Dinner at Umami Restaurant – one of the hottest restaurants in Switzerland, cooked by none other than THE Michel Roth, it sounds like a dream. So or similar it was for me, a view of Lake Geneva with evening sun, a Japanese menu and a relaxed atmosphere in one of the jet set and luxury cities in Europe – Geneva.
Add to that a special place for my days in Geneva, one of the hottest hotels in Switzerland, the President Wilson Hotel from Starwood’s Luxury Collection and named after the 28th President of the USA (1913-1921).
A cozy atmosphere – Umami Restaurant
At first glance, the large tent on the terrace of the President Wilson Hotel seems improvised – but at the latest when you enter, passing the covered and beautifully lit swimming pool, you see the special atmosphere of the place. A friendly and attentive welcome at the door of the restaurant and then a seat right by the window overlooking the lake.
From my seat in the Umami Restaurant good to see – the world famous fountain of Geneva – Jet D’Eau – with a height of up to 140 meters and I was curious whether I would not want to look at the lake again and again or rather enjoy the food. The answer to this I will of course give you in the conclusion.
Who thought it would be a bit cool in the evening in the “tent” on the terrace, I can reassure. I am also more often in the evening rather cool, but the tent is perfectly sealed, the heaters are in the corner and a high coziness is guaranteed. At the entrance area of the Umami Restaurant there are also comfortable seats with various blankets. It looks really cozy.
Michel Roth – THE chef de cuisine – from the Ritz Hotel Paris
In addition, there is a chef who simply guarantees quality and special dishes. When you mention the name “Michel Roth” to gourmets, a glow immediately comes to their face and the 54-year-old Frenchman is not without reason the best-paid star chef and is listed in all rankings at least among the top10 (but mostly at number 1). 🙂
After his time at the Savoy in London and then at L’Espandon at the Ritz Hotel Paris (where he spent most of his time), Michel Roth made the “Bayview” at the Hotel President Wilson one of the top addresses in Geneva.
An extraordinary wine cellar, a special concept and, in addition, a view of the lake and the Alps. A perfect choice for those who want a special dinner and a special service. In addition to the Bayview at the hotel, Michel Roth is also responsible for the Japanese Umami restaurant.
Japanese cuisine meets French cuisine – an Umami experience
Those of you who have only known the four taste senses of sweet, sour, salty and bitter will now be introduced to a new sense. “Umami” is the name for a full-bodied flavor and also for a particularly savory taste.
If the name of the restaurant is then also “Umami”, a special, tasty and savory dinner should probably be guaranteed. Umami further enhances the inherent flavor of the food in question and has been used in Asian cuisine for many years.
Edamame and not Edam
Even though I’m in Switzerland and I’ve also already received some puzzled comments on social media – the first appetizer is not “cheese” but a “bean on a branch”. A popular snack in Asia for many years, especially in many trendy neighborhoods of the capitals, edamame is now also increasingly available in Europe in good restaurants.
If you want to try it yourself, you can find this unripe soy bean in many Asian stores and then boil it in salted water for about 5-8 minutes and ideally sprinkle with sea salt. The seeds are edible, the outer skin is not…. But I warn you! Once you start, you can’t stop. The first appetizer was then accompanied, as you can see in the photos, by sweet potato chips. This is how the day can start…
Nigiri – Maki – Sashimi – in the Umami Restaurant of Michel Roth
Followed the good start by three very tasty intermediate courses, which I could order again immediately just writing this report. You notice the mix of Japanese influences and French influences and what immediately sticks in your mind is a special taste experience. The three entrees were:
- Crispy Nigiri
- Deep fried Foil Gras Maki with ginger and apple
- Bass Sashimi, grilled and marinated salmon with ginger
Alone the preparation and the sight showed, a relaxed evening and how to dine relaxed at Lake Geneva. In addition to a special freshness of the dishes, a lot of attention was paid to a beautiful presentation form already in the intermediate courses. A nice size of the Michel Roth dishes and above all “The eye eats with you!”
Sea bream – Teriyaki poultry – Caramelized veal escalopes by Michel Roth
As with the intermediate course, there was a lot of attention to detail in the three main courses. Each menu a small work of art, no overloaded flavors – but a main course each to discover. Tender sea bream, fluffy poultry and a veal escalope, which by the note of ginger, gave a very unique flavor. Simply delicious!
- Sea Bream with Sesame, Lotus Crisps and Sautéed Rice with Vegetables
- Poultry with a Teriyaki sauce, Crispy-Tender leek and a lemon-grass small ravioli
- Caramelized Veal Escalope, French-Style tempura and ginger tempura, white sesame seed sauce
Desserts at Umami by Michel Roth
As you know me, desserts are of course my big weakness. I have to try the different desserts again and again and a menu to “share” is a good choice. In the case of my dinner there were two delicious desserts that could hardly be more different.
- Yuzu meringue tart
- Tapioca coco pearl panacotta, red berry and litchi topping
The yuzu tart or yuzu tart is a very popular dessert, especially in Japan, which is passed down from generation to generation and gets a special decoration depending on the family. With me, for example, this time with some gold leaf. The second dessert were tapioca pearls, which are to emphasize the taste again and act like a kind of gelatin, combined with red berries and lychees. Excellent!
CONCLUSION UMAMI Restaurant Geneva by MICHEL ROTH at President Wilson
As you can probably already imagine, the conclusion of this Michel Roth restaurant can only be very positive. The combination of French influences with Japanese influences not only gives me as an “Asia” fan a whole new experience, but also combines beautifully what is possible in a good kitchen.
In the Umami Restaurant of Michel Roth, in the President Wilson Hotel Geneva, the special freshness of the offered dishes is also noticeable, as well as the very attentive and endeavored team within the restaurant.
It is easy to understand why the Umami by Michel Roth Restaurant in Geneva is so popular and frequently frequented by both younger and older people. It offers a special atmosphere with a view of the lake, the evening atmosphere and the special location.
I can unreservedly recommend the Umami Restaurant at the President Wilson and also find the price (especially for Geneva standards) very reasonable (the pictured menu without drinks was 95 SFR / approx. 78 EUR).
Of course I would like to answer my question from above, whether I primarily looked at the lake or enjoyed the food – I almost forgot about the lake… the food was just too exquisite for that and I am already looking forward to trying the famous Sunday brunch with lots of sushi as well… 🙂
Umami Restaurant address: Quai Wilson 47, 1201 Genève, Switzerland (https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/gvalc-hotel-president-wilson-a-luxury-collection-hotel-geneva/dining/)