On Sept 29 of last year, the unthinkable happened to MF Sushi. The restaurant -- which had been named Houston Press' Best New Restaurant of 2013 -- caught fire and burned down, forcing chef and owner Chris Kinjo and his partner, brother Alex Kinjo, to shutter the restaurant indefinitely.
Since then, Kinjo has been working furiously to re-open the restaurant, but there were bumps along the way. When I checked in with him in late December, he said he'd suffered setbacks due to mistakes made by his contractors and problems with the city. In February, when he still didn't have a firm re-opening date, I feared that he might give up and go back to Atlanta (the city he left when he chose to open MF Sushi in Houston).
Thankfully, he didn't give up. Just this morning, Kinjo confirmed that MF Sushi will re-open to the public this coming Wednesday, May 7, 2014. When I spoke to him, he sounded tired, but relieved.
"For the past three weeks, I've been working from 8 a.m. to midnight," said Kinjo. "I designed the restaurant and did all the woodwork and framing. Fifty percent of everything, I did by myself." In fact, he said that he was in the middle of refinishing the sushi bar, which survived the fire, when I called.
MF Sushi fans have been waiting patiently for Kinjo's return. Known for sourcing exotic fish from Japan, and for his fantastic 18-plus course omakase tasting dinners, Kinjo acquired a loyal following of hard-core sushi enthusiasts during the nine months that he was open before the fire. "I'm just happy to be able to serve my customers again. Many of them tell me they didn't eat sushi the entire time we were closed."
MF Sushi will re-open on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, serving lunch 11:30 a.m to 2 p.m, and dinner from 5:30 p.m to 10:30 p.m. The restaurant will begin accepting reservations starting tomorrow.
See the video below for a snapshot of some of Kinjo's delectable nigiri sushi.
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