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.
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
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.
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,