Beating the Uchi drums louder, the acclaimed Austin Japanese restaurant led by celebrity chef Tyson Cole has issued the menu for its Uchi Dallas location, slated to open on Maple Avenue in late spring.
As a teaser, chef de cuisine Nilton "Junior" Borges and a crew of chefs hosted a pop-up in Dallas' Exposition Park on April 13 to preview some of the dishes. The dinner was attended by about 40 guests, including food media and restaurant folks such as FT33 chef-owner Matt McCallister and The Grape chef Sarah Snow.
Local bar stars Gabe Sanchez of Black Swan Saloon and Mate Hartai of Remedy mixed cocktails made with rum and gin, cooled by Hartai's statuesque hand-carved ice cubes.
The multicourse meal consisted of a series of crazy-impeccable bites, presented in a pristine fashion on a variety of plating options that ran from traditional ceramic stoneware to highly varnished slabs of wood.
An opening course combined yellowtail with segments of fresh orange, followed by sushi, topped with a5 Miyazaki Wagyu beef from Japan.
The second course had an "allium" theme with wild onion, green garlic, perfect cubes of fried chickpea panisse, and thin slices of country ham. Another round of sushi followed: one topped with lean herring, chased by one topped with avocado.
Third course had large chunks of king crab and greenery lurking beneath a crispy sheet of cabbage "pastrami." The next course was all about the beef: cubes of browned Wagyu combined with cubes made from compressed slices of Asian pear, over a creamy base of spinach purée and decorated with fresh celery leaves.
"Okashi," or dessert, consisted of a spun cream draped over cookie crumbs and fruit.
At the event, the team announced that another separate restaurant is planned for the second floor of the Uchi space at 2817 Maple Ave., to open in the summer. No name or cuisine has been announced, but it will be under Borge's guidance.
Menu items specifically for Dallas include the following:
Gyuotoro. Wagyu short rib is braised for 72 hours before plated and served with an Asian pear terrine that is compressed with Thai basil. The acid and sweetness of the pear compression pairs well with the richness of the beef. Underneath the beef is a spinach purée that is cooked down with lemon, ginger and garlic.
Kamo Nabe. The hearty dish features duck confit served in a bowl with an egg yolk atop crispy rice and kale. The Korean chili and black pepper sauce is poured tableside.
Lime Cream. The dessert created by executive pastry chef Andrew Lewis is all about textures. Housed in a jar, the bottom layer of the dish is a creamy lime and fennel seed mousse with crispy puffed rice, bringing a neutral crunch to the dish, contrasting well with the lime cream. The next layer is a roasted pear sorbet made from fresh pear and juniper compressed pear ribbons. Topping the dish are herbs (fennel fronds, shiso, mint, basil), which ensure a clean note ending.