Michelin-starred French-Asian fusion restaurant HanTing Cuisine in The Hague is one of our favourite restaurants in the city (and it’s #1 on TripAdvisor), but it’s not the kind of place you would visit every week unless you have a bunch of cash to burn. Luckily for us, their chef is also in charge of UMAMI, a more budget-friendly Asian fusion fine dining restaurant. They have four locations, and we tried two of them: Maastricht and The Hague!
UMAMI calls their food a “social dining experience”, which simply means that the dishes are shared by everyone at the table instead of everyone ordering and getting their own dish. This is so normal to me, growing up in a Chinese household, that it didn’t occur to me that this kind of dining setting needed a hipster-sounding term to clarify it, but I understand why they do. If you’ve never dined like this, try it – it’s so much fun to try so many different dishes.
You can order all the dishes à la carte at UMAMI and there’s a set menu. But my favourite way to order here is the €24,95 social dining menu where you can pick two dishes per person for every course. It just results in an amazingly colourful array of dishes on the table.
Just like HanTing Cuisine, UMAMI’s style of food is an explosion of flavours. A lot of sauces and taste combinations that you wouldn’t expect, like fish and fruits. Both restaurants we visited have a very modern vibe, the staff is capable and friendly.
The quality of the food is generally great, but in The Hague, one fish was very bitter and one chicken dish was overcooked. In both restaurants the salmon was a little overdone to my taste. This is in contrast to HanTing Cuisine, where everything is consistently cooked to perfection and fish melts in your mouth. Still, not a bad score at all, considering the large number of different dishes we had! You get what you pay for after all, and UMAMI is great value for very good food.
Desserts are not included in the three courses, but you can order them separately. Also very much recommended if you can still eat after all that food. We all have a second dessert stomach, right?