Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Uchiko: Restaurant Week and More

I love restaurant week. I love sushi. I love Top Chef. I loved winner Paul Qui this season (humble, talented and not dramatic). So, when Restaurant Week announced this year's participants, I was excited to see that Uchiko, where Paul is the chef, was on the list.

First off, the special wasn't that special after all (financially): 1) $35 bucks is what the meal normally would have cost and 2) I ended up eating way more than just what came in the restaurant week menu. For someone with my budget, Uchiko definitely is not a place I visit often, but when I do, it's worth the splurge.

Brussels Sprouts
I met two friends for an early dinner. We started out with two appetizers: Brussels sprouts and a grilled peas with kimchi.

The brussels sprouts were amazing: crispy with a roasted flavor and topped with a sweet lemon chili sauce. We finished the sprouts quickly and were disappointed that an efficient bus boy took the empty bowl away because we all wanted to lick up the sauce left in the bottom of the bowl.


The pea dish was mostly a hit with us. An alternative to a traditional edamame, the peas had a smokey flavor that paired well with the pickled kimchi flavors. I was proud that I was eating peas since I usually avoid them, and I would eat them more if someone cooked them for me at home. One friend said the pods were too waxy and that made the dish difficult to eat. I didn't mind, but I understood her point. This was a messy dish.

Read more about the meal, see more pictures of delicious food and hear about the one major flaw of our experience, after the JUMP!

Yokai Berry

The next dish that arrived for me was the Yokai Berry: atlantic salmon, dinosaur kale, asian pear and yuzu pair together to not only create a beautifully plated dish, but one that included layers of flavors and textures.

Ham & Eggs

Shag Roll
Possibly the biggest hit of the night was the Ham and Eggs roll: pork belly wrapped in rice served with dollops of yolk custard and espellette (a type of pepper). We each had one piece when we called over the waiter to order another roll. It really was delicious. The Shag Roll - one of the most popular rolls at Uchi and Uchiko - was also finished just as quickly. I'm always surprised that it has sun dried tomato in it because I think, "that will add a weird texture," but it doesn't. It might be because the roll is fried, but something about this one gives it the feeling that it's actually melting in your mouth.

The second dish I chose that was included in the restaurant week menu was the Karaage with pickled vegetables. It's really just fried chicken that somehow manages to be extremely crispy despite being tossed in a sweet and sticky honey sauce. The chicken was moist and tasty.

The dessert included in the restaurant week meal was delicious. It was the one dessert I had yet to try at Uchiko: tobacco cream. It somehow makes a custard that tastes like tobacco enjoyable by pairing it with chocolate sorbet, huckleberry and maple. I was not a fan of the infamous corn dessert people rave about, but this one I like.

Tobacco Cream
My one big complaint about the meal was the service. It's obvious the waiters are trained to be professional, informed and welcoming, but I don't really need each ordered item to be countered with a suggestion made by the waiter; most of the time, I know what I want. Our waiter made the comment, "Can I make a recommendation..." at least five times during our meal in response to something we ordered. I think at a point he realized we had read the menu, made a decisions based on what description was provided, and weren't idiots because he finally stopped. Suggestions are nice, just don't be overbearing - it's an insult to the customers who want to spend money there.

So go, enjoy, and be prepared to spend a lot of money - it's very much worth it.


  1. so that I can see in the pictures everything is delicious!!

  2. everything looks delicious but the coolest is the decoration of the dishes!