Just returned from an outstanding meal at Uchi. We sat at the bar and got the omakase.
Amuse buche - a light sorbet with a little honey on top.
Smoked hamachi with white soy and baby cilantro had a delicious, delicate flavor.
A roll wrapped in rice paper with sea bass and snow crab, served with bell peppers and fish sauce. Kind of a Vietnamese sushi roll. Had good, fresh flavors. I especially liked the slightly sweet yellow flying fish roe it was served with.
Tuna sashimi with goat cheese and apples, and pumpkin seed oil. It was definitely an interesting combination, and very good. I think the cheese overpowered the fish a little bit, though.
Black cod marinated in, I think, mirin and sake and seared. This was one of the highlights of the meal. The fish was flakey and perfectly cooked, slightly carmelized on the outside. Salty. Sweet. Delicious.
Next came a quail stuffed with risotto and served with fried lotus and grilled baby artichokes. While not especially Japanese, this was my other favorite dish of the night.
Unagi sushi, extremely fresh and tender, salty and sweet with a hint of ginger.
Uni and ikura sushi. This was my first time to eat uni and I don't understand why so many people hate it. I was expecting a strong flavor, but it was very mild. Maybe it's just that bad uni is really bad.
Fois gras on toasted brioche with a pear and quince chutney (or maybe they called it compote) and cashew butter. It took a few minutes but my wife finally figure out that it was a play on peanut butter and jelly. The fois gras was coated in the same sort of carmalized sugar you get at the top of a creme brulee and there was a bit of vanilla on the plate. This was very rich and, I have to say, a little over the top for my taste.
Desert was fresh strawberries and black pepper sorbet which is really much better than you would think. The sorbet is sweet and the pepper gives it a little bit of a tingle.
All in all, I think this may be the best meal I've had in Austin and I highly recommend it.
It's been over a year since I've eaten at Uchi, but I also recall it fondly. I'm with you: for my money, they're the best sushi restaurant in Austin. Of course, if I actually *had* money, then I might be able to delve into such matters more closely. Sigh.
Thanks for the yummy descriptions!