Popular Malaysian Eatery Phat Kitchen Makes Quick Exit From Food Hall
Those happy to have the popular Malaysian cuisine from Phat Eatery in Katy available in central Houston are going to be disappointed with this news. Less than two months after opening in Blodgett Food Hall, located just south of downtown Houston in the Third Ward area, Phat Kitchen is already moving out. Owner Alex Au-Yeung is actively seeking a new home for the eatery, which also served creative banh mi by Cuc Lam.
One bright spot: Lam’s cuisine from Phat Kitchen will reemerge in Katy next month. She and Au-Yeung are currently putting the finishing touches on Yelo, located next door to Phat Eatery in Katy Asian Town at 23119 Colonial Parkway. A third ghost kitchen concept that Au-Yeung was developing, Pig + Duck, which would have included Peking duck as a specialty, is on hold until he finds a new location for Phat Kitchen.
Blodgett Food Hall is operated by CloudKitchens, one of many businesses that have cropped up lately exclusively for hosting ghost kitchens, or food providers operating without a traditional storefront. In a letter, Au-Yeung said, “our vision, core values and commitment to excellence in customer service cannot be realized in our current environment.”
“It has been an eye-opening experience, and I hate to see the operation pause as we are building a great client base inside the Loop. However, delivering the best customer service is extremely important to me,” says Au-Yeung in a press release.
During it’s very limited lifespan, Phat Kitchen found a lot of fans among Houston food editors and restaurant critics, including Alison Cook of the Houston Chronicle, who wrote that Lam’s
Char Siu Xiu Mai Banh Mi “catapulted me right out of my chair.”
Once Au-Yeung finds a suitable facility for it, Phat Kitchen is expected to reopen somewhere inside the 610 Loop, which is in line with his goal to bring his cuisine to the area for those who find Katy too far of a drive. For now, Phat Kitchen is still being envisioned as a to-go- and delivery-only operation.
“Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for loving our food and supporting us through our endeavors. Phat Kitchen will be back!” wrote Au-Yeung in his note to customers.
Editor’s note: Houston Food Finder had the opportunity to partner with Phat Kitchen and provide readers who signed up in advance a special tasting just in advance of the November opening. There was a second one planned for additional readers who’d signed up or who weren’t able to take advantage of the first tasting. Regrettably, that tasting is on hold until Phat Kitchen reopens, but we’ll be back in touch when it does.
Disclosure: Phat Eatery is a loyal Houston Food Finder sponsor. To inquire about becoming a sponsor of our valuable work covering Houston’s independent food and beverage scene, send us an email and request our Sponsor Guide with rates and stats.
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.