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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Raw Uchi

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the media event leading up to the formal opening of Uchi in Houston. It was a cocktail party, basically, although I feel that perhaps the composed nature of Tyson Cole's food better set in a more serene and contemplative environment. I was fascinated, however, by the selection of ingredients and execution at the sushi bar.

Uchi runs a tight ship, exceptionally clean. I've noticed a low representation of typical Gulf seafood such as shrimp, crawfish or oysters.  
Wagyu beef.
Myoga, a relative of ginger grown for the edible bulbs. 

Demurely hidden black truffles in rice. 
Hamachi, precleaned and ready for slicing.
Atop the refrigerated display cases are the square bamboo sake cups filled with various dry ingredients. I commend the choice of flaked sea salt (I suspect Maldon) which the chef uses to great effect in various dishes. I didn't manage to take a picture of the chunks of bottarga lying out in the cups, ready to be shaved as a final flourish. 

Did I actually get to taste anything? Well, yes, I did. And no doubt much of the Houston blogosphere will be abuzz with stories of the experience - I'll defer to that telling to the others for now. But I did find sections of the Uchi menu intriguing, and I look forward to trying it in the future.

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