New Restaurant: Uchiko

4200 north lamar
austin, texas 78756
512.916.4808

OMG! I want to teleport myself to Austin now!!! There is a 50% deal at Uchiko until July 4! On their website, it reads:

Uchiko :: Japanese farmhouse dining & sushi restaurant

Uchiko will match the expe­ri­ence of food,wine and service found at it’s sister restau­rant Uchi; in a new setting with a Japanese farm­house­ aes­thetic, crafted mate­rials and warm finishes to round out the dining ­ex­pe­ri­ence. Uchiko’s menu is a brand new selec­tion of composed dish­es and sushi, taken from ideas and dishes orig­i­nally created at Uchi. Uchiko is Uchi rede­fined.

I just know my taste buds will enjoy it! Maybe not the price but the food quality!!

You, my foodie friends, need to tell me how it is! Make me jealous!

Can I take you Enoteca Vespaio with me to HK?

I hope I can squeeze another trip to Enoteca Vespaio before I leave Austin. I went there on Saturday night with Kimi. It usually takes me 10 minutes max to get there but last Saturday was the 9th Annual Lonestar Rod & Kustom Round Up. We saw every old fashioned car there was, multiple versions of Cruella De Vil’s car, and things that I don’t know the name of. Each thing looked like a motor + 4 wheels + steering wheel + a two-seat bench and that was it. Parking was incredibly difficult to find and by the time we found street parking, 50 minutes had already passed.

I was hoping that the wait could be short, however, when we walked in, there was a table for two available! Yay. We both got LINGUINE MISTO MARE: imported linguine tossed w/shrimp, calamari & P.E.I. mussels in a spicy arrabbiata sauce (specialite). I rarely eat the garlic bread that comes with it because 1) I don’t want to have stinky breath afterward and 2) the garlic bread is always somewhat stale or really burnt. But that night I finished eating the whole thing because 1) I was starving and 2) I let the garlic bread soak in the sauce after I finished eating every string of linguine.

I guess they were out of mussels because we both got clams. It wasn’t as spicy as I had remembered it but it’s still my all-time favorite on the menu. Sometimes they put crab meat in it too when they are out of other seafood ingredients. Since my first visit in 2005, everything has increased by $1-3 and portions have gotten smaller… I’m just saying…

My other favorites on the menu:

  • SUPPLI –  crispy risotto balls filled w/ fontina served w/ arrabbiata (antipasti)
  • PATATE FRITTE: choice of French fries w/ grana padano & parsley or garlic French fries ~ both served w/ lemon aioli (antipasti)
  • PROSCIUTTO: prosciutto, fontina, arugula & truffled egg (pressed panini)
  • AVOCADO: avocado, Wateroak Farm chevre, lettuce, tomato, onion & balsamic vinegar on walnut bread (panini)
  • SAUSAGE & PEPPERS: housemade fennel-pork sausage w/ roasted sweet peppers, arrabbiata, grana padano & melted fresh mozzarella (forno panini)
  • PORCHETTA: roasted Kurobuta pork, melted provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onion & Dijon mustard (forno panini)
  • QUATTRO FORMAGGI: gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella, fontina & grana padano (pizze)
  • PANCETTA AFFUMICATA: applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, cambozola & spinach (pizze)
  • PROSCIUTTO: Parma prosciutto, fontina, arugula & truffled sunnyside up egg (pizze)
  • SPAGHETTINI CON POLPETTE: veal meatballs filled w/ fontina w/ spaghettini & spinach in marsala-tomato sauce w/ pecorino romano (pasta)
  • RIGATONI CON POLPETTE: rigatoni w/pork meat balls, arrabbiata, pecorino romano & melted fresh mozzarella (pasta)
  • SPAGHETTI CARBONARA: handmade spaghetti w/ pancetta, green onions, grana padano & cream (pasta)

I’m not a fan of salads because I think salads are totally pointless to pay and eat outside of your home.

I’ve been to EV at least 30 times!!!

Foodie Friends, I Miss Thee

I don’t go out and eat in restaurants that much anymore. My old foodie friends are no longer in Austin – Andrew, Jessica, Mo – and it’s sad because I’ll be leaving Austin too. Connie and Patricia are busy with their life and work.

It really is time for me to leave Austin, things are just not what they were.

Before I go, I have to go back to Enoteca Vespaio one last time. It truly is my favorite restaurant in Austin. Also, must go to The Steeping Room and Sushi Zushi (at the Domain, not 5th this time).

NYE’s Menu

Tomorrow, one of my BBBF is coming to Austin to celebrate the New Year with our mutual friends and me. Restaurants are going to be full and expensive so why not cook at home?!

On NYE, I am hosting Lee, Connie, and Tedy (Connie’s new boyfriend) at my place for these two dishes for sure:

Then I am undecided about these four. I want Lee or Connie to pick them for me:

Yeah, decisions, decisions.

:::edit::::

After sleeping on it, I decided which two.

Seafood Market? In Austin? YAY!

I went to Whole Foods Thanksgiving Feast sample event. There were way too many people there and the lines were ridiculously long. I did not see regular Whole Foods shoppers there… there were some people who did not belong… like ginormous people… ugh. I think the best “food” I had was the mushroom sage gravy. I did, however, enjoy the wine tasting. I like white wine more than red wine but I had a few really nice red wines. I don’t remember their names though…

Anyway, that’s not important. I met a chef today and she’s a friend of a friend’s sister! We had the best conversations and we exchanged our likes and dislikes. It was such a good time. She also told me about a seafood market in Austin! It’s called Quality Seafood, and they have a restaurant also. I’m just interested in the seafood. I think I’ll go check it out tomorrow!

Future Projects 2009

I can’t wait to start cooking again and trying new dishes. I will be making these when I get back.

Cornish Hen with Pomegranate Glaze – I’m going to make this just so that I can have an excuse to buy a bottle of POM.

Braised Pork Belly – I’ve been eating this once a week since June in Hong Kong and Beijing. It’s one of the many dishes that I miss when I’m in the U.S. I love eating the fat part :]

Mapo Tofu (麻婆豆腐) – when this Sichuan dish is made well, it is more numbing than spicy hot.

Herb Frog Legs – my mouth is watering right now. Frog legs taste like tender chicken :]

Risotto Balls – I’m going to make my own suppli from Enoteca Vespaio (one of my favorite Italian places in Austin). [changed my mind]

Ganbian Sijidou (干煸四季豆) – I love these! The Chinese restaurants in the U.S. just can’t make this right to my complete satisfaction.

Spicy Tomato Shrimp with Creamy Polenta – I’ve been searching for more ways to eat with polenta and I must say, I am excited to make this! I love shrimp, if you didn’t already know.

Hasselback Potatoes – I just want to make this because the presentation is really cool.

Baked Stuffed Shrimp – when I first came across this recipe, I was confused on how someone stuffs shrimp… where do you put the stuffing? Haha… I will attempt this after everything else.

You know that orgasmic tart I made from Saveur, I’m going to make bars instead of a round tart; easier storage.