Ume Sushi, the new sushi restaurant from beloved Museum District stalwart MF Sushi, is finally ready to open its doors after months of construction delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Located in the former Barnaby’s location in the Heights at 2802 White Oak Drive, Suite 500, the restaurant was proudly designed by chef and owner Chris Kinjo. The space was built out by Construction Concepts, the same firm behind Houston restaurant stunners like Steak 48, Doris Metropolitan, and Hando — while chef and restaurateur Chris Kinjo and his team did most of of the space’s intricate woodwork themselves.
Kinjo says that Construction Concepts would work in the day, while his team would come in at night. “I ordered the Hinoki wood from Japan, and cut, sanded and puttied all of the wood myself,” says Kinjo, who has used the fragrant, pale-colored wood in all of his Houston restaurants to date. “Hinoki wood is calming when you touch it,” says Kinjo. “I use it as my cutting board.”
The approximately 3,000 square foot space is split into two main sections. The entrance and anterior space feature a bar area with a large Hinoki slab communal table and high top seating. The main dining room, which overlooks the open kitchen and sushi bar, features booth and table seating, and is lit by a canopy of custom plum blossom chandeliers in various stages of bloom. Once COVID-19 capacity restrictions are over, the restaurant will have 58 restaurant seats, 8 sushi seats, and 30 seats in the bar area.
Although he hasn’t written the menu yet, Kinjo says that diners can expect a menu that’s very similar to what’s on offer at MF Sushi alongside some exciting new dishes that will only be served at Ume. Sample dishes might include ume-marinated duck grilled duck breast, poke-style bluefin tuna tartare, and chef-selected sashimi samplers.
Kinjo will split his time between MF Sushi Museum District and Ume Sushi, while sushi chefs Hiro, Win and Khang — familiar faces from MF Sushi — be full-time at Ume.
Ume Sushi is set to open its doors on January 2, 2021. Advance reservations can be made via OpenTable.