Sunday, September 20, 2009

Uchi Lounge, Surry Hills

How was it?
Food: 8/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Value: $$

Lychee Sake (180mL) $9.00

I love getting recommendations for places to eat! Recently, Uchi Lounge, a little Japanese gem, hidden away in a quiet side street in Surry Hills, was recommended to me. So I enlisted my lovely dining companions, Miss LV and Miss Toronto to check it out.

Whilst waiting downstairs at the bar for me to arrive (sorry girls!), the girls ordered a Lychee Sake. I've tried sake once before, and found it really too strong, but the lychee gave this a sweet touch, but it was definitely still strong (for me anyway)! After paying for the drinks at the bar (there are separate bills for upstairs and downstairs), we walked to the dining area upstairs.

Garlic & Soy Rice Cake

I'm already in love with this place! The decor is beautiful and chic. There are little authentic Japanese touches everywhere and the curtain separating the dining room is a great idea. I'm even not too bummed about the super dim lighting (well, until I start taking photos, that is!).

Once we ordered our food, a plate of garlic & soy rice cakes lands on our table! Awesome, we think, as were were thinking of ordering this as a side. They're quite hard and chewy, not tasting particularly like anything, but they are fun to snack on. Glad it was complementary though ;)

Oriental Sushi Rolls with Spicy Mayonnaise $12.50

When deciding on which sushi to order, we decided to get the Oriental one because of the spicy mayonnaise! The rolls were filled with salmon and avocado and they were super fresh, you could tell from the texture of the rice. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

Prawn & Fish Balls with Green Tea Salt $10.00

The prawn & fish balls were nicely fried and springy?! The green tea salt actually tasted like green tea, and they really jazzed up those balls.

Agedashi Tofu and Tororo Kombu $9.50

According to my good friend (google), Kombu is a type of Japanese seaweed and it is regarded as a 'good luck' food, that is eaten around New Year's time. I don't think I'm quite the seaweed connoisseur to tell the difference, but the dish was delicious nonetheless! We all loved the pillows of soft and fluffy tofu.

Snapper Sashimi with Umeboshi Vinaigrette $19.50
with Tomato and Cucumber Snow Pea Sprouts Salad

The snapper sashimi was from the specials menu. When I had my first taste, I was once again amazed at the quality of the food. It just tasted so fresh and light. The vinaigrette added a lovely tangy taste, whilst the snow pea sprouts gave us some much needed greens.

Grilled Eggplant with Miso & Parmesan $15.00

Whilst previewing the menu online before dinner, we all agreed (or was it just me?! hehe) that we had to order the grilled eggplant. It's one of their more popular dishes and I could see why. It's half an eggplant, grilled, and lathered in miso paste and parmesan. I loved it! It was perfectly cooked, not too hard and not too mushy and the sweet miso paste was divine. You must try it!

Green Tea & Cinnamon Creme Brulee $9.00

We ordered two desserts to share. The first one, green tea & cinammon creme brulee was lovely and smooth, not too sweet and I loved the crackly toffee top.

Japanese Pumpkin & Chocolate Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream $9.50

The second dessert we ordered was something a little bit unique - the Japanese pumpkin & chocolate tart. Both the flavours of the pumpkin and chocolate were really distinct, but they worked so well together! The richness of the chocolate was offset by the pumpkin and it was just so smooth! It reminded me of the chocolate dessert we had at Cafe Ish - just a really smooth & sexy dessert.

Dining interior

I found all the food here not just delicious, but also super fresh. I was amazed at how fresh everything tasted! It's a cute little restaurant, traditional Japanese fare with a little bit of a twist. It's a great escape from all the hustle and bustle of Oxford St, and I am definitely going back!

Uchi Lounge
15 Brisbane St,
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9261 3524
Open Mon - Sat,
No bookings Fri & Sat night
Uchi Lounge on Urbanspoon


  1. Your food looks fantastic Betty! :) Thanks for reminding me about Uchi Lounge, it's been over 10 years since I visited. I always love that sweet miso sauce on eggplant, it goes so well with it!

  2. it's great to know it's nice and fresh. i've heard about this place for ages but have yet to try. i'm tempted to go for the eggplant dish. sounds really nice. i find sake way too strong for my taste buds as well but the lychee version sounds worth trying - it might cut down the taste of sake which i actually don't really like. it must be an acquired taste? prices seem quite reasonable for the quality. btw i think it's complimentary not complementary :-)

  3. I've haven't been there in so so many years now, despite working very close by! From your review it sounds like it's high time I should return!

  4. the pumpkin & choc tart seems very interesting! the snapper sashimi is so pretty too! though i must say i really only like salmon sashimi

  5. This place looks so great! I remember wanting to try it after reading about it previously. Mmm everything looks yum, and I love Japanese desserts. Must try now!

  6. I think sake is an acquired taste which I have not acquired! To me it's what petrol would taste like! :P

    The green tea salt sounds really interesting and I would have loved to try the green tea brulee. Sounds like a great find!

  7. My my this food looks wonderful! And so very interesting!

  8. I love your surry hills posts! i always forget about surry hills and its existence.

    Uchi lounge looks fab! Id love to try that snapper sashimi. And your right it looks really lite and fresh an the desert.. where do i begin..!

  9. Hi Lorraine: Hehe no worries! I could have that miso eggplant as my meal and be totally happy - love love love it! :)

    Hi Simon: Yeah, I found everything really nice and fresh tasting. I think sake is definitely an acquired taste, one which I have yet to acquire or think that I ever will! The lychee sake definitely cuts down the strong sake taste, so it doesn't give you a huge strong hit, like straight sake!

    Hi Forager: I never even knew about until recently! You should definitely go back, considering how close you work!

    Hi K: That dessert was delicious! I normally go for the salmon sashimi as well, but this sounded really interesting on the menu, so we ordered it and it was great. Really thin slices, really fresh - you should give it a try!

    Hi Steph: Can't go wrong with Japanese desserts! You should definitely check it out, it's so cute, I think you'd love it!

    Hi Rilsta: Me too! Lol. I wouldn't go so far as it tasting like petrol, but I can see where you're coming from! It's pretty lethal. I loved the food, and the place was so cute and hidden in a little alley!

    Hi Brenda: It was indeed all wonderful and interesting!

    Hi Leona: Thanks :D How can you forget about Surry Hills? So many great choices around there!! It is super fab! I loved everything about it and would definitely recommend it to people.


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