Yumi Japanese Restaurant Serves Sushi with a Creative Twist

There are days when you get an inexplicable craving, and you know it’s only curable by good Japanese food. Residents and working folks near Century City Mall in Makati should find themselves as lucky as there is a nearby casual Japanese dining spot that dishes out great sushi with a creative twist. Yumi Japanese Restaurant, situated in the 4th level of the mall, boasts of a fine selection of sushi and sashimi, as well as other Japanese fare like ramen and teppanyaki. With all the ramen places filling up mall corridors with long queues, it’s a relief to find a quiet restaurant where you can just enjoy a mountain few of your favorites.

The restaurant is small and intimate, with interiors that are dominantly black—classy yet still casual. A bar displays premium bottles alongside fresh bounties that make up your sushi and sashimi. There’s a cozier, smaller space in the loft, a more private option for meetings or solo lunches.

Sushi—like maki—is proof that small things pack big flavors, and fans of this type of food will be delighted to hear that Yumi’s packs loads of them. Their new dishes are no different—everything I tried stood out with lots of personality. Take for instance the Aburi Sake Roll: Norwegian salmon maki filled with kani (crabstick) and tamago (egg), served with Japanese mayo. The portions were generous—and delicious. The same goes with the Sea Scallop Sushi; here, instead of nori, thinly-sliced cucumber holds the piece together. It looked delicate but didn’t crumble when placed between your chopsticks.

I loved the Hotate Motoyaki, and not because my seatmate (Food Reviews Manila) was squealing because of it. The subtle sweetness of the scallop, the texture from the panko, and the savory bits of cheese all played with my taste buds. I swear, you need to try this!

Japanese food, created with fresh ingredients, can be the healthiest type of food you can eat, and if you’re a bit figure-conscious, try these two dishes. The Sea Scallop with Dynamite Dressing is beauty in a cocktail glass. I loved the creamy dressing complimenting the scallop and mixed greens—this was finished in a matter of seconds. The Cauliflower Chahan was even more addictive! Chopped cauliflower takes the place of rice—but you could hardly taste the difference!

If “healthy” is not your thing, worry not because Yumi has these 2 incredible pork belly dishes! The Pork Belly Sushi is sinfully good, pork belly topped with diced Shiitake mushrooms. The combination was creamy, salty, and slightly sweet—a balance of good flavors that was simply seductive. On the other hand, the Buta Kakuni is what the hardcore carnivore would love to keep all to himself. Thin slices of tender pork belly, topped with sesame, served with a sweet-salty sauce you can drizzle all over. I know what you’re thinking—it’s perfect with the cauli rice!

Tempura is not something I enjoy a lot when dining in a Japanese restaurant, but Yumi’s came wrapped with the most delicate batter ever, and aside from the usual tempura sauce, it was served with volcanic and green tea salts. Dipping each piece into any of them heightens its flavors in an amazing, indescribable way! I’ve never enjoyed tempura... until Yumi.

Beer with Japanese food? Hmmm, maybe. But only with the Chicken Skin Yakitori—crispy chicken skin skewers served with Yumi’s signature sauce. Shared with a group of friends, I’ll be surprised if this platter’s contents aren’t the first to vanish.

But now, listen to me. Please, don’t leave Yumi without trying their signature sushi: the Unagi Foie Gras Sushi. This has got to be the wildest, most powerful small bites I’ve had for quite some time. I featured it in my Best Bites: Cussworthy Food for precisely that reason: you will throw bad words at random passersby when you taste it. It’s creamy, savory, slightly smoky … mind-blowing. This is the kind of food that’s very hard to describe!

We also tried two of Yumi’s new desserts but honestly, for me, they were quite average. There was a Crème Brulee which for me, wasn’t sweet enough, and a Green Tea Tempura Ice Cream which I would’ve enjoyed more if it were simply, a scoop of green tea ice cream. I don’t know, maybe I was just so mind-blown with the Unagi Foie Gras that I barely noticed dessert.

In any case, if you’re looking for Japanese food made with a few inventive twists, head over to Yumi Japanese Restaurant in Century City Mall to sample some of the yummiest sushi varieties and Japanese fare you can find within the vicinity. They are on Buy-One-Take-One every Sushi Tuesday—but if you would prefer to try their ramen or tempura, it’s better to visit on a Monday and a Wednesday to partake on their ramen (Buy-One-Take-One) and tempura (PhP675 tasting menu) promos as well. I’m still dreaming of the Unagi Foie Gras, so I’ll probably bump into you in one of the coming Tuesdays!

Yumi Japanese Restaurant
4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati City
Other locations: click here
Budget: around PhP600/head

Where is your go-to place for really good sushi?

My meal was sponsored by Yumi Japanese Restaurant. All opinions, however, are my own.

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  1. Hahaha! Natawa ako sa "squealing". :D Now I'm craving for that Hotate Motoyaki again! :)

  2. Hahaha! Sarap nga nya eh. Ay I forgot to post our group picture here!


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