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umeya: the pinnacle of bergen county sushidom

So… it’s been another 2 weeks since my last post… Ah.

Well, I did warn you, didn’t I?

I know, I know – I’m sorry! But think about it this way – I could apologize a million times and it still wouldn’t make up for the lack of posts. SO HOW BOUT WE MOVE RIGHT PAST MY BLOG-NEGLECTINGNESS AND GET RIGHT TO THE FOOD PORN? That’ll make things better, right? :D

So this dinner out is from the weekend I went home for fall break, which was… 2… weeks… ago… Ahem. Moving on.

I was home. And that meant eating a LOT of food. Because sometimes, the cafeteria stuff just doesn’t cut it, ya know?

So my parents promptly stuffed me with all types of home-made goodness. (And yes, there is a separate post for all the mom food that I gorged upon during fall break).

But I also wanted to visit some of our favorite local restaurants – I wanted to taste Bergen County, if you get what I mean. So on a Saturday night when my dad and I decided to go on a daughter-daddy date, it was a given that we go to Umeya.

the sushi master

For all you Bergen County-ers who don’t know about Umeya, you really owe me one. Because I am not exaggerating in the LEAST when I say that this is the best sushi restaurant in Bergen. My dad, the sushi-connoisseur, says so. And he has probably tried out every single sushi restaurant in this area.

So yeah, this place is a real jewel. The fish is fresh, the sushi rice is excellent, and everything is immaculately prepared and served. The restaurant’s small, probably seating 25-ish people and it’s got a very Japanese atmosphere. No funky fusion stuff going on here – all 3 sushi chefs speak limited English, instead choosing to talk amongst themselves and to the waiters in Japanese. All the wait staff wear kimonos too – it’s pretty awesome.

the sushi masterette - and yes, she is married to the sushi master. ain't that cute?

Whenever my family comes here, we usually each order a sushi omakase (the chef’s special sushi platter) with an appetizer to share. My dad went the usual route, but I decided to mix it up a bit and get a multi-course meal that came with a little bit of everything.

But first:

Of course my dad’s gotta have his drink. I think he got it because he was expecting it to be like makgulleeh (Korean rice alcohol), but it was only vaguely similar. It ended up being too sweet for my dad’s taste. But it sure is pretty, ain’t it?

Then our first course came:

It’s a pretty wimpy-looking, I know. But we weren’t here for the salad! And I can honestly say the dressing the Umeya chefs use on their salad is my favoritest EVER. I have no idea what’s in it, just that it is so good that I want to lick it off the plate when I’m done with my lettuce and carroty bits.

Our appetizer was a lightly-seared white tuna with a light ponzu-soy sauce. OMG SO GOOD. I love semi-grilled tuna. It’s got like a millimeter of firm, cooked flesh that gives to the more succulent raw inside… MMMMMM. Sauce = tangy and salty, but not too much so. Perfect for tuna.

While I was trying to savor the appetizer, my second course arrived:

Fried silken tofu with scallions, soy sauce, mushrooms and bonito flakes. Now, I usually don’t eat anything fried, but I would SO eat this again.

Really, how do you even go about frying soondooboo? The tofu was so delicate that once I broke its original square-ish shape, I had to scoop it up with a spoon and slurp it up to eat it.

Then, my sashimi plate:

A small plate of 4 different kinds of fish – it wasn’t anything extravagant, but more like a basic platter done RIGHT with good quality fish.


See how it looks almost grainy? That means the wasabi’s been fresh-grated from the actual root of the wasabi plant on a shark-skin grater, instead of the usual dollop of neon-green goo you get at other sushi places. Trust me, the real stuff tastes so much better.

My dad’s omakase came out the same time as my sashimi.

Oh yeah. It’s big. It’s extravagant. And every bite is SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. Now this is more of the “master” platter. You’ve got everything from eel, to uni, to raw shrimp, to tuna, toro, halibut, mackerel, and sweet egg roll… A deluxe platter indeed. As happy as I was with my course meal, I’ll admit I was getting a little fish-envy.

Which was quickly amended by the arrival of my own sushi plate.

Ok, so it’s not as awesome as my dad’s, but remember all the other awesome courses I got! And this was plenty good enough for me – I even got a maki roll! Like the sashmi plate, this was good-quality, basic sushi. Seriously, I try to eat it slowly to savor it, but it’s always gone so fast..

Oh, and note the ginger on the lower left-hand part of the plate. THAT’S REAL GINGER FOLKS! Not the fake pink stuff that you get on your plate at other places. Are you noticing a trend here? Like the wasabi, this ginger is so good. I usually can’t touch the radioactively-pink, overly sweet clumps of pickled ginger but with this type, I eat every last sliver.

And then all too soon, it was dessert.

Red-bean ice cream. Asian-flavored desserts for the win.

Now, don’t you want to eat at Umeya? I’m not going to lie when I say it’s a little pricey, but I think it’s well worth it. Especially if it’s for special occasions like ME COMING HOME :D.

Surprisingly, my multi-course meal was actually a dollar cheaper than my dad’s omakase – so go ahead and pick whichever sushi set floats your boat.

My favorite place to eat sushi is at the actual bar – that way you get to see all the action. I took a few photos of the masters at work – they were actually pretty amused by my photographing antics.

sushi chef knife skills

assemblage of a roll plate

GO TO UMEYA. Really. Go. It’s so worth your time/effort/money.

The fish says so.





6 thoughts on “umeya: the pinnacle of bergen county sushidom

  1. 11pm and I’m craving sashimi~ Looks so good!! LOVEDDDD this post <3

    Posted by Jenni | November 1, 2010, 10:59 pm


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