Former Austin chef and Eater Austin Hottest Chefs 2012 nominee, Jason Liao, is setting up to open his Sugar Land seafood restaurant Preview Modern Seafood Cuisine in the next two weeks. While Liao is best known for his work as a sushi chef, he's decided to go a different route with his first-ever restaurant, explaining that Preview won't be another drop in the sushi restaurant bucket. Back in October, Liao told Eater: "I'm purposely not making it Japanese. I see all these sushi bars opening up all over — in Houston, Austin and Dallas — and no matter how far they try to take it, people always think California rolls. No matter how high-end the [place], all of the menus are the same." A no-constraints seafood concept will allow the young chef to think up more imaginative dishes that merge flavor influences from all over. Some of his dishes include chicken-fried tuna with coconut creme, toasted almond, apple, black truffle salt, dill; scallops with sweet potato gnocchi, candied bacon, white truffle oil; and a hamachi ravioli with apple, ginger, roasted tomato vinaigrette. The dishes are light, fresh and playful, like a dessert plate featuring "knocked over" beer mugs on a plate of candied bitter melon and toffee brittle.
Thankfully, there will be a variety of rotating a la carte menu items so that diners can sample a little of everything, starting as soon as next month. Last week's faux-snowpocalypse caused some equipment delivery delays, but as of now it's just a waiting game and a soft dinner service before Preview is certified open.