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The 5 Best Japanese Restaurants in Houston Galleria

The 5 Best Japanese Restaurants in Houston Galleria 

Our Criteria: 

Sushi: When making authentic sushi, chefs should only utilize seafood that is at its peak of freshness and quality. The hue and aroma of the fish used in the various kinds of sushi we sampled were taken into consideration. 
Food Presentation: Authentic Japanese restaurants master the art of minimalism, which is important in Japanese culture. As a result of this, we took into consideration the fact that the majority of real meals are presented in an elegant manner and come in the form of bite-sized quantities. 
Menu: Traditional Japanese restaurants typically have only a limited variety of dishes on their menus, putting more of an emphasis on the chef’s hallmark dishes rather than other options. 
Service: The etiquette of politeness is highly regarded in Japanese culture. Therefore, we took into consideration the speed, appropriateness, and friendliness of the service that was provided to us.

1. Hidden Omakase 

Website: Hidden Omakase 

Address: 5353 W Alabama St #102, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Contact Info: +1 713-496-2633

Hours: Monday – Wednesday: Closed

Thursday to Saturday: 6:30 PM to 9 PM 

Sunday:  5 PM to 7:30 PM

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.5/5
Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Sushi5/5
Food Presentation 5/5
Menu4.5/5
Service4.5/5

Pros

  • Unique dining experience
  • Flavorful tuna nigiri 
  • BYOB 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Advanced reservations

Hidden Omakase is not for budget Japanese cuisine diners, as people we’ve spoken to claim it can cost up to $150 per individual. 

However, it may be comforting for customers to know that the typical prices for such a multi-course experience are lower than usual because Hidden Omakase is a bring-your-own-booze establishment — at least for the time being. 

There is a requirement for reservations, and securing one can take anywhere from two weeks to two months. So we made sure to book far in advance. 

Hidden Omakase presents a unique and intimate dining experience with only two seatings per night at an 18-person chef’s counter. Hidden Omakase encourages visitors to come with an open mind and an exploratory palate. 

The fact that Hidden Omakase is hidden behind a window display of comic books shows the restaurant’s tendency to indulge in flights of fantasy. 

However, after passing through the entrance, you will find that the dining area is modern and uncluttered, almost to the point of being clinical. 

The presentation of the dishes was exquisite, the decorations were meticulous, and the progression of the small bits takes you through a series of flavorful nigiri before finishing with a dessert. 

We liked how the Hidden Omakase menu pays numerous tributes to Japan, such as indicating the prefecture from which each dish originates in the accompanying comments.

Their Thread-Sail Filefish was accentuated by a portion of the fish’s mild and soft liver, in addition to very tiny brine shrimp that had a crunchy texture. 

We also ate a sequence of tuna nigiri that increased in fattiness from leanest to fattiest. Every one of the tuna nigiri we tried was finished with something extra that brought out the fish’s natural flavor. 

For dessert, we had matcha custard with a base of forbidden rice and topped with tiny rice crackers. We thought the salty rice crackers clashed with the raw taste of matcha from the custard, but it was edible. 

2. Uchiko

Website: Uchiko

Address: 1801 Post Oak Blvd Suite 110, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Contact Info: +1 713-522-4808

Hours: Sunday – Thursday: 4 PM to 10 PM

Friday & Saturday: 4 PM to 11 PM

Google Reviews Score4.5/5
Yelp Reviews Score4.5/5
Total Reviews4.5/5
Score Consistency4.5/5
Sushi4.5/5
Food Presentation 4.5/5
Menu4.5/5
Service4.5/5

Pros

  • Fresh sushi and sashimi
  • Authentic Japanese whiskey
  • Usage of Yakitori grill 

Cons

  • Charcoal aftertaste
  • Expensive

Some have claimed that the Japanese restaurant Uchiko is a top-notch blend of traditional Japanese cuisines with modern flavors. After our experience at Uchiko, we can verify that these claims are accurate. 

To start, the aesthetic of Uchiko reminded us of the countryside as its walls are decorated with farmhouse decor. As Uchiko is a luxurious Japanese dining restaurant, do note that the prices aren’t budget-friendly. 

As we browsed through the menu, we noted a variety of authentic Japanese cuisine along with modern dishes. The waiter explained to us that they make use of a yakitori grill, which imparts a smoky and charred flavor to many of the meals on their menu. 

We liked their dry-aged duck with house hoisin and salted and roasted cabbage as it was bursting with flavor and the duck meat was not too rough to eat. We didn’t like, though, the lingering charcoal aftertaste. 

As far as traditional Japanese cuisine goes, we tried a variety of their sashimi, sushi, and rolls. We liked how the waiter assisted us in deciding between a five or ten course tasting menu, by showing us the best on the menu. 

All of the sushi and sashimi we tried was made with fresh fish and the rice had just the right amount of sticky consistency. It didn’t stick to our fingers but it kept the sushi together. 

We also liked their selection of alcoholic beverages as they offer authentic Japanese whiskey. 

We tried the cocktail Fjin, which consists of Japanese whisky, homemade smoked fig, and allspice liqueur—needless to say it was a smooth finish to our dinner.

3. Sage 400

Website: Sage 400

Address: 2800 Sage Rd, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Contact Info: +1 713-961-9566

Hours: Monday – Sunday: 11:30 AM to 10 PM

Google Reviews Score4.4/5
Yelp Reviews Score3.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score4.3/5
Total Reviews4/5
Score Consistency4/5
Sushi4.2/5
Food Presentation 4/5
Menu4/5
Service4/5

Pros

  • Classy atmosphere 
  • Crispy chicken katsu 
  • Delicious Sky Diver Roll

Cons

  • Crowded 
  • Avocado not ripe 
  • Salty calamari 

Sage 400 is known in the community for their aesthetically pleasing Japanese cuisine and cocktails. At least, that’s what we were told.

One of the first things we noticed about Sage 400 was the crowded tables and people waiting by the entrance to be seated. It took less than half an hour for us to be seated. 

Sage 400 has spacious and well decorated interiors that contribute to the classy bar-like atmosphere. While their menu looked to be of simple design, they had a variety of different choices under their sushi, rolls entrées and more.

At first, we were having difficulty choosing to order, so we liked how the waiter recommended different special items off the menu. 

We started off with appetizers and ordered the Toro, calamari, and their Chilean sea bass. It had a silky texture and just the right amount of seasoning. 

Furthermore, their Chilean Sea Bass was well-seasoned and was mouth-watering. As for the calamari tempura we also ordered, we liked how it was crispy, but flavorwise it was salty and hard to chew.

For our main entrées we first tried their Sky Diver Roll which had soft shell crab, freshwater eel, and avocado. The roll in itself was delicious but the avocado was still firm and not soft enough to eat.

We also ordered the chicken katsu meal which was crispy and the katsu sauce it came with was delicious. We did like their fresh side salad, but the vinaigrette dressing overpowered the flavor of the salad. 

As far as cocktails go, we tried their lychee martini which was sweet and not too strong. We noted that the green olives in our martini had an interesting flavor to it after being mixed with the lychee liqueur. 

4. Nobu 

Website: Nobu 

Address: 5115 Westheimer Rd Suite C-3515, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Contact Info: +1 832-987-2599

Hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 5 PM to 10 PM

Friday and Saturday:  5 PM to 11 PM

Google Reviews Score3.9/5
Yelp Reviews Score3.5/5
Facebook Reviews Score3.6/5
Total Reviews3.8/5
Score Consistency3.8/5
Sushi4/5
Food Presentation 3.9/5
Menu4/5
Service4/5

Pros

  • Classy atmosphere 
  • Creamy snow crab roll 
  • Delicious salted edamame

Cons

  • Tasteless lobster
  • Undercooked scallops
  • Salty rock shrimp tempura

Many we’ve spoken to raved about Nobu being a premier Japanese restaurant with high-quality and award winning sushi and authentic meals. At least, that’s what we were told. 

When we walked into Nobu, the atmosphere was reminiscent of a fine dining classy restaurant. 

You get the feeling that you are a part of something rare and special thanks to the high-end customers, which may include the occasional celebrity and their entourage. 

The menu was unique and vast and had a variety of authentic items such as seafood entrees, ramen, sushi, and more. 

One of the things we liked is how the waiter we had was helpful in assisting us with ordering and helping us decide what would work best for us. He was friendly yet professional in both his manner of speaking and in his presentation of the menu. 

Although authenticity lies in smaller portions, the expensive prices weren’t worth the portion sizes as some of the food we had was lackluster. While their lobster and butter sauce looked appetizing, the lobster meat hardly had any taste to it. 

We also didn’t like their rock shrimp tempura as it was salty and their scallops in garlic sauce were undercooked. 

However, we liked the various sushi rolls we sampled, such as their creamy snow crab roll. We also liked their delicious salted edamame. 

Their tea selection was also excellent—we recommend trying the Hojicha and Orchid tea.

5. Sushigami 

Website: Sushigami

Address: A14590, 5015 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77056, United States

Contact Info: +1 346-980-5454

Hours: Monday – Thursday: 10 AM to 7 PM

Friday & Saturday: 10 AM to 8 PM

Sunday: 12 PM to 6 PM

Google Reviews Score3.9/5
Yelp Reviews Score3.5/5
Total Reviews3.7/5
Score Consistency3.7/5
Sushi3.5/5
Food Presentation 3.9/5
Menu3.9/5
Service3.9/5

Pros

  • Fresh salmon and tuna roll
  • Easy take out meals available
  • Reasonably priced
  • Flavorful udon broth
  • Tasty gyozas and spring rolls

Cons

  • Sour crab and cream cheese sushi roll 
  • Overbattered tempura shrimp 

Sushigami is an open concept restaurant located inside the Galleria mall. While they have booths and tables, in order to snag a seat at one of the booths you need to have a party of three or more people. 

We liked how diners can watch as the chef prepares the sushi on the spot. The sushi is then sent down a conveyor belt so you have to be quick to grab it before it disappears. 

Do note, that they also display some sushi dishes that are available for an easy take-grab on the go. We opted for dine in. 

We liked how they have a variety of different entrees besides sushi such as their udon and salmon rice bowls. Still, for reasonably priced Japanese food, the taste quality was average at best. 

While the udon broth had great flavor, the tempura shrimp were not light and fluffy but instead clumpy due to being overbattered. As far as sushi goes, their dragon roll had no eel in it, only eel sauce. 

Moreover, their fried sushi roll stuffed with crab and cream cheese tasted spoiled and sour. We did however enjoy their salmon and tuna roll as the fish was fresh and paired well with the sticky rice and avocado. 

We also liked their tasty chicken gyozas and their vegetable spring rolls. 

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