I am not opposed to special requests and a very special request (more like begging, kidding) led Dinner with G to UMI for May.
There’s a (not so) hidden gem at Sugar Bay Hotel offering affordable sushi to the masses, it’s called UMI. Hotel restaurants don’t get nearly as much love as their standalone counterparts, as if being attached to a Hotel makes them fairly passable, relegated to the likes of complimentary inflight peanuts. UMI brings to mind the most famous quote from the movie Ratatouille “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere”.
Entering an All-Inclusive
Sugar Bay, the upside hotel, is an all-inclusive. Their main priority is to always have available dinner seating for in-house guests. This means the general public is given a reduced percentage of the seating allowance per evening. With that said UMI is fast becoming a local favourite, booking in advance is advisable especially for parties over 4.
Sugar Bay’s charming ground floor lobby deserves its own mention, also because this is the first thing you see. It’s Caribbean chic with well-placed Barbadiana accents including an Instagram worthy 10ft tall jalousie window feature wall.
Tucked away on the second floor you either make the grand entrance up the stairs from the Reef Restaurant or take the elevator. As the Elevator let’s out behind the restaurant on a guest floor it literally feels like you’re sneaking up to someone’s room. As a first timer I preferred the stairs, you might too.
Outside of the storm gusts UMI’s ambiance is like its name; a simple, clean esthetic. No unnecessary frills or attempts at overly Asian décor. Their hostesses in black and red Kimono uniforms add the Asian inspired elegance. The staff’s friendly and helpful attitude complete the dining experience
UMI has some of the best sushi prices on the island. Not only is it affordable but in no way have they sacrificed quality over costs. Any diehard sushi fan will be in heaven. Complementary spring rolls signal the beginning of dinner. The starters; Soups & Salad ($15 – $20) present satisfying dishes like the UMI Fusion Salad serving face on a plate, added to that this dish’s beauty comes with depth. Mains come in three groupings; for the non-sushi folk aka “I don’t do raw fish” there’s the Japanese-Asian Fusion Hot Dishes ($30 – $65). For the Sushi lovers you get two whole sections Sushi & Sashimi Roll Combo Station ($44 – $72) and Chef Roberto’s Specialty Fusion Rolls ($28 – $32) other than Chef Roberto’s eyebrow-raising Italian name, there’s absolute nothing to worry about. Every option is a good one and definitely encourages repeat visits to try them all.
Dessert (Under $30) visually pleasing, but not “desserty” enough for me. This is my usual Dessert Conundrum. Dessert should be dinner’s grand finale but I haven’t given up hope, I’m still on the lookout for a dessert menu that blows me away.
UMI isn’t unnecessary fuss, neither do they try to wow you with how authentic they are. The quality of the product and the high level of service speaks (in reality yells) for itself; A GREAT NIGHT OUT THAT WONT BREAK THE BANK!! This is a restaurant you’ll try to squeeze in more often than not.
- Georgina Callender