We have been to Uchi in Houston several times and so looked forward to celebrating our anniversary at the Austin original. When I made the reservation one month in advance, I noted it was our anniversary on the form. And sure enough when we checked in 5 minutes early, the hostess wished us a happy anniversary. That was the extent of the outreach.
After between 15 and 20 minutes of waiting, we were finally taken to our table--has to be the worst in the entire restaurant--a tiny two top whose seats do not move. The couple before us got taken to a nice four top and the two couples seated after us as well. Something tells me they weren't all celebrating anniversaries or special occasions.
Our waitress didn't really provide much assistance [not that we needed a whole lot as we had been studying what we wanted to order]. When I mentioned we knew everything we wanted, but wasn't sure whether to order it all at once or in stages, she assured us that she would stage it properly.
After ordering, I quickly mentioned we preferred silverware to chopsticks. She said "no problem." Then of course two pieces of sushi arrived and we were still utensil-less. I mentioned to the server [as opposed to our waitress] that we were waiting on utensils, she shrugged it off and said we should just pick up the sushi with our fingers. Um...no thanks. I finally caught our waitress' eye and reminded her of the need for silverware.
Next up [and I mean within about 30 seconds of finishing the sushi] came the spicy tuna roll as well as the brussels sprouts. Both were excellent, but it was a little curious to have the sprouts this quickly into a meal that included two hot items.
While all of this food, plus wine and water glasses plus the wine chiller were on our teeny tiny table, the server brought out the walu walu. We each took our respective last piece of the roll so she could at least remove that board and give us a little more room. Again the dish was delish--although a little underdone in the middle for my tastes. And I swear, while we are still working on the walu walu the tempura ebi arrive once again fighting for limited table space.
At this point, we were most definitely regretting having left the "staging" of the meal's components with our waitress. At this point, it appeared the primary goal was to get us out the door as quickly as possible. Then a very quirky thing occurred. We were done with everything that had been brought out. However we hadn't yet had the shag roll. The waitress comes up at this point and says she was just now putting that item in the queue for us. REALLY?????
When it was finally delivered [and again it too was tremendous], we finished it up. She came back, asked if there was anything else, didn't ask whether we wanted dessert [we didn't as it turns out but would have been nice to have been asked since after all we were celebrating].
As we looked around, we saw most tables being engaged by their waiters/waitresses. We have experienced such engagement ourselves at the Houston location. But what a bummer that the service [something for which Uchi is almost as well known for as its food] came up so short. And an even bigger bummer to read a review on yelp from someone who dined the same evening who received a complimentary dessert for celebrating their anniversary that night.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.