, I ate the Gyozas, a meat and cabbage filled pouch that is fried. The Gyozas are usually my favorite but in this instance there were over fried and old, instant turn off.

Amber quaid/The Arka Tech
The chicken teriyaki was amazing.
It had a good mix of veggies to meat; the sauce was a nice blend with a good coating on the food. Main meal – $9.95

Setting the rest of the Gyozas aside I went for my spring roll. This was light, crisp and tangy, perfect to appease my taste buds after the Gyozas.

Next up was the sushi, a California roll to be exact. Avocado, cream cheese, cucumber and krab meat filled this roll and it was nicely balanced with the rice and there was a decent wrap on the roll. Usually I don’t like avocado but in this case it added a nice flavor.

I saved the main entrée for last, chicken teriyaki and white rice. I adore white rice; I am not sure why that is but this rice was not to be adored, as it was on the mushy side and old. This made my heart and taste buds sad. The chicken teriyaki however, was amazing. It had a good mix of veggies to meat; the sauce was a nice blend with a good coating on the food.

Main meal – $9.95

Overall, I would go back, but maybe next time, I’ll try dinner instead of lunch.

About Amber Quaid 46 Articles
Amber Quaid is the coeditor-in-chief for the Arka Tech newspaper at Arkansas Tech University. Her focus is on diversity and its importance for inclusion into society. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in communication and public relations. She is currently working on receiving her master’s degree in multimedia journalism. Amber has been in the professional world of journalism for 4 years and in professional management positions for 16 years with a Fortune 500 company. Currently, on the Arka Tech Amber does layout, design, and writes articles about diversity and mental health issues. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her kids and playing deck-building board games.