A taste of Fukuoka with fine cocktails.
Reworked and rebranding of the original ramen store in Fukuoka, Uma Uma is now the new name of the 60 year old store. Good things are meant to be shared and this is precisely why Uma Uma is expanding from its stores in Forum to a new and chic location at Millenia Walk.
Over at this izakaya ramenya joint (bar and ramen store), you have the tantalising ramen with yakitori and kushikatsus, finished with resident cocktails from The Horse’s Mouth.
An almost industrial-like decor that is wood based, Uma Uma is a quaint restaurant resting just on the outskirts of Millenia Walk, close to Marina Square.
Chef Shota, hailing from Japan, is the sous chef at Kaiseki Yoshiyouki, a fine dining restaurant in Forum under the same Iki Concepts. Very friendly and passionate about his food, he is currently at Uma Uma for guiding purposes and will shortly return to his original workplace.
Ume no Yado Yuzu Sake & Soda ($14.00 HH, $16.00 UP). A sure hit amongst the diners, this sparkling yuzu sake cocktail is refreshing and appetising. Definitely makes for a great drink to start dinner with.
Honeymoon ($14.00 HH, $18.00 UP). Honeymoon consists of bison grass vodka, freshly squeezed raspberries, strawberries and lime with honey.
Certainly a honeymoon for my tastebuds, it has a strong raspberry taste, giving it a sweet and tangy touch. Though so, do not belittle this drink, the bison grass vodka does make known its presence and it is a wonderful one.
Whiskey Sour ($14.00 HH, $18.00 UP). Don’t we all love a good old whiskey sour at any point of time in our life.
Who could resist bourbon with egg white, lemon and sugar to give that lusciously creamy and invigorating taste. The bitters added gives the extra complexity to its flavour.
Eihire (Singray Fins) ($10.00). A great bar snack that will go well with beers or cocktails, your choice. The meat is tender and fragrant, albeit sweet and served with mayo. It tastes slightly like grilled cuttlefish but without having it stuck in your teeth, how perfect. Now you don’t have to constantly be swishing your mouth to get the little pieces off while your date is not looking.
Kushikatsu Scallops ($5.00/stick). This is crispy on the outside and tender on the outside, having a good balance of flavour. The scallops are very fresh on its own and the entire dish goes very well with the in-house pickled radish tartar sauce.
My dining partner mentioned that she loved the scallops and she usually wouldn’t choose the scallop dish as her favourite, so yes, it is yummy alright.
The pickled radish used here are served in their fine dining counterpart and I have only a thousand and one praises for the tartar sauce. It isn’t too thick and there is the slight zest from the pickled radish that balances the mayo, making it extremely appetising.
Yakitori Chicken Skin ($2.00/stick). Very aromatic, the chicken skin is crispy and sweet from the sauce on the outside and chewy on the inside from the layer of fats.
While you’re considering if this is unhealthy, suspend your disbelief and only remember how it is packed with collagen, so fret not and feast on.
Kushikatsu Pork Loin ($4.00/stick). Though the pork loin can be a little bit more fatty than the other kushikatusu, it is well worth the calories as it is tasty and succulent. The batter and bread crumbs remain as a great contrast of flavour to the tartar sauce, giving extra layers that complements.
Chef Shota adds that he coats the skewers of meat in egg white meringue seasoned with salt and pepper before deep frying the bread crumbs casing.
Chicken Thigh ($2.00/stick). Opt for this yakitori (grilled skewers of meat) if you want something healthier but not necessarily losing in flavour. The chicken thighs are grilled till it is browned on the outside while remaining tender and juicy.
Kushikatsu Prawn ($2.00/stick). The prawns are fresh and succulent, goes really well with the tartar sauce once again. Basically anything fried goes very well with their in house tartar sauce.
I like a kushikatsu prawn better than a tempura ebi because you can taste the essence of the prawn while enjoying the bread crumbs coating whereas for a tempura ebi, the flavours are combined into one, which is also tasty but I prefer the former.
Yakitori Butabara (Pork Belly) ($2.00/stick). Let’s play pretend that this is healthy because it is grilled. It has an aromatic and smoky flavour, chewy in texture and very savoury.
Mecabbage (Brussels Sprouts) ($10.00). It is rare to find brussels sprouts in Singapore and even rarer to find good ones. The ones here at Uma Uma have now topped the list on my brussels sprouts chart.
They aren’t too tough, remaining soft enough to chew and still tough enough to give that crunchy texture. It is rich in flavour and zesty from the wafu dressing.
Yaki Chasiu ($6.00). These pork slices can be added on as a side to magically upgrade your ramen to a charsiu ramen. It is very chewy and breaks off easily. It is packed with flavour, very succulent and reminds me alot of pork floss.
Yakitori Tsukune (Chicken Ball) ($2.00/stick). The chicken balls are extremely tender and aromatic. The exterior is grilled and has a semi sweet and slightly tangy sauce coating it, complementing the soft and savoury minced interior.
Certainly a melt in your mouth dish, this would soon be available as a kushikatsu.
Gyoza ($8.00). Bite-sized and convenient, these one bite gyozas are the perfect snack for popping. It is rich in flavour, not too oily and the skin around the fillings is not too thick.
Yakitori Nankotsu (Chicken Softbone) ($2.00/stick). Not the usual way a dish of soft bone is served, Uma Uma decide to grill it instead. It is well seasoned, salty and crunchy from the chewy soft cartilage, adding a nice texture and flavour.
The meat surrounding the bone is juicy and makes for a very good accompaniment to beer. Plus point, it is also ultra rich in collagen.
Uma Uma Ramen ($14.00). The broth is a tonkotsu base that is dense, creamy and very umami (savoury). The black fungus gives the ramen a good crunch and the egg adds to the flavour of the ramen.
The ramen is cooked well and when paired with the broth, it literally comforts one’s soul. I’d recommend to add an extra side of charsiu to get that extra oomph in flavour.
Mazesoba Dry Ramen ($14.00). Here we have Uma Uma’s signature dry ramen, the Mazesoba, lovingly created in Singapore, born out of our dry noodle obsession culture.
It was so popular that they brought back the dish to the Japan store in Fukuoka. The Mazesoba uses a thicker Sapporo noodles, which is slightly spicy and very fragrant from the addition of sesame seeds.
However, I preferred the Uma Uma ramen traditional style because I’m boring like that and I always love a good bowl of comforting broth.
By the end of the meal, my tummy was surely filled and happy. The skewers of meat were delicious and the ramen just sent me straight to ramen heaven.
Anyone having a bad day, head down to soothe your soul, or if you really just crave for a good time over smashing drinks and food. While the ramen is available all day, the rest of the kushikatsu, yakitori and drinks are only available after 5:30pm. Now go forth and treat yourself.
Uma Uma is currently running a Happy Hour All Night Long promotion with beers at $8++, cocktails from $14++ and spirits from $12++. Do note that beers are only available on Sundays and this promotion is only valid from 5:30pm till closing, all day errday. The only catch is that it will only last for the month of December.
As for the month of January, a special Ladies’ Night promotion is happening every Wednesday from 5:30pm onwards as well. Think $15++ for a glass of champagne or yuzu champagne. Yup, ladies, go on down. The promotion cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers but happy hour drink prices still apply for all additional drink orders. Oh the joy.