I love December. Everything about it. Aside from the cheery overtone from all the holidays that ensue, it also happens to be my birthday month. Naturally, this leads to a ton of family gatherings and get-togethers with friends, which also means lots of awesome dinners. Yum.
This post is the first of many holiday/birthday dinners that took place over the last few days. This one was a lot of fun; Meesh and I decided to have a date night at Ken Oringer’s Uni in celebration of my birthday, a restaurant neither of us had ever been to. Hidden inside its sister restaurant, Clio, the place was small and intimate, and sitting at the sushi bar was definitely the way to do it. We decided to do a chef’s four-course tasting menu for two, which is offered during the weekdays, Sunday – Wednesday, something we discovered after hearing about it on Travel Zoo.
The tasting menu also included a complimentary Sapporo and sake bomb…
Obviously we didn’t sake bomb at Uni, the place is way too classy and that would have been awkward and rude. We sipped our Sake as we waited for our first course to arrive, and wondered if and when our palates would ever acquire a taste for it.
The chef’s tasting menu started off with a Striped Bass sashimi served with a coconut green curry sauce and strips of golden beets. There was obviously some anticipation here seeing as when you submit yourself to a chefs tasting, your basically letting the chef take you on a ride. The decisions are in his (or her) hands, and conveniently enough, leave you to sit back, relax and enjoy. It’s kind of like a fashion designer showing a collection, it should be impressive, inspring, unique and somewhat cohesive. That being said, this was the perfect start. Light and refreshing, the flavor combination was a total kick to the mouth. I was immediately excited to see what was next.
In addition to our four course tasting, we also added in some extra small plates because we are powerless in the face of food envy. Fish Tacos happened to be one of them, which arrived via magic carpet. The tacos were stuffed with grilled white fish, avocado cream and charred tomato salsa. To be completely honest, these weren’t my fave. Not in the grand scheme of Uni or in the grand scheme of fish tacos. In this case, I’d say pass on the fish tacos and stick to the sashimi. No one does tacos better than Dorado anyways.
Next we had the Sake Belly (Scottish Salmon) with shiso pickled peaches, sesame and cilantro. It tasted like butter. I don’t even know how that’s possible, but it did. So fatty and mildy flavored, in a good way, none of that fishy smoked salmon stuff here.
Next was the Hamachi Toro, another dish we ordered off the menu, drizzled with olive oil and topped with olives. This was my personal favorite, a totally different take on the hamachi sashimi I’m used to eating topped with jalapeno and ponzu sauce, this was perfect.
The last course in the tasting was the Maine Lobster Tempura with “Singapore” black pepper chili sauce. These little lobster fritters were a delight. It was totally different from any other dish on the tasting menu and who would I be kidding if I said I didn’t love anything hot and crunchy, with just a kick of chili and spice.
Our tasting also came with dessert which included an extremely rich dark chocolate ganache served with homemade banana ice cream. We both agreed the banana ice-cream was totally “wow”. It was smooth and subtle and tasted like real bananas. We could have done without the chocolate, but the banana ice cream… wow.
Moral of the story — putting your palate in Ken Oringer’s hands is a totally legit way to spend date night.
370 Commonwealth Ave.