My Christmas present came early this year - a Canon Powershot 95 from the ever thoughtful @Windaddict. My previous camera was a Fuji Film FinepixZ90 that had seen much rough abuse over the last four years or so. It had tumbled down 6th street during a cartwheel and round off Halloween, and it has also taken a tumble down more than one flights of stairs. Needless to say, it has been handed to someone else who really needs a camera, and can probably take care of it through intensive care.
To take part in America Express's Small Business Saturday (both @Windaddict and myself got $25 each), we started at Macho Taco, watched Puss in Boots at Alamo Drafthouse, and rounded out the night with dinner at Uchiko. Uchiko, with its visually appealing food and low lighting, makes photography fun and challenging.
We arrived during social hour, which meant we got to partake in snacks before dinner. This is the ham and eggs. I hadn't messed with the camera yet. I just pulled it out and shot in auto mode. Keep in mind that there's almost no light where we were sitting.
The beef tongue is one of my favorite nigiris at Uchiko. At this point, I still hadn't messed with any of the settings yet.
A gift from the kitchen: uni crab special. Trumpet mushrooms, uni, mitsuba, apefel cuvee, and crab are smothered with a lobster sauce. It wasn't a bisque, but close.
The server poured the sauce all over different ingredients leaving it a visually interesting dish.
If you aren't a seafood fan, you might not like this dish. If you grew up on the coast, love seafood like your first born child, and love unami more than life itself; you'll love this dish. The combination of sweet seafood, meaty mushrooms, intense seafood flavors with pungent uni powder is amazing. I still can't find the right words to describe the dish, but I'll try. *My description is also Chef Tyson Cole approved. This dish is so rich and sinful you'll feel like you're fornicating in a church. If you don't know what fornicating in a church is like, I would recommend this dish. And if you decide to try it (the fornicating), please don't get caught and clean up after yourself.
As you can see, I really loved this dish. I mean REALLY loved it.
This was the sabavichie. It was completely different from the uni crab in style, but lovely all the same. I remember it tasting like a mashup of thai flavors and cevichie, but honestly I didn't eat that much of it. I was still licking the plate of the uni crab.
My favorite dish at Uchiko used to be the truffled congee. It inspired me to make a macaron with a similar flavor profile of lemon, togarashi spice, and truffle. Then the truffled congee went away, and I was sad. This tamago congee was a good replacement. This congee has slow scrambled egg, black truffle, and koshi hikari.
The slow cooked scrambled egg in congee had a comfort food element for me that reminded me of that flashback scene in Ratatouille, except the Asian version. I grew up eating plain congee, called mwua in Taiwanese or shee fan in Mandarin. No, I didn't use proper pin yin. Really upscale comfort food is really good.
I found a piece of egg!
This was the dessert special of lemon gelato, pistachio soil, and beet puree. That's black pepper on the meringue pieces. This dessert has also inspired me to make another macaron flavor out of it. Black pepper, lemon, pistachio, and beets.
This was the perfect way to end a Small Business Saturday.