Alan Su comes from a restaurant family. When his family immigrated from Hong Kong they eventually opened a take-out spot and Alan soon found himself helping out in the kitchen. This experience let this restauranteur to open a couple of Philly favorites including Nom Nom Ramen and Yamitsuki which he co-owns with fellow restaurateur Kenny Poon.
Now Alan has launched a new venture on April 29th, Umami Steak & Sushi Bar (727 Walnut St.) along with Partner/Sushi Chef Yonten Gyamtsomic. Serving both premium sushi and steaks, the duo figured, “Why should folks have to choose one or the other? Sushi and steaks have always been my among my top favorite things to eat when I want to enjoy a great meal. The problem is I have to choose one of the two as I cannot find a restaurant that does both foods really well,” Alan states.
The name Umami, means “pleasant savory taste” and is one of the five basic tastes. “One example of what we do to bring out the umami in our foods is to use koji to ferment our steaks to give it a deep flavor similar to an aged steak but with its unique taste.” Alan adds. “Koji is a mold that Asia and Japan have been using for over 2,500 years to inoculate and turn foods palatable such as soy sauce, miso, mirin and sake. To my knowledge, we are the only restaurant in greater Philadelphia area to use Koji to create our steaks which are rich in umami taste,” Su adds.
So what separates Umami from other sushi spots? “We use premium fresh fish and seafood that are domestic and also flown in from Japan. Also, whenever possible, we also use living herbs such as shisho, leaves from our kaffir lime tree and sprouts plucked from our own gardens as ingredients to our sushi and foods. We are a chef driven scratch kitchen. That means our sauces, pickles, and foods are made in-house to create a unique taste and flavor that is different than other sushi spots,” Alan explains.
Umami Steak & Sushi Bar seats 86 guests throughout their lounge, drink bar (liquor coming soon) and sushi bar. Their hours of operation are:
Sunday to Thursday: Lunch 11:30am to 3:00pm, Dinner 4:30 to 9:00pm
Friday and Saturday: Lunch 11:30am to 3:00pm, Dinner 4:30 to 10:00pm