In late 2011, Atlanta lost not one, but two of its most heralded sushi restaurants when the Kinjos brothers (Chris and Alex) closed MF Sushibar and MF Buckhead. Now, Farshid Arshid and Charlie Hendon—both frequent patrons of the MF restaurants—are hoping to bring back the same level of style and sushi with their new restaurant, Umi. Former MF Buckhead executive chef Fuyuhiko Ito will lead the kitchen, and Ito’s wife, Lisa Matsuoka Ito, will be the pastry chef.
Named after the Japanese word for sea (and not related to Umi’s Japanese Steakhouse in Stockbridge), Umi will be located at 3050 Peachtree Road, next to Chops and the St. Regis Atlanta. Scheduled to open in early- to mid-April, Umi will serve a variety of Japanese and sushi items, including black miso cod, beef tenderloin kushi-yaji (beef skewers with teriyaki sauce), rock shrimp tempura with either a ponzu or creamy-spicy sauce, and aburi nigiri (slightly cooked sushi-grade fish with sea salt). Ito will also offer a special omakase (chef’s choice) dinner, similar to what Chris Kinjo did at MF Buckhead.
“We are hoping to fill a gap in the market by offering top-level Japanese cuisine and sushi,” Arshid says. “The attention to detail from every piece of glassware to every plate parallels the chef’s excellence in what he does.”
The atmosphere will be a mix of modern and rustic. Arshid cites Axel Vervoordt’s Wabi Sabi art as an example of the design philosophy for the restaurant. (Wabi Sabi is a Japanese principle that focuses on simplicity and the belief in the beauty of imperfections.)
“It is not your typical or traditional Japanese decor,” he says. “Every surface is well thought out in detail.”