Behind the scenes at Umami with Chef Tarek Ibrahim

Behind the scenes at Umami with Chef Tarek Ibrahim

Egypt’s restaurant sector is booming, with many new names joining the scene. We sat with Master Chef Tarek Ibrahim to learn more about Umami, his first restaurant venture in Egypt.

Why did you choose to name your restaurant Umami?
Contrary to the Japanese origin of the word Umami, the restaurant doesn’t offer Japanese food. It was named as such because the word “Umami” means the perfect balance between the core tastes: sweet, sour, bitter and salty. We wanted to invite guests to discover Umami for themselves and experience perfection.

What type of cuisine do you serve?
The restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine with an emphasis on Italian and French dishes. We made it a point to have a small menu of 42 dishes, which is considered modest because our motto is “Simple Food Made Well. We source our ingredients fresh from Egypt and cook them to perfection. We chose to open our first branch at Garden 8, New Cairo, Egypt, because it is a prime location for high-end restaurants, such as Mon Bistro, Origin, Otto Restaurant and others.
Our restaurant has a 60s/70s vibe to it, with a woody exterior and some mosaic in order to emulate a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Which dishes do you recommend?
Mushroom gorgonzola tenderloin, Umami steak, grilled chicken artichoke and beef bourguignon, which is my personal favorite.

How does it feel to collaborate with your daughters on this project?
I’ve decided to target a younger crowd, so it makes sense to work with Yasmine, the daughter of my partner, as well as my two daughters, Alia and Zeina. I am very proud of how they are handling managerial issues and our social media presence.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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