Katy Sushi Restaurant Offers a Worthy Omakase Experience
Tobiuo Sushi & Bar located in Katy at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch has reopened its sushi bar with new acrylic partitions between the sushi chefs and guests. I was invited to an omakase tasting complete with beverage pairings to check out their fresh take on Japanese cuisine. Omakase translates to “I’ll leave it up to you” and means that a diner’s entire meal will be made up of dishes selected by the chef.
Chef-owner Sherman Yeung has a team of sushi chefs, headed by John Hui, preparing beguiling dishes for their eight-course tasting menu. It’s priced at $75 per person with a paired beverage add-on for $30.
Le Chau is the beverage director and general manager of Tobiuo and he selected the drink pairings for the omakase menu. Guests are given one drink for every two courses. The first to arrive was a sparkling pink cocktail with notes of raspberry, lavender and elderflower. It was served alongside two oysters: one with Japanese Tabasco with ikura (salmon roe) and one with yuzu tomato granita. The drink’s fruity flavors contrasted pleasingly with the spicy flavors of the first, while also complementing the crisp, sweet flavors of the second.
The second course was a beautifully plated dish of Scottish salmon with compressed mango, chili oil, tomato ginger water, pickled onions and plum salt. This was a fantastic flavor combo; very summery and fresh.
A glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc arrived with a deceptively simple plate of nigiri that included madai with yuzu kosho, lean bluefin tuna with negi dare made with garlic, ginger and green onion, a Japanese hokkaido scallop topped with lime zest and Tasmanian ocean trout with orange kosho and shiso, a Japanese mint. The tropical citrus flavors in the wine worked beautifully with the clean, fresh flavors of the delicately garnished fish.
This was followed by a more embellished sashimi flight composed of Ora king salmon belly with ikura steeped with maple, hamachi topped with orange zest, and buttery bluefin tuna otoro kama (the richest part of the meat near the neck) with daikon and shiso leaves.
The Garden of Eden specialty maki roll was up next. This is a vegetarian dish with oshinko pickled radish, asparagus, cucumber, guacamole and serrano purée topped with a rice nori chip and fried carrot strings. Also making an appearance was a new fall menu item: incredibly tender octopus and flounder prepared sous vide and plated with cilantro, coconut cream and taro chips with a sprinkle of paprika. These two courses were served with a glass of Dassai 45 Daiginjo sake. The lightly sweet finish of this drink cooled down the spiciness of the vegetable roll and complemented the silky texture and tropical flavors in the octopus plate.
The hamachi kosho came to the table next. This dish is made of thinly sliced yellowtail with serrano salt, garlic chips, sliced cucumbers and tomato oil with drops of serrano purée. This was paired with a full-bodied Chardonnay from Dunnigan Hills. The next dish that appeared was seared salmon glazed in ginger-soy reduction and resting on sunchoke purée, pecan pesto, broccolini and more of the maple ikura. The weight of the wine and its caramelized flavors made it a good match for these very different courses.
To complete the meal, two very different desserts arrived with a Peach Sunset cocktail, a mix of vodka, egg white, lavender, and fresh orange juice. Pastry chef Jio Dingayan delivered the house favorite: the Brownie Mousse Cake, a creamy, decadent delight based on Vietnamese coffee made with valrhona chocolate and embellished with candied pecans, caramel popcorn and vanilla ice cream. The other dessert was his latest creation for fall: the Japanese Pumpkin Patch, a ginger pumpkin spice cake shaped like a small pumpkin with clove anglaise, pumpkin seeds and horchata ice cream.
Tobiuo’s team is clearly passionate about Japanese cuisine and hospitality. The entire omakase was thoughtfully prepared and beautifully plated with accents of edible flowers, fresh herbs and housemade flourishes. Tobiuo orders high-quality fish flown in from Japan’s Toyosu Market. The beverage pairings are well thought out and enhance each dish.
Diners may find that their dishes and drinks are different than what’s described here. As with any omakase, the menu evolves and changes to reflect the season and best-available ingredients. In addition, diners should feel free to express allergies, dietary concerns and preferences when reserving their omakase experience.
In addition to the new acrylic partitions, Tobiuo is taking other precautions to ensure both guest and staff safety, regardless of whether guests choose delivery, to go or dine-in. Katy residents should consider themselves fortunate to have this establishment as part of their ever-growing food scene. Reservations are recommended. Call (281) 394-7156 to make one.