Dine at Uchi to experience superlative sushi and service. Every element of this restaurant is finely tuned to give you the best of the best in food and atmosphere. Twenty years ago, Chef Tyson Cole opened Uchi in an old neighborhood home turned fine dining paradise. Since then, the Uchi family has expanded locations and genres across the country. On South Lamar they are still revered as one of Austin’s best restaurants. Show up and see for yourself how the graceful staff performs together like clockwork to create an artful adventure through their unique menu.
An important part of a meal at Uchi is the sophisticated yet relaxed atmosphere. You are welcomed into a homey and lush dining room that is consistently clustered with friends, family, and sushi lovers alike. Join the table for dinner here and you will be served with the utmost care, love, and attention. Everything in the restaurant, down to the color of the wall paper, has been precisely curated to assure the absolute finest time for every guest. The open concept of the kitchen and sushi bar allows an intimate ambiance as you watch food become art.
I stopped by recently and sat at the sushi bar for what was another shockingly superb meal, not that I should be surprised as every meal here is unforgettable. Sushi chef Justin was behind the counter taking care of my orders and making friendly conversation, all while deftly dishing up magnificent plates of food. When asked about his favorite part of working at Uchi, Justin said it’s the people. They’re a family and this is part of Uchi’s success because every bite reflects that sentiment, bringing new meaning to “made with love”.
Uchi’s menu is fresh, diverse, and large! It can be assured that everyone will find something scrumptious here, no matter the preference. From familiar filets and classic courses to items you might have never had the chance to taste, Uchi will open your palate and mind to the potential this cuisine truly has. These chefs have mastered the art of combining flavors from every part of the palate and each bite is a rush of mouthwatering ultimate umami. Taste staple dishes like the “hama chili” that combines buttery yellowtail, spicy Thai chili, and sweet tangy orange flavors. I tried the “hotate crudo”, scallops with pineapple and jalapeno, and indulged in this remarkably fresh and flavorful combo of soft and crispy elements. Justin recommended one of his favorites, the “machi cure”. Another creative combo and one of the more unique plates I have tried in presentation and flavor; smoked yellowtail, pears, almonds, and candied raisins served on a bed of yuca chips topped with golden tobiko and orange oil spray. Other fish favorites include the “bluefin chutoro” medium fatty red tuna and the best selling black bream “kurodai”. The menu changes with each day and what is seasonally available, check out their special rotating selection straight from Japan.
Not a raw fish fan? No fear, Uchi has vast choices for sushi and hot foods. Don’t miss the fun of laying slices of wagyu to sear on a steaming hot rock, or watching your server stir egg yolk into the “kinoko nabe” mushroom rice bowl. One unexpected nigiri knockout is their lemon miso topped Japanese eggplant. Daily specials recently include delectable dishes like pork jowl with peaches and five spice quail with pickled plum. At Uchi you’ll never have a dull moment or delay in service and are bound to leave more satisfied than you could expect.
Arguably one of the best Happy Hours in Austin, Uchi offers some of their incredible menu items for great prices. Staff favorite and scrumptious stand out on this menu was the grilled romaine handroll with option to add either boquerones or snow crab. This comes served with an edamame-jalapeno puree and is packed with crunch and flavor. I tried this with the anchovy and it was even more delicious than the staff had praised. Find tons of other fabulous food and drink tastes on the HH menu, much of them for under ten dollars! Sushi wouldn’t be the same without sake and I love the way they serve the “takara” in the traditional masu. My brilliant server Rachael explained that the nigori flowing over the cup into the box is symbolic of shared abundance and good fortune. That is precisely what the food here tastes like.
Don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with a menu like this one, the staff is set to guide you through. Give them your faith and try the Happy Hour or Chef’s tasting menus for a marvelous multi course meal. Whatever you may enjoy, this is the perfect place for your next dinner, date, or any special celebration. Taste for yourself why Uchi has been adored in Austin for decades.