brunch

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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Chocolate Heroes Month with Common Bond

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Chocolate Heroes Month is a collaboration between Houston Food Finder, Callebaut Chocolate, and eight Houston dessert shops. For one month, these shops created special desserts using a number of Callebaut’s products. The event runs through January 7 to February 10.

Houston Food Finder announced Common Bond’s dessert would be a Sesame Cake Tart created by executive pastry chef Rakesh Nayak. Since I’ve been on a black sesame binge, I just had to experience it.

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The Sesame Cake Tart is composed of sesame cake, whipped sesame cream, earl grey ganache, earl grey white chocolate mousse, and chai caramel. The tart has a great mix of textures. When you cut into it, from the top, you start with the soft sesame macaron, then hit the crunchy chocolate disc, return to airy mousse, hit crunchy crisps, reach creamy ganache, and the crumbles of the tart. Each forkful brought a different mouthfeel with the alternating textures; it kept me wanting more. The combination of chocolate and tea flavors paired seamlessly together. I enjoyed the strength of the earl grey elements.

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Since we visited on the event day, my friends and I each received the free box of macarons. This promo is no longer active. While we were already at the cafe, I tried Common Bond’s savory food for the first time as well. The brunch menu was being offered at the time, so I ordered the Tamales Benedict because it sounded like a very interesting combination. I do love tamales and benedict, so why not? The dish consists of several ancho pork tamales, avocado slices, two soft yolk eggs, ranchero sauce, and chipotle hollandaise.

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It was a good choice. I highly recommend trying it. The tamales are moist and filled with the right amount of meat. The runny egg yolk combined with the two sauces and avocado blends together as a super creamy compliment. I would definitely order it again.

I also got to meet Phaedra Cook, the founder, writer, and editor of Houston Food Finder. She gave me some restaurant recommendations that I must try soon. I enjoy reading her articles, so I recommend reading her work.

If you’d like to get a taste of this tart, time is running out. This tart is only available until February 10, the last day of Chocolate Heroes Month. You won’t want to miss it!


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Common Bond Cafe and Bakery
1706 Westheimer Road
Houston, TX 77006

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