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“Room for Wheelchair”
Review of Uchiko

Uchiko
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Ranked #18 of 3,992 Restaurants in Austin
Cuisines: Sushi, Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 43rd
Description: We are proud to announce... Chef Tyson Cole, winner of the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Southwest--Thank you Uchi and Uchiko family and friends for your support! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Uchiko, translated as "child of Uchi" from Japanese, is the next restaurant venture for renowned executive chef and sushi master Tyson Cole. Located in central Austin, this second location of Cole's highly-praised Uchi presents the same excellence and energetic atmosphere of the original with some noteworthy additions. Uchiko features a new menu with Uchi's same style of innovative and fresh cuisine, a main dining room that accepts reservations throughout the evening and an eat-in bar/café area.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

The food is obviously an experience worth the trip. I had been there before and was concerned there wouldn't be room for my husband's wheelchair. We had reservations and were seated right away with ample room for the wheelchair. The brussel sprouts are indeed life-changing and we googled the recipe while we sat there. Everyone has their favorites but our server was the expert; we followed his advice and were delighted although no one liked the sea urchins. I think it's more on the $100 end, however.

Thank ScrappyTexan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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471 - 475 of 662 reviews

Reviewed January 7, 2013

Wonderful! You have to try the bacon tataki, big eye tuna, P-38 (japanese yellowtail), and (most definitely) the Brussels spouts. They will change your life. We ended up placing another order. I was not impressed with the hot rock. Can't leave Austin without visiting Uchiko.

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Thank brentripper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2013

My husband and I shared the 10 course omakase dinner (chef's choice) on a Thursday night when Uchiko. The omakase is around $200 for two people, which seemed like a great deal. We had eaten lunch, but showed up with good appetites and anticipation.

In case you don't want to take the time to read this whole review, a quick summary is that for the price, either each dish should have been a gem or the portions should have been larger. Food delivery should have been consistant, not rushed, but there should have been no long irregular waits between courses. And, finally, an omakase meal should never be so depersonalized that food is served which the customer specifically said could not be eaten. The value just wasn't there for this meal.

We told our waitress right away that we wanted the omakase, but explained that we didn't want any dishes with red meat, e.g. pork. She asked if we ate uni, and I responded that I *love* it. We waited in happy anticipation and ordered a bottle of sake.

Let me first say that the omakase dishes at Uchiko are served on one plate in the middle of the table. They are all appetizer sized, with many being small for that. A sashimi or crudo course would give three small pieces per person. If it were all served in quick order, this would be all right for two people, but, well, read on....

We received our first two courses fairly quickly. The first was 4 small oysters on the half shell, which were very fresh. The second course was one of the high points: Japanese sea bream sashimi in a very light yuzu sauce with micro greens, sea salt and garlic. It was simple and perfect. The third course was horse mackerel sashimi with ginger, daikon and some interesting feathered veggie I didn't identify.

Our fourth course was brought out. It was a vegetable course (I forget the main veggie) and looked beautiful, but there were dollops of bacon infused foam all over the plate. The waitress who dropped it off was not our waitress, which was par for the course as most dishes were delivered by other people, and she rattled off the ingredients and was off before we could say anything. I eventually flagged down our waitress and reminded her that we didn't eat pork. She apologized and promised a replacement. After some time, she brought us a dish of roasted golden beets with dehydrated beet chips (like flat potato chips) in yogurt with micro greens and some other garnish, and it was tasty enough, especially the sweet beet chips.

It had taken a while for the fourth course replacement, and it was served at almost the same time as the fifth course. We were getting pretty hungry by the time they came. It consisted of three small nigiri each: Japanese sea bream, boquerones, and diver sea scallops with avocado and aioli. We enjoyed revisiting the lovely sea bream, and the boquerones were nice, but the raw scallops were another high point of the evening.

Then we waited a lot longer. A lot. I should say that each dish was quite small for two people. Finally, we were brought wild amberjack crudo with candied walnuts, fresh persimmon and micro greens over tofu dashi for our sixth course. It's hard to think of anything more totally bland than tofu dashi except, possibly, the rice cereal given to infants. The rest was tasty, though.

We then waited... a long time. Our waitress came by and apologized for the long waits explaining that they were very busy. Well, they clearly were, but they should either staff for being very busy or seat fewer diners. We took the opportunity to order a sushi roll, the P38, because we were really very hungry by then. it's quite irritating to get more and more hungry as you progress through a meal. We prefer the opposite.

The roll and our seventh course came at the same time. The seventh course was a small piece of grilled sturgeon on sriracha sauce with fermented black beans, lychee puree or foam, fresh lychee and mint leaves. The sturgeon was perfectly cooked, but the dish wasn't stellar, somehow. The P38 roll was cut in five delicious pieces (only a few wounds from our fighting over the last piece since there were two of us), and after the sturgeon and roll, we finally stopped being hungry.

We then received our delightful eighth course, roasted sunchokes on turmeric brown butter accented by raw crosnes. Who knew that sunchokes could have such a wonderful texture when roasted? Another high point.

Finally, again after quite a wait, we received the best dish I may have eaten in 2012: Jar Jar Duck, which clearly deserved it's 2011 award by Food and Wine Magazine. A glass jar is placed in front of you, and when the lid is removed, rosemary smoke pours out filling your senses. The food inside consists of meat from duck leg confit and roasted duck breast, duck jus, and what tasted like sweet pickled onion and other stuff. Sorry I can't be more clear, but the whole of this dish works perfectly together so that the individual tastes and even textures are almost impossible to take apart, and why would you want to? This dish, which is the size of a normal appetizer, costs $30, but it is a remarkable value because of its quality.

Our meal finished off with a shiitake cream dish. It was very pretty in shades of beige and brown, but with its barely there sweetness, it just didn't make it as a dessert for us. We love shiitake, but this was disappointing because we anticipated something sweet. They should have just said it was a tenth course, but not a dessert.

The conclusion? We weren't hungry when we left (thanks to the P38 roll), but 2 1/2 hours was way too long to serve this amount of food. Their omakase for two would leave one person stuffed, but it wouldn't fill up two normal eaters who were eating this served over so much time. I think it would be kinder to their customers to say that this is omakase for one person, but two people who weren't very hungry could share it. Also, after being teased by the waitress suggesting uni when we ordered, I was a little disappointed not to get any. If she hadn't mentioned it...

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4  Thank sablatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Most of the dishes we ordered are delicious, creative. The restaurant would earn stars soon if possible. Most of the dishes we ordered look like Japanese style on their appearances but they taste sometimes Vietnamese, Thai or Chinese.
The chefs really try very hard to create their arts.
Pricey, prepare to send at least 80 dollars per person for dinner.

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Thank tyst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Perfection.

Must order - hama chili. Amazing. I could have ordered 5. It consists of baby yellowtail (melts in your mouth), ponzu, Thai orange supreme.

The Brussels sprouts were awesome. Flash fried with hints of lemon and chili.

Ordered madai sushi. So good. Japanese sea bream with light olive oil and lemon zest. Savor this sushi. Also went with the shime Saba. Norwegian mackerel with cherry tomato truffle oil. My girlfriend loved it. For me, it was a bit strong and unusual tasting. I'd recommend it, especially if you love truffle... And who doesn't.

We ordered two main sushi rolls. The P-38 and Crunchy Tuna. These were good. P-38 being the better of the two. Could taste the fresh local ingredients and the fish melted in my mouth. However, the small sushi rolls and Hama chilli were the best.

Make sure to get reservations, the couple in front of us did not and had to wait 1 1/2 hrs. The ambiance and wait staff are great.

Who would have guessed, but on our way out we passed Uncle Jesse aka John Stamos enjoying Uchiko. If it's good enough for him then it's good enough for you! Seriously, best meal ever.

1  Thank Willmc169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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