What kind of restaurant is needed in the Heights? If the nearly 8,000 followers of The Heights Life — a popular Facebook page for the community — are any indication, the general consensus is an Indian or sushi restaurant. Pak Tsui, owner and chef of Fat Bao is granting one half of their wish.
Balancing out the sweet from Fat Cat Creamery, Smoothie King and soon-to-open Hugs & Donuts, Tsui will bring a savory offering to the West 19th Retail Center with his forthcoming sushi restaurant, Ka Sushi. Ka Sushi will anchor the 1901 North Shepherd property facing Shepherd where Tsui has big plans for the largest space of the center.
Having found success with his fusion concepts in Upper Kirby and Sugar Land, where baos - taco-shaped steamed buns filled with all kinds of delicious fillings - are the main draw and ramen a close second, Tsui followed up with the launch of his food truck this summer, Fat Wagon. Now he's ready to expand again, this time getting back to his roots: sushi.
While baos, ramen and other items that have been secretly tested during Fat Bao's many pop-ups, the focus will be sushi. Shying away when asked if the restaurant will be similar to Uchi and Kuu, Tsui says he will bring the fusion elements that he's known for at his other restaurants but wants to provide a concept tailored to the Heights. "When I think of the Heights and the times I've visited, it's relaxed and a laid-back kind of neighborhood," said Tsui when dismissing the notion that his year-in-the-making restaurant shouldn't be compared to either. Residents of the Heights will have a chance to preview select items at future pop-ups, once construction of Ka Sushi is near completion.
The build-out has yet to begin but is expected to start in the coming weeks. Permitting approval for Tsui, like many restauranteurs as of late, has delayed the start of construction. Once approved and given the go ahead to build, Tsui has plans for a full bar stocked with sake, soju and Japanese beer. Patio seating is a possibility too.
Ka Sushi's anticipated opening is March 2015 — that is if everything goes according to plan.