RAS AL KHAIMAH - The trendiest Japanese eatery in the northern Emirates set within the grounds of the famed Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah boasts an exquisitely fine new menu.

UMI, meaning ocean in Japanese, boasts a modern and inviting interior with gleaming blackened pillars and chainmail clad walls, a semi-private dining room which is wrapped around a floor-to-ceiling contemporary chandelier and a private dining room that houses vivid pink seating and bamboo lighting. Expect the unexpected.

Chef Yukitaka Kitade, a seemly quiet man with a deep and underlying passion and enthusiasm that is contagious, is the genius that heads up the trendy Ras Al Khaimah eatery UMI. Originally hailing from Japan, Kitade has travelled extensively since his education in the USA. He is no stranger to the boats on which local fishermen haul in their daily catch searching out the finest of ingredients for his creative yet traditional menu. He travels far and wide throughout the UAE to ensure that he snares optimum fish and seafood. Having spent almost 10 years in the Emirates, his requirements are anticipated by his favourite fishermen. Miso soup conjures up memories of his family and dining together, one of the reasons he took the journey to becoming a chef. Training under some of the finest sushi masters has led him to believe cooking is all about an experiences and the creating of memories.

"Washoku", traditional Japanese cuisine has recently been added to UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, raising the hopes of enhancing its global recognition and understanding. Washoku is a social practice based on a set of skills, knowledge, practice and traditions related to the production, processing, preparation and consumption of food. It is associated with an essential spirit of respect for nature that is closely related to the sustainable use of natural resources.

Kitade creates art. His dishes are vibrant in colour and the textures are intriguing. Surprises hit your taste buds as you move from course to course. His vision is to produce dishes that contain ingredients that are sourced locally and is a firm believer in creating seasonal a la carte dishes using the freshest produce available.

The introduction of the "Kaiseki" menu is to encourage togetherness and sharing and is known throughout Japan for its highly refined preparation and artistic presentation. A traditional Japanese multi-course dinner but current day, Kaiseki is a type of art form that balances taste, texture, appearance and colours of food. Only fresh seasonal ingredients are used and are prepared in ways that aim to enhance their flavour. Dishes are carefully presented on plates are beautifully arranged and garnished with real leaves and flowers.

The extensive new menu has some divine highlights which include a very lightly pan-fried thinly-sliced wagyu with the tiniest hint of foie gras, the colourful tuna tartar with caviar served with sushi rice crackers and the giant king crab which is oozing with taste and often seen on Japanese dining tables at the time of celebration.

An evening at UMI is rounded off beautifully with a delicate collection of authentic Japanese teas, enjoyed overlooking the Arabian Gulf from the intimate Japanese balcony-garden. The TWG tea collection includes handpicked teas such as White Spring Tea and Oud Night Tea.

Kitade is hosting a master class which will take foodies through the mysteries of the delicately beautiful Japanese cuisine and the creative and dramatic preparation of teppanyaki. The next class will be on Monday 19 October 2015.

Katie Hollamby
PR Manager, Waldorf Astoria Ras al Khaimah
+971 (0)50 4871450

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