Last week I experienced the high point of my culinary escapades for the year. I was very fortunate to score two tickets to Chef Tyson Cole’s private tasting at Uchiko. There were only 32 tickets available, and you could only buy one at a time. I credit my quick webpage refreshing finger to years of buying concert tickets. Yes, my lucky index finger points to stuff and also gets me access to Lady Gaga and private dinners. Thanks, finger.
The dinner was held in Uchiko’s private party room. It was dim, sophisticated, and made from reclaimed Barton Springs wood. Also, my pictures came out weird so you are going to have to book a party if you want to see it. Mr. Betty, myself, and 30 others buzzed with excitement before the food started. This dinner was a social media promotion advertised on Google+ and sold through Google Offers. Seven courses for $50. Pretty amazing deal!
We started with Duxbury oysters topped with cilantro sorbet. The sorbet complimented the sweet, buttery finish these oysters are known for.
Course number two: Loup Crudo. Mediterranean sea bass, pickled ramps, Texas grapefruit, avocado and fennel vinegar. What a delightful combination. The acidity of the ramps, vinegar and grapefruit played nicely with the succulent fish and creamy avocado.
Course number three: Roasted Golden Beets. The beautiful beets were plated with skyr yogurt, biter greens, acacia honey and beet chips.
Course number four: Yokai Berry. This was my favorite course! Fresh Atlantic salmon, dinosaur kale, asian pear and yuzu. When I looked into this dish I found the recipe online here. I could have eaten this for all seven courses. Unbelievable.
Course number five: Dewberry Hills Farm Chicken. Dewberry Hills is where Austin gets its local organic, compassionately raised chickens. This dish had it rolled in short grain sweet rice, steamed in a banana leaf.
Course number six: Bacon Tataki. A large crispy piece of kurobuta pork belly with black lime, coriander citrus, and espresso fish caramel. Do you think fish and caramel and espresso have no business being together? You’re wrong. Put a sardine in your caramel latte tomorrow morning.
Aren’t you so impressed by the beauty of that plate? Those dehydrated onions are like delicate flowers. Tyson Cole thought they were pretty awesome, too, and gave us a quick explanation of how they were made. I love his enthusiasm for the food he creates. No wonder it’s so spectacular.
The final course was dessert, Uchiko’s famous Sweet Corn Sorbet. This was a symphony of corn and I LOVED it! The ice cold sorbet, polenta custard, caramel salt, and lemon gel were topped with a sprinkling of popcorn. I am a popcorn fanatic. This dessert was made just for me. I think corn could overtake chocolate as a dessert if it was prepared this way more often.
More than delicious, the food at Uchiko is pure art. Perfection and complexity on each plate, with love and craftsmanship in every detail. Simply exquisite.