Work is poised to start on a new oriental restaurant and cocktail bar in Newcastle city centre ahead of an opening planned within weeks.
UM International forms part of a well-established North East restaurant group which also runs Nudo Noodle House in Low Friar Street, Newcastle, nine Nudo Sushi Box eateries across the region and beyond, plus oriental buffet restaurants in Durham and North Shields.
Now James Lau, son of the group’s founders and one of the group’s directors, is looking to take on national chain restaurants as the sole independent operator in intu Eldon Square’s dining zone Grey’s Quarter.
Mr Lau is also looking to create around 25 jobs at Umai Mi – which translates as ‘delicious taste’ – adding to the group’s existing 150-strong workforce, to start at the restaurant in December.
The venue will be open from 10am to 10pm, serving everything from breakfasts, lunch and dinner through small plates and larger, sharer dishes.
Mr Lau is currently putting the finishing touches to the menu.
An extensive cocktail menu will also be available and bookings will soon be taken through its newly-launched website.
Mr Lau said: “We saw the site in Eldon Square and know that the whole of Grey’s Quarter gets busy, so that attracted us to the site in the first instance.
“And we also saw a bit of a gap in the market. What we’ll be doing is completely different to the chain restaurants and our Pan Asian food will be unlike anything you can get here.
“We’re in the process of finalising the menu at the moment and it will have smaller plates, similar to the kind of food we serve at Nudo Sushi Box where you can have it as a starter or as a larger dish. There’ll also be lots of sushi dishes, meals to share and some truly authentic Chinese flavours.
“Dishes like sweet and sour are very popular here, but you won’t find it in China because they just don’t make it. So, what we want to do is serve up some of the really authentic food and flavours you would be served if you went to a restaurant over there.
“And we’re really excited to get going. This has been a long time in the planning and we’ve had a few delays along the way but I’m thrilled it’s all finally falling into place and I’m looking forward to opening and sharing our vision, and fantastic food, with the people of the North East.”
Leeds-based This Is Interiors has drawn up designs for the Newcastle venue and a team from Project Interiors will start the process of transforming the empty unit into a colourful new restaurant next week.
Set on the first floor of the leisure and shopping complex’s dining area, Umai Mi will also breathe new life into the unit which has lain empty since The Handmade Burger Co’s departure in last July.
Source : Chroniclelive