Umai Oriental Street Food Cafe has recently opened up at the back of the newly opened Oriental Mart on Goldsmith Street inside the Hydrogen building. On their Facebook page they say that they will be serving ‘Bubble Tea & Oriental Street Food’ including ‘Some of the most well known & popular street food snacks from Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand‘ Sounds good to me! I am always partial to a bit of street food 🙂
I liked the simple yet eclectic menu as it had a decent mix of Asian street foods on the menu, Yakisoba (a noodle stir fry dish), Okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake) and Gyudon Beef Rice representing Japanese street food. Gyozas, Chinese Steamed Buns, Korean Curry Rice with Pork and Chicken . It all sounded pretty good and I kind of wanted to try it all. I usually say that though, and I usually do end up trying everything as well!
Okonomiyaki with Pork
I took a punt on the Okonomiyaki with pork for £5 which they describe as a ‘Japanese street food pancake with pork and cabbage topped with our special okonomi sauce, seaweed and bonito flakes.’
This was a pretty good decision on my behalf, it was tasty and good value for the money. You got two large pancakes and to be honest one would have been fair enough, two was almost too much and you could be happy getting this dish to share.
Apparently the name Okonomiyaki is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “how you like” or “what you like”, and the word yaki meaning “cooked”. I read that this dish is mainly associated with the Kansai or Hiroshima areas of Japan, but that it is widely available throughout the country
There was plenty of Shredded cabbage, Green onion, and thinly sliced pork, all held together in a solid crepe like omelette if that makes any sense. There was batter and there was egg, I liked the texture of it but I did need to ask for a fork as I just wasn’t going to win the battle with a set of chopsticks
The sauce topping the pancake, was really quite interesting it seemed to be a bit like a sweeter Worcestershire or brown sauce and when I googled found out that was a pretty close guess! Apparently just after the end of WW2 Worcestershire sauce was a popular condiment on Japan, as it has that tart, tangy, unami flavour. Sauce makers in Japan created their own version substituting the stronger flavours of tamarind and anchovy with the milder and sweeter flavours of dates and raisins.
Good idea that, I am going to have to hunt down a bottle from the rows in the Asian supermarket to top other stuff now 🙂
Chicken and Vegetable Gyoza
I had to check out the dumplings, they are officially listed on the menu as gyoza, but they look like the potstickers that I cherish most highly. These were spot on, a lightly fried base where they stick to the pan and a soft light silken casing enveloping the tasty filling. I had the Chicken and Vegetable ones, you got 5 pieces for £3.95.
Other options were ‘Spicy Chicken’ which since they stuck 3 red chillies on the menu alongside the name could actually be quite spicy I suspect! They also have ones filled with Glass Noodles & Vegetables which I will assume are the Vegetarian options 🙂
I do fancy coming back again for more of those dumplings and I also want to try the noodles or Yakisoba as it is called. I did like the layout of the asian food store as well, it was a bit more spacious than the one in Hockley and seemed to be easier to find stuff. When I was there they were giving sampled of steamed dumplings as well which was a bonus treat 🙂
Umai Oriental Street Food Cafe is located at the back of the Orientalmart Hydrogen Building 1 Goldsmith Street NG1 5ED Nottingham, United Kingdom . They are open 11.30 to 6pm every day except for Sunday according to their Facebook page.