Uchi Team to Open Omakase Concept Next to its Montrose Outpost
While the Austin of today is becoming increasingly unrecognizable to longtime residents, lots of good things still come out of the city—and we don’t just mean all of the artists and musicians fleeing the burgeoning tech hub’s astronomical rents. Case in point is Austin-based Hai Hospitality’s ongoing takeover of the Houston culinary scene. The James Beard Award-winning restaurant group behind Uchi, Uchiko, and LORO Asian Smokehouse & Bar, is expanding its reach in Houston (and adding to the city's already substantial sushi-scape) through the highly anticipated opening of Oheya by Uchi, an intimate omakase experience opening on March 20.
The restaurant, conveniently located adjacent to Uchi Houston in the space formerly occupied by Southside Espresso (who were forced out of their longtime home after being denied a lease renewal last year), will offer guests 15-course omakase dinners created with “purpose and intention.” True to its name, Oheya, which translates to “I leave it up to you,” will be distinct from similar omakase experiences in that the restaurant’s rotating roster of chefs will determine the flow of each individual course.
On the menu at Oheya, which has sushi bar-only seating for 12 customers at a time (there will be nightly seatings of 12 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.), guests can expect multiple courses of the freshest nigiri as well as dishes highlighting seasonal vegetables and proteins of the highest quality. The restaurant’s menu rotates monthly, with a new chef from Hai Hospitality at the helm each month, who will collaborate with Chef de Cuisine Stephen Conklin and Head Sushi Chef Kevin Le of Uchi Houston. The first chef brought in to collaborate on the menu is Christian Canencio, Uchi Miami’s executive sous chef.
“Bringing new ideas to traditional food is a defining element of the Uchi experience. We’ve done this by allowing our chefs to challenge the status quo and to continually build on each other's experiences. This is why we are thrilled to introduce Oheya’s monthly chef collaboration, as it brings the Hai family together in a new and innovative way,” said Hai Hospitality CEO Tony Montero in a statement. “This rotating omakase menu will truly offer Houston a one-of-a-kind dining experience.”
The formerly low key yet charming interiors of the space have been reimagined by Ellen Saathoff, Hai Hospitality’s director of design, in order to transform it into a chic and modern retreat—complete with custom millwork throughout. Each seat in the restaurant will also feature custom place settings—charger plates, ceramics, and more—designed by local and national artists, an initiative spearheaded by Ariana Quant, Hai Hospitality’s executive pastry chef.
“We are thrilled to introduce Oheya as our newest restaurant here in Houston, where we’ve received so much support from the community over the years,” said James Beard Award-winning chef and Oheya partner Tyson Cole in a statement. “While Oheya is a new concept, guests can still expect to find the delicate balance of elevated food and impeccable service that they’ve come to know and love at our existing restaurants.”
Reservations, which are likely to fill up quite fast, are required for Oheya and are released on the 15th of every month at noon for the following month. Reservations can be made here.