Last night I went to a small sushi place in the Fairmount district in Philadelphia near the Art Museum. The place was called Umai Umai. Here's what I thought of the place.
We had ordered the following:
1. The checkerboard sashimi (starter)-this is essentially tuna, both red and white presented as a checkerboard in a spice red sauce. it wasn't much food but i think the point of this was to pique the taste buds. TASTE: good and visually very appealing.
2. The traffic light roll (specialty roll)-it really looked like a traffic light: the top three rolls were topped with red caviar, the middle three with yellow caviar, the bottom three with green caviar. This is essentially a spider roll with soft shell crab done their way. TASTE: very good. The green ones were pretty spicy.
3. The spirited away roll (specialty roll)-this is tuna with shiitake and watercress: a beautiful triangular roll. TASTE: very good.
4. The pingu (specialty roll)-kind of reminded me of potato skins that you would get from TGI Fridays. I even thought that they had put bacon bits on top of what looked liked little potatoes. It was crab inside a flash fried crunchy roll. TASTE: very good.
NOTE: One specialty roll is probably enough food for dinner if you are moderately hungry. Each specialty roll was about 9 to 10 pieces.
The food is unique. I haven't had rolls like this anywhere before.
The service was outstanding. The waitress was cordial and very knowledgeable about the menu.
The atmosphere was a little too dark but overall, pretty chill and relaxing (until more people came in and because the place is pretty small, it got loud).
It is a BYO. I love BYOs.
The neighborhood is in residential fairmount so it felt pretty safe. You should be good parking there. And after dinner, you could walk around the art museum so that you could burn some of the calories that you've eaten.
We got lost. This might not be so much of a Umai Umai weakness; it might be more of a Mr. Lee weakness. But we found the place soon enough.
As the place got crowded, it got pretty loud.
The place is pretty small so don't go there with groups larger than 4 to 6 people.
Overall, the experience was very good. I would highly recommend this place. Craig LaBan has reviewed this place also if you want to check it out. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/columnists/craig_laban/20090621_Umai_Umai.html