Teppanyaki meals cooked live on hibachi grills are ready to make a return to east Wichita when Umi Japanese Steakhouse celebrates their grand opening on Monday at 5 p.m.
The new restaurant, which took over the Sumo space, gave it a major overhaul and renovation this summer. Here’s a sneak peek inside.
11233 E 13th St. N, Wichita, KS 67206
(These hours start Tuesday, Nov. 21)
Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – 2:30pm; 4pm – 9:30pm
Friday: 11:30am – 2:30pm; 4pm – 10pm
Saturday: Noon -10pm
Sunday: Noon – 9pm
To provide full transparency, I was invited to a VIP opening and my meal was fully comped. At the same time, I did provide a tip to the entire staff that covered the full price of my meal, along with extra for an additional tip. This was something I wanted to provide a full review for, and feel that it’s unfair to give reviews for something someone isn’t 100% vested in financially. It’s challenging to give accurate reviews when food is free, whether consciously or sub-consciously, so I made the decision to pay for my meal in the form of a tip and then some.
Now to the nitty-gritty.
Umi Japanese Steakhouse offers live hibachi cooking along with a full sushi menu. It’s a void that was finally filled in east Wichita after Sumo closed.
Umi Japanese Steakhouse won’t be what Sumo patrons remember towards their final days. The interior was given the deepest clean possible and renovated the space, which isn’t 100% done. A bunch of decor has been on backorder and will be added once that arrives.
There’s one separate side room that’s still being remodeled that the owners hope to have completed by Monday.
Similar to Sumo, though, there are two separate dining spaces. Patrons can choose to sit in the dining room, where they can order sushi along with Teppanyaki meals that are not cooked in front of them.
Or for the most interactive dinner experience, multiple hibachi tables are spread throughout Umi Japanese Steakhouse.
The menu, which part of it can be found at the end of this blog, includes hibachi meals, sushi, bento boxes, pad Thai, udon dishes and fried rice.
For my visit, I saw at one of the hibachi tables that can seat up to 8–10 people. If it’s all adults, 8 is probably recommended for a comfortable seating experience.
To start, I ordered an arrangement of sushi, that was shared with the other diners at my table, along with tuna tartar. Everybody loved it. The sushi was very fresh and basically melted in my mouth. After eating it, I regretted sharing the sushi with my table. I wanted it all for myself, but like I tell my daughter, “Sharing is caring”.
As for the tuna tartar, I made the mistake of inhaling it. It was so good, that I didn’t think to breathe, slow down, and fully enjoy it bite by bite.
That was followed by the salad and miso soup that is popular with many hibachi meals. Umi Japanese Steakhouse also gave an option for mushroom soup, but I never pass up the opportunity for miso. It’s hard to mess up these two starter dishes, so these were standard yet satisfying.
For dinner, I went with the filet Mignon and lobster with fried rice.
I was too busy taking different video shots that I completely forgot to take a meal until I was a quarter of the way done with it. Total mess up on my part and a rare mistake, so I guess I’ll need to return to get more pictures.
The food was fantastic. I’ll say if you like your fried rice loaded with pounds of butter, it’ll be slightly different here. It was definitely toned down in that regard, but still worthwhile (and better for your arteries). My filet Mignon was cooked rare and done to perfection. It went incredibly tender. And the lobster was like the cherry on top for my meal.
I had to leave early, so I didn’t stay for the complimentary dessert.
One of the huge issues with Sumo towards their final days was service. Of course, with any VIP/soft opening, service can be all over the place. But my visit was hitting on all cylinders, and they were well staffed. Service is essential, especially to the whole hibachi experience, and will be a big factor for Umi Japanese Steakhouse. They did great on this evening and if they can continue those ways, it’ll be a big win for Wichita.
The city should be pretty excited about this one.
Here’s part of the menu:
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