Sunday, July 26, 2009

Kata Robata

While Houston lacks not in sushi joints, it does suffer from a dearth of high-end Japanese restaurants. Thankfully Kata Robata has stepped in, offering its breathtaking Asian dishes in the revolving door of a restaurant space at the corner of Richmond and Kirby.

The chefs at Kata Robata play with flavors and textures to create a deliciously outstanding set of dishes that’s as appealing to the eyes as it is to the belly. Case in point: The uni and king crab spoons with black caviar have become the menu’s most popular offering, and with good reason. In a gorgeous presentation, tender and fresh crab lightly topped with the butteriest of uni marinates in a tangy sunomono broth. The caviar adds a savory bite, making the entire spoonful an Excalibur of a combination. Hot damn!

Anyone shocked that the foie gras is good? Didn’t think so. Sittin’ pretty atop a daikon radish, the velvety foie has an unexpected smokiness to it, and the juxtaposition of textures is incredible. Lobster ceviche is yet another excellent starter; the mango sauce brings out the sweetness of the lobster, avocado adds to the creamy texture, and a sprinkle of red onion adds the right amount of crunch.

Nigiri shines with complex flavors hidden in a simple shell. Glory goes, not only to the exceedingly fresh fish, but also to the impeccably cooked rice. Meatily-rich toro, soy-marinated tuna, hamachi with mint, Sweet shrimp with uni... each better, prettier, and more enticing than the last.

The regular menu at Kata Robata is, hands down, the most creatively diverse Japanese menu in town. But for a real treat, sit at the bar (weeknights only) and order your meal omakase. After setting a course load or price, the chef will choose what you eat, based on the best and freshest ingredients he has available.

In its short history, Kata Robata has already found a place among the top restaurants in the city. Go for a date, go for a splurge, go for a wonderfully delicious, custom-tailored symphony of a Japanese experience from some of the best sushi chefs around. Just go.

Kata Robata - 3600 Kirby (at Richmond)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review. I have been twice, agree it is very good, and I look forward to next time having some of the dishes you liked. The tuna tartare dish is also very good, and the common crazy and spider rolls are made with a light touch. Only bad note was the mushroom stuffed with tuna and fried was overdone -- couldn't taste much but the sauce.

Genie said...

Sounds amazing, and you've only intensified my craving for sushi (which started while I was in CR).