eat. shop. love. nyc.


Fancified Filipino cuisine at Umi Nom

Nom nom nom.

The deep fried oysters served with crispy shoestring fries at Umi Nom totally blew me away with their crunchy, warm, creamy, oyster-y-ness. There was no need for the creamy sweet and sour dipping sauce which was served alongside the oysters. I’m sad to report, however, that these were a daily special, and not a regular menu item, though if I lived closer to Umi Nom, I’d be petitioning their addition to the regular menu relentlessly.

Chef King Phojanakong’s Brooklyn restaurant Umi Nom is a solid second offering from the man who brought us Kuma Inn on the Lower East Side. Umi Nom’s cuisine reflects Chef King’s influences, ranging from the home cooking of his Filipino mother and Thai father to the French techniques he picked up in other esteemed NYC kitchens (Daniel, Bouley Bakery, Jean-Georges).

Umi Nom is a place to go with a group of friends and order several small plates to share family style. If you order an average of 1.5 to 2 small plates per person, everyone should be satisfied (but make sure you include a rice and/or noodle dish for something a little more substantial).

Our dinner began with a crab rangoon amuse-bouche, fried wontons filled with cream cheese and crab. I’ve never met a crab rangoon I didn’t like, so it probably means little that I enjoyed this one, but free crab rangoon? Somehow more delicious.

Next up were the Umi Nom crispy wings, deep fried wings tossed with salt and Anaheim chilies. I prefer sauceless wings to saucy ones, so these were a big hit with me, especially with the chili kick (though I wish they had given me more chilies on the side).

The Bahay Kubo fried rice was fairly standard in terms of fried rice. It consisted of chicken, sausage, and shrimp stir-fried with white rice, egg, garlic, and soy sauce. Nothing to write home about as it was not particularly memorable, but it was a good stomach-filler since some of the other small plates were smaller.

We ordered another daily special – the pork belly adobo. The heavily charred pork belly was served with a soy, garlic, tomato, and adobo chili sauce and a sprinkling of green onions. I like my pork belly slices to be thick and juicy with a nice fat to meat ratio, and while the pork belly was very good, they could have done better by making the cuts just a little thicker and reducing the char a bit. Some char is nice, but too much makes for tough meat, and pork belly should really melt in your mouth. Still, I’d order this again as I feel like ours may have been just an off-batch. The sauce was fantastic!

Let’s revisit the deep fried whole oysters here again for a moment. Maybe even observe a moment of silence.

*Silence*

Food nirvana. THISCLOSE to being as good as the deep fried whole-bellied clams I had at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset, Maine over the summer. THISCLOSE.

On to the beef. We ordered ma-banh’s beef tapa, a dish of fried, thinly sliced dried beef served with a smoked adobo (?) and chipotle chili sauce. Basically, hot beef jerky. If you’re into that, you’ll like this. If you’re like me, you might want to pass.

We also enjoyed the sauteed sweet sausage in a Thai chili-lime sauce (but it was so popular that I forgot to take a pic of the kielbasa-like sweet sausage cut on the diagonal) and a passable (but also forgettable) pancit canton.

What I really want is to find someone’s Filipina tita to make us some pancit and some chicken adobo in her kitchen at home. Anyone want to lend me a Filipina aunt/mother/grandma for a day?

Eat: Umi Nom (Clinton Hill) 433 Dekalb Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11205. (718) 789-8806.

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2 Comments so far
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I am sad that I did not get to tag along for this 😦

Comment by Jilly

Sorry, Jilly. Next time. We only checked out Umi Nom bc it was nearby BAM, where we had gone to see the Hard Nut.

Comment by Melody




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