“Where we started was Také behind the bar every day making sushi and me going out on the floor and serving customers,” Kayo said. “My job became ‘open laptop and then do financials.' ... We really missed the customer interaction and doing something different and creative every day.”
The couple—who also owns Komé Sushi Kitchen, Sa-Tén Coffee and Eats and Sushi a-Go-Go—opened Uroko with Masazumi “Masa” Saio in 2019.
Kayo said Uroko offers an affordable and creative selection. She said affordability is important to her so more people can try different foods.
“Being here in the United States for over 20 years, I’ve seen the issue of not many people having access to different foods,” Kayo said. “So making it affordable makes it accessible to different people.”
The menu focuses on temaki, a cone-shaped sushi hand roll. Kayo said they chose that form of sushi because it was unique within the Austin market.
Uroko also offers omakase—a meal in which the chef picks the menu—and classes. In October, the team took over the space next to Uroko to use for omakase and classes, which it calls Tonari.
“We wanted to have a space for the people who do learn about culture and cuisine and try different things,” Kayo said.
So far, the space has hosted flower arrangement, calligraphy and pottery lessons. In 2023, the team plans to expand class offerings and bring in guest instructors, such as chef Yoko Maeda Lamn from Los Angeles, who is lined up to teach miso making.
Three ways to try Uroko
1. Temaki: The menu includes the hand-rolled, cone-shaped sushi from $5.25 to $8 each.
2. Omakase: A 45-minute, 12-course meal of dishes is chosen by chefs Také Asazu and Masa Saio.
3. Classes: Regular classes include sushi making, Japanese floral arrangement and pottery. Prices vary.
1023 Springdale Road, Bldg. 1, Ste. C, Austin.
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 5-8 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.