Malaysian Cuisine Coming to Central Houston Via Phat Eatery Ghost Kitchen
Alex Auyeung, chef and owner of Katy’s highly acclaimed Malaysian street food restaurant Phat Eatery is launching a new inside-the-Loop, delivery-only food hall kitchen. Set to open in early September, the new establishment, called Phat Kitchen, is operating out of the new the Blodgett Food Hall at 2616 Blodgett, which is owned by CloudKitchens. The eatery will serve the Malaysian food Phat Eatery is known for, including favorites such as curry laksa, beef rendang and roti canai. Au-Yeung plans to add two additional concepts: Yelo, the second outpost of executive chef Cuc Lam‘s soon-to-open bánh mì shop and Pig + Duck, a Chinese barbecue joint that reflects Auyeung’s experience in Hong Kong restaurants.
With Houston-area restaurant dining rooms operating at 50-percent capacity due to COVID-19 and many diners choosing takeout over dining in, area restaurateurs have been forced to find creative ways to generate revenue. This includes improving takeout and delivery services, virtual wine dinners, and opening ghost kitchens, which optimize costs by pooling resources and offering only takeout and delivery. This last option gives owners and chefs a relatively quick way to enter the market without incurring the cost and hassle of opening a sit-down store front. As Auyeung said in a press release, “Instead of building a brick-and-mortar, we can get started much quicker this way and reach a much broader audience.”
He adds, “With all the work we’ve put into Phat Eatery during our first two years in business, we’ve gained a little name recognition. It’s time to expand to a wider audience, to convert people from hearing about us to tasting our food.”
All three concepts are operating out of the same 400-square-foot kitchen and share the same third-party ordering and delivery portals, allowing dinners to please many palates by mixing and matching dishes from all three restaurants, which is similar to how Click Virtual Food Hall and Bravery Chef Hall operate. It also gives Lam and Auyeung an opportunity to test new dishes for Yelo before that brick-and-mortar location opens this fall next door to Phat Eatery in Katy.
Phat Kitchen will be a welcome new option for inside-the-Loop diners, who still lack the Asian dining options available in other parts of the Bayou City. It also joins several other Blodgett Food Hall ghost operations such as the recently opened Thick Chick, a fried chicken sandwich place from Shannen Tune, “Chopped” champion and owner of Craft Burger. All utilize their own, separate third-party ordering and delivery services. With the Houston-area dining scene changing almost daily, this will probably not be the last innovation we see from Auyeung and other Bayou City restaurateurs.
Disclaimer: Phat Eatery is a valued sponsor of Houston Food Finder.