Cockoo for Kuu
If you have never been to Kuu, in my personal opinion the best sushi restaurant in all of Houston, you haven't truly lived. A few years ago before the restaurant had opened, I attended an event where they were sampling some of the restaurants appetizers, and it was love at first bite. Once they opened I was not disappointed by my first dining experience, and I say experience because it is just that. I had some of the freshest fish that I've ever tasted, complimented by delicate flavors that force you to slow down and allow the elements to reveal themselves with every bite, I'm really not exaggerating, it's freaking amazing! So naturally when I was invited to attend a Houston Food Blogger Collective meeting at Kuu, I arranged my whole day around making the tasting.
The tasting event was catered toward the amazingly talented and passionate food bloggers of Houston. I knew one or two people, but overall spent the evening introducing myself and finding out just how committedand connected the food blogger community has become. After we made introductions we were each handed a menu of what we would be tasting for the evening, and got started with cocktails courtesy of Remi Martin.
Tuna Bite - ahi tuna, texas orange, pistachio, avacado, taro chips, shiso, edamame dressing
Spicy Salmon Cube- spicy salmon, rice cakes, chives
Foie- foie gras mousee, apple jam, rice crackers
Hot 'n' Spicy Maki- salmon, avocado, cream cheese
Garlic Edamame- togarashi, garlic, lime
Wagyu Kushiyki- wagyu beef, asparagus, lemon, mint
Chicken Yakitori- grilled chicken, scallions
Zucchini Chip- Crisy zucchini chip, togarashi
Tsukune-panko fried, ground, chicken, shiso, jalapeno, chili-lemon miso
Corn Furitta- lime zest, truffle oil, brown butter powder
***Executive Chef Adison Lee***
Fun fact- Kuu means 'the art of eating, and as you'll see in the pictures below, Kuu treats every plate like a canvas, and every dish is a masterpiece. With every plate that made its way out of the kitchen and into our hearts.....well mine at least, there was a careful construction of culinary artistry as seen here in the Tuna Bite. This is part of my top 3 favorite things to order at Kuu. The tuna is fresh, the chips and pistachios add crunch, and the edamame dressing is the light and creamy marriage that brings it all together,
I wasn't a fan of the fried rice cake that came with the Spicy Salmon Cube. It reminded me of the texture of a tater tot, which I've hated even as a kid. Generally I'm also not a fan of fried sushi rolls since I don't feel like it's needed when the flavors are all there. Of course that's just me, but if you prefer your sushi rolls fried then you'll enjoy this. The spice tuna was stellar.
This platter features Wagyu Kushiyaki and Corn Furitta. The thing that made the biggest impression for me was the corn furitta. I don't think I even knew it was on the menu before that day. Now I'm biased because I love, love, love fried masa cakes, so I was already set up to love this, but the truffle oil and lime sealed the deal for this being my new favorite thing. Unfortunately it's frowned upon to walk away with the serving plate in search out a corner where you can make all the ugly faces that come with enjoying your food, so I'll have to order a plate of these on my own the next time I go.
Here again is where I'm not a big fan of tempura fried rolls, and this is actually the first time I've even had a fried roll at Kuu. That being said I still found the Hot and Spicy Salmon Maki enjoyable. Although it's got spicy in the name don't be afraid to order this dish if you're not known to carry hot sauce in your bag. I would say the sauce and spices give the roll a little bit of a kick with acidity, rather than insane heat.
Foie gras is an acquired taste and texture so it's not for everyone, but if you're a fan or adventurous I say you absolutely have to try this! For one, I mean look at it, it's gorgeous, you can snap a pic and send to your friends and be all fancy, but also its got a delicate texture and flavor. Think of it as eating a slightly meaty, slightly sweet flan on a cracker.
I celebrated my birthday this year at Kuu with a table of 11 friends, and each and every one of them raved about their order, and it's incredibly obvious as to why. I know my preference in taste and textures so although I may not order tempura fried anything, I still encourage you to taste your way through the menu and find your new favorite thing. I always order the Butternut Squash Miso Soup ( comes with a marshmallow) and the Poseidon roll when I go...just be prepared to have it change your life and make you wonder what you've been eating all your life.
I truly enjoyed the tasting and everyone that I met at the Houston Food Blogger Collective tasting/meeting. I had never noticed many of the items on the menu that we sampled that day, so I'm glad I had the experience to open my mind, and hopefully yours as well.