Umago Cafe, FitzroyUmago Cafe is a restaurant located on Brunswick St in Fitzroy, close to a number of restaurants and stores, and is easily accessible with the 112 tram. I decided to go here because of a recommendation from a friend, and was very happy with the quality of the food (mostly) and the decent pricings.
We went around 6pm on a Friday night, and luckily there were still a few tables available and we didn't have to wait. However, we weren't greeted upon entering the restaurant, and didn't know if we were to find a table to sit at ourselves. Just as we were about to sit down, the staff finally noticed us and asked if we had a reservation, which we didn't. We eventually ended up sitting at the table we were going to, but it would've been nice to have been greeted by the staff when we first entered. The service in general wasn't too bad; we didn't have to wait too long to order, but the staff weren't the most friendly.
The large windows allow for plenty of natural light to enter the restaurant, though it did become quite dark before they turned on any actual lights. There's a good atmosphere to the restaurant- despite the fact there wasn't any type of music playing, the sounds of chatter and the kitchen made for a good surrounding. The interior design of Umago sort of reminds me of an American Diner, with the serviettes in the napkin dispensers and the layout of the whole place.
Between three people, we decided to order the Porterhouse Steak ($18) and a medium gourmet #10 pizza ($13.50), as we were planning to go elsewhere for dessert. My friend also ordered a chai latte, which was nice and creamy with a good chai flavour, and not too sweet. It was the perfect drink for a cold day, and similar to drinking a cup of warm milk with a hint of cinnamon to it.
The Porterhouse Steak was done medium rare, and we decided on mushroom sauce (you could also choose between peppercorn and mustard). It also came with salad on the side, as well as potato wedges and three pieces of bread. The steak was nice and pink in the middle, but it turned out to be really tough to cut into and chew, which was disappointing. The potato wedges had a good texture; they were soft and retained moisture, and went perfectly with the creamy and slightly sweet mushroom sauce. The salad was refreshing, but the dressing was a bit too sour for our liking. The bread pieces were surprisingly soft, and went well with the rest of the dish, either by itself or dipped into the mushroom sauce. The mushroom sauce here is really great, and I'd definitely recommend it if you go! (Though perhaps not with the porterhouse steak)
The pizzas came in four different sizes; small, medium, large and family. There was a large range of normal and gourmet pizzas to choose from, and all are made with garlic and herbs and smothered in mozzarella cheese. We decided on the satay chicken pizza with sundried tomatoes, spring onion, sesame seeds and tomato sauce. The pizza was absolutely amazing, and probably one of the best I've had in Melbourne. The crust and the base were soft but not soggy or thin. The satay chicken was very tender and succulent, with a slight crunch on the outside and the satay flavour oozing out when you bit into it. The sundried tomato balanced the dish well, and was surprisingly not an overpowering flavour, as it often can be, perhaps because it was layered at the bottom of the pizza. The spring onions gave a nice crunch to the pizza, but you don't really taste the flavour, so you could order this dish even if you don't like spring onion. There were lots of different textures and flavours in each bite, and none were too strong and overpowering, which is why I enjoyed the pizza so much. The sauce ensured that the pizza wasn't too dry, and was sweet, slightly tangy and salty at the same time, balancing out the different ingredients very well.
Despite the disappointing steak, I would definitely visit this restaurant again as there is so many other dishes I'd like to try. The menu has a vast range of dishes, and there's over twenty types of pizzas alone you can choose from. The prices are very decent due to the location, and I would highly commend Umago Cafe for a meal any time of day, as they are opened from 11am til late every day of the week.
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