Powered by Rice HTX: At Home with a Japanese Chef

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The jiggly pancakes that took social media by storm are here; Japanese souffle pancakes have finally arrived in Houston! Powered by Rice HTX is a private chef service that started serving the fluffy dessert in June 2019 as part of a dining experience. At the beginning, it all started at his own home.

About Powered by Rice

Powered by Rice consists of two members: Owner-Chef Yusuke Motozawa and Chef-Consultant Ryota Matano. Owner-Chef Motozawa was born in Sanuki City, Kagawa Prefecture, Japan and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. As an adult, he spent 10 years working in Japanese restaurants in Houston and Dallas. Chef-Consultant Ryota Matano consults the joint project remotely while running his own izakaya restaurants in Japan. Together, they develop recipes for this project. To them, Japanese food is so much more than just sushi; their desire is to share the diversity of Japanese cuisine with the multicultural city of Houston!

The Menu

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Powered by Rice serves authentic savory Japanese dishes you won’t find in your everyday Japanese restaurant such as okonomiyaki, omurice curry, hamburg steak, and authentic Sanuki udon. They are planning to add classic izakaya dishes to the menu in the future. 

The standard pancake course comes with 2 pancakes topped with homemade whipped cream, original hazelnut cream and berries. Chef Motozawa says that now that the base is perfected, they have room to experiment with different toppings. 

Powered by Rice has quickly attracted the eyes of Instagrammers by being one of the first to serve souffle pancakes permanently on their menu. Chef Motozawa spent the last 6 months developing his original recipe for the pancakes. He states he spent countless nights tweaking, cooking, and eating the pancakes himself. “I thought they would be easy to make; I was wrong. I’m embarrassed to even show you what the first batch looked like. It makes me appreciate the craft even more now.” The process was tough, but it drove him even further to be able to produce the quality of the food that he is happy with.  

How to get a Taste

Powered by Rice will post an Instagram story announcing time slots and menus. If you are interested you, send him a message on Instagram or fill out the application form on his website. After confirming, chef will send you the location which will be in Houston.  Carpooling will be recommended since he only hosts the event at a private residence with limited parking.

Customers have the option of selecting a brunch, lunch, or dinner when the option is available. Chef Motozawa has planned menus from friends wanting to try souffle pancakes to anniversary dinners and is also available to bring the dining experience to your home or venue as a private chef. Powered by Rice will work with you to accommodate the needs of your party.

Book your party today! Whether it's a casual get together with friends, birthday, or anniversary, Powered by Rice is waiting to serve you. Currently, openings are only available on the weekends, but they are aiming to accommodate more guests. Business has taken off much faster than expected and was surprised to have people reserving a month in advance. Follow their Instagram for the latest updates and availability.


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Celebrate Pride at Some of Houston's LGBTQ+ Owned Eateries

Heads up, Houston! Celebrate Pride this month with these local LGBTQ+ owned eateries! Houston is known for its diverse population and is home to the largest Pride Celebration in the southern United States. This year’s Pride takes place June 22, 2019, but you don’t have to wait until then to celebrate; celebrate now. We Texans are known for our pride and what better way to spread the love is there than to support our local queer-owned businesses. This list focuses on highlighting eateries other than bars to be inclusive of all age groups.

1. La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe

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La Sicilia Bakery and Cafe is located in the heart of Montrose the epicenter of Houston’s LGBT community. La Sicilia is owned and operated by the couple of general manager Antonio Rios and pastry chef Diego Chiarello. When you walk in, you’re greeted by a display filled with beautiful pastries. Their breakfast and lunch items are equally beautiful as the dessert. This year’s Pride month limited treat include a rainbow-shaped shortbread cookie and box of rainbow colored macarons. Both are available now to purchase.

La Sicilia Italian Bakery and Cafe
515 Westheimer Rd. Suite C
Houston, TX 77006

Website | Instagram | Facebook

2. The DoughCone

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Founded in 2016, The DoughCone serves up a sweet vanilla bean ice cream inside a cinnamon sugar dough cone also known as a chimney cake. Owner Avi Oberoi strives to train the staff to be welcoming and inclusive to all customers. You can find the truck at Buffalo Bayou Cistern on most days, but make sure to check their social media for the most accurate business hours and location. At last year’s Pride Festival, they created a special rainbow cone to celebrate.

The DoughCone
105 Sabine St.
Houston, TX 77007

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


3. Michael’s Cookie Jar

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Started in 2006, Michael’s Cookie Jar serves hand-crafted cookies made from scratch with real ingredients and natural flavors. The bakery has 3 locations around town with the main location located at West University Place. The other locations are located in downtown and Tanglewood. Cookies can be ordered online and shipped anywhere in the U.S. They can also make custom cookies for any special occasion.The Pride themed cookies will be available starting June 13 through the end of Pride.

Michael’s Cookie Jar
5330 Weslayan St.
Houston, TX 77005

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter


If you are an LGBTQ+ owned restaurant interested in being added to the list, please contact me.

A Taste of Tsukiji Market at Tobiuo

On September 26, I visited Tobiuo Sushi & Bar for the first time and it instantly ranked #1 on my top sushi restaurants of Houston. Tobiuo hosts a Fish Box experience which is a special omakase held every once in awhile when they receive a new shipment from the renowned Tsukiji Fish Market; though now if you attend, the fish would be sourced from Toyosu Market since Tsukiji Market closed. Omakase is a special dining experience where you leave everything in the hands of the chef. I love surprises and will eat just about anything, so omakase is perfect for me, but maybe not for a picky eater.

The price of this 3 hour experience was $150 per person and it was completely worth it even though I ended up being 45 minutes late. We were served 17 courses including dessert. Chef Mike Lim works his knife beautifully and each dish was crafted so beautifully.

When the galbi came out as the final dish, it was a surprise for me. It turns out Chef Lim is Korean, so he wanted to add his personal touch. After all was done, the last course was dessert, of course. One platter is meant to be shared by 2+ people, but since I was solo dining, I got one all for myself!

I have some additional photos of the nigiri because one angle can not contain how beautiful these pieces were. That night I brought my AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR lens. Though I’ve owned this lens for awhile, I had not used it very much and had never taken it outside my house. It’s advertised as a macro lens, so sushi was the perfect subject to practice on. Unlucky me was seated at the darkest part of the bar, but I think I did pretty well considering I didn’t bring a tripod to counter the ambient lighting.

Was the experience worth it? Yes. Would I attend again? Absolutely. Watching the craftsmanship of a sushi chef is mesmerizing. The service is impeccable. The flavors were more complex than the time I actually went to one of the sushiya at Tsukiji Market. The gentleman sitting next to me that this is the most generous, in terms of amount of fish to dollars ratio, omakasase dinner in Houston and they have a killer happy hour menu. The only thing stopping me from being a regular customer is that I live on the complete opposite side of Houston. I will definitely be back though and I highly recommend Tobiuo if you find yourself in the Katy area in the future.


Follow Tobiuo

Tobiuo Sushi & Bar
23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd Suite H130
Katy, TX 77494

Facebook | Instagram