Uchiko will match the experience of food,wine and service found at its sister restaurant Uchi; in a setting with a Japanese farmhouse aesthetic, crafted materials and warm finishes to round out the dining experience. Uchiko's menu is a brand new selection of composed dishes and sushi, taken from ideas and dishes originally created at Uchi. Uchiko is Uchi redefined. Uchiko, translated as “child of Uchi,” opened in July 2010 and presents the same excellence and energetic atmosphere of the original with some noteworthy additions.
The menu features Uchi’s same style of innovative, fresh cuisine with a main dining room that accepts reservations throughout the evening and a full service bar/café area. Uchi’s food uniquely expands the Japanese palate and tradition, introducing surprising new flavors and influences from around the world. Executive Chef Tyson Cole is using the finest ingredients to create inspired combinations of flavor, texture, color, technique and style. The menu is designed to allow a different experience with each visit, whether one desires traditional sushi, small plates and sake, hot kitchen specialties, or all of the above. Chef Cole’s signature menu offerings include hot and cool tastings, makimono, yakimono, tempura and, of course, sushi and sashimi.
Each guest at the table may enjoy and share the experience of dining at Uchi together. Every detail is thoughtfully managed so the guest may enjoy the progression of the meal in a seamless flow, each bite meant to build upon the last. Acclaimed pastry chef Philip Speer ends things on a sweet note with his ground-breaking desserts that showcase familiar flavors in completely original forms and combinations.
One of the few American sushi masters, Tyson Cole delights in interpreting this traditional Japanese delicacy for his Austin audience. He is quick to point out that sushi is not just raw fish, but “food made by the bite,” which is key to understanding his approach. Cole takes artistic license with his raw material, shaping and cutting the fish into exceptional shapes and textures. He then matches flavors to the fish, using fruits, herbs, sauces and locally available ingredients in a way that is completely original and satisfying. Beautifully presented, the finished product is the ultimate contemporary art.
Cole’s hot and cool tastings menu allows patrons to move beyond the traditional range of sushi and sashimi. These small plates are not intended as starters but as new tastes to be mixed in at any point during the meal. Timed by the kitchen to continually reinvigorate the palate, the tastings allow a pure and dynamic experience of the familiar mixed with the unexpected. Cool chunks of maguro (tuna) sashimi are combined with creamy goat cheese and tart, crispy slivers of Fuji apple, then drizzled with pumpkin seed oil and finished with a dash of cracked pepper. One of the more popular items on the menu, this intriguing combination of textures and flavors is a signature of Chef Cole. Hamachi Nabe showcases “umami”- yellowtail and farm egg are served over a bed of rice in a traditional hot nabe bowl with a sweet soy broth. Fragrant bonito flakes bring lively movement to the dish. This original plate is prepared in the Japanese tradition to create an unusually delicious result. Expect even more surprises at the sushi bar. Cole makes custom creations out of seasonal items that continually arrive at the restaurant. Not bound by the menu, he is happy to design a meal for any palate. This multi-course tasting menu, inspired by the freshest arrivals from farm and sea, delights customers with uniquely crafted selections that are chosen at Chef Cole’s discretion and specifically created for two people to share.
Yakimono is the Japanese term for foods that are grilled, broiled or pan-fried. Uchi’s yakimono items are grilled on Japanese oak charcoal and feature diverse selections such as Norwegian mackerel grilled with parsley and preserved lemon, and the flavorful tako pops: playfully arranged grilled baby octopus; a delight for the eyes as well as the palate. Tempura also breaks out of its traditional box at Uchi. Ingredients such as Japanese pumpkin, sea eel and seasonal vegetables are lightly battered and quickly fried to bring out their delicate flavors.
Unlike most Japanese restaurants, Uchi has an experienced creator in its kitchen. Chef Tyson Cole employs classical cooking techniques to create a daily special menu with a Pacific Rim perspective. These dishes may be eaten with chopsticks and shared, allowing another variation on the Japanese dining experience. The artful desserts are another point of departure from other Japanese restaurants and sushi bars. Unique combinations and complementary flavors are the product of Uchi and Uchiko Executive Pastry Chef Philip Speer. One of Austin’s highly-renowned pastry chefs, Philip uses his passion for fresh ingredients and his wide range of culinary techniques to add refreshment and interest to the dessert menu.
Uchi serves only the finest quality seasonal fish, purchased through a top Japanese purveyor with offices in New York and California. Fish is flown in daily from around the world. sake and wine While most Americans are familiar with hot sake, the Japanese enjoy the finest sakes cold. Uchi has an extensive, diverse selection of cold sakes that complement the food and offer guests another flavor explosion. A range of Japanese brands – offered by the bottle and the glass – introduce sakes with different tastes and qualities, e.g. dry, spicy, sweet and full. Uchi’s jizakes, which are microbrewed sakes, are unusual and complex, not to mention hard to find. Uchi’s wine list was created to match the restaurant’s menu items. Accessible selections from California, Europe and Australia defy the myth that wine can’t be paired with sushi.