Special thanks to Lexis Suites Penang for extending this food review invitation.

Umi Japanese Restaurant (海) is located at the Ground Floor of Lexis Suites Penang. The pork-free eatery covers a wide range of Japanese dishes. Umi is one of few Japanese restaurants in Penang that are directly operated by hotels.
Umi presents a family-friendly ambience with comfortable dining tables and chairs. There are several tatami rooms too. Overall, the restaurant can accommodate approximately 100 diners at full capacity.
To cater for customers who prefer a buffet setting, Umi serves Sunday Buffet Lunch every week from 12:00pm to 3:00pm. The menu covers many Japanese delicacies, most of which are also available in the à la carte menu.
Soba, or buckwheat noodle, can be served chilled. It is presented on a bamboo tray called "zaru" (笊). In this case, cha soba (茶そば) is infused with green tea flavor. Ramen (ラーメン) is available too.
Meanwhile, Yaki Soba (焼きそば) is stir-fried with large prawns, cabbage and yakisoba sauce. The noodle is actually made from wheat flour, not buckwheat flour.
Nabemono (鍋物) is served in hot pots. There are 3 types of soup today: sukiyaki (すき焼き), kimchi (キムチ) and udon suki (うどんすき). They cover sweet, sour and savory flavors respectively. Fresh vegetables, mushrooms and tofu are meant to be blanched in any of these soups.
Chawanmushi (茶碗蒸し) is a savory egg custard prepared in ceramic tea cups. Other ingredients are shiitake mushrooms (椎茸), ginkgo nuts, crab sticks (蟹蒲) and narutomaki (鳴門巻き).
As for Tempura (天麩羅), prawns and pumpkins are deep-fried with batter. Tempura is usually dipped in a light sauce called tentsuyu (天つゆ). Grated daikon is provided.
The buffet includes a wide assortment of sushi (寿司), most of which are of maki (巻き) and nigiri (握り) varieties. Sushi is usually eaten with wasabi (山葵), pickled ginger (ガリ) and soy sauce (醤油). Be sure to savour some sashimi (刺身), omelette (玉子焼き) and daifukumochi (大福餅) too.
Seafood on ice is another major highlight in today's buffet. Fresh marine delicacies include oysters, scallops, prawns, mussels and yabbies. Should diners prefer them cooked, Umi provides a pot of boiling water for this purpose.
Next, Baked Cheesy Seafood is a creamy mix of prawns, yabbies, baby octopuses, mussels, scallops and clams.
Fried Cheesy Fish is breaded and cooked to golden perfection. The fillets are dressed with creamy sesame sauce (ごまだれ).
As for Fried Prawns Motoyaki (エビフライ元焼き), shrimps are fried and then baked with a mayonnaise-based sauce. The dish is garnished with shrimp roe (えびこ).
Teriyaki Lamb is grilled with a sweet-and-savory glaze. This cooking technique is originally meant for fish. But outside Japan, teriyaki is regularly applied to chicken, beef and lamb too.
Yaki Gyoza (焼き餃子) are filled with minced chicken, garlic chives, ginger and garlic. The dumplings are first pan-fried on one side, and then steamed in a sealed lid. As for the dipping sauce, it is prepared from soy sauce and rice vinegar.
Hailing from Osaka, Okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) is a popular snack that resembles a pizza. The savory pancake is usually pan-fried on a griddle (鉄板). Bonito flakes (鰹節) and seaweed flakes (青海苔) serve as toppings.
The salad bar allows diners to choose from a handful of vegetables and dressings. Meanwhile, mixed salads include potato salad, egg salad and pasta salad. Cold cuts like beef salami and smoked salmon are prepared too.
Umi's Sunday Buffet Lunch complements the Ocean Delight's Seafood Fiesta Buffet that is held at Roselle Coffee House every Saturday evening. In both buffets, the price is priced at RM120.00 net for adults, RM40.00 net for children, and RM60.00 net for senior citizens.

Name: Umi Japanese Restaurant (海)
Address: 28, Jalan Teluk Kumbar, 11920 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Contact: 04-628-2888
Business hours: 12:00pm-2:30pm, 6:30pm-11:00pm
Coordinates: 5.28709 N, 100.23254 E
Directions: From Bayan Lepas, drive along Jalan Teluk Kumbar towards the intersection with Jalan Gertak Sanggul. Lexis Suites Penang is the tall building on the left just before the intersection. Umi Japanese Restaurant is located on the Ground Floor, just next to the lobby atrium. There are parking spaces inside the hotel.

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