Ninja Ramen Owner Readies To-Go & Delivery Sandwich Kitchen
Narwhal Jousting Club, which is set to open in June 5 in the former Click Virtual Food Hall building at 4901 Rose, is the latest endeavor from Ninja Ramen owner Christopher Huang and chef David Ramos, whose experience includes Paper Co. Café and Better Luck Tomorrow. The opening menu will focus on creative burgers and sandwiches available only for takeaway and delivery.
Like its predecessor, Click Virtual Food Hall, Narwhal Jousting Club is a ghost kitchen, and it won’t be surprising to see Huang establish lines of cuisine under multiple brands. Ghost kitchens are part of a growing trend of virtual restaurants that operate with a minimal storefront and focus on delivery and takeout orders, which saves on overhead and operating costs. Customers can order via phone or online ordering. Narwhal will follow this convenient approach, while also accepting walk-in to-go orders.
Narwhal Jousting Club will carry on the tradition of quirky, offbeat dish names Huang established with the cocktail menu at his Washington Avenue ramen shop. Narwhal’s menu is chock full of pop-culture references, mostly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and puns. (I’m hoping to see a Totally Tubular Ninja Wrap added to the menu.) Expect cheeky gems like the Fromage à Trois fried mozzarella sticks, MC Hot Dog (the MC stands for mapo chili) and Phở Goodness Steak with medium rare filet mignon, grilled onions, marrow-naise, mustard and phở jus. The latter brings back memories of Huang’s tragically short-lived Flying Pho noodle shop in Garden Oaks. Huang’s jocund approach is a welcome foil for an industry that can sometimes take itself a little too seriously.
Ramos is not only a chef, but local philanthropist who has always tried to help his local community through activism and charities such as She Has Hope and El Pozo de Vida (The Well of Life), a non-profit based in Mexico that fights against human trafficking. During his time at Paper Co. Café, which was located inside Ecclesia Houston and sadly closed during the pandemic, Ramos offered warm, wholesome meals to the less fortunate asking only that customers pay what they can. Hopefully we will continue to see similar efforts carried out at Narwhal Jousting Club.
Narwhal Jousting Club is currently open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Mario-Sebastian Berry is a wine and spirits vendor who has been in the hospitality industry since 2002. Currently, he represents Blanco, Texas-based Andalusia Whiskey Co. and multiple wine labels. Somehow, he also finds time to be Houston Food Finder’s associate editor and social media manager.