PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Houston July:August 2022

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 67

G ood things take time, and in the case of award-winning chef Tyson Cole's latest endeavor, it took nearly 12 years of refining his modern Japanese concept Uchiko before it would be unveiled in Houston. Only the second iteration of the sister concept to Cole's famed Uchi restaurant (the original is in Austin, his home base), Uchiko is a fiery counterpoint to the original — retaining the fresh, clean flavors of Uchi but adding robust meat dishes. Many carry the subtle aromas of wood smoke, while others contrast the char derived from live fire cooking over a yakitori grill. The stylish new Houston outpost from Hai Hospitality (Uchi, Loro) is a blueprint for future locations. The indoor and outdoor spaces were deftly designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, which brought in Texas artisans to create the warm walnut- and cedar-wood space. Artist Camille Warmington created the smoky blue wallpaper, inspired by a landscape photo from Naoshima, Japan, and painted the soaring mural upstairs in the private dining room. All the light fixtures were conjured by Austinite Nathan Warbach, while vintage credenzas evoke the prized Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic. California native Shaun King (Momofuku, Sushi Samba, and Rick Moonen's RM Seafood, all in Las Vegas; The Dawson, Chicago) serves as chef de cuisine. His philosophy in the kitchen reflects what he calls R.O.H., or return on happiness: ensuring that not only are his guests delighted with their experience, but that his team in the front and back of the house is in the best possible place, mentally and physically, to make that happen. Harsh fluorescents have been replaced with more beneficial full-spectrum lighting to give employees an energized environment. He's also bringing in master yogis to teach breathwork before a hectic shift and has collaborated with a shoemaker who worked for Nike and Adidas to desi gn the first-ever athletic, culinary-specific shoe. The menu is divided into sections such as Daily Specials and the Toyosu selection (named for the legendary Tokyo market where the best fish is auctioned off daily and flown into eateries like Uchiko). There are three Greens dishes, a decadent Caviar section, Agemono selections (Japanese deep-fried fare), Hot Tastings, Cool Tastings, Makimono (sushi rolls), Nigiri (sushi rice molded by hand with a slice of fish atop), and Sashimi (fresh raw fish and meat sliced thinly). Daily specials might include Uchiko's take on oysters Rockefeller: a hearth- roasted oyster with umami-boosting koji added to the creamed spinach, with crispy shallots and caviar ($8 each). Or try traditional tempura made with pumpkin, anointed with brown-butter crème fraiche with pulverized lime leaf ($18). By Laurann Claridge BEYOND SUSHI THE MODERN JAPANESE WORLD OF UCHIKO Charred-onion aged A Bar N Ranch beef (Continued on page 63) Baba au Toki Whiskey with charred pineapple, white chocolate and tepache sorbet 28

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of PaperCity Magazine - PaperCity Houston July:August 2022