sushi

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

 

Secret Taste Episode 2

Secret Taste is an interesting take on the omakase experience. The secret part of the name is not an exaggeration. To attend, you need an invitation which you can only attain from following their social media if you’re lucky. The secret menu changes each session. The location is secret until the day of the event. The Secret Taste experience is a collaboration of several parties. Sushi chefs Patrick Pham and Daniel Lee are the front the operation. Pastry chef Dory Fung is in charge of dessert and mixologist Sarah Taylor on drinks. The venue is procured by Nan Properties.

I was lucky enough to land a spot thanks to Mimi (@eat.vietcariously) forwarding me an invite. Episode 2 took place on December 27-28 in a $1.6 million mansion in the Memorial area. The dinner was $125/person or $150/person including the additional beverage pairing. The experience is very intimate with only 11 diners per dinner. The night consisted of mingling and watching the team craft 13 courses.

kurodai (porgy) with candied kumquat

kurodai (porgy) with candied kumquat

A5 wagyu nigiri

A5 wagyu nigiri

o-toro (extra fatty tuna) with fried quail egg

o-toro (extra fatty tuna) with fried quail egg

tuna hand rolls

tuna hand rolls

mocktails by Sarah

mocktails by Sarah

torched Ora King salmon with negri

torched Ora King salmon with negri

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king salmon with frozen persimmon, persimmon gel, and tsume

king salmon with frozen persimmon, persimmon gel, and tsume

sake jelly shooter

sake jelly shooter

uni hand rolls

uni hand rolls

Hokkaido scallop with wasabi and nikiri

Hokkaido scallop with wasabi and nikiri

aji (Japanese horse mackerel)

aji (Japanese horse mackerel)

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A5 wagyu beef nigiri

A5 wagyu beef nigiri

A5 wagyu beef hand rolls

A5 wagyu beef hand rolls

sikhye + black sesame 5 ways dessert: black sesame sponge cake, black sesame panna cotta, toasted white sesame seeds and crumble, vanilla ice cream with fresh ground sesame seeds

sikhye + black sesame 5 ways dessert: black sesame sponge cake, black sesame panna cotta, toasted white sesame seeds and crumble, vanilla ice cream with fresh ground sesame seeds

Secret Taste is definitely a fun and fancy dinner. Not only are the plates delicious, the show is great, too! Watching the team through the night let’s you see the craftsmanship that goes into each dish up close. They put a uniquely American twist on the art of Japanese sushi. Keep your eyes on Instagram for future Secret Taste episodes for now.

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Through Secret Taste, Chefs Patrick Pham and Daniel Lee will be opening their first restaurant Kokoro, meaning “heart” in Japanese, very soon. The duo will serve sushi and yakitori in the new downtown dining hall Bravery Chef Hall. Kokoro is estimated to open at the end of March 2019.


 

Follow Secret Taste & Kokoro

Secret Taste

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Kokoro (Coming Soon)
409 Travis Street
Houston, TX 77002

Instagram | Facebook