Money Cat will join fine-dining Indian restaurant Kiran’s and casual cafe Slowpokes in the Kirby Grove development (2925 Richmond Ave.). The 4,100 square foot restaurant aims to serve modern Japanese-inspired dishes that draw on a wide range of influences.
Yeung brings a wealth of experience to her role. Before taking over Tobiuo in 2019, he worked at restaurants such as Uchi, Yauatcha and Izakaya Wa. To develop ideas for Money Cat’s menu, he staged Michelin-starred restaurants in San Francisco (Birdsong) and Chicago (Smyth).
“Money Cat is a much more personal project for me, and I don’t just want to be comfortable; I want to challenge myself,” Yeung said in a statement. “I think it is the duty of those who work in the restaurant industry to share what we know about food, both with their peers and with their guests. I’m excited to share what I’ve learned during my steps to provide a richer experience and appreciation of our food. And I’m delighted to serve anyone who loves good food.
This excellent cuisine begins with a selection of sushi as well as other cold dishes and hot dishes; many will be made with local ingredients, according to a statement. The restaurant will be open only for dinner and will offer à la carte menus and tasting menus.
Some of the possible dishes include katsu sando on homemade milk bread, Osaka-style okonomiyaki with bonito butter, and kabocha dumplings. Executive chef Jiolo “Jio” Dingayan will oversee the restaurant’s baking offerings, develop a bread program, and work alongside Yeung on the savory side. Like Yeung, Dingayan recently completed a stop at Michelin-starred restaurant n/naka in Los Angeles to prepare for Money Cat.
General Manager Le Chau, an original Tobiuo partner, will oversee a beverage program including wine, sake, cocktails and teas. He will be joined by assistant general manager Ashley Castro.
Design plans include a colorful dining room with earth tones and black marble tiles around a semi-open kitchen. True to its name, the entrance will feature a wall of silver cats greeting customers.
“I really love the restaurant industry and Houston’s culinary scene and look forward to contributing to it in even greater ways,” Yeung said. “Ultimately, my goal is to serve great food and share it with the public. Tobiuo is doing very well at LaCenterra, so the timing is right, and with a solid team, it makes sense to use their strengths on this new project.