It has taken until 2021, but Jacksonville finally has it’s first and only Japanese Curry Restaurant!
Gus and Diana own Umami Curry, located off San Jose in Mandarin. They have 20+ years experience in the kitchen, but in 2017 they started their own business-Umami food truck.
They served hibachi, sushi rolls and Pokè bowls for a few years until they opened a brick and mortar with the same concept.
Earlier this year, with the help of some friends(Chef Levi and Chef Noon from Karai Bistro, Chef Cody from Blazin’ Buffalo and Aristotle from Hungry Wolf Co.)Umami changed their concept to Japanese Curry.
Gus prides himself by making the curry from scratch, no ready made curry powders or curry bricks here! He has even fine tuned and improved the recipe since my first visit!
Not only can you find various traditional curry dishes on the menu but also the super popular Japanese “Katsu Sando”, they smother theirs with curry of course… which makes it even better!
You can add a more modern and trendy topping to your curry like pork rinds or cheese. I have yet to try either of these, but I’m very curious!
Don’t miss out on their apps, my favorite was the Ika Geso. Think karaage (Japanese fried chicken) batter- but with squid tentacles. If you only like the rings you will want to pass on this one, but you are missing out on deliciousness!
Oh, On Tuesdays and Wednesdays you can order Okonomiyaki- a Japanese savory pancake, Gus fills his with shrimp and cabbage and it’s topped with pickled ginger, Mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes and tenkasu. As far as I know Umami is the only place in Jax where you can get it.
As far as adult beverages, they have Kirin, Sapporo and Hitachino Japanese Craft Beer. You can find several types of sake on the menu including 2 sake cocktails and the always fun with friends, “Sake Bomb”.
Currently, there’s only one dessert on the menu. The Japanese Cheesecake, it’s super duper light and comes with a strawberry topping.
If you’ve never had Japanese Curry before, give it a try. I’m not sure why nobody thought about this concept before, but better late than never!
Ika Geso and Edamame appetizer
Katsu Curry Sando
Okonomiyaki- only available Tuesdays and Wednesdays
Tokyo Rose & Kamikaze sake cocktails
Katsu Curry Rice
Gus and Diana owners of Umami Curry