Chef Tyson Cole’s Uchiba to open in Downtown Austin
Hai Hospitality, the restaurant group that is home to award-winning and celebrated concepts Uchi, Uchiko and Loro, announced that they are now accepting reservations for the Austin location of Uchibā, which will open its doors to the public on October 6th at the base of the Google Tower at 601 West 2nd Street.
Uchibā translates to “Uchi Bar” from Japanese and delves deeper into the relationship between cocktails and food. The first Uchibā opened in 2019 in uptown Dallas as the upstairs neighbor to Uchi. Like the first location, Austin’s has a full bar, sushi bar with yakitori grill, and indoor and outdoor seating with a sumptuous yet intimate atmosphere.
Guests familiar with Uchi and Uchiko will recognize core menu categories like Starters and Greens; Hot and Cool Tastings, Agemono, Makimono, Nigiri + Sashimi, Toyosu Selections, Yakitori Grill items and Dessert. Crossover favorites from these categories, like Hama Chili, Kinoko Skewer, and the Zero Sen roll, appear on the Uchibā menu. The Izakaya-inspired Buns + Bao and Dumplings menu categories are unique to Uchibā, while specific items like the Uchibā Salad, Crispy Tofu, Hot Rock, Karaage, Fried Green Tomato, Sake Maki, Spicy Tuna Roll, and the entire Desserts menu are unique to Uchibā Austin.
As always, the balance of flavors and textures informs each ingredient combination to create what the Uchi team calls “the perfect bite.” The pillowy Tiger Cry Bao balances rich pork belly with the acidity and sweetness of pickled carrot and tiger cry relish; the Hot Fried Chicken Bun does the same with crunchy fried chicken and cornichon gastrique on a Parker House roll. The dumpling selection includes the Austin-only Chicken Dumplings filled with chawanmushi foam, negidare, and charred shallot.
Also exclusive to Uchibā Austin are their Perfect Pairs, cocktail sippers paired with small bites, so named for how each spirit perfectly complements the flavor profile of the paired dish. Uchibā’s Perfect Pairs will open with Wagyu Tartare paired with Marsala; Musubi together with the Tepache fermented pineapple beverage, and Oysters and Martini.
Uchibā pushes the boundaries in all beverage categories, particularly cocktails and spirits. The wine menu features a wide selection of sparkling, red, white, rose/ skin contact, and dessert options, and sake is neatly divided into crisp, floral, earthy, robust, and nigori tasting notes. Beer is led by Japanese favorites and local selections on draft and in bottles and cans. Uchibā has an extensive array of over 30 Japanese whiskies representing a full spectrum of tastes and price points. Notable on the menu are a Yamazaki 18-year old Mizunara 100th Anniversary Edition for $300/pour. The tequila and mezcal list has over 50 combined selections with El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Anejo and 5 Sentidos Pechuga de Mole Poblano Mezcal as highlights. Happy Hour will be generous with at least ten cocktails priced at ten dollars each from 4-5:30 PM daily.
Uchibā also breaks out interactive cocktail experiences for guests. The Agave Omakase, a comparative tasting of agave spirits that is assembled by region and style, opening with The Blue Weber Agave Omakase featuring Siembra Azul Blanco from Highlands of Jalisco); Caballito Cerrero Azul from the Valley of Jalisco and Derrumbes Zacatecas a Blue Webber mezcal from Zacatecas, all served with palate cleansers. The A5 AO is a deconstructed old fashioned inspired by Uchi’s Hot Rock for $25. AO Suntory whisky is washed with the fat of A5 Wagyu steak and served in a tasting glass along with glass with a large ice cube, two droppers each with umami bitters and aged tamari turbinado syrup and a garnish twist. Guests create their own cocktail by pouring whisky over ice and adding bitters and syrup to taste.
Uchibā Austin was conceived as a relaxed hideaway, so the furniture, fabric, art, accessories, lighting all reflect a warm, intimate vibe with whimsical touches. The design is a collaboration between Austin, Texas firm Sanders Architecture and Hai Hospitality’s in-house design team, Hai Design Studio. The total space measures 5600 square feet with 4400 feet inside and 1200 feet for the exterior seating and waiting areas. The total interior seats 117 including 21 bar seats, 9 sushi bar seats, 20 lounge seats with 42 out on the patio.
Uchibā will be open Sunday – Thursday 4 – 10 PM and Fridays Saturdays 4 – 11 PM. Happy Hour at Uchibā will be from 4 – 5:30 PM Monday – Friday. Reservations can be made at 512-916-4808 or at uchiba.uchirestaurants.com.