The Fish Restaurant & Sushi Bar is midtown’s hottest Sushi bar & Japanese restaurant with modern interior for imaginative rolls & happening social scene.
There is nothing that I love more than great food, that is masterfully crafted by amazing chefs. Especially when those chefs embody the spirit of Houston. Chef Harold Wong, Executive Chef at The Fish Restaurant & Sushi Bar (and Bovine & Barley), is hands down one of my favorite chefs in the city for that reason. He is the definition of hard work and understands that one’s value is determined by how much harder you’re willing to work than the next person.
Chef Wong was born in Taiwan, raised in Alief (SWAT) and worked his way up from Azuma, to Uchi and now The Fish Restaurant & Sushi Bar. Over the weekend I had not only the pleasure of getting to chat with Chef Wong but I also enjoyed one of the most amazing culinary experiences to date. The Fish’s 8-course chef’s tasting was simply divine. The pictures and words do his work no justice..you must go SEE HIM and experience greatness for yourself.
We started with the “Wynn Roll” is described as a Manikama mix with spicy aioli and masago wrapped in fresh salmon topped with wasabi tobiko over spicy ponzu. The thinly sliced salmon was delicious and the bed of spicy ponzu was perfect. You don’t need soy sauce and wasabi here, so save it for your store bought sushi rolls.
The Black Mussels were freaking amazing, and to think I had written them off based on bad experiences at a couple other restaurants. They were sautéed and smoked in a citric butter with garlic and shallots, served with toasted pretzel bread. The meat was so delicate that my teeth cut through them like butter. When paired with the butter and garlic broth at the bottom of the bowl I couldn’t resist a second helping, then a third… and a forth and so on.
So here’s where I lost my shit (sorry mom). Have you ever had Yuzu? If not.. you have to get your life together ASAP. Course 3 was the Yellow Tail Crudo which was basically raw baby yellowtail, topped with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, candied jalapenos, yuzu gel and truffle oil. I know.. I know.. it sounds so simple but that Yuzu gel made me praise dance. Yuzu grows wild in China and Tibet and is a hybrid between the sour mandarin and Ichang papeda fruits. Notes of citrus and the spicy, sweet kick from the candied jalapenos brought out the richness of the fish. I could go on and on.. absolutely delightful.
I’ve had Chicken Karaage before.. at Uchi to be specific, but there was something a little different about these fired chicken poppers. I feel like they were sweeter here. I am not complaining but I would love to go back and have Chef put them on top of a waffle or better yet a crepe from CoCo’s across the street. Totally could be a brunch item. It was the bomb for sure.
The somewhat adult version of the Crudo was the Buri Special, which was not on the menu as a dish but sushi pieces. Chef out did himself with this one. The Buri (which means “adult”) Special consisted of a thicker cut of yellowtail and sliced frozen figs tossed in a spicy hmong sauce and kosho ponzu. The killer on this plate was Chef Hong’s pickled foam. He’s a mad scientist and I love science.
At this point I think I was high and sitting on the edge of my seat as I awaited the arrival of course 6! My server delivered 4 perfectly cut, shiny sushi pieces to the center of the table. Shima Aji, a seasonal Japanese fish known as the “stripped jack fish” topped with fresh maldon sea salt and the New Zealand King Salmon, topped with pickled wasabi. They left my table as quick as they arrived. Two words: Smooth and Rich.
The Dynamite Shrimp were good, but didn’t hold a candle to the previously served courses. It was spicy and the shrimp were succelent and Juicy. I ate it like there was no tomorrow.
The Lickitty Split roll will be on my list of rolls to order when I return because I love the different varieties of fish that are inside. A mix of spicy tuna, soft shell crawfish, yellowtail, salmon and tuna topped with fresh avocado and trio sauce drizzle. Not sure if the strawberries you see are garnish but I eat EVERYTHING on the plate (just like Chef Zakarian) it definitely added another level of flavor to the roll.
When the last course arrived I felt moisture on my cheeks and realized I had started to cry.. just kidding, but I was super sad that the ride had ended. The grand finale, Candy Crush Bacons! Anything that causes an “s” to be added to the end of the word bacon gets 5 stars in my book.
Pork is very popular around the world but for some reason in the states, we believe that bacon is its only purpose. Well, at The Fish Restaurant & Sushi Bar, they’ve seared it and topped it with sweet garlic and…. wait for it … POP ROCKS. Chef Wong has taken your favorite childhood novelty and raised its level of complexity by pairing it with this rich and fatty belly meat. I don’t eat a lot of pork but I was able to get through a couple of pieces. What a treat!
The knife work was flawless and the service impeccable. At the conclusion of the tasting chef thanked ME for coming out. Who does that? I have been to tons of restaurants where I’ve spent buckets (ok maybe cups) of money and the only thing I received at the end of the night was the check! His personal greeting made this even more memorable.
Make sure you visit The Fish Restaurant & Sushi Bar and take part in this mouthwatering and palate pleasing experience. Your taste buds will thank you. Read more here!