Restaurant Review: Uchiko, Austin
One of my favorite things things about traveling is discovering new restaurants. Yelp is my best friend on the road and it has never let me down! After a long band rehearsal in Austin last week, I took the boys to Uchiko, the “rustic” sister of the famous Uchi. I was stoked to get a reservation last minute because there is not one, but two celebrity names associated with this place. The chef and owner of this “brand”, with locations in Austin, Houston, and Dallas is Tyson Cole, who was named Best Chef: Southwest by the James Beard Foundation and the executive chef of Uchiko is Paul Qui, winner of Top Chef: Texas.
While we waited for our reservation, we sat at the bar and ordered a nigori sake, (unfiltered, my favorite!) Takara. At $15 a bottle, it hit the spot, over and over again..
No meat for me and no avocado for Stewart. Those were the only two food restrictions, so we asked the waiter to “surprise us”. He paced our meal perfectly, starting with delicate sashimi that reminded me of shiny origami, moving onto some of the most flavorful and texturally interesting vegetables we had ever eaten, and finishing with innovative and melt-in-your-mouth fish that were steamed, poached, and baked to perfection. Every dish was a piece of art, one better than the next.
The uni was definitely a standout for me. I consider myself somewhat of an uni connoisseur. I’ve had it fresh out of the shell in Tokyo, garnished with quail egg and sea salt at my favorite sushi place in New York City, Sushi Yasuda, sinfully blended with squid ink on fresh pasta in Florence, and I have to say, I have never tasted uni quite like this. It had almost a Laphroaig-like peatiness to it. It was velvety smooth and elegantly smokey.
16 courses, and at least 4 bottles of sake later, we were happy as a clam, so to speak… When the check came, we all did a double take because this was no NYC or LA prices! At less than $90 per person, we could have done it all over again right then and there if we weren’t completely stuffed.
(left to right: Jon Kimura Parker, yours truly, Stewart Copeland)
Uchiko is a beautiful spot, perfect for a date or a fun night with friends: Flawless flavors, spectacular service, and amazing ambience. We almost closed down the place.
4200 North Lamar Austin, Texas 78756
The next time I am in Texas, I am definitely checking out her sister, Uchi. Who wants to join me?
Watch the vlog from the day!