Another Sign the Pandemic Is Ending: 'Omakase' Is Back on the Menu at Kata Robata

Uni at Kata Robata, which this week has relaunched its celebrated tasting menu for the first time since Covid.

TO THE DELIGHT of sushi-starved Houstonians across the city, omakase is back on the menu at Kata Robata. Chef Manabu Horiuchi chose not to offer the omakase treatment during the pandemic due to the demands for takeout the Upper Kirby sushi staple was experiencing.


And even after reopening the dining room during the pandemic, Chef Hori didn't feel like he had the bandwidth to create the special tasting menus every night, which have historically featured some of the freshest and choicest cuts of fish that Chef Hori sources each day from Japan.

Now that dine-in service is humming again, and takeout service is in decline, Kata Robata will be offering the special experience, which often includes a mix of cold and hot dishes served alongside the restaurant's special Yuasa brand soy sauce sourced from Japan's oldest soy sauce brewery. The experience will be available every day of the week except for Sundays and Wednesdays — Chef Hori's day off.

Space is limited, however, since Chef Hori will only be offering eight omakase experiences a night, with prices ranging from $150-$200 depending on the products he's received for that day. Reservations for the bespoke sushi experience can be made by either putting a note in your reservation, or by calling the restaurant directly.

Kata Robata's Chef Hori

A nibble of Wagyu, which might make the newly reinstated 'omakase' menu

Food

“I WISH I came here sooner to experience this amazing city,” says advanced sommelier Rachel Van Til of her move to Houston just one year before the pandemic lockdown. When Covid appeared in 2020, along with layoffs and closings, it led to a career swerve for Van Til, a working mom who was a sommelier at Pappas Steakhouse. She took over the wine program at The Clubs at Houston Oaks, a posh (initiation fees can range into the six figures) members-only club northwest of the city with 10 lodges, 17 lakes, 900 acres and six dining options. Speaking of lots of good food and vino, the club’s 2022 Wine and Food Classic is this February 12 — it’s a great chance to taste hundreds of wines from around the world and learn about them from winemakers and professionals. “It’s our largest event of the year and it’s open to the public.” In our Q&A, Rachel dishes on her favorite date night, best wines to try this year and her brush with the me-too movement!

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