River Oaks-area Japanese restaurant set to shutter after 4-year run
A popular Houston Japanese restaurant will soon serve its last meal. Shun Japanese Kitchen will close its doors on Saturday, June 10.
Chef Naoki Yoshida opened Shun in October 2018 to serve his Texas-influenced take on traditional Japanese cuisine such as lamb barbacoa gyoza and smoked miso baby back ribs. Yoshida is a second generation restaurateur, as his family owns staple Montrose sushi spot Nippon.
Over time, the restaurant became known for a number of initiatives, including serving Japanese-style soufflé pancakes, launching the Hako Bento Box Company ghost kitchen, and hosting a Christmas Day fried chicken dinner that paid homage to Japan’s love for KFC. Yoshida also created events such as the Tokyo Night Festival and Tokyo X to celebrate Japanese culture.
"We are very thankful for all the support over the last five years," Yoshida said in a statement. "Although I am saddened to close this chapter of Shun Japanese Kitchen, I am excited to open another chapter for the future. We have some thrilling events and concepts planned in the future with the same goal to continue promoting Japanese culture in Houston."
Those “thrilling events” start with the Tokyo X festival, which will be held at NRG Center on June 17-18. The festival will feature more than 200 vendors, a Japanese car show, a $1,000 cosplay contest, martial arts demonstrations, and more.
After the festival, the chef plans to travel to research his next restaurant, described as the first Japanese-owned omakase restaurant in Houston. It’s expected to open in the fall of 2024.