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Hotate Chawanmushi. Photo credit Jenn Duncan

Featured Article

Appetite for Adventure

Spice up the restaurant rotation with three Houston restaurants that make it easy to explore new flavors.

Houston's thriving food scene reflects the city's diverse cultural landscape. Diners can tap into their adventurous side and explore a wide range of cuisines from around the world, each with its own unique flavors and cooking techniques.

The city's culinary offerings go beyond traditional dishes, with many chefs putting their distinct spin on classic recipes while bringing exceptional perspectives and styles to the table.

The area's diverse population is also reflected in the types of ingredients and flavors used in many of the dishes. This includes locally sourced produce, meat, and seafood, as well as a variety of spices and herbs.

With a wide choice of restaurants, food trucks, and farmers' markets, Houston's food scene has something for everyone. Here we explore the unique flavors of three Houston restaurants. 

Money Cat 

2925 Richmond Ave. Suite 140, Houston, TX 77098

(281) 974-3735

Fans of Tobiuo Sushi & Bar will be equally enamored of Sherman Yeung’s newest concept, Money Cat. Chef de cuisine, Jio Dingayan, head sushi chef Steve Nguyen and chef-owner Yeung spent serious time behind the scenes doing extensive research to experiment with new techniques and ingredients for the restaurant’s menu of New Japanese cuisine and Japanese-influenced beverage program. The result is an out-of-this-world menu full of exotic flavors and delightful presentations. 

The Money Cat team presents a balanced menu of traditional Japanese flavors influenced by regional American food. Menu highlights include the Hotate Chawanmushi (steamed egg custard with corn and chive taiyaki), Honey Vanilla Milk Buns with cultured butter and trout roe, Maitake Karaage (an homage to the chefs’ love of buffalo wings), the Katsu Sando (an extensively tested Yeung creation) and Chutoro Toast (squid ink milk bread, burnt honey cream cheese, cured chutoro, dill).

“We didn’t want to offer straight, traditional Japanese food,” says Yeung. “First, that’s not who we are. We’re part of a new age of restaurants. We’re young and want to do something new that pays tribute to and builds upon tradition. We want to create a dialogue with guests and build relationships, educate them about preparations and share our passion.”

In addition to delicious cocktails, Money Cat serves exclusively Japanese beers and a large selection of sake, plum wine, and Japanese spirits. The restaurant also offers tea service with blends sourced from Rare Tea Cellar. 

Located in Houston’s Upper Kirby neighborhood, the restaurant offers a refreshing minimalist vibe. Diners can enjoy a semi-open kitchen, high-top sushi bar, and take in the intricate work on display at the open pastry station. 

Navy Blue 

2445 Times Blvd, Houston, TX 77005

(713) 347-7727

Aaron Bludorn’s newest restaurant, Navy Blue, opened its doors in November to rave reviews. The seafood restaurant emphasizes an upscale but casual vibe with a seafood themed menu. Executive chef Jerrod Zifchak of Café Boulud fame is at the helm in the kitchen where he and Bludorn curate a menu of delicious dishes. 

Diners can enjoy dishes like Swordfish Au Poivre with Green Peppercorn sauce; Blackened Red Snapper with Ahi Amarillo; and Whole Dover Sole prepared Almondine, Oscar, or Provencal. Seafood will continue to shine through pasta with modern twists on Linguini Vongole, Seafood Risotto, and Lobster Ravioli.

“We wanted to create a menu with plenty of options and the same kind of approachability that guests love at Bludorn,” said Bludorn. He added, “What oysters are to Bludorn, which are done 3 ways – fried, baked, and raw – clams, shrimp, and Dover Sole are to Navy Blue. We’ll also have a running rotation of fresh fish with preparation suggestions, but guests can swap it out however they want. We are nothing if not flexible when it comes to putting our guests’ tastes first – that’s why we are here, and we love what we do.”

Darryl Chan and Molly Austad put together a fantastic beverage program with an extensive wine list from around the world. The cocktail menu is fun and tasty. Cocktails are named after often misheard lyrics such as “Hold Me Closer, Tony Danza” and “Chasing Penguins.”

Navy Blue launched their lunch service in January and guests will find many dinner favorites on the menu. Caesar Salad, the Grouper Sandwich, an entrée sized Crab Cake and Chicken Milanese will all make an appearance. Lunch is available Tuesday through Saturday from 11:30am to 2pm. 


The Galleria at 5115 Westheimer Road, Suite 3500, Houston, TX 77056


Nestled in Houston's bustling Galleria area lies Musaafer, a contemporary Indian restaurant that has been delighting the palates of diners since its opening in 2020. Owned by Mithu and Shammi Malik with executive chef Mayank Istwal in the kitchen, Musaafer offers a unique dining experience that seamlessly blends traditional Indian cuisine with modern culinary techniques.

The restaurant's interior, designed by Chromed Design Studio, is nothing short of a masterpiece, featuring ornate chandeliers, plush seating, and exquisite details that pay homage to India's rich cultural heritage. From the moment guests enter the restaurant, they are transported to a world of opulence and elegance.

The menu at Musaafer is equally impressive, boasting an array of dishes that showcase the depth and diversity of Indian cuisine. Some must-try dishes include Palack Chicken, Butter Chicken Experience, and Lentil Coconut Soup.  For those seeking a more immersive culinary experience, Musaafer offers a Chef's Tasting Menu that features an array of carefully curated dishes that take guests on a seasonal gastronomic journey through India.

Musaafer's attentive and knowledgeable staff adds to the exceptional dining experience, with impeccable service and recommendations for both food and drink. The restaurant's beverage program, curated by renowned mixologist Taha Ismail, features a selection of cocktails that complement the flavors of the food and showcase traditional Indian ingredients.

In addition to its exceptional food and service, Musaafer is also a great place to unwind and enjoy a cocktail or two. The restaurant's bar menu features a range of innovative cocktails, including the signature Spiced Margarita, that are expertly crafted and perfectly complement the restaurant's cuisine.


  • Autumn Bonsai. Photo credit Sabrina Miskelly
  • Honey Vanilla Milk Buns. Photo credit Sabrina Miskelly
  • Hotate Chawanmushi. Photo credit Jenn Duncan
  • Spaghetti Vongole. Photo Credit Caroline Fontenot
  • Mussel Bisque. Photo credit Caroline Fontenot
  • Tandoori Octopus. Photo credit Mayank Istwal
  • Dum Ki Ribs. Photo Credit Raydon Creative