New Owners at Umami Sushi
The latest addition to the downtown Ashland restaurant scene is the change from Taroko to Umami Sushi & Asian Cuisine, located at 62 E. Main Street. The new operating owner on site is Theng Wai Boon, who moved to Ashland six months ago from Brooklyn, New York.
“I wanted a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of city life,” said Boon, who is partners at Umami with Joe Tan and Christie Chiang. “My wife and I moved here with our 3-year-old daughter because it has great people, and it’s a great environment for a family.”
Boon is originally from Malaysia and moved to the United States in 1996. He worked in restaurants to put himself through undergraduate school studying business administration.
“That’s where I found my passion for cooking and an outlet for my creativity,” he said. “Since then, I have managed several sushi restaurants and have been the head sushi chef. I love cooking and coming up with new creative dishes. I’ve had background in Japanese, Chinese, Italian, American and Tex-Mex cooking.”
Boon definitely brings that passion to Umami, which means “deliciousness” in Japanese.
“We offer the perfect selection of both traditional and modern Japanese food, from sushi and ramen to izakaya,” Boon said. “We strive to provide the highest quality food and excellent service with reasonable prices. Our goal is to deliver a superlative dining experience in a relaxed setting.”
To help achieve those goals, Boon orders specialty fish (uni, madai, aji, otoro, etc.) and has it flown in from Japan and all over the world. “We get fresh fish as often as possible depending on availability and the season,” he said. “We also have Happy Hour from 3-5pm and 8:30 until close Sunday through Thursday, where food items, sushi rolls and beverages are specially priced. Our Maki Monday and Local’s Night is very popular, where rolls are 20% off all day.”
In addition to an extensive sushi menu, there are interesting small plates like soft shell crabs, pork dumplings, and shrimp tempura, and entrees like chicken katsu curry, beef teriyaki, pad thai, and organic baby bok choy. You definitely will not go away hungry.
Umami also offers great wine, beer and sake offerings, as well as delicious craft cocktails.
Some comments on Facebook:
• “Excellent sushi and don’t forget to end your dinner with the amazing liquid dessert, a coconut martini.”
• “Delicious food, great service. The chicken katsu curry was definitely the star of the evening.”
• “New owners. Creative, fresh food. Fantastic service. Amazing drink menu. Wonderful spot.”
Umami is open Mon-Thu & Sun from 11:30am-9:30pm, and Fri-Sat from 11:30-10:00. For more info, call 541-488-7108. You can also see them on Facebook and at umamiashland.com.