Umu at Dusit Hotel is my favorite fine dining Japanese restaurant.
I love it so much that I’m dedicating this blog post just to one of their dishes – the Nankin pumpkin tofu.
Before I tantalize your taste buds with my description, please do throw out all misconceptions you may have with tofu. The dish has little to do with the white block you see so often in Oriental cuisine.
Let me start you off with this photo. I failed to take a picture of my own, but I did find an exquisite photo from an Umu review at Kristn.com
Isn’t it just beautiful? The colors are bright and inviting – yellow, orange, and green. The tofu is soft, custard-like in texture. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin stands out and it just the right amount of sweetness. The asparagus is crunchy – the texture is an ideal match with the custard. And the shrimp? It is cooked perfectly, tender but firm, and absolutely fresh. This unlikely trio rests on a light sweet and salty soy sauce, the delectable taste that seals the marriage of flavors.
I would like to talk about their Pinoy sushi rolls – the best, freshest rolls in town. Or their sashimi feast, which is served in a mysterious haze from the dry ice. Or their burdock and beef stew which is another delicate balance of sweet and salty.
But I will save it for another post. Today, I want to leave you with just the refreshing imagery of the Nankin Tofu.
Simple yet exquisite. And so thoughtfully composed.