Japanese, Sushi·
Silver Award

SquareMeal Review of Umu

Silver Award

From the outside Umu is discreet and unassuming with a door that blends with the walls to create a concealed entrance. Inside it’s moody and brooding with dark decor that creates an amphitheatre around the stage set for the sushi chefs working at the centre under warm spotlights.

They never seem to let their concentration break, and their intense craftsmanship seems fitting with a setting that feels fairly serious; stoically committed to the art of Japanese cookery.

Fascinatingly the dining room is filled with customers who are greeted as regulars by the professional and slightly reserved staff - those rare beings with W1 postcodes and pockets deep enough not to flinch at the £250 kaiseki menu.

This is one for the purists, a menu carved out of the most luxurious ingredients for diners with a passion for authentic fare. The first few plates are primarily raw Umu’s speciality, and include huge whelks still briney from the sea and langoustine bodies, fat and sweet. Unless you’re passionate about sashimi, it feels a lot to get through with more rounds of white fish and tuna to follow, but in all fairness it’s what the majority of guests are here for.

By the time a pretty little dish of steamed scallops and asparagus tempura arrived a craving for something warm had set in, a call subsequently answered by a hot pot. Paper thin wagyu slices were presented ready to be dunked in an umami-rich broth and were quickly followed by steaming pea-dotted rice and crispy crab legs.

This isn’t somewhere for those who like gutsy flavours. The hot pot was as robust as it got, with every course delicately balanced to give reverence to the careful choice of ingredients; from the freshest fish to the high end wine list.

If, instead, you find the craft of specialism fascinating, bagging a table at Umu allows a glimpse behind the curtain at some of London’s most talented sushi chefs.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - Over £80
Japanese, Sushi
Dark and moody, Fine dining, Glamorous, Luxury, Quiet conversation
One Michelin star, SquareMeal London Top 100
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Special Features
Counter dining
Perfect for
Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


Does Umu have a Michelin star?

Umu has one Michelin star.

Helpful? 0


14-16 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London, W1J 6LX

020 7499 8881 020 7499 8881


Opening Times

Mon 12:00-14:30
Tue 12:00-14:30
Wed 12:00-14:30
Thu 12:00-14:30
Fri 12:00-14:30
Sat 12:00-14:30
Sun Closed
Mon 18:00-23:00
Tue 18:00-23:00
Wed 18:00-23:00
Thu 18:00-23:00
Fri 18:00-23:00
Sat 18:00-23:00
Sun Closed


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17 Reviews 

Simon W

27 December 2022  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 3.5
Atmosphere 3.5
Value 3.5

Stunning Japanese fine dining. Cannot be beaten for glamour.


28 July 2021  
Food & Drink 0.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 2.5
Value 1.5
Undeserving one star michelin restaurant

As a one-star Michelin star Japanese restaurant, specialising in raw foods, I am utterly disappointed in their food freshness (felt cheap). I was in shock when seating in the counter seat to see the chef mix scallops with lobsters in the same plastic bag (gross). if you like to experience authentic Japanese restaurants, there are more out there at much more reasonable prices and freshness of fish (examples that I have tried include engawa, sake no hana, amazonico, akira). 

The staffs were friendly having said all of that. However, did forget that we were celebrating an event until reminded so 30 minutes our last dessert was served. 

I could tell their staffs tried their best with proving the great service however they have seen to forgot that we were celebrating an event and only provided something when reminded 40 minutes later after our last dessert.

Unsure as to how they were previously were 2 starred but totally understand why they dropped. 

Suzanne C

06 August 2019  
Best sushi in town, impeccable service and great atmosphere.

Zoe L

16 July 2019  
Very expensive but so worth it - the best sushi i've ever had.

Laura G

02 July 2019  
The food is amazing, just pure joy on a plate!

Elizabeth B

21 October 2018  
Food & Drink 2
Service 1
Atmosphere 1
Value 1
No idea how they have two Michelin stars. So terrible - they had no lobster and couldn’t explain the very confusing menu. The appetisers were bland and we ordered champagne that never arrived. We left after the appetisers as were so un inspired.

Bill C

23 March 2018  
Fantastic value fine dining on a weeknight.


06 May 2014  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 4.5
Atmosphere 3
Value 3
As I have a personal loathing for all things Nobu, I was looking forward to the good things that I have heard about Umu. Considering we were in attendance on a Friday night, it was eerily quite (despite being only able to book at 2115) and it emptied out even more quickly, which kind of spoilt the ambience somewhat. The food is good, delivered at a nice pace and beautifully presented, but I would say it's not as tasty as Zuma and doesn't come close to Aqua Kyoto. With one bottle of sake and a brandy the £350 for the two of us seemed a lot. The service is lovely, but there is nothing that makes me want to run back with friends or lovers. Back to Zuma it is.

Katie O

22 February 2013  
Food & Drink 5
Service 5
Atmosphere 5
Value 3
My favourite restaurant
My boyfriend took me here for my birthday as he knows I love any type of asian restaurant, this however was something else. We got out of the cab in Mayfair Square, he walked me down this dark back street. I asked if he was sure he had the right street as nothing appeared to be at the end. Then he pressed a little button on the wall that said Umu and it was like the gateway to the East opened up. I loved the theatre of it. The service was spectacular from start to finish, we were treated impeccably, food arrived promptly along with wine. Now I have to admit the prices are astronomical, hence the reason we cannot return every Saturday, but (even if I had been paying myself) it was completely worth it for the amazing culinary experience. We enjoyed some beautifully delicate sushi picked from the menu and also asked the chef to surprise us with a couple of creations. I cannot remember the name of what he gave us but I do remember that it was the best sushi I have ever eaten. The waggu beef served to cook at the table on hot stones was superb, the black cod and lobster I can only describe as indescribable. I normally dont expect much in terms of desserts at asian restaurants but I was wowed with a refreshing green tea cake with sorbet. I cannot wait to go back… after saving up a bit

Jamal R

04 February 2013  
Food & Drink 3.5
Service 4
Atmosphere 4
Value 3
Umu was a very pleasant atmosphere with dim lighting and reflective surfaces and mirrors everywhere. Service was excellent on a saturday evening. I found the food to be good overall. If i were to return, I would order the following: tuna tartare salad at £20, smallest steak £40 and a piece or two of the toro sushi. On this first trip to Umu, we ordered a variety of dishes including grilled eel (honestly not great 5/10 in taste), sashimi platter which was good compared to other restaurants – tuna, salmon and mackeral were the best of the lot) and a couple of other dishes including excellent wagyu steak and grilled lobster in a sauce – £40 for most main dishes. Wagyu steak and toro sushi were worth the trip to this restaurant!! Two people dinner + 1 bottle of wine £45 came to £300 including 1 starter, 1 vegetable, smaller sashimi platter, 3 mains, 2 pieces of toro sushi and 1 dessert. All dishes are pretty small in size.
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020 7499 8881 020 7499 8881

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