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Uchi Takes Houston

Both high-end and accessible, Uchi moves into Montrose and changes the game.

The uchiviche stands out as the only dish I haven't been fond of at Uchi, a rather uninspired collection of salmon and striped bass amidst a jagged field of bell pepper slices and some sultanas. It was oddly disjointed considering how seamlessly every other dish here is constructed. The exquisitely soft nasu (or eggplant) nigiri, however, changed the way both of my dining companions that night felt about eggplant. Such is the transformative power of a well-cooked vegetable coated in bright lemon and deepened with the rich, resonant, earthy flavors of miso and shio.

And even though we also ordered more "mainstream" items like a shag roll and a spicy tuna roll that night, those standards were handled and plated more beautifully than in any other sushi bar — the shag roll, for example, is centered in a pool of onyx-colored squid ink that radiates outward in strokes that are both exuberantly messy and carefully controlled. The squid ink has the same sweetly gratifying depth to it as hoisin sauce, a unique but somehow ideal pairing for the sun-dried tomato, buttery avocado and plump salmon inside the crunchy roll. Like that tuna sashimi with goat cheese and apples, the odd pairing shouldn't work — but it does.

How much did we pay for the spread? $30 per person.

The machi cure features smoked baby yellowtail, dehydrated yuca, garlic brittle and Marcona almonds.
Troy Fields
The machi cure features smoked baby yellowtail, dehydrated yuca, garlic brittle and Marcona almonds.

Location Info

Map

Uchi

904 Westheimer Rd.
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > Contemporary

Region: Montrose

Underbelly

1100 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Restaurant > New American

Region: Montrose

The Hay Merchant

1100 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Montrose

Details

Uchi

904 Westheimer, 713-522-4808. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 5 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays

Brussels sprouts $6

Foie gras nigiri $9

Ham-and-eggs roll $10

Zero sen roll $12

Machi cure $18

Maguro and goat cheese $18

Related Stories

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Herein lies Uchi's real charm, too. It's high-end and accessible all at once, a neighborhood restaurant that raises the bar for food and service at every other restaurant, neighborhood or otherwise. Sometimes, Speer admitted, he'll look at the artful plates that are being sent out each night and grab one. "Dirty that up a little bit; that's too pristine," he'll instruct. "Put a little more soul into it."

If there's anything a neighborhood restaurant should have, it's soul. And Uchi has soul to spare.

katharine.shilcutt@houstonpress.com

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3 comments
number9photog
number9photog

@UchiAustin ohh, I would love to try this Uchi

cg713_
cg713_

@BunBTrillOG @HoustonPress @UchiHouston saw that the other day, I want to try it now.

HoustonPress
HoustonPress

@BunBTrillOG @UchiHouston Thanks for the tweet buddy! Did Shannon get you your award?

 
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