Umami Food Studio

Rany Jo's dream of bringing her native South Korean cuisine to South African homes was realised in 2017. She opened Umami Food Studio at her home in Midrand with the simple hope of inspiring amateur cooks to explore an array of Asian flavours in their cooking. Rany believes that Koreans and South Africans really aren't that different. Our common connection - food and the ritual of eating together as families.

That's why Umami Food Studio offers small, hands-on cooking classes. Focusing on fuss-free and healthy Oriental-style dishes, Rany helps her blossoming chefs on their way to creating home masterpieces.

Umami Food Studio

Rany Jo

Here's what you can expect to learn at an Umami Food Studio class:

Rany welcomes all new cooks into her home with a distinctive Korean hospitality. You will immediately feel at ease and geared up to start learning. Umami Food Studio's promise is this: you will leave the class with full confidence to go on and improvise without relying on the recipe!

Umami Food Studio

Dumplings, Vietnamese Street Food, Sushi, Japanese Salads And More!

Umami Food Studio is a foodie's paradise. Hosting up to ten custom workshops a month, Rany is certainly one busy cook! This autumn, she delves into the mastery of Asian cooking with dim sum, poke and sushi workshops. Seats are already selling out, so you better get to securing your spot at the stove.

Dumpling 101: Pork & Prawn

This is the ultimate masterclass in Asian cooking for amateurs and home cooks. In this interactive class with Rany, you will learn how to prepare, freeze and serve traditional dumplings properly. The dumplings are cooked in four different ways and served with two delicious Korean dipping sauces, as well as Umami's signature celery and onion pickles. There are only 10 seats left for this class, so get booking as soon as possible!

Date: Thursday, 19 March 2020 from 18:00 - 22:00.

Click here for more information.

Vietnamese Street Food

Rany's Vietnamese Street Food class is one of her most popular. Come and discover the aromatic, bold and fresh flavours of Vietnam, using Rany's tried and tested recipes. Having spent one full week in Hanoi and Hoi-an learning the art of Vietnamese cuisine, she is a relative expert on this exotic cuisine. This class is limited to 12 seats, so don't wait to book!

Date: Thursday, 2 April 2020 from 18:00 - 22:00.

Click here for more information.

Umami Food Studio

Sushi 101 - Vegetarian Sushi 

Vegetarian sushi? Welcome to an exciting and explosive world of taste and texture! In this class, Rany will cover everything about making sushi from scratch. You will also get to know exciting ingredients, such as oyster mushrooms, kimchi and vegetarian pulled pork. This class is for vegetarians and anybody seeking to incorporate more plant-based options into their diet.

Date: Saturday, 30 May 2020 from 09:30 - 13:30.

Click here for more information.

If you require a one-on-one approach, Rany also offers private classes, birthday classes and team building classes.

For More Information

Follow Umami Food Studio on Facebook for more information.

Details: 064 527 3067 | [email protected] | 1169 Augrabies Falls Boulevard, Midrand, Gauteng.

From the outside, not much has changed since Love Me So opened during the second half of 2017. The mixologists still mix drinks the same way, the trading hours haven't changed, and part-owner, Fabio Di Cosmo, still occupies the same booth in the corner of the venue. What has changed is the menu. While old favourites have stayed – you can still build your own ramen, the Korean BBQ hasn't been touched and the kimchi is still made in-house – there are some great additions that are bound to become new favourites.

gyoza dumplings filled with prawn, chilli, and ginger


Chef Alex has opted to grow the izakaya section by adding Love Me So pancakes with either crispy pork or shitaki and tofu. Other additions would be the rainbow salad, miso eggplant, and jaga bata (the best damn potato salad you'll ever have in your life). Each new dish on the menu is a declaration of Love Me So's evolution.

jada bata: Japanese potato salad is a popular street food


love me so

miso eggpplant: slow roasted and coated with white miso paste

Signature Ramen

One of the biggest changes to the menu is the introduction of curated bowls of ramen. In this section patrons can expect shio chicken, miso tofu and pork tonkotsu – bowls put together with a mixture of Alex's personal taste and customer preferences, and an emphasis on the comfort that comes with a big bowl of ramen noodles. Indeed, consolation is what I feel when sipping on the tonkotsu broth – a taste that transports you to a culinary space where everything is pleasantly tempered with the colour of umami. It is what wine people hope to experience when they spend R2000 on a bottle of Meerlust. It is why red meat fiends beg for one of the precious few seats at LD-R's Short Market Club in Cape Town. It's why I keep returning to Love Me So over and over and over again.

love me so

A ramen bowl Shawn built when he visited Love Me So for the first time.


As much as we love sweetcorn soup, Love Me So is not a Chinese takeout, but an homage to Korean, Chinese and Japanese food. Diners can warm up with a chicken wonton soup (made with in-house roasted chicken broth, roast corn, bok choy, and spring onion), and a vegan miso noodle soup. These dishes are perfect for the colder months, but will also be enjoyed well into spring.

love me so


Do yourself a favour and go get infatuated with the winter 2018 menu.

By Shawn Greyling