Restaurant Week 2012: Uni Sashimi Bar
I’m going to be honest: I have a love/hate relationship with Restaurant Week. I like the idea of being able to try a new restaurant at what seems to be a reduced price. I don’t like that included in that price is dessert, which I seldom order and don’t enjoy as much as others. I like that it allows someone on a strict budget the chance to dine at some place they might normally not be able to enjoy. I don’t like that in my two Restaurant Week experiences, the total dinner cost has been more than I normally would have spent.
I wrestle with all of these issues each year, and ultimately decided to put some of these thoughts aside and simply enjoy dinner. And that is exactly what we did at Ken Oringer’s Uni Sashimi Bar.
After enjoying a cocktail at Clio’s bar, we were seated in a romantic corner of Uni’s subterranean space. Small tables make for an intimate setting, while seats are available at the sushi bar for solo diners or those looking for a more interactive experience. We were brought fresh steamed edamame while we looked over the menu. Jon and I often times have different tastes, so a prix fixe menu like the those seen during Restaurant Week usually work out for each of us to order different items.
Sake Sashimi (Scottish Salmon), cucumber, jalapeno, pineapples, puffed rice
I started with the Scottish Salmon, and after one bite, realized I could have these bite size pieces of rich salmon as an entire meal. The cool cucumber, sweet pineapple and hint of jalapeno come together so well and really highlight the natural flavor of this salmon.
Poke (Bigeye Yuna); sweet onions, sesame, seaweed, pickled mung bean
Jon went with the poke (pronounced po-kay) and was equally pleased and impressed with this delicious dish. It’s worth noting that this was a large portion of tuna, something that you might not expect from Uni, or a Restaurant Week dish.
Chirashi; Chef’s choice exotic sashimi, assorted pickled vegetables
For my entree, I choose the chirashi chef’s choice, which featured tuna, Scottish salmon and blue fish. I was a little disappointed that I had doubled-up on the salmon, but this dish as a whole was completely worth it. Each fish had its own accompaniments, and the flavor combinations I can only describe as perfection.
Beef Tataki; garlic ponzu, assorted condiments
Jon went with the Beef Tataki, which was better than any beef carpaccio I’ve ever had. Although the natural flavor of the meat was delicious in and of itself, each of the four options presented on this beautiful plate each had its own merit when paired with the meat. I would go to Uni in a heartbeat just for this dish.
Green Cardamon Flan; blueberry, coconut, sweet corn ice cream
Sticking with the theme, we each got a different entree. I was excited to see coconut powder on mine, having watched some of the science that goes into these delicate powders found in Oringer’s kitchens (Bizarre Foods, Boston episode). One thing I really liked about this dessert was its reasonable size. I enjoy dessert more often when it is light and airy, rather than rich and heavy.
Black Cocoa Cremeux; blackberry, sesame genoise, jasmine ice cream
Jon’s dish, on the other hand, offered a very rich, dense chocolate cremeux, which was right up his alley. Even the tiniest bite that I has was too rich for me, but Jon thoroughly enjoyed it.
It goes without saying that Uni delivered the absolutely fabulous meal that you expect from Ken Oringer. My favorite aspect of this dinner was walking away with a sense of enjoyment with every dish. I sometimes hesitate to dine at a place like Uni when so many of the menu ingredients are foreign to me. Not only was our server incredibly knowledgeable about the menu (and Todd Maul’s cocktail menu), I left Uni feeling like I would enjoy dish any dish there. And if that’s what I get out of Restaurant Week this year, I’m a happy lady.
Uni Sashimi Bar is located at 370 Comm Ave, just across the street from the Hynes Convention Center station on the green line.
Do you have a highlight of this year’s Restaurant Week?