Houston’s sushi restaurant Kata Robata, which is nestled in the Upper Kirby area, has continuously landed on the city’s top sushi lists, with many diners raving about its unique flavors, the quality of fish, and the service. But its chef, Manabu Horiuchi — best known as Chef Hori — says he still has more to offer, and he’s showcasing just how far he can expand his culinary creations and favorite elements of Japanese cuisine at his newest restaurant this month.
The four-time James Beard Award-nominated and his partner Yun Cheng will finally debut their newest restaurant Katami to the public on Monday, November 6. with promises of newer takes on sushi, special preparations of wagyu, and complementing rare sakes available by the bottle and glass, according to a release.
“It’s been an incredible journey creating a menu that showcases traditional techniques and preparations but also allows me to use my creativity to illustrate what I see as the future of Japanese cuisine,” Hori said in a statement.
The Houston Chronicle reports that aside from plans to open a reservations-only, six-seat counter in a nearby house on the same grounds, Hori has no plans to open another restaurant in Houston, meaning Katami, in addition to Kata, could be the chef’s most complete vision.
Similar to Kata Robata, the new Montrose restaurant (2701 W. Dallas Street, 77019) will have a sushi focus, flying in fish sourced from Japan almost daily, with at least 80 percent of the fish on Katami’s menu caught off the coast of Japan from local fishmongers. Omakase, offered in a nine-, 12-, and 15-piece sashimi-focused dining experience, will be on offer, but Hori plans to go far beyond that. Diners can opt for signature rolls, including the vegetarian Harlow District roll — an ode to Katami’s Houston community that’s made up of sautéed onion, mushroom, Daikon radish, kanpyo, red bell pepper, avocado, and tomato powder, or one of Kata’s beloved past features at chef Chris Shepherd’s annual Southern Smoke Festival — the Southern Smoke Roll, a combination of fatty tuna belly, caviar, shiso, wasabi, and sea urchin.
Wagyu will also be an exciting main fixture of Katami. Diners can purchase Katami’s fatty Miyazaki or Hokkaido wagyu by the ounce, served Robata-style, grilled over charcoal, or Tamaki-style — lightly seared and thinly sliced. Kagoshima wagyu is also available, prepared in a hot pot, Shabu Shabu-style, or as carpaccio.
Other highlights include Katami’s three styles of miso soup; a decadent caviar service, served with crispy salmon skin chips and cauliflower mousse; Katami’s take on the traditional Japanese street food Corn Mushroom Okonomiyaki. and playful dishes that incorporate American nostalgia, including foie gras PBJ milk bread, made with Nutella, maraschino cherry, and blueberry, and its Robata baby back ribs served with creamed corn.
Cocktails and desserts are just as spirited and rooted in Japanese traditions, with Kakigori — Japanese-style shaved ice using ice imported from Kanazawa, Japan — served in flavors including strawberry Nutella and green tea with Azuki ice cream; and cocktails, like a Katami Old Fashioned, made with Japanese whisky, toasted rice, angostura, and yuzu bitters, and an Umami Manhattan made with Japanese sweet vermouth, kombu, mushroom, and bitters.
The restaurant also offers various types of seating for diners to enjoy different aspects of the menu. Indoors, the restaurant seats 182 people, with a 20-seat bar where diners can enjoy cocktails and, serving as Katami’s focal point, a 12-seat sushi bar that leads into the illuminated dining area. Outdoors, diners can dine al fresco on the 40-seat patio.
Katami is open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturdays; Dinner is hosted from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. On Sundays, dining is available from noon to 10 p.m. 2701 W. Dallas Street, 77019.