Have you seen the brilliant origami animals down at Barangaroo with the clean and simplistic design? That’s Ume for sure!
Owner Kirby, brought from Japan a niche culture taking the burger craze to a completely different level.
Rather than layers of patties, cheese and bacon, Ume takes a different approach by using lighter textures coupled with classic Japanese flavours.
Considering the recent heatwave we started with some house-made sodas.
First and foremost, I loved the ombre of colour contained in the glasses; the vibrant colours ust happened to fit perfectly with summer.
The strawberry and vanilla flavour was the most notable as I looked down my straw, I thought I saw something a little strange; tiny black flecks floating on the surface of my drink. To my relief they weren’t ants, it was vanilla.
You could really taste the creaminess of that natural vanilla flavour that cut through the sour sweetness of the strawberry. A really nice sweet drink that was somewhat reminiscent of creaming soda.
We also tried the passionfruit soda.
It looked more like an orange juice than it did a passionfruit drink, but as soon as you take a sip, you’re hit with a wall of sour passionfruit flavour. It was a good hit and nicely tropical to go along with our meal to come.
We couldn’t say no to ordering a serving of Chicken Karaage – it’s almost always a favourite of ours.
When the bowl of karaage arrived we could feel the searing heat just emitted from the crisp skin. The chicken was juicy and battered lightly so that it didn’t feel too heavy. It also had a nice seasoning along the batter.
An uncommon sight on a menu is the Ebi burger, quintessentially Japanese not just by the name but also by the flavour profile and overall presentation of the dish.
Ebi is the Japanese word for prawn, often seen in sushi places and becoming more of an adopted term in the Sydney food scene along with various other Japanese wording.
The interior of the burger was juicy and surprisingly generous with prawns that were fresh and naturally sweet. What surprised me the most was how perfectly cooked the prawns were whilst the patty was lovely and crisp.
The patty went well with a Japanese tartare and the light cabbage allowed the prawns to shine.
It was one of the few burgers I’ve had that was filling but certainly didn’t leave me feeling heavy afterwards.
Note: I’ve heard this dish has recently been replaced by a fish burger.
Umami seems to be that trigger word that has been dropped by bloggers, critics and restaurants everywhere since it was discovered as a new taste category.
It’s the kind of thing that everyone seems to know what it is but can’t quite explain it.
Ume burger make chips with umami salt which is a house blend that actually, contains no salt at all.
The blend of sweet and salty and slight touch of bitterness that coated every single chip was a salt lovers dream.
I personally like my chips cooked a little bit more but all in all these were highly addictive – I definitely couldn’t stop eating them!
Last but not least we couldn’t help but grab some Japanese soft serve to finish off our surprisingly light lunch.
The soft serve was silky smooth but at the same time melts very quickly so be sure to enjoy your snack as soon as you receive it!
The flavour on offer that day was Kinako which is a roast soybean flavour. It was very subtle with a slight nuttiness. The standout was the milkiness of the ice cream that was just a perfect finish to the lunch. They occasionally rotate so be sure to ask what the flavour of the day is.
Ume burger was an absolute delight to visit and it has certainly opened my eyes to the versatility of the current burger scene. I was getting to a point where burgers were getting a bit over-rated but with the introduction of this new Japanese style it’s almost refreshed the burger scene. I do hope this lighter and more versatile view of burgership soon sweeps Sydney just as fast as the recent burger scene did.
Written by Jay Santiago (@eatventures_)