Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Uma Uma Izakaya Millenia Walk

By Friday, February 05, 2016 , , , ,

I enjoy fine dining, dishes plated like art, and deep conversations over a good red. But sometimes, raucous-energetic-casual is the perfect way to let loose and unwind, with small plates and bites, plus tipples (always). Missing the open air Fukuoka yatais and smoky izakayas in Nagoya, we headed to Uma Uma at its latest location on the Japanese Food Street at Millenia Walk. Here, we kicked back with grilled Yakitori and Kushikatsu,  cocktails and drinks by Horse’s Mouth and Hakata-styled ramen from Uma Uma Ramen.
It really felt like we walked into a Hakata izakaya at Uma Uma, with its slightly crampish seating, long bar/ramen counter and warm Japanese hospitality. Orders were placed swiftly, so that the a la minute sticks with homemade sauces (created by Head Chef, Shota Kaneko) would arrive quickly.  
Ingredients are imported twice weekly from Japan and the quality is best presented through grilling. My favorite Yakitori sticks are the Tsukune (chicken balls with soft bone) which was juicy with some crunch! All resolve to eat healthy will obliterate with a stick (or 2) of that crispy and sweet grilled chicken skin! How did i resist this for so long?! The Butabura (Pork Belly) and chicken thigh were a tad dry-ish and bland for my liking. And obviously I'm not a fan the bland soft bone. All Yakitori sticks are priced between $2 - 3 each.
From the bar bites, do not miss the fried Brussels Sprouts ($10) with a salty sweet sauce. This is possibly the 'healthiest' dish at Uma Uma. Loved those browned crispy edges. The Eihire (stingray fins) ($10) are best eaten hot. They tastes exactly like grilled cuttlefish but sweeter.
The Kushikatsu (串揚げ) selection is quite small currently. While the batter is sufficiently light and not overly greasy, I always felt it's a waste of the ingredients when they are deep fried. Wouldn't the freshly imported Japan scallops have died in vain? Well thankfully they remained fairly decent after frying. I much preferred the Pork Loin with the Tonkatsu sauce though I must say it's a bit tougher. All Kushikatsu sticks are sold from $2 - 5 each.
Now this is the star of Uma Uma actually- the Chasiu Don ($5) with an additional Onsen Tamago ($1.50). Love love love the wonderfully charred and buttery chasiu with soy! This portion is perfect for the ladies and for the guys too, since you could always have other sides to go with! This is also available at the other outlets, even at Horse's Mouth (it's $10 there though).
For something heartier to go with the meat skewers, pick from the list of ramen. I'd go with the Mazesoba, a Japanese spin on the local dry ba chor mee (minced pork noodles). They use a Hokkaido type of curly yellow noodles (which was a bit too alkaline IMO) topped with spring onions, bamboo shoots, leeks, chili oil and onsen egg. You should definitely top up or add on a side of the wonderfully charred chasiu! 
I found the Uma Uma Ramen ($14) to be too bland, oily, and overcooked for my liking. The Bushi Tonkotsu Ramen ($16) fared better with the smoky bonito flakes Tonkotsu soup but that's my preference. 
The good guys behind Horse’s Mouth have crafted a special drinks menu for Uma Uma, featuring Sakes chosen from small and private breweries in Japan, classic cocktails, premium whiskys and beers so there is something for everyone. 
Wash it down with some ice cream ($4 for 2 scoops). I preferred the more intense goma one!
For lunch, only ramen, side dishes and toppings are available. Their ramen promotional lunch set is available from 11.30am - 2.30pm. The Yakitori, Kushikatsu, Ramen and cocktails will be available after 5.30pm for dinner.

Uma Uma 
9 Raffles Boulevard #02-06, Millenia Walk Singapore 039596
Tel: +65 6837 0827
Mon - Sat: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - 12am
Sun: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5.30 - 10pm 

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