If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, which – of course do, you’ve seen the love affair that I have had for Uchi for several years. When news broke that Uchi was coming to Dallas it was all I could do not to drive by the construction site several times a day in hopes that that would be the drive where I would see that it was finally open. Well, after much anticipation and drool – Uchi Dallas has arrived!
Last week I had the pleasure of being invited to a media event that Uchi hosted in their super chic private dining room. It’s events like this that make me so thankful I had this little idea called Oh Hey Dallas five years ago and get to be included in the fun.
Now, don’t get me wrong – last week definitely wasn’t my first visit to the sexy Maple Avenue spot. In fact, I’m trending at a bi-weekly visit since their opening day on June 1st and am not even remotely sorry about it.
If you aren’t familiar with Uchi let me just put it this way – it is a magical unicorn. The restaurant is so beautiful and luxurious that you automatically feel like you’re a VIP and the night is all about you…because it is! Uchi provides some of the best service in town and is truly a dining EXPERIENCE, not just a spot that you grab a regular ol’ dinner. The menu has several non-traditional ingredients listed that aren’t familiar to the average person but the staff does an excellent job of offering recommendations and explaining the menu in a way that makes everything seem like a must try (and lets face it, everything IS a must try).
With so many incredible options to choose from ranging from small bites of sushi to fried chicken, I’m going to brief ya’ll on some of my favorite dishes. Think of it as a crash course in Uchi-ing.
The Uchi Salad. I know exactly what you are thinking, salad at a sushi restaurant? BORING. Trust me, I was as surprised as you are but this salad is seriously epic. Hydroponic baby romaine that you pick up with your fingers then dip into an edamame-jalapeño sauce so delicious you’ll want to drink it.
Akami. Better known as Tuna Loin Sashimi – I mean, just look at the color on that beautiful piece of fish. It is so rich and buttery that it legitimately melts in your mouth and is worth every single penny.
Madai Nigiri. Described to us by staff as “the perfect bite,” this Japanese sea bream is paired with shiso and lemon and lived up to it’s explanation. The smooth fish with the snap of the lemon and shiso and the pillows of sushi rice made me wish the party in my mouth would never end.
Machi Cure. This is my absolutely favorite dish that Uchi puts out. I had it at their Austin location a few years back and was as excited as a little kid on Christmas morning when I saw that this dish was coming to Dallas as well. Smoked baby yellow tail sits atop a bed of crisp yucca and then is topped with marcona almonds, Asian pear and garlic brittle. As I write this my mouth is literally watering so badly I may have to stop in for happy hour in a few minutes and grab this. It is utterly fantastic and I am yet to find someone who doesn’t agree with me about that.
Karaage. Otherwise known as “that really damn good fried chicken from Uchi.” Marinated fried chicken topped with sweet thai chili, fish caramel and accompanied with seasonal pickled vegetables make this dish a can’t miss. The chicken remains incredibly tender while the fried crust adds the perfect crunch and heat. Something tells me that come Fall and Winter time, people will be flocking to Uchi for this dish to warm them up and provide the most delicious kind of comfort.
So there you have it! Just because these five dishes are my must-tries absolutely does not mean that everything else isn’t just as fantastic. Let’s be honest, I had to narrow it down because I think my head would explode if I talked about Uchi anymore. My stomach is rumbling, my mouth is watering and I think it is time that I do some more Uchi-ing myself!