UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi
UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi

UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi

  • Dining Style: Fine Dining
  • Website: http://www.umaichicago.com/
  • Phone: 3129868888
  • Hours of Operation:


    Lunch: Monday - Friday: 11:30pm - 3:00pm, Saturday: 11:30pm - 3:00pm (no lunch menu)

    Dinner: Monday - Thursday: 3:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 3:00pm - 10:30pm, Sunday: 4:30pm - 9:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Sushi, Japanese
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Polk
  • Public Transit: Red line Harrison
    Blue line Harrison
    Bus number 62, 22
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi
At Umai, the experience is meant to be a series of sensations to be shared and lingered over, whether it’s a cozy meal for a few or a lively evening out. The interior of Umai has a modern-lofty feel with an artistic decor of Japanese mural on the wall. The dining room has natural earthy color, dark high-ceiling and hanging lights that makes the dinning elevated, warm and hip atmosphere, providing an intimate and fun dining experience for any occasion.

At the sushi bar, our expert chefs work their magic, creating a dynamic and interactive dining experience where guests can savor either the sushi or the full menu.
Umai's kitchen is a laboratory for innovation. The chefs integrate classic Japanese techniques with international flavors to create stunning, mouth-watering bites for an eclectic crowd. From seasonal exotic fish, to an excellent sake and wine list, Umai is a promising destination for all to enjoy and share.
Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerJapanese
UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi reviews from OpenTable diners
44 reviews since June 24, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.4
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4.1
    Noise LevelModerate
95% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (26)fit for foodies (25)good for groups (12)great for lunch (10)great for outdoor dining (7)special occasion (7)hot spot (5)romantic (4)late-night find (3)kid-friendly (2)great for brunch (1)scenic view (1)vibrant bar scene (1)notable wine list (1)Show More
  • Not authentic
    Nichi
    Dined on 10/7/2014
    UMAI was full by 7 on a weekday night, so it is clearly popular. While the service was excellent, the food was disappointing. The ramen, though tasty, was rather greasy for Japanese tastes. The nigiri sushi had no wasabi in it (their standard practice, the server said) and tasted as if it had been made ahead of time and refrigerated. Anyone looking for authentic Japanese cuisine should go elsewhere.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Gman
    Dined on 10/5/2014
    Great ramen! What I like most about this place is that it's a Japanese restaurant that has sushi, ramen, and entrees such as plates of Tonkatsu. Many places just specialize in one or two of them. I went with a group of 6 and had a sample of everyone's plate, and all of the food was well made. Plus it's in the South Loop area, which makes it more convenient for me to go to since I live on the South side. Great ambiance and decorations! I especially love the classic American movie posters in Japanese hung up on the walls.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • All around great
    Rockerbox
    Dined on 10/2/2014
    My goal always is to find a restaurant that has great food but equally matched with excellent atmosphere. The food was great and not overly complicated like some other sushi bars. Pretty straightforward with a little UMAI flare. Perfect for those who actually like sushi. And perfect for those who like a sophisticated mood to accompany their food and conversation. Our server was professional but casual, funny but not at all obnoxious. I can't wait to go back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mostly enjoyed
    Nova
    Dined on 9/24/2014
    With a no-pork restriction, and a distaste for fried food (including tempura), it left me a little baffled on what to order when I came in for a piping bowl of ramen. All the ramen dishes have pork. I ended up ordering dipping noodles sans the pork belly. The ingredients for dipping were fresh and tasty. The dipping sauce was a bit on the heavily seasoned and salty side, but all in all, I enjoyed my meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious food
    Carlie
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    Went on a weeknight for a farewell dinner. All parties found the food delicious and all would return. It was not too loud and the décor was nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good, reasonably-priced Japanese
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    I had one of the Udon bowls, my girlfriend had a sushi platter. Both were excellent. We finished the night with mochi ice cream, also very good. ,he prices were very reasonable for Japanese food in the middle of a city.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    Musicadeclub
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Fabtastic Dinner . Cool place with great food. We really enjoyed our time there.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, late-night find, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Nice
    xiaoxiaoVIP
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    we love Hamachi Kama. For the birthday person we should have some kind gift for .. green tea ice cream? Thanks
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Umai, Oh my!
    mgian
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I really enjoyed Umai. I have tried a few ramen restaurants now and I think Umai is near the top of the list. The noodles were nice and chewy and the broth was very thick and delicious.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • not your average sushi bar
    amh9
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Really cute interior tables, chairs, floor and art with outdoor patio lined by flowers, although traffic noise is a little intense. The menu seems very authentically Japanese, with off-beat ingredients in many of the interesting rolls.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious Japanese Fare
    EthnicDiner
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    We had been wanting to try this relatively new restaurant in the South Loop and we were definitely impressed. Although the restaurant specializes in sushi and shashimi, it offered plenty of other Japanese options such as teriyaki salmon, chicken, or beef, and soba and ramen noodle dishes. The prices are reasonable considering the quality and the quantity of the food. Three of us had teriyaki dishes which came with steamed rice, steamed fresh veggies, and a green salad. Everything was done to perfection, including the veggies which were varied and crisp. Service was prompt and friendly. No wonder the place is busy every time we travel by, as it was the evening we were there. A definite thumbs up!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Yummy sushi
    Sheila0824VIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    Needed a quick bite in the neighborhood. Delicious salad and sushi. Attentive waiter and quick kitchen. Will come back. Near ventra station but not close enough to be noisy. Awesome iced green tea. Healthy and good eats!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 32 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 24, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.4
    • Food4.5
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 49 reviews are from the UMAI Japanese Kitchen & Sushi reviews archive.
  • Great Restaurant!
    HappyDiner
    Dined on 6/13/2014
    Tried this place out for the first time last Friday. EXCELLENT food; nice to see a japanese restaurant offer more than the usual items in terms of japanese fare. The quality of the food was really good! Very enjoyable. Nice ambiance in the restaurant as well. Good service. Very happy, overall. No complaints.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Printers Row Eatery
    Mparker24VIP
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    This is a great place and a great value for dinner.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tasty Japanese
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 5/28/2014
    Excellent ramen and solid sushi offerings in a utilitarian setting in the South Loop. I'd try it again.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Convenient
    DonnaVIP
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    I guess I pass this place every once in awhile but the name is not very visible, only the Asian characters, so it's kind of hard to see and determine if 'I'd like to go there.' But I did get a flier in the mail at my building which is when I decided to go. The restaurant as a whole is very, very nicely put together. The ambiance is fantastic. Not too big, not too small, like a lot of sushi restaurants can be. Food was good, not too salty like a lot of other places as well. The sushi is not as good as I would have expected, but the udon noodles were delicious. The drink list looks very good, with a few things I haven't seen before like the plum wine with soda, good mix!
    Special Features:
    romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great sushi
    WrigleyFielder
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Great sushi-dining room not so much. Too cold for patio dining so we were wedged next to chatty students on one side and crying baby on the other so huge marks off for lunch ambience even though food was outstanding. Easy stroll from the LaSalle CTA Blue Line stop.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for outdoor dining, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • joer
    Dined on 5/2/2014
    excellent food great service. Intereesting neighborhood place that was very unique for lunch. Business meeting or other gaterings are perfect for Umai.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Great for Lunch, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great sushi!
    MaryVIP
    Dined on 4/19/2014
    Thoroughly enjoyed our meal, nice wine and pleasant ambience.
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great all around!
    girlsnightout
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Went to Umai before going to the Auditorium Theater. We had a couple of sushi rolls and ramen. Everything was so fresh and clean tasting! The ramen was totally awesome! Our waitress was prompt, very pleasant and took great care of us without hovering. An all around great experience!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • UMAI Virgin
    rarenest
    Dined on 4/8/2014
    Great flavors, service and a great corner. Sweet, tight and smart staff. It is undiscovered by the neighborhood. That's the problem and the opportunity. This is an authentic Asian masterpiece. Get the word out and thive.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Night out
    ironman
    Dined on 3/14/2014
    Took my daughter out for dinner and we had a great time! The service was great, the waitress was very friendly and accommodating. Great vibe no matter the occasion. I don't know much about sushi but the food was great as well (I had the Chicago roll). I highly recommend this restaurant and will go again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, romantic, late-night find, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • I loooooove it!
    Weida
    Dined on 3/4/2014
    I'm really a Japanese food fan, and I've tasted a lot of Japanese food in U.S. It's one of the best, both for locations and the menu. Thank you.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good food, bad reservation
    btfsplk83
    Dined on 2/14/2014
    I do like the sushi at Umai, and the wait staff is typically very helpful and agreeable. In my recent experience, don't bother trying to make a reservation - they may not honor it.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place & Wow Food
    LemlemcoVIP
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    The place was on point. The food was very good... The menu favored pork more than I like. Yet the food is o. Point......
    Special Features:
    good for groups, vibrant bar scene, scenic view, neighborhood gem, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Really good Japanese food
    JandBVIP
    Dined on 2/5/2014
    We had the vegetable tempura but it was a bit oily. The wasabi shumai was excellent. The silky tofu appetizer was very tasty. We enjoyed some sake with our meal and we were not rushed to finish. A very good experience.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, a little overpriced
    RockstarVIP
    Dined on 1/28/2014
    I felt the food was very tasty, yet quite overpriced. It was definitely off the beaten path and they had no happy hour specials or deals. I had the Naked roll, Edamame, and Miso soup. I would recommend the Udon next time, I wish I ordered that as my friend did. Although scorching hot when it came out, it was quite delicious, especially paired with a white wine,
    Special Features:
    notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Best of both worlds
    sofiadujourVIP
    Dined on 1/24/2014
    I was so impressed that Umai serves great sushi, great rolls, AND great Japanese food. Spicy edamame and shishito peppers made fantastic starters. Maitaki mushroom chowder was out of this world (came in an adorable mouse-looking cast-iron bowl, too!). Nabeyaki Udon has a delicious broth, lots of ingredients, and perfect silky and thick udon. Large portions were another bonus (especially the Chicago roll!). Beautiful sashimi plating, great drinks, quick service.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Better than expected
    Patrick
    Dined on 1/13/2014
    I always go into a restaurant with moderate expectations but this place exceeded my expectations. I had the Dynamite and the Goosebumps rolls. Also worth mentioning is the shrimp shumai. Very good food. Service was good but not warming. The server did a good job but he needed more personality. None the less, it's worth going back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Sushi Bar
    JHRRRVIP
    Dined on 12/31/2013
    We have been to Umai several times and were never disappointed. Really nice Sushi bar and variety.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hard-to-find Japanese food
    pintsizedrobotninja
    Dined on 11/29/2013
    I love eating at Umai because they go beyond the typical Japanese fare and offer more traditional Japanese dishes that I have so far only been able to find in Japan.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Black rice sushi is yummy
    ReneeVIP
    Dined on 11/14/2013
    Celebrated a birthday with a friend. Had a nice table at the window. Great variety and innovation in the menu. Everything was great. Service was super. Black rice sushi sampler is a must have.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very good Japanese food
    JandBVIP
    Dined on 11/1/2013
    This was our second visit to UMAI and it was even better than the first experience. The food was wonderful and reasonably priced. We are going back!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good Japanese food
    JandBVIP
    Dined on 10/30/2013
    We really enjoyed our dinner at UMAI. Our food was fresh and delicious. The ginger beer was very good and there is a nice selection of wine.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • I FOUND IT!
    Leslie
    Dined on 10/18/2013
    After having increasingly bad experiences at another South Loop Sushi place, my friends and I were looking for our "next spot". THIS IS IT! The food was excellent and the atmosphere was simple and homey. We really felt comfortable and have plans to go back very soon and take others with us. I get off work at 3:00 p.m. and it was nice to find a really good restaurant open that early. We usually have to wait around until 5:00 p.m.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great local spot
    Mfaz1550VIP
    Dined on 10/12/2013
    Perfect place for late night sushi after the movie. Portions are small and reasonably priced so try a lot of rolls and appetizers.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business Lunch
    WestLooper
    Dined on 9/27/2013
    A great place for a business lunch (in this case, part of a job interview). I've been to Umai before both for this purpose and on the weekend for lunch. The food quality is consistently very good. There is a good variety of nigiri and sashimi, and the bento box is a favorite. There are other menu items as well, with some of the specials occasionally veering toward an Americanized palate. The service is attentive, friendly and un-rushed. The interior is attractive and comfortable. There is outdoor seating, although it's on a busy corner, and right now there is a major construction project across the street.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • This is probably my favorite
    ccccVIP
    Dined on 9/21/2013
    This is probably my favorite sushi/Japanese place in the South Loop, where we live. The ambiance is very nice and the food is tasty and fresh. I wish they didn't charge extra for rice (just something that annoys me, especially when you aren't told when they ask if you'd like some rice). Otherwise, this is a very nice place to eat in the South Loop.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Sushi!
    SouthLoop
    Dined on 9/14/2013
    The overall experience was great! I like the variety of selections on the menu and drinks. The service was great from the time you walk in and greeted to the time you leave. Even the cooks wished you a good day, nice personal touch :) Oysy use to be my neighborhood favorite sushi restaurant, but have gone down over the years. Umai sushi portions are big and fresh.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • More than sushi!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 9/6/2013
    I'm a big fan of Japanese cuisine and am always happy to find a restaurant that celebrates everything on their menu--not just the sushi. The sushi was delicious, as was the beef tongue skewers, soups, gyoza. I wanted to order so many items on the menu that deciding was difficult. My husband and I will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.