Press the touchpad on the curious space-age door and whoosh through the curtains to reveal Umu's seductive dining room – all shiny wood surfaces, high-spec furnishings and dramatic floral displays. Admire the arcane gastronomic rituals of the sushi counter or gaze into the open kitchen where chefs pursue the high-art intricacies of ravishing Kyoto cuisine, but expect to pay handsomely for the privilege of sampling rarefied creations such as mukozuke (seared Scottish lobster with coral sauce, sweetcorn purée and umami jelly) or shiizakana (wood pigeon with enoki mushroom sauce and kabocha pumpkin). Ingredients are treated with almost slavish respect, from ninth-grade Wagyu beef and organic vegetables to wild Welsh eel (perhaps smoked ‘à la minute' with plum shiso sauce). Given the relentlessly reverential culinary approach, the atmosphere is surprisingly upbeat, and service is as finely tuned as the luxe motors owned by the big-spending clientele. To drink, look no further than the most exquisite saké selection in town.
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