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This is a cute little wooden fronted Japanese place that opened in the middle of 2015. It has much the same on offer as the other main stream Japanese restaurants in the centre of town, with a ramen section, an udon section, a large selection of sashimi and sushi and lots of other things on the menu.
The inside is set up with clean wooden tables, in a well lit air-con environment with gentle Thai music playing at a very respectable and enjoyable level. Most tables have a plug socket for those who need one. The far end of the restaurant has a sushi bar run by a Thai guy who learned his trade off a Japanese chef.
We ordered the chicken with sesame and soy sauce on rice, which was served with pickled pink ginger and a miso soup and a garnishing of chives. It was a good sized portion and the chicken was tasty. The rice was Japanese style, so a little stickier than normal Thai rice, making it easier to pick up using chopsticks.
We also had salmon in a teriyaki sauce served with rice, miso soup and spicy finely diced kimchi. The sweet of the teriyaki complimented the spicy tartness of the kimchi well.
The real winners were the salmon and avocado sushi rolls. We received a plate of 8 decent sized pieces of sushi, made of Japanese rice wrapped around a few chunks of avocado, topped with a salmon hood. Dipped in wasabi, these were seriously tasty.
We were handed complimentary cool towels during the meal, and the meal was finished off with a hot rice green tea.
The bill for 3 dishes - 2 of which were salmon - was about 550 Baht. The prices are the same as any other Japanese restaurant in town.
It's a nice place to eat for lunch, because it has plenty of light food on the menu, like sushi or a Japanese salad. Be careful what time you go though because like most Japanese restaurants in town, they close for 3 hours between lunch and dinner (from 2:00pm until 5:00pm).
They said that they are busier in the evenings than in the afternoons, but when we went it was fairly quiet, with just three tables of diners so the food came very quickly. This was on a Friday evening at about 7:00pm. When we had finished and were leaving, all the staff by the door politely gave us a farewell wai and invited us back. A very friendly place to eat.
Umai Japanese Restaurant info:
Open: 11:00am - 2:00pm & 5:00pm - 10:00pm (Monday - Friday)
11:00am - 10:00pm (Saturday & Sunday)
Tel: 044 006 353, 088 581 0248 or 086 411 6304
Please click for the Umai Facebook Page
Line ID: umaikorat
Address: Umai Japanese Restaurant, Pho Klang Road, Nai Muang, Korat, 30000
Directions: It's on Pho Klang Road, near where it meets Yotha Road (not far from Sukhanaree School)