Tobiuo’s owner Katy plans to open Money Cat restaurant in Houston

Chief Sherman Yeung, who own Tobiuo, a Japanese restaurant in Katy, is preparing its first restaurant in Houston. Called Silver cat (not to be confused with the popular pop-up brunches and limited edition menus from Theodore Rex chef / owner Justin Yu), it will be located in the Kirby Grove Center at 2925 Richmond, next to the upscale Indian restaurant Kiran’s. Like Tobiuo, Money Cat will be a modern Japanese restaurant that goes beyond sushi, and it’s slated to open this summer.

Tobiuo was originally created by Chef Mike Lim. Yeung took over after Lim left to open his own restaurant in Houston, Kanau Sushi in the downtown area.

Yeung personally takes on the role of Executive Chef of Money Cat. He plans to build on his experience not only in Tobiuo, but also in Uchi, Yauatcha and Izakaya WA. To prepare for returning to the kitchen, Yeung recently staged Michelin-starred Birdsong in San Francisco, where he worked on his skills as a saucier, and at Smyth in Chicago, where he says he learned new ingredients and techniques to enhance the depth of flavor.

Jio Dingayan and Sherman Yeung
Money Cat Chef Jio Dingayan and Owner / Executive Chef Sherman Yeung. Photo of Kimberly Park.

To help, he’s transferring some of his more senior members of the Tobiuo team to Money Cat, including The Chau, whose two decades of industry experience include Roka Akor, Porto and RA Sushi. In addition to being the Managing Director of Money Cat, Chau will also develop the cocktail and wine program. Ashley castro, who has been with Tobiuo since 2018, will serve as Deputy Managing Director.

The pastry chef is also moving to the new location Jiolo “Jio” Dingayan, a recent graduate of the LeNôtre Culinary Institute whose previous experience included the position of line cook at the now closed Potín. At Money Cat, Dingayan takes on the role of chef, and like Yeung, he’s also prepared by staging Michelin-starred restaurants, n / naka, and n / soto in Los Angeles.

“Money Cat is a much more personal project for me, and I don’t just want to be comfortable; I want to challenge myself, ”Yeung said via a press release. “I think it’s the duty of those who work in the restaurant industry to share what we know about food, both with peers and guests. I am delighted to share what I have learned during my internships to provide a richer experience and appreciation of our food. And I am happy to serve anyone who loves good food.

As first and second generation Asian Americans, Yeung and Dingayan call Money Cat’s food “New Japanese,” which will be inspired by regional American foods. There will be a commitment to using local ingredients, and while the dishes are meant to be fun and light, the execution will be based on centuries-old Japanese and French techniques. Some planned dishes include a variety of Sushi, a katsu sando on homemade milk bread, Osaka style okonomiyaki (a tasty Japanese pancake) with bonito butter, and Kabocha ravioli. Yeung experiments with koji fermentation and hopes to offer his own miso house, soya sauce and koji butter.

nigiri in Tobiuo
The chef’s selection of nigiri at Tobiuo could provide some insight into what’s to come at Money Cat. Photo by Sandra Crittenden.

Dingayan uses his education and experience as a pastry chef to create Money Cat’s bread and dessert program that will focus on “interesting flavors” and “saltier elements”, such as a chocolate seaweed dessert.

Drinks will include cocktails more adventurous than those currently served in Tobiuo, a wine and sake list, and a special tea service.

Money Cat’s 4,100 square foot space will be decorated in a minimalist and modern Japanese style with ‘crisp lines, warm wood and earth tones, black marble tiles showcasing the wrap-around bar and semi-finished kitchen. -opened, which is preceded by an upscale sushi bar and wooden shelves lined with ceramic serving dishes. There will also be cubic light installations with an intriguing sound.

Of course, you can’t have a restaurant called Money Cat without a plethora of namesake figurines (called Maneki neko, or beckoning cat, in Japanese). It is planned to display a wall full of gold at the entrance. “I have always loved silver cats. They are super cute, plus there is a story behind them, and they will bring good luck to the restaurant, ”Yeung explained.

In its early days, Money Cat will only serve dinner, with both a tasting menu and a la carte options. The hours will be 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday to Thursday and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A “social hour” is scheduled, and during this time, customers can enjoy discounts on drinks, sushi and hot food. Parking shouldn’t be a hassle for visitors, as there is an on-site garage, as well as valet and street parking.


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