give 'em a hand

Heights favorite sushi restaurant unrolls exciting new location in Spring Branch

Heights favorite sushi restaurant unrolls new Spring Branch location

Hando toro hand roll
Toro temaki are coming to Spring Branch. Photo by Al Torres Photography

A Heights sushi favorite will soon open a second location in Spring Branch. Hando will join Feges BBQ, Shoot the Moon, and Slowpokes in Braun Enterprises's Spring Branch Village shopping center (8141 Long Point Rd.).

“We looked at other areas, but a number of factors including the mix and caliber of restaurants in the neighborhood made it the logical choice for our next location,” co-owner Raymond Chan said in a statement.

Slated to open in early 2023, the Hando will be similar to the original location on 11th St that opened in 2019. Diners will sit at a 30-seat counter (six more than in The Heights) where they can observe trained chefs preparing their temaki. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner with the same extensive selection of cocktail and sake offerings as the original.

Chef Man Nguyen's menu is built around set offerings of three, four, or five hand rolls along with a la carte offerings. In order to ensure the nori wrapper stays crispy, rolls are prepared and served individually; diners are encouraged to eat them quickly, before the nori becomes chewy. Small plates such as Brussels sprouts, shishito peppers, and gyoza round out the offerings. Hando has been successful enough that its owners opened Kanpai Club, an intimate cocktail bar, adjacent to the restaurant. 

During an interview on CultureMap's "What's Eric Eating" podcast, co-owner Jason Andaya explained why he chose to focus on hand rolls rather than other types of sushi.  

"For me, hand rolls are a completely different experience. The way we will serve them is they'll be coursed-out throughout the meal. If you order five, you would only have one in front of you each time, and the sushi chef would deliver the next one when you're done.

"This way, you're guaranteed the freshest product possible. The seaweed stays crispy, the rice is a little bit warm, and the protein isn't sitting at room temperature on your plate."

Hando isn't the only new restaurant making its way to the bustling Spring Branch property. Masterchef winner Christine Ha announced plans to bring The Blind Goat, her Vietnamese gastropub that currently occupies a stand in downtown's Bravery Chef Hall, to the development.