Austin Sushi at Uchi
Austin’s Unique Nigiri Sushi
- Overpriced for what it was
- Foie gras nigiri was unique and really tasty
- Hama chili was my second favorite
- Brussel sprouts reminded me of the ones we got from Tasty n Alder in Portland (made with fish sauce and char grilled)
Two reasons brought me here to Uchi on our most recent trip to Austin: foie gras nigiri and one of the top rated restaurants in Austin based on numerous food lists. That along with a free $25 from the Hyatt Place (where we stayed downtown), done deal, we were heading to Uchi for one of our meals in Austin.
To be honest, any place I can get foie gras I’m down and willing to try, though this concoction of foie was different from anything I’ve had before, seared in nigiri from and glazed with a fish sauce glaze, interesting!
The location of Uchi is not on the popular 6th Street or even on that side of town and if you were like us and didn’t have a car, it’s a fairly decent walk to get there. Surprisingly it’s located next to a pawn shop and a McDonalds but don’t worry, when you get there and see the valet parking and nice water fountain out front, you’ll know you found the right place.
Walking in, the hostesses are friendly and greet you with a smile then take you to a table. We got there fairly close to closing so we can’t speak to how packed it gets during regular hours; however, it was about half full being a late on a Sunday night when we arrived.
The ambiance is a nice mix of elegant and fun. Fun being the brightly colored floral red wallpaper and elegant with the way the tables were set up and other touches around the restaurant. What was interesting was the mix of clientele from people very dressed up and clearly on dates, more casually dressed folks like us and then large rowdy groups that reminded me of groups that are more akin to what you’d find in a bar during a sports game than at a nice restaurant.
In terms of the menu, it just so happened to be Austin Restaurant week so they had a special 3 course menu with 3 choices each along with their regular nightly specials and regular menu. We chose a bit from each based on what was highly recommended by other food sites, what we enjoyed and what the waiter recommended.
Our dinner consisted of:
- Hama Chili– hama chili baby yellowtail, ponzu, thai chili, orange supreme: My second favorite dish. I loved the blend of the Thai chili’s (not for the spice adverse) offset by the orange slices
- Yakai Berry: yokai berry atlantic salmon, dinosaur kale, asian pear, yuzu (this was just ok, the kale and the berry threw me off)
- Hakujin salmon: grilled asparagus, tempura flakes: Nothing too special about this dish, just a regular salmon roll with grilled asparagus
- Bacon steakie pork belly: watermelon radish, citrus, Thai basil: A unique dish where the pork belly has been sous vide for 24 hours and then fried and made into this dish (fourth favorite)
- Brussel sprouts: crispy brussel sprouts, lemon, chili: Reminds me of the dish I had at Tasty and Alder in Portland. Char grilled I loved the crispy part of this dish (great side, definitely worth trying)
- Foie Gras Nigiri: Foie gras topped with crispy quinoa (my favorite dish)
- Lemon gelato: With pistachios, white balsamic: Clean and loved the salty crunchy pistachios. The lemon which was most pronounced in the thin sheet was very refreshing!
If you absolutely must try this place I’d say go for the foie gras nigiri, hama chili and the brussel sprouts. Just get ready to pay quite a bit. Even with the restaurant week menu and $25 gift card, the total was a approximately $80 without alcohol.
- Get the foie gras nigiri!