Uchiko opens new location in Legacy West

Photo by Varsha Jhanak

The new location of Uchiko in Legacy West opened its doors to the public June 18. 

James Beard Award winning chef and owner Tyson Cole opened Uchi in Austin in 2003. After gaining renown, Uchiko, meaning “child of Uchi” in Japanese, launched to be a second concept of the Uchi experience and Hai Hospitality. In contrast to its “parent,” Uchiko takes a more fiery turn, enhancing the clear, crisp tastes of Uchi with smokier flavors.

​​“When we first opened Uchiko in 2010 in Austin, it was an extension of what we were doing at Uchi,” Cole said. “It has evolved organically, spurred on by the creativity of our staff and their desire to experiment with new techniques and flavors. I love what we are doing with fire and smoke at Uchiko and I am really looking forward to what Chef Steffen and the team will do in Plano.” 

Those familiar with Uchi’s menu will recognize categories such as Makimono, Nigiri + Sashimi, Cool Tastings, Hot Tastings and more. The Cool and Hot Tasting sections of the menu feature Uchiko classics like the “Cool” tastings Hama Chili, Hirame Usuzukuri, Yokai Berry and “Hot” tastings Karaage, A5 Hot Rock and Kinoko Nabe. Diners can discover cuts from every part of the fish under the “Bluefin Tuna” menu section, ranging from the leaner akami or loin region to the medium-fatty chutoro, and up to the highest-fat belly and collar portions, otoro and kamatoro.   

Uchiko’s menu takes a spin on these iconic Uchi items. At Uchiko, diners will find menu items special to the restaurant such as the “From the Earth” section. “From the Earth” features dishes which use a variety of hot and cold smoking and curing methods to give meat, fish, and vegetables a smokey, charred taste. The Plano location also has an exclusive “From the Earth” called “From the Table.” These dishes are plated in a large format combined with sides for the whole table to enjoy and share. “From the Table” features dishes such as bone-in short Rib, whole branzino, and 45-day dry-aged cowboy ribeye.

Uchiko’s drink menu is extensive, featuring a variety of signature and classic cocktails, wines, zero proof drinks, and of course: Japanese sakes and whisky. The desert features two new delectable dishes which will launch at the Plano location: the apple tatin and the lychee coconut sundae. 

Chef de cuisine, Steffen Perico, began his journey to Uchiko in 2016 when he joined Hai Hospitality as a line cook. Quickly moving up the ranks, Perico went from line cook to sous, then executive sous chef, now chef de cuisine at Uchiko Plano. Other members of the culinary team include head sushi chef Dale Park, executive pastry chef Ariana Quant and beverage director Jason Kosmas. 

Uchiko Plano Chef de Cuisine Steffen Perico. Photo courtesy of Uchiko.

 “At Uchi our dishes are clean and delicate with a particular focus on acidity. At Uchiko we view our technique through a more rustic lens, applying smoke and char to ingredients for a more robust flavor profile,” Perico said. “I’m looking forward to taking my Uchi experience and adding these elements into the mix.” 

The Uchiko in Legacy West will be open seven days a week: 4-10 pm Sunday through Thursday and 4-11 pm Friday and Saturday. 

Uchiko will have Happy Hour seven days a week from 4-6 pm and a complimentary valet is available.  

Reservations can be made on Uchiko Plano’s website. 

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