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Toronto's Noka Rips Off Uchi/Uchiko Menu And Design

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A Toronto Japanese restaurant called Noka appears to have ripped off--in some cases, word-for-word--Uchi and Uchiko's website, menu design and possibly even actual dishes. The Toronto spot just opened on April 27th, so we're pretty sure Austin's nine-year-old Uchi has firsties on this one.

Visually, the similarities are obvious--the layout is identical, the logos are mirror images, both chefs even have a blog linked. But that can all be attributed to everyone just using a standard design template, right? Well, Noka's also completely lifted Uchi's copy, too.

Here's Uchi's "sustainability" blurb:

Uchi main­tains the following policy about the fish that we procure:

That we will use seafood prod­ucts that are sustain­able and respon­sibly fished when possible.

That we will work with our suppliers on sourcing fish prod­ucts that are trace­able and to obtain that infor­ma­tion when­ever possible.

Our goal at Uchi is to main­tain the quality, creativity and fresh­ness of the food we serve while striving to main­tain a respon­sible policy towards sustain­ability, not just with our fish, but with the entire menu.

And here's Noka's:
N?ka maintains the following policy about the fish that we procure:

That we will use seafood products that are sustainable and responsibly fished when possible.

That we will work with our suppliers on sourcing fish products that are traceable and to obtain that information whenever possible.

Our goal at N?ka is to maintains the quality, creativity and freshness of the food we serve while striving to maintain a responsible policy towards sustainability, not just with our fish, but with the entire menu.

Word-for-word, the same. And then there's the little matter of the menus being eerily similar.

menucompare.jpg

Noka's got a "tastings" menu with "cool" and "hot" options. Just like ... Uchiko does! Gracious, but those look mighty similar. Noka even serves a "smoky duck" that sounds an awful lot like it wants to be our friend Jar Jar. And wouldn't you know it, there's a "bacon ringo" right where Uchiko lists their own "bacon tataki," plus a "sear it yourself" wagyu beef option, just like Uchiko's.

On the Noka website, the restaurant writes that they're the "most unique dining experience in Toronto." Just like, ahemm, Uchi is the "most unique dining expe­ri­ence in Austin." Come on, Noka! Did y'all have to even rip off the part about being unique?

Eater Austin has reached out to the restaurant and chef to find out if they can explain the similarities.

UPDATE: Just spotted this look-alike award layout, and it appears Noka's Chef Cheng Lin has Austin ties, too--he did, in fact, win the 2009 Austin Iron Chef competition when he was the chef and owner at Georgetown's now-closed Hayashi Grill. But they don't mention Austin in his online bio.

winner.jpg

· Noka [Official]
· Uchi [Official]
· All Scandals Coverage on Eater Austin [-EATX-]

Uchi

904 Westheimer Road, , TX 77006 (713) 522-4808 Visit Website

Uchi

801 South Lamar Boulevard Austin, TX 78704

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