Several months back we shared with you our love for KUU, a new Japanese restaurant across the street from Memorial City mall. We were quite pleased when we got invited in for a media tasting of their summer menu. We couldn’t wait to see if all the things we loved were still living up to our standards. One of the things we loved, and we are happy to report they are still bringing the yum, is they have the goods for everyone from the novice sushi roll only eater to the more advanced sashimi lover. The cocktail and wine program are NICE as well, which is a bonus because we know Japanese restaurants typically fall short in this arena; aside from having great sake of course.
Did we mention that Chef Adison Lee creates culinary masterpieces with his beautiful plating? His plates are so aesthetically appealing at first sight you don’t want to mess them up with something as basic as eating. Then you quickly come to your senses and remember the food taste as good as it looks!
Served tapas style, the summer menu is bright from the flavors to the plate and new dishes can be found on both the cold and hot sides of the menu. From the cold, you can enjoy options like the Kanpaccio made with kanapachi, Texas orange, yuzu garlic soy and Thai chili or the Watermelon and Tomato Salad created with arugula and mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, watermelon spheres, and roasted tomato emulsion. Many of the summer dishes incorporate seasonal fruits which brings a level of sophistication to the plate. The addition of the bitter citrus fruits, and other ingredients like pickled grapes, compound the flavors of what are already superb dishes.
On the hot side, we enjoyed the Crispy Duck that was paired with compressed apple, scallop chip, and wasabi beet reduction and the Wagyu Unagi which is Texas Kobe topped with unagi and fruit kimchi emulsion. Both meats were tender and although they were the focal point of each dish, the Japanese techniques used on the supporting ingredients just made it that much better. Chef Lee is very successful at combining various textures and he is showing that he can definitely play on both sides and bring you wonderful non-fish dishes as well.
KUU is to be appreciated. Not only for their creativity and for stepping outside of the box, but for also creating an establishment that is geared towards creating an experience. They wanted the look to be timeless and not just something that is trending today which included traveling to China to get inspiration for their design methods. In addition, they understand that although the food is a central part of any restaurants success, it cannot stand on its own.
Going along with our favorite “fresh is best” mantra, KUU also receives fresh fish three times per week including seasonal fish (many of which are very popular in Japan but not in the United States) and they are also frequent visitors of our local farmers markets on the weekends.
Summer will be on its way out the door pretty soon so even if you don’t make it before the menu changes, it will be a grand experience whenever you go.
947 Gessner Rd #A180
Houston, Texas 77024