Beginning Sunday, October 14, Kuu, Japanese Restaurant in Memorial area of Houston, will serve a new à la carte, tapas-style brunch from 10a to 3p. Chef Adison Lee invited a group of local bloggers and social media influencers over for what was the most amazing brunch experience I have had in a long time. The new Japanese-style brunch will feature the freshest seasonal and locally sourced ingredients combined with traditional ingredients including salmon, chicken, pork belly, crab, lobster, sea urchin, eggs and Japanese yam.
Brunch consists of mostly cooked items, priced between $10-$20. The sushi bar will also be available on the regular menu. A seasonal “Snack Bar” option ($18) includes lighter accompaniments such as seaweed salad, edamame, pickles, taro chips, fresh-squeezed juices, almond and soy milk, yogurt, bite-size desserts and more. The value-priced Brunch Set ($38) includes any two items from the brunch menu + Snack Bar.
We were welcomed at the bar with our brunch beverage of choice. We had the option of choosing from their regular mimosa, pomegranate and lavender mimosa and truffle Bloody Mary. Following the mingling and picture taking, we were welcomed to the snack bar, which includes the delicious items that I listed about and that you will see below; from the snack area, which can fill you up too, we began the tasting of 12 of the dishes on their brunch menu. But before we get into the dishes I recommend, I wanted to give you a little background of the chef.
Chef Lee got his start under master chef Nobu Matsuhisa of Nobu fame and brings his specialty of modern cooking paired with traditional Japanese techniques to Kuu, which has been recognized as one of Houston Chronicle’s/ Alison Cook’s Top 100 Restaurants
every year since they opened. Now, on to the dishes themselves. I would recommend you get the full brunch option, so that you get to try the delicious snack bar items as well.
Tako Ceviche: No lie, I normally don’t like ceviche( I think I’m pretty vocal about how I feel about raw meats), this ceviche was made with steamed octopus and Oh My was it delicious. I literally went back a couple of times, and even took the whatever remained home with me. Add this to your list, please!
IKA SANSAI: This Squid salad was also heavenly. Very light and just right. Another one that you need on your snack bar list!
SEAFOOD PANCAKE: Tuna tartare, shrimp, squid, onion, cabbage carrots, fennel leaf, Kinpira gobo, and pickled shallots. This pancake might look small, but it packs a lot of flavor and you’ll definitely want some more.
IMO SALAD: Japanese purple Yam, Golden raisen, sweet corn edamame, cherry tomatoes, corn and bell peppers. This is like a fresh salad mixed with a tuna or chicken salad minus the meat. lol I absolutely love Japanese sweet potatoes but I had never had the purple one – deliciously sweet!
FRENCH TOAST KIWI: Toast, pomegranate, honey kiwi jam and butter. This is probably the most creative French toast I’ve seen, beautifully plated and the kiwi jam is the JAAAAAMM!!
KANI SLIDERS: Crab Cake, pickled shallot, grapes and cucumber with yam fries. These sliders were delicious, the look questionable at first but once you taste all the ingredients together – you’ll know exactly what the chef was doing. Highly recommend this one as well.
TRUFFLE FRIED RICE: Speaks for itself. I’m not much of a truffle fan, but I do love fried rice. This rice took a minute to grow on me, but once I got used to the truffle, it was smooth eating from them