Uchiko Photo Essay

Uchiko, the second incarnation of Tyson Cole’s celebrated, cutting edge, Austin based Japanese restaurant Uchi, is currently in the midst of a soft opening. I stopped by yesterday to check out what all the buzz is about and take advantage of the 50% discount being offered to early visitors who want to try out the not yet finalized menu.

This post is less of a review and more of a pictorial and personal representation of the soft opening experience, because things will likely change once Uchiko opens it’s doors officially on July 6th, 2010.

Akami Te – Big Eye Tuna, watermelon, coriander, cilantro – interesting, subtle flavors but not the best thing I had

Deep fried onigiri with bacon, pickled banh mi veggies, bonito flakes, and cilantro – you should definitely get this porky greasy goodness.

Take Nabi – japanese mushroom, koshi hikari, farm fresh egg, bushi – really tasty, the rice and egg are amazingly flavorful and I love bonito flakes, the mushrooms a bit too sweet though.

Kai Jiru – Atlantic Mussels, heirloom tomato water, basil blossom, celery – one of the cheapest things on the menu might just be the best – who knew that tomato, basil, celery and mussels were such a magical combination? Do not hesitate in ordering this

Hirame – Atlantic flounder, black lime, shiso, quinoa candy – a miss for me, not a fan of the quinoa candy and the flounder is overpowered by the other “stuff”

Hotate – raw diver scallop with avacado – amazingly tender, fatty, and delicious. You are supposed to flip this over so the scallop touches your tounge – get this for sure.

Madai – Japanese bream, shiso, meyer lemon zest, olive oil – shiso is a bit overpowering – definitely eat this in one bite, as the lemon zest balances it out the sweetness / herbiness of the shiso, but the bream is too mild to stand up to the other flavors

Toledo roll – Big Eye Tuna, bitter greens, chorizo, avacado, almond, grilled garlic mousse – flavors are all good and work well, but the chorizo is a bit tough at times and the toasted almonds have a crunch that’s a little odd to find in a roll, garlic mousse is amazing though

Usagi Yaki – Rabbit Torchon, pear mostarda, pureed peas, slow poached egg – get this now! The torchon is incredibly tender and flavorful (think much better pulled pork) and all of the ingredients compliment each other very well. I liked the mild sweetness of the pear, it was not overpowering at all.

Uchiko – Tyson Cole and Paul Qui

Well, that’s about it. I definitely enjoyed the 50% discount in exchange for being a guinea pig and I would highly recommend Uchiko to others, especially at this price. The soft opening runs through July 4th but reservations are pretty much all snatched up except for on Sunday.

You can still walk in, but I would show up exactly when the restaurant opens at 5pm to ensure a spot and a short wait.

Happy high end tasting,

7 thoughts on “Uchiko Photo Essay”

  1. Peter,
    i see what you mean now when you said i had to see for myself! sigh. i’m in lust.
    it was great to see you Saturday! one day we shall eat together again, it’s been what? 2 years since Kim Son?


  2. Awesome! Thanks for the walkthrough. As a big fan of Uchi, I was sad that we couldn’t get to Uchiko for the soft open, but it’s harder to make it to things now that we’re out near Bastrop. I’ll have to make Uchiko a priority — after this, it’s moving up on my list!

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