How Houston Cooks: Boheme Makes Continental Food for a Continental Crowd
Chef Rishi Singh represents a variety of cultures on the sleek menu at Boheme.
Photo by Mai Pham
Every other week, we'll be bringing you videos that take a behind-the-scenes look at restaurants, breweries, marketplaces, bars and any other spots that define Houston food and drink. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
Most restaurants have a kitchen. In fact, it might be safe to say that all restaurants have a kitchen. Boheme Cafe & Wine Bar is a little different, though. For a while now, we've been hearing talk that the owner is planning to build a lovely new kitchen for chef Rishi Singh and his talented staff. Until that happens, though, Singh manages to serve as many as 600 people a night out of the tiny kitchen in a food truck parked out back behind the bar.
In spite of the cramped digs, Singh and company turn out some truly inspired dishes. For a while, Singh hosted "Test Kitchen Tuesday" where he tried out innovative dishes like Thai lamb chili with Yorkshire pudding or coconut curried oxtail on saffron grits. The Mongolian chicken wings from Test Kitchen Tuesday made it on to the regular menu, along with old favorites like Vietnamese fries and the innovative new lobster pizzas.
Singh's approach to cuisine takes into account the ethnically diverse population of Houston. He wants there to be an option on his menu for any taste preference, so the food runs the gamut from Middle Eastern to Italian to Thai. He calls it "cultural collage," referencing the multitude of different cultures that converge on Boheme's patio on any given evening.
As you've probably figured out, Boheme is a bar, but this is no mere bar food. The flatbread pizzas are some of the most unique and delicious in town, and the smoked jalapeño hummus is good enough to make you turn your nose up at any chickpea spreads you might encounter in the future. And then there are the fries, so often a throwaway dish at bars, but here elevated to a meal all on their own. They're the most popular dish on the menu, and divine in their simplicity.
Here, Singh talks about his cooking philosophy and dishes on some of his favorite eats from Boheme's menu.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.