I have a serious confession to make. I've never been to Uchi.
I've tried. Twice! Once on my birthday (too many people/too short notice for a reservation) and once for lunch (closed). I didn't try hard enough, because although sushi is my favorite food in the world, I'm really, really cheap sometimes. And I've heard how easy it is to drop $100 at Uchi and leave hungry. So I held out. And now, I'm glad I did.
Uchiko is the new spin-off of Austin's hippest sushi restaurant -- “child of Uchi,” loosely translated. And though Uchiko has not yet opened to the public, I'm on the email list (thanks, Jodi!) of the PR people who represent Uchi, Uchiko, and Gumbo's, among others.
So when I got an email a couple of weeks ago inviting me to Uchiko's soft opening at 50% of the regular menu price, I jumped. Literally. Out of my seat. Then I quickly sat back down and frantically replied to the PR contact. Once my reservation was secure, I suggest Jodi and Adam contact and make it a four top.
I studied the Uchiko menu days before our reservation; I even printed it out and circled the items I planned to try. I didn't want to be unfamiliar and overwhelmed by the options.
All told, our dinner came to $60 a person (that included a healthy 25% tip; the service was fabulous). Would I go back and pay $120 for the exact same meal? Grudgingly, and it'll have to be a very special occasion. But our comment card, which allowed us to rate everything on a 1-5 scale, came to a 4.75 average as agreed upon by our Party of 4. We left very, very happy -- and very, very full.
Here are some photos, with a promise to fill in actual details later. For now, Top Chef (Season 7, episode 3) awaits!