UNIgallery is a Uni (sea urchin) speciality restaurant operated directly by a premier fresh seafood purveyor OosterBay which brings the bounty of the world’s oceans to your dining table.
Originally a seafood wholesaler, OosterBay has expanded its operations to bring you far more options. Customers can look forward to eating fresh and reasonably priced seafood at the humble hole-in-the-wall eatery at the basement of The Plaza on Beach Road.
As its name suggests, UNIgallery draws its influence from Japanese cooking and those spiny, round little guys (Uni) are so fundamental on the eatery’s menu.
Entering the venue, you realise that the restaurant logo takes the idea of the living animal to another level, and the restaurant has painted walls and quirky decor that give off distinct clues of a funky cool personality.
The menu at UNIgallery is sprawling, way too big to get through in one or two visits. The menu sticks much more closely to the brilliant selection of Uni dishes. Seafood enthusiasts who seek out the sweet, creamy indulgence of sea urchin will find delight in the unusual menu offerings and excellent execution at UNIgallery.
There are many options such as Uni Sashimi, Uni Maki Roll, Uni Tempura, fresh live Uni and an array of creative Uni fusion dishes to brighten the menu.
The Uni Sampler Set (3 types for $74 / 4 types for $85 / 5 types for $98) will be a perfect example of variety meets flavour — you can savor the rich flavours and high quality sea urchin from different regions of Japan and around the world, namely; Canadian Aka Uni, Japanese Bafun Uni, Shiro Uni, Ensui Uni and Uni Shutou.
Note: The Uni items are subject to change accordingly to seasonality and availability.
Other highlights from the menu include Uni Oyster Shot ($25 each) — you get a trio of decadence from the freshly shucked Canadian Oysters topped with creamy Canadian Aka Uni and Ikura salmon roe.
One that you’ll finish in a single gulp is the Uni Sake Shot ($18 each) — the sweet, briny Bafun Uni is served in a refreshing shot of Imayo Tsukasa Junmai Sake with a dash of soy sauce added to it.
For something that can make your life more luxurious, but doesn’t cost a lot of money —do not pass up the chance to try Le Tetsuya ($48) that is a pleasing combination of premium Bafun Uni and marinated Hokkaido Crabmeat graced with glorious shining eggs of Beluga Strugeon Caviar.
A little unusual to serve Uni when it comes to pasta, but it’s the dash of uniqueness which makes life more interesting. Uni Mentaiko Pasta ($38) — generous mound of creamy Uni is added to the delicate strands of pasta which brings more umaminess to the sublime dish.
MORE THAN JUST UNI
This unassuming restaurant is worthy of not just a “Uni” title, but has far more delicious dishes to focus on. The Uni Tokusen Sashimi (7 types – 1 person for $38 / 2 person for $74 / 3 person for $110) features the chef’s selection of fresh sashimi — we had Ootoro (tuna belly), Shima Aji (horse mackerel), Tai (sea bream), Sake (Salmon), Hirame (Japanese halibut), Hotate (Scallop) and of course, Uni.
The lunch meals here are affordable (from $9.90) and vary daily, comes with a salad, miso soup and green tea. There is also a special menu that changes with the season — be sure and inquire about notable options like Tara Shirako (Pacific cod milt), Sayori (Japanese halfbeak fish), Hotaru Ika (Japanese Firefly Squid), and live Karatsuki Uni served out of the shell.
UNIgallery is a welcoming place for every Uni and seafood lover to get UNI-ted. It is highly recommended that you soak it all in with a couple of fine Japanese sakes and whiskeys too!