First Look: Uchū Unveils Omakase Counter Led By Sushi Chef Eiji Ichimura

The Lower East Side spot specializes in high-end sushi
August 23, 2017
by Margaret Sutherlin

Photos by Katie June Burton

The gist: This restaurant opening is steeped in a bit of sushi-world drama. The forthcoming Uchū from restaurateur Derek Feldman was originally a project conceived with chef David Bouhadana (Sushi by Bou), but he and Feldman parted ways earlier this year, after opening outdoor omakase spot, Sushi on Jones, together in 2016. Meanwhile, legendary sushi chef Eiji Ichimura (of Ichimura at Brushstroke and Ichimura) also raised a few eyebrows after departing his namesake omakase restaurant just five months after its highly anticipated January debut. He has also subsequently sued his business partner Idan Elkon to stop the use of his name. These recent shake-ups make for a exciting new pairing: Feldman has snagged the legendary sushi chef to helm this 10-seat omakase counter opening on September 5.

The separate 8-seat Bar Uchū opened in June in the same space but serving a separate kaiseki menu from chef Samuel Clonts (Brooklyn Fare) and drink by Frank Cisneros (Prime Meats, the now-shuttered Dram and Bourgeois Pig Brooklyn). 

Omakase course at Uchū. 

The food: Expect a traditional omakase meal (chef's choice sushi) at Uchū. Ichimura will craft a new $300, 18-22 course menu daily, inspired by the fresh fish available from Japan and using produce and herbs from the restaurant’s rooftop garden, which grows everything from Japanese sweet potatoes to strawberries. 

Uni dish at Bar Uchū.

The kaiseki menu at Bar Uchū, serving since this summer, emphasizes a more seasonal approach to Japanese fare, and also utilizes the rooftop produce. Chef Clonts changes the menu daily to suit what is available but expect a unique mix of cooked and raw dishes like a jidori egg with squash and golden trout roe; Siberian sturgeon and caviar handroll, and dry aged Miyazaki Wagyu. The kaiseki is $200 with an optional $125 beverage pairing.

Cocktail by Frank Cisneros at Bar Uchū.

The drinks: Like the high-end dinner, the bar menu from Cisneros is equally as imaginative and special. There’s a big list of Japanese whiskey, sake and rare wines. Cocktails take advantage of the unique whiskey collection on hand, but will only be available on the kaiseki side of the operation.

Front entry of Uchū.

The space: The Uchū team tapped designer Scott Kester to create the unique interiors. Look for clean lines throughout the snug spot, from the simple wood front door to the minimalist omakase counter. Light hued, reclaimed American elm, ash and oak from around New York line the space. In the bar, the custom shelves for the whiskeys displays the colorful bottles like artwork.

Kaiseki and whiskey bar at Bar Uchū.

The details: 217 Eldridge St.; 212-203-7634; Uchu’s omakase bar opens Sept. 5. Dinner Tuesday - Saturday 6PM and 9 PM

lower east side
japanese restaurants