Brunch by Jun
Houston Top Chef finalist and business partner debut brunch in time for Mother's Day at their hot Heights restaurant
Anyone who watched chef Evelyn Garcia’s run to the Top Chef finals knows she isn’t scared of a challenge. Maybe that’s why Jūn, the restaurant she opened in February with her business partner Henry Lu, will launch its eagerly anticipated brunch service on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 14).
“We go all in,” Garcia tells CultureMap in response to a question about taking on the busiest brunch day of the year. Later, she adds, “Mother’s Day is going to be crazy, but we’re excited.”
Brunch fans will find quite a bit to be excited about, too. Garcia and Lu have created a menu that brings their culinary perspective to brunch classics. Think fried chicken with a General Tso’s glaze paired with a scallion waffle or a burger built around Malaysian beef rendan curry that’s topped with charred onions, crispy shallots, and Oaxaca cheese.
Instead of Benedicts and omelets, diners will find congee risotto with a soft egg, picadillo toast with a fried egg, and soft scramble toast with Chinese sausage and parmesan. A few favorites from the dinner menu will be carried over, such as heirloom grits with carne seca, the gem lettuce Caesar salad, and Gulf shrimp aguachile. Desserts will be the same for both lunch and dinner, which should please anyone who’s tried the cornbread with berries and Thai basil-key lime gelato.
“Our vision for the brunch menu is our flavors, which are very eclectic, bright, and bold, with comforting brunch dishes that people are used to seeing,” Garcia says. “We’ll have a burger and chicken and waffles, but with our flavors. Things that are comforting and people relate to when they’re going out for brunch.”
After its introduction on Mother’s Day, Jūn plans to serve brunch every Saturday and Sunday. One service per month will be a drag brunch. Details on performers and timing are still being finalized.
In addition to brunch, Jūn recently rolled out their Wine & Dine Series, a monthly dinner that will pair dishes with selections from a winery. The intimate environment allows attendees to interact with the winemakers on a more personal level than they could at a bigger restaurant.
Three months in, Garcia says she’s pleased with the restaurant’s reception. She’s not taking the success for granted, but she has noticed signs that Jūn is finding an audience.
“I know we’re in the honeymoon phase of being a hot new restaurant,” she says. “We have a lot of regulars, which is amazing, and a lot of folks are bringing friends from out of town. We’re becoming a place people want to bring their friends and show off, which is really nice.”