October 23, 2013 Beirut Lebanon Middle East

Yumi... Is more than Yummy (Restaurant Closed)

Phone Number: +961 3 272763

Address: Monot Street, Beirut, Lebanon

Website: https://www.facebook.com/YumiBeirut

Price Range: 50-80 $


Welcoming: 4/5

Food Temperature: 8/10

Ambiance / Music: 8/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 27/30

Architecture / Interior: 8/10

Food presentation: 8/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: 7/10

I know! It has taken me quiet some time to try Yumi and with this time lost, I have been missing out on the best maki rolls Lebanon has to offer... But as the saying goes, it’s better later than never. Premium quality and exquisite taste hidden in every roll is prepared with such simplicity at Yumi, making every bite exquisite.

As I walked from the parking to Yumi, many ideas started popping into mind. What should I expect from a restaurant in a nightlife district? Loud music? Average food? And more negative flowed as I approached the entrance. But let me tell you something. Never judge a book by its cover.  This restaurant will amaze you, like it did me, on all fronts. Yumi, located in the heart of Monot Street is not like any other Japanese place around. This restaurant/bar is special on all fronts. It all starts by the location, in the middle if a nightlife district where things are casual and laid back. This feeling continues in as you enter this casual fine dining space that's simple and not pretentious. You will be eating one of the finest sushi rolls in the country without complications. In here, food counts... Food is what speaks for itself. Facing "A whole in the Wall" bar is Yumi nestled up two stairs above the Monot walking district. A terrace followed by a square dining space in a dimmed cozy ambiance.

The place described:
  • The overall space is clear with reflective materials used everywhere making the restaurant look bigger
  • The terrace, outside has an interesting mix of colors, thanks to the neighbors. Violet from the sign ahead, yellow from the street light and red from the painted walls
  • A high table seating above the green ramp to have a look in the street. All tables are setup with placemats of three different colors (red, black, grey) and black ceramic plates
  • Inside, a square space built of grey, black, red and metallic colors
  • After the entrance, you'll be welcomed by a long bar to your right and a large painting to the left
  • The backlit bar is decorated with dozens of bottles
  • The facing wall is covered with acoustic sponges absorbing the unpleasant echoes
  • The high ceiling is covered with mirrors and lit with dozens of led lights
  • The main wall is covered with a large photograph of a woman wearing a flower dress on a white background. It will indirectly remind you of the Japanese flag
  • Concrete is intensely used
Yumi_Sushi_Japanese_Beirut50 Don't be alarmed if you don't see the rolls being prepared in front of you like almost all Japanese restaurants. I would recommend you pass by the washrooms to see the open kitchen busy in action preparing the freshest ingredients by the minute. A drink I recommend: Spiced Sakerinia: Fresh lychee, fresh lime, fresh ginger, brown sugar, sake, lychee syrup, and crushed ice. Crispy lime, crunchy sugar, slightly spice aftertaste, rich sake, adequate sweetness


The menu sections:
  • Soups
  • Yu start
  • Salads
  • Yumi makis
  • Classic makis
  • Yu mix
  • Sashimi rolls
  • Sushis
  • Sashimis
  • Temakis
  • Gunkans
  • Main courses
  • Desserts
Food is delicious:

Today, as I already said, I discovered one of the tastiest Japanese places in Lebanon, a restaurant I do recommend - and NGNO Recommendation sticker is already placed at the door. Yumi has it all! Rich rolls filled with the freshest ingredients and wrapped in thin layers of rice. Each and every roll is prepared meticulously with generous quantities of fish, fruits, cheese and vegetables. I adored the mixes and their creative complication that make the experience unique, one bite after the other. The best part, you don't feel bloated or heavy after eating. Very little or no mayonnaise is used, a tasty sweet teriyaki sauce and juicy ingredients you can and should enjoy without adding any soy sauce. We ordered a lot, making sure to try all parts of the menu and enjoyed everything. I loved the salad and their generosity, the rolls and their colors, the sizes, the rice and its perfect cooking time. To top it all, Yumi doesn't use the ugly green plastic leaves as separators. As for the sashimi, Yumi uses superior salmon quality that is non oily and melts under your teeth like butter.

What I loved:
  • The menu is clear, clean and features beautiful clean photos
  • The plates are beautifully presented
  • The pieces are good looking and generous
  • Sashimi is served in crushed ice
  • All the rolls are creative and not heavy, filled with many ingredients
  • This is the first time I eat maki pieces prepared with a thin layer of rice. Every bite is rich with fish and vegetables
The pluses:
  • Beautiful presentation
  • Fresh and tasty food
  • A very nice ambiance
  • The staff is welcoming, professional and neat
  • Thank you for not using the ugly green leaves: Respect!
The only minus:
  • The salmon skin is way too salty. Needs a quick fix
Yumi means a beautiful woman in Japanese
I plan on coming to this place often, but preferably on weekdays to enjoy a more relaxed ambiance without the busy action of the weekend.
Let us clarify things here. Le Sushi Bar is to Japanese restaurants what Aldente is to Italian restaurants. Two premium restaurants that don't compete with others and actually can't be compared to others.
I am sure that Yumi, Ichciban or Yabani do not even want to compete with the big player. Putting Le Sushi Bar aside, I can say that Yumi is one of my favorite sushi places around not to say the best. In a bar/lounge/musical atmosphere this restaurant is a must try. 


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