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Birthday weekend coming up, Uchiko suggestions please

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saeyedoc Jan 16, 2012 07:43 AM

My wife and I have birthdays on consecutive days (22nd, 23rd). This year we are planning on spending the night of the 21st in Austin, where our oldest daughter goes to school. We live in San Antonio.
Booked a suite at the Hotel San Jose and have reservations at Uchiko.
Any specific items there we shouldn't miss?

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  1. slowcoooked Jan 16, 2012 09:43 AM

    From the "Everyday Menu" my wife and I love the hama chili, the maguro sashimi, the golden beets, the brussel sprouts, both chicken dishes and the pork belly however they serve it. We tend to stay away from the wagyu beef but admit it's good, it's just run its course for our palates. same with the sous vide beef ribs - way too pricey for what you get back in flavor. Our favorite desserts are the fried milk and the tobacco cream (especially if either of you are scotch / cigar fans). We also like the hamachi sashimi with apples. The fried chicken is a nice way to get some filling food in for relatively cheap. have fun, it's always a grand night to go to one of the "chi's". Luckier still if Jasmine serves you.

    1. f
      foodiegal71 Jan 16, 2012 06:42 PM

      We went last month and tried a couple of new things. The ones that stood out were the Jar Jar Duck and the Pork Cheek. Oh the pork cheek. I want to eat that every day for the rest of my life. With Uni on the side.

      I second the tobacco cream. It's my favorite dessert in Austin.

      1. bubbleboy79 Jan 17, 2012 01:00 AM

        Second jar jar, hamachili, brussels sprouts, and pork jowl. Add madai sashimi, sake toro, and boquerones, Tobacco cream isn't for everyone; prefer the fried milk.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bubbleboy79
          s
          saeyedoc Jan 17, 2012 06:35 AM

          Thanks for the suggestions. Have any of you done the tasting menu? With 3 of us, are we better off just ordering what we want?

          1. re: saeyedoc
            bubbleboy79 Jan 17, 2012 09:59 AM

            I'd order what you want. There are a couple of tasting menus (designed for two to share, but I'm sure they can be modified for three), and they're great for not having to decide, but they also might not include any of the dishes discussed on this thread.

        2. femmenikita Jan 19, 2012 05:05 AM

          What, no love for the corn sorbet dessert?! That is my favorite dessert in Austin. The creaminess and the caramelly popcorn salt and the incredible texture can't be beat! Anyway I mainly wanted to chime in to discourage you from doing omakase there on your first visit. The omakase is usually whimsical and the dishes, while fun and unusual, can be hit or miss (such is the nature of improv art!). I have done the omakase there three times, the last being this past NYE. A mix of so-so and oh-my-god delicious. The stuff everyone else mentioned above won't disappoint you. Those Brussels sprouts are killer; I would add the maguro sashimi and goat cheese. Also I always like to do at least one roll. Get the shag roll and tears of joy will run down your face. Avofry is good too, just make sure it's the version from the dinner menu and not the sake social menu. Also the cheap unfiltered sake is actually good! Takara nigori, I believe it is called...

          4 Replies
          1. re: femmenikita
            bubbleboy79 Jan 19, 2012 01:20 PM

            Corn sorbet is solid (and I say that not just because Philip Speer occasionally posts here), but I like more traditional dessert flavor profiles. The white snow dessert ca. a year ago, with white chocolate and strawberry and champagne, maybe still my fav.

            1. re: bubbleboy79
              femmenikita Jan 20, 2012 03:07 PM

              Remember seeing the white snow strawberry thing, and never ordered! Thanks bubbleboy; I will now be on the look-out for its return. (Hope Mr. Speer is listening in!)

              1. re: bubbleboy79
                u
                uniko Jan 21, 2012 04:56 PM

                the white snow was the most amazing, sexy dessert ever. i had it 3 times in the week they had it. i'm sure it will never return, but i would love it if it would.

              2. re: femmenikita
                f
                foodiegal71 Jan 20, 2012 05:42 PM

                I also love the corn sorbet. The first time I tried it, I was immediately taken back to being 8 years old eating corn pops while watching Saturday morning cartoons. It's my second favorite dessert in Austin...

              3. c
                chauvina Jan 20, 2012 04:56 PM

                hotate-spicy scallop-underated and I agree with hama chili, chicken karage with fish caramel, brussel sprouts, nantuchet scallops if they have them...anything specieal for the night. sooo jealous!!

                1. s
                  saeyedoc Jan 22, 2012 11:45 AM

                  Wow, what an amazing meal! Service was spot-on, had an amazing time. Had comments from the staff on how well I ordered, thanks to all of your help. Can't recall call many meals with this many courses with absolutely no misses. Four of us had the following, mostly in order:

                  Hama Chili
                  Shisito peppers (only course I went with my own choice, was excellent)
                  Japanese Uni (first try with uni, figured if I didn't like the $10/piece stuff, I don't like Uni, was amazing)
                  Golden Beets
                  Brussel Sprouts
                  Karaage Chicken
                  Jar Jar Duck
                  Pork Jowl
                  Bacon Tataki
                  Maguro Sashimi
                  Sweet Corn Sorbet
                  Fried Milk
                  Apricot Jam, coconut gelato special

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: saeyedoc
                    bubbleboy79 Jan 23, 2012 02:17 AM

                    So glad you had great birthdays and a great meal!

                    1. re: saeyedoc
                      r
                      Rene Jan 23, 2012 06:33 AM

                      Thanks for the follow up... love it!

                    2. c
                      chrisdds98 Jan 25, 2012 11:02 PM

                      I went to Uchiko tonight for the first time for my birthday. the jar jar duck was ridiculous. and I'm pretty sure the brussel sprout dish is 1% sprout and 99%magic. If my mom made them like that I would have eaten my veggies when I was a kid!

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