19 February 2011

Birthday Dinners Are Awesome.

I apparently crave seafood every time my birthday rolls around.  When I was little, I always went to Red Lobster (fancy, I know) and last year we went to Truluck's. This year we made our way to Uchiko.  I've been completely excited about the prospect of going there to eat and it definitely didn't disappoint.  I took some pictures, but it was dark, so mostly they didn't turn out so well.

We started with an amuse bouche of strawberry and beet sprinkled with sea salt.  I kind of hate beets, but this was mostly okay.

candlelight does not good photography make

Again, my apologies for the pictures.

So Uchiko has a permanent menu that has a lot of incredible dishes and then they have a specials menu that is constantly changing.  The difference between Uchiko's specials list and another restaurant's specials menu is that this isn't the chef trying to get rid of some ingredient that's going to go bad shortly.  We ordered the first course from the permanent menu.  It was called ko viche and it consisted of a fresh diver scallop served on top of a tomatillo with kalamata olive powder, black lime, and a corn "chip" served on top.  We used the corn chip to scoop up the entire thing.  It was light and delicious and acidic in a good way.  

The next course was tempura nasu, which basically meant deep fried Japanese eggplant.  It was served sprinkled with a chili powder and served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce.  Let's get one thing straight: I hate eggplant.  Or at least, I thought I hated eggplant.  This was divine.  I actually think that this is the best fried food I've ever had in my life.  It wasn't soggy, but it was crispy and delicious and light and everything that was good and right in the world.  I'm definitely going to try to make this at home.

The next dish we ordered was off their daily menu called "skin and bones".  It was presented as a really interesting salad, with cured salmon, crispy salmon skin, lettuce+seabeans (hence the "salad" bit), salmon roe, all atop meyer lemon curd.  Colby didn't really like it, but I loved it.  Then again, I'm a sucker for anything with salmon skin.  The meyer lemon curd was amazing and the salmon roe presented a nice salty balance to the sweet curd.

Too pretty to not take a picture, but too dark to take a pretty picture.
The next dish they brought out was from the permanent menu called chicken karaage.  It was basically fried chicken, served with a lemon+pepper dipping sauce.  It was awesome.  It came out with a bunch of different pickled items as well.  The chicken was spicy and sweet and well cooked.  This was Colby's favorite dish.

The last dish we shared was the shag roll.  When in Rome, right?  I overheard the waitress tell another customer that this was the one menu item from Uchi that Tyson Cole allowed Uchiko to share.  The shag roll is a tempura battered roll, with salmon and sundried tomatoes.  It was served with squid ink.  The first thing that struck me when I bit into it was how hot it was... temperature wise.  I assumed that tempura meant that the salmon would be battered and fried, but it was the whole roll.  Regardless, it was tasty, though I don't particularly like squid ink.

I also ordered a piece of nigiri.  I got the madai sushi, which consisted of Japanese bream, a fish that I've never had before, shiso leaf, and meyer lemon zest on top of some olive oil.  It was very tasty and I'd love to come back again and try a lot more of their sushi.

And finally... dessert.

I'm not a huge fan of dessert, but all I've heard about was how fantastic the dessert at Uchi is, so I had really high hopes for Uchiko's desserts.  A lot of this is molecular gastronomy inspired and I don't hate that.  I actually think that it makes dessert interesting to eat, instead of something that you scarf down because it's a combination of fat and sugar.

Colby ordered the fried milk, which was served with ice milk, chocolate mousse, chocolate wafers, and a chocolate sauce.  The fried milk is the golden brown and delicious cube in the picture.  When you sink the fork into it, the milk oozes out.  It was the best part of the dessert.  I tried all the parts, but I'm not into chocolate, so anything with chocolate seemed unbearably bitter to me.

I got the sweet corn sorbet, which was served with sweetened corn "chips", polenta, a corn puree, polenta "soil" and lemon droplets.  The corn puree was very sweet, but was well balanced by the lemon. The sorbet was AMAZING.  Taking a bit of everything was pretty much how God intended dessert to be.  I can't wait until I go back to Uchiko because there's just so much more I want to try on their menu.
this picture gets to be bigger because it's the most delicious.

1 comment:

linda said...

the first time i had uchiko was for my birthday (last year) as well. it is now my favorite restaurant in austin. mmm.