MF Sushi: The Review (and weekend happenings).
This is a pretty extensive review. I do write Yelp reviews, and still continue to do so, but I think, for the food that makes me want to whip out a couple hundred words more than what Yelp will allow me, I shall do that here. If you’re just looking for something to do this weekend, please scroll down to the end. That is, if you can make it past all the mouthwatering pictures. J
I’m not sure how the intention of going to Rice Village to grab some delicious $4 hotdogs at Mr. Yoyo’s food stand turned into an impromptu treat-yo-self-2016 meal at MF Sushi, but that was what happened one Thursday evening. Totally opposite ends of the spectrum, but that’s how we do things. As I recollect my thought process that evening… I went into MF with the purest of intentions. It was Lent. I gave up meat. My friend wanted hot dogs. I couldn’t have hot dogs. Where could we get good sushi at this time in the evening?
MF Sushi has been on my radar for a very long time. The original location that Chef “Magic Fingers” Kinjo opened in the Galleria area went through some tough times (a fire forcing the restaurant to close, a reopening, and then another closure). So it was a pleasant surprise when Chef Chris Kinjo announced a new MF Sushi, this time in the Museum District. I had to see what the buzz was about!
Unfortunately, that priority fell to the wayside, and I would catch myself thinking “Oh, we really need to try that place” every single time I passed by (which was often). So when the opportunity came, I shamelessly had to plug it in as a restaurant suggestion. It was definitely an upscale restaurant, and there was really no special occasion to warrant such a special meal (except to be alive, I suppose). Like I said in my last post, sometimes you just gotta do things that make you happy. It’s okay to treat yourself once in a while for absolutely no reason. So off we went.
So rejoice folks, they have a private lot. There was also valet, but since it was closing in an hour there were barely any cars in the lot. Walking in, one could tell that it was a very intimate space, despite the clean, modern lines and open spaces. The foyer/waiting area was also the bar area, which was an efficient use of space. We were welcomed by the chefs once we stepped into the main dining room, which was slightly dimly lit, but not dark. The sushi bar itself was bright and emanated light towards all corners of the room. We seated by the window, to which then I thought that the restaurant was a lot smaller than it looked from the outside. While small, it was definitely not cramped. Our waitress gave us a very warm welcome and answered any initial questions we had since it was our first time dining there. We were hungry though, and based on our prior research, it took us less than five minutes to come up with our order:
Miso Soup with Snow Crab
Spicy Tuna Tartar (with quail egg served with truffle soy)
Toro Osaka Box Style Roll
Negitoromaki (Toro and scallion)
A5 Wagyu beef aburi (seared and torched w/Dijon mustard, serrano pepper, and truffle soy)
Sake Sashimi (Salmon)
Eggplant miso yaki
Duck Breast (Marinated with Miso Yaki)
Mochi Ice Cream: White chocolate Raspberry, Red Velvet
Opting for the miso soup with snow crab was a good decision. It was real snow crab (as it should be) and the crab meat was sweet and fresh. It paired nicely with the saltiness of the miso. I feel the need to note that each dish was brought out in perfect timing. Each time we finished a dish, a few moments later another would appear. The order was well thought out, it seemed, and everything complemented one another. The spicy tuna tartar was not overwhelmingly spicy, and the truffle soy gave a delicious and savory fragrance to each bite. There is a quail egg served on top, and you are supposed to mix everything together and scoop up with a taro chip.
The next few dishes were the sushi/nigiri/sashimi items. The toro (fatty tuna) in both the box style roll and the negitoromaki had a buttery texture and just melted off the tongue. It was a very luxurious feeling, and I had no complaints! The scallions and other condiments with both menu items paired well with the smooth fish, and did well to cut some of the fatty taste. No feeling like your tongue is coated in oil here folks. The same goes for the wagyu beef aburi. Lightly seared, melts in your mouth, savory- absolutely delicious. And let me just say that the rice in these dishes was prepared very well and paired perfectly with everything we ate. We wanted the fresh uni sashimi, but alas, they were out. We opted for the uni nigiri instead. Uni is better than no uni right? Not necessarily, it has to be fresh. I can’t tell you how gross it feels when you eat uni that is not fresh. You taste and smell the rotten seafood. Gross. But, back to MF, it was a risk well taken, because it was delicious and fresh and did not smell like dirty Galveston water. It was so good we ordered another two pieces. The sake sashimi, cut into thick, buttery pieces, was of course, clean tasting and delicious, but it was not my favorite. I feel like I’ve had better. Perhaps the catch of the day wasn’t really the best catch, but I digress.
The robata (grilled) courses came next. Vegetables and meats/fish are served over a mini grill over fiery coals. The Miso eggplant, while cooked perfectly and had a nice texture, did not have enough miso flavor. But the duck. The duck won the game, hands down. The meat was tender and juicy. There was a thin layer of fat topped by crispy skin. It was the best duck I have had so far. Ever. You could hear the duck sizzling in response to the heat of the coals, and droplets of melted fat would trickle down to the actual meat. I’m drooling guys.
So I take a huge bite of the duck meat and my friend goes:
“Hey! You aren’t supposed to eat meat!”
I had completely forgot. It was like I was in a different mindset entirely. Since we were going to a sushi restaurant, I thought that everything there was something I could eat. Obviously not! Well, tomorrow is a new day. Note that I also didn't realize it after the wagyu nigiri either. Doh.
We ended our meal with mochi ice cream. While they do have some traditional flavors, like green tea and mango, we went for more daring flavors, like white chocolate raspberry and red velvet. While I liked the white chocolate raspberry, I absolutely loved the red velvet mochi. It tasted exactly like red velvet cake, just in ice cream form, all in a cute little package.
So, my final impressions. I’m in love! And there is nothing more sincere than love for food. ;) I would say it ranks third in my favorites for sushi/Japanese fare in Houston, after Uchi and Izakaya Wa. I recommend everything that I tried, but if you must choose and if you can eat it, please try the duck and the uni. MF Sushi is definitely not something you can eat every day. It’s perfect for a date or a special occasion dinner. When you’re by yourself and you want a treat, it’s perfect for that too. Sit at the bar, and get to know the talented sushi chefs. Who knows, you might even speak to Chris Kinjo himself.
Have a good weekend guys! Speaking of weekend:
Weekend Happenings, March 11-March 13, 2016
I would say the common theme this weekend, at least for me, is that it’ll be quite artsy. Again, we have such a diverse and large art scene. I’m always discovering a new studio to visit. And even better- these studios have open houses, and you can talk to the artists. Win win. Get some culture in ya!
Friday, March 11, 2016
Hugs& Donuts /Pondicheri Pop Up
5pm-9pm, Pondicheri- 2800 Kirby Dr. Ste. B240, Houston, TX 77098
These two powerhouses are teaming up for a one night only dinner featuring sweet and savory flavors inspired by Indian flavors. Some delicious things to note- butter chicken kolaches, masala donut holes, and much more.
· FotoFest 2016 Biennial Opening Night Party
7pm-11pm Silver Street Studios & The Silios at Sawyer Yards – 2000 Edwards St. Houston, TX 77007
DJs, Food Trucks, Drinks Provided by St. Arnold and Deep Eddy Vodka. Look at art. Talk to artists. Entrance to this event is free.
· East End Table
7pm-10pm, East End Street Market- 2800 Navigation Blvd, Houston Texas 77003
The Navigation Esplanade offers and al fresco dinner under the stars. Chef Soren Pedersen will focus on seasonal, local ingredients. Proceeds go to support cultural projects in the East End Cultural District. Purchase Tickets Here.
· French Cultures Festival- Free Kick-Off Concert
6pm-10pm, Discovery Green -1500 McKinney St, Houston, Texas 77010
Saturday, March 12, 2016
· March Madness Market
11am-4pm, 3413 Elgin Houston, TX 77004
Shop Local/Eat Local!
· Second Saturday at Silver, Spring, and Winter Street Studios
2pm-5pm, Silver St. Studios- 2000 Edwards St. Houston, TX 77007
Taken from the FB description: “On the second Saturday of each month, the artists of Sawyer Yards (The Silos, Silver Street, Spring Street Studios, and Winter Street Studios) open their studios to the public from 2-5pm. Spend the afternoon wandering through four repurposed warehouses and discover an extensive selection of painting, sculpture, jewelry, photography, clothing, textiles, printmaking, mixed media and more. It’s a laid back way to meet some talented artists, explore the Washington Avenue Arts District, and maybe find a treasure or two! “
This is one of my favorite activities to do in Houston. All the studios are within walking distance, and it’s a great way immerse yourself in Houston’s very diverse art scene. I enjoy coming here each time, and talking to the artists is always awesome.
· Beastie Art Party
6pm, Satellite Bar – 6922 Harrisburg Blvd. Houston, TX 77011
Live punk/rock/hiphop music, DJs, and over 25 of Houston’s local Artists
Sunday, March 13, 2016
· Doodles and Drafts
12pm-3pm 8th Wonder Brewery 2202 Dallas St. Houston, TX 77003
· 8th Wonder Brewery 3rd Anniversary Party: A Celebr8ion of Beer
Get tickets here
· Wooster’s Garden One Year Anniversary Party
3pm, Wooster’s Garden- 3315 Milam St. Houston, TX 77006
Live music, Food Trucks, Street Vendors, and Satellite Bars
· Rice Village Flea (March)
March 12-13, 11am-5pm. 5505 Morningside Dr. Houston, TX 77005
Shop and support local artisans, makers, and entrepreneurs.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
· 5th Anniversary Latte Art Showdown
6pm, Revival Market- 550 Heights Blvd. Houston, TX 77007
Coffee, Sweets, and light bites will be available for sale. Complimentary beer.