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Entries in Uchi (2)

Sunday
May222011

Shiny Happy People: Uchi part deux

Satisfied customers pictured above along with our outstanding desserts.  From the top:

Brie Ringo: tempura fried brie with apple chutney on sweet potato chips--this was actually on the savory side of the menu but our server recommended we have it at the end of the meal.  The julienne of apples was done by hand much to Maddy's surprise.  The brie was perfectly crunchy and creamy and the heat of the chutney cut the richness.  Definitely a hit for all.

Peanut butter semifreddo with apple miso sorbet: surrounded by peanut dust.  This was a lot like a super sophisticated peanut butter and jelly but it must have been different enough for Sophie to enjoy it--she hates PB&J but battled for every bite of this dessert.

Lemon gelato with white balsamic, pistachio and golden beet: the thing I hate about ice cream desserts is the ice cream is usually so hard that when try to take a small spoonful the ice cream just scoots around the plate making it difficult to get a bite of the ice cream and all the toppings--not at Uchi.  The attention to detail makes the money well spent.  We wound up parting with much less money than we had anticipated and walked away pleasantly full and already anticipating our next visit.

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Sunday
May222011

Uchi: Rapture in Austin

 

  Thank goodness it was not the end of the world as we know it on Saturday or else we would have missed this pilgrimage to all that is sushi.  I have seen rave reviews everywhere for Uchi and its chef Tyson Cole--the 2011 Best Chef Southwest James Beard award winner.  The accolades are well deserved, and the crowds are proof!  We made a reservation for 5:00 on a Sunday, and my concerns that only senior citizens eat dinner that early were quickly laid to rest as we watched the restaurant fill to capacity by 6:00.  We came with our Visa cards burning a hole in our wallets, fully planning to drop a lot of coin on this celebration dinner with our daughters.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the extensive happy hour menu with reasonably priced smaller versions of the most popular menu items.  Our waiter Ryan was the perfect blend of comedian, advisor and invisible man.  We never felt rushed, and the pacing of the various dishes was perfect.  Each time a dish was brought to the table the server explained the dish and the best way to navigate--chopstick, spoon, fingers.  I also had worried about portion sizes, again, unnecessarily.  The portions were enough for sharing between the 4 of us, although Sophie didn't partake of all the seafood, and I never felt like things got too precious.  I will attempt to do justice to each of the dishes we had--some are pictured above and I will start with them. From the top:

Pitchfork Roll: waygu beef (medium rare) avocado caviar and leek crisp.  This was personally my favorite. The beef was truly melt in your mouth. 

Bacon Steakie: grilled pork belly, basil, citrus (kumquat)--this is the happy hour portion and a bargain at $6.  Will have this every time.

Shag Roll: again, the happy hour portion of a tempura roll with salmon, sundried tomato, avocado and a squid ink sumiso sauce.  Another $6 bargain.  Served piping hot and crisp.

Shun no kaki: a nightly special and one I hope they will have in the future.  I am the only oyster eater so I didn't have to share this jewel.  kusshi oyster, horseradish sorbet, lemon gel and charred lemon zest. 

We had everything on the happy menu, except the kakiage which is a sweet potato fritter.  Two dishes were enjoyed twice...the crunchy tuna roll and the walu walu (see below)--a cooked dish with seared escolar, yuzupon and yuzu marmalade--the server recommended we use a spoon and to make sure we got the sauce with each bite of fish.  If there was a straw handy I would have sucked up the last drops.

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