Fans of MF Sushi may have wondered why chef Chris Kinjo hasn't been at his MF Sushi location on Westheimer. "We parted ways in late October," says Kinjo of he and his former partner. "I'm no longer affiliated with that location."
The acclaimed sushi chef, who relocated to Houston from Atlanta, opened MF Sushi in December 2012, only to close it several months later when his restaurant burned down in a fire. He successfully re-opened again in May of this year, but in early October, the restaurant abruptly closed down. When it opened again, Kinjo was no longer part of the picture.
A call to the MF Sushi Westheimer location in late October revealed that they would be operating as usual, without Kinjo. "He's moved on to other projects," a young man who answered the phone said.
This week, Kinjo confirmed his plans to open a new restaurant in a contemporary building at 1401 Binz Street in the Museum District. The lease was signed late Tuesday afternoon, and architectural plans are being submitted within the week.
MC2 Architects, the same firm that designed the James Beard Foundation-nominated Triniti Restaurant, has been contracted to design the approximately 3,000 square-foot contemporary space.
Asked what the new MF Sushi will look like, Kinjo says that the sushi bar will be reduced from 14 seats to 12 seats, and that he will be installing wood-burning oven. "I want to order whole fish from Japan. I'll be able to cook whatever I want in there -- clams, mussels, fresh seafood," he says. "I'm also hoping that we can order Hinoki wood for the sushi bar, but we'll see."
If everything goes according to plan, the new MF Sushi -- which may or may not retain the same name -- will open in April or May 2015. In the meantime, Kinjo plans to do some traveling, and says that he's working on an agreement with Kaneyama so that he can offer omakase chef's tastings there a few times a week on a pop-up basis, starting in January. We'll keep you posted as we receive more information about those pop-ups.