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Uchi does breakfast! See what the Austin innovators came up with

Uchi does breakfast! See what the Austin innovators came up with

Uchi, breakfast, food
When Uchi does breakfast, you know it's going to be something different.
Uchi, breakfast, food
Uchi's foray into breakfast was a Summer Fest special.
Uchi, breakfast, food
Uchi, breakfast, food

Henry Ford once said customers could have a Model-T painted in any color they want, as long as it's black. Similarly fans of Uchi can enjoy any meal they'd like at the restaurant, as long as it's dinner.

So when I heard that Uchi executive pastry chef Philip Speer and Uchi Houston chef de cuisine Kaz Edwards would be whipping up a special breakfast at the media viewing of Free Press Summer Fest's Fancy Pants tents, I couldn't wait to see how the Uchi aesthetic would translate to a morning meal.

 This is what Uchi does — elevate a simple staple with pitch-perfect execution and a complex mix of flavors. 

I think there might be a version of the ham and eggs roll Uchi features on the dinner menu, but I should have known these guys would come up with something totally new.

The chefs led with a truffled farmhouse egg congee served with seared pork belly and chai blossoms. Though one reporter commented that you can get congee anywhere in Chinatown for $2, I find that the slow-cooked rice porridge can often be unsatisfyingly thin or rough — let's just say that Goldilocks had a point. Uchi's version was thick and not too hot to enjoy on a warm day, and while the mild egg slices and salty-sweet pork belly cubes added a richness to the bowl, the dominating flavor was provided by the mix of tiny purple chai blossoms, which added a fresh, lightly herbal note.

This is what Uchi does — elevate a simple staple with pitch-perfect execution and a complex mix of flavors.

The second dish was, put simply, the best granola plate I have ever had (and I'm including the notable version by Pondicheri in that judgment). Almost as pretty as it was delicious, the bits of crunchy granola were sprinkles over a light shiso yogurt with both fresh and dried Texas peaches, as well as olive oil and honey.

Despite Speer and Edwards' Houston ties, Uchi was an odd choice to pair with the debut of the tent installations, since designer Dutch Small spoke of his and Summer Fest's intense focus on shining a light on local talent, including paintings by Houston artist Julie Worsham and working with industrial design students at the University of Houston (it's the only program of its kind in Texas and the surrounding states).

But though Uchi was born in Austin, it still represents the kind of boundary-pushing success that can be achieved in Texas when we foster and promote local talent. It doesn't hurt that they make an awesome breakfast as well.