Umami Ramen & Dumpling Bar is Madison’s first restaurant/bar to offer authentic Japanese ramen noodles and Chinese dumplings in a completely renovated 1880's historic house. Using seasonal, locally sourced ingredients and sustainable practices, Umami serves soulful food in a fun and vibrant environment.
To read more about how Umami started, click here.
What is Umami?
"Umami" is a Japanese word that means savory. It has also been described colloquially as “that which makes your mouth water” or more simply, “delicious.” Umami is regarded as the fifth basic taste together with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Owner/operators Michael Ding and Randy Ng chose the moniker because it best describes the appeal of Umami’s offerings, whether ramen, dumplings, appetizers, or salads.
With New York City as a backdrop, Michael and Randy were raised in families rich in Chinese culinary traditions. Michael and Randy grew up making, eating, and deeply appreciating dumplings and noodles. For them, Japanese ramen and Chinese dumplings represent a return to ways of cooking that have sustained cultures for thousands of years.
The preparation of both ramen and dumplings follow age-old traditions. Thousands of years old, dumplings are a food with no social pretensions, having evolved from simple peasant cooking. They can be eaten year round and at any time of day. Ramen, or its Chinese predecessor, “La Mien,”
is a revered cuisine in Japan. The making of ramen is a labor-intensive process that requires true care. It can take more than 24 hours to make one pot
of broth. In contrast to its unfortunate cousin, instant ramen, real ramen is a gourmet comfort food with nuanced regional differences that depend on many factors, down to the composition of the local water. In Japan, people routinely eat a bowl of ramen for lunch, snack or dinner.
Umami is committed to sustainability. We support local businesses and use local ingredients whenever possible. Many of Umami’s pork products
come from Black Earth Meats, a local and certified-organic meat-processing facility with third-party certification for humane handling. Our eggs are from New Century Farm located in Schullsburg, WI, a local farm that follows organic practices and produces their own organic feed for their hens. Umami is proud of the synergistic relationship it has with its independent-minded and community-oriented neighbors.
Across the street is Midwest Clay Project, a pottery studio that makes Umami’s ramen bowls, tea cups and sake cups.
Also located several blocks east of Umami is RP’s Pasta, a local pasta maker famous for using hand-rolled processes to produce
the highest quality products. Using Umami’s proprietary recipe, RP’s makes all of the restaurant’s ramen noodles.
It's our great pleasure to bring you these much-loved Japanese and Chinese dishes into a contemporary and welcoming setting in downtown
Madison, Wisconsin. Come join us for an evening of great comfort food and drinks!
Address: 923 Williamson Street