10 2017 Nov

Bar Seating at Uchi

AustinTagged food, japanese, omakase, south lamar

I couldn’t leave Austin without visiting one of their top places for high quality Japanese cuisine, Uchi. Having visited Uchiko a few years back, I was excited to try out the place that started it all. Being a big fan of traditional Japanese cuisine, I have to say, this “contemporary” take was very impressive. I can see why it’s hard to land a reservation here. Going solo was my only advantage on this busy night. Instant bar seating for the win!

When you’re at the bar, you will get a personal chef. I sat at Naomi’s station. She made sure I got a good sampling of the food here. I went with their omakase which cost between $100-$150 USD. It included everything from their sushi, where a majority of the fish was flown in from Tsukiji market, to their beautifully plated dishes. It was going to be a long dinner. But all the chefs behind the counter made it all the worthwhile. They’re all friendly, very talkative, and even recommended a few other places to try while I was in town. Perfect info for my next trip to Austin.

As you can tell, service was spot on. There wasn’t a dull moment. My beer was endless. My belly was filling up. And my mind was being fed, as staff patiently described the described the dishes to me. I did take my dinner toward the side of sushi over the entrees. But when you’re importing in fish, how could I not. Glad this place could strike a balance between the two.

Uchi

801 South Lamar´┐╝ ´┐╝Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704
+1 (512) 916-4808
uchiaustin.com

Verdict: Definitely worth a visit, even when you’re in the BBQ heart of America.

Hamachi Sashimi

The meal starts off with this citrusy dish of yellow tail cut and displayed beautifully. It's topped with fish roe for a little texture and saltiness, while it's bathed in an orange ponzu. Mmmm so good.

Ox Impressions: 

Maguro With Goat Cheese

Next was this interesting combination, goat cheese wrapped with slices of bluefin tuna with a sprinkle of crushed pistachio and decorated with apple slices. My photo doesn't give the presentation much justice. It was a challenge finding the right angle to capture this course.

Ox Impressions: 

1st Nigiri Course

This was the first course of nigiri.

Sake Toro

My love for salmon is coming back after this delivery of salmon belly. This was a great balance of richness and flavor. I'm not sure if it was because of the cut or the fish, but this was great.

Ox Impressions: 

Tai

It was difficult to follow the salmon belly, but the sea bream did pretty well. Here it's prepared with lemon zest and sea salt. And if you have noticed, there are some cuts of shiso leaf tucked under the fish. Nice touch chef!

Ox Impressions: 

Hamachi Maki

This was the yellowtail avocado roll with a sesame tamarind sauce on the side. Tasty, but didn't quite hold up against the other great dishes. It might be because I wouldn't have ordered this to begin with. Who knows, #ymmv.

Ox Impressions: 

Walu Walu

It was time to take a break and introduce a warm dish, fried escolar in a ponzu broth. The server recommended spooning more of the broth while I eat. I thought it was perfectly fine dipping every bite of this crispy and delicately prepared fish.

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2nd Nigiri Course

Up next was the second round of nigiri. The omakase, includes two rounds, but I didn't stop here. As you will see later.

Ishidai

So happy to hear this course included a fish I haven't tried, knifejaw / striped beakfish. This fish was light and firm in texture. It's topped with a dab of nikiri and dusting of sea salt.

Ox Impressions: 

Inada

Oh yeah, baby yellowtail topped with nikiri and their housemade yuzu kosho, which wasn't too salty and let the flavors come through. So happy after having this.

Ox Impressions: 

Kare

Winter flounder topped with chives and sea salt. It was a delicate fish which needed the sea salt to bring out the flavor.

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Matsudai

Another fish which I haven't had John Dory. It's a rare fish to find on the menu and obviously, I haven't seen it until now. It's light in flavor and here it prepared with shiso leaf and a little salty plum topping.

Ox Impressions: 

Aged Short Rib

One thing about Texas is that they know their beef. When I was looking at their beef nigiri, my chef recommended the aged short rib. It briefly met the grill before being topped with wasabi and sea salt. Delicious. And yeah, the chef through in an extra piece. I think she thought this would fill me up. Not this little ox!

Ox Impressions: 

Wagyu

Having had this at Uchiko, I needed to try the beef nigiri here. It didn't disappoint. Cooked rare and topped with a little tamari, it was perfect. You'll need to make room for this.

Ox Impressions: 

Uni

Double negative warning! I could not finish my meal without having some sea urchin. Look at that beauty. But one thing they did here that's different was add a little sea salt. I think this must be a special Uchi sea salt, because it seemed to be on a lot of sushi. On the uni, it did detract a little. Still so good.

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Dessert

Last but not least was the dessert that's included in the omakase. A coconut cake with coconut sorbet on top of a cashew crumble.

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The OxPosted November 10, 2017 By the hungry ox


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